N13:14:42 W061:16:32 Keartons, St Vincent

Wind Charger
Bob and Elizabeth Frearson
Thu 22 Jan 2015 02:32
Every time we have visited Bequia, I have thought that it would be nice to dine at L’Auberge de Grenadines, a much talked about establishment even in Martinique.  Bob was reluctant because he remembered their advertised dinghy dock as being a concrete death trap.  After some “negotiations” Bob decided that he was happy to go to the town dock (known and loved and safe) and walk the half mile round the bay to the restaurant.  It really really wasn’t that far.  We arrived somewhat sweaty, turned into the restaurant and admired the dinghy dock which wasn’t the one that Bob had remembered at all.  Ah well, we had worked up an appetite.  It is a delightful restaurant run by a French chap and his local wife with great views across the harbour.  They have combined their cooking cultures and ways of serving to create a charming atmosphere with the sweetest waitresses who have been trained to pick up and fold your napkin ready for your return when you pop up from the table.  They specialise in lobsters, you meet them on the way in.  We started with a mojito while we chose from the menu, perhaps a bit of mistake on top of a large gin but you only live once. I had lobster cakes to start, deliciously juicy and gently spiced and Bob had the callaloo soup which again looked like sludge but tasted good.  Bob went on to have a tasty looking lobster salad (I wasn’t able to get a taste of it) but I had my own little ones on my “surf and turf” curry.  Very tasty accompanied by a bottle of white wine.  For pudding we shared a chocolate deliciousness which we made even more delicious by insisting on a blob of coconut ice cream with it.  There was a clash of spoons and it disappeared in a trice.  The walk back seemed much shorter and a now very jolly party went to clamber aboard the dinghy.  Bob led the way, as he always does.  He then proceeded to stand astride the seat, wave his arms around and then plunge head first into the sea.  I couldn’t stop laughing (cackling apparently) as he rose above the waves, it was only four feet deep fortunately, his glasses still firmly on his face.  He clambered into the dinghy, shouted at me to get a move on and he was “only trying to manoeuvre the dinghy for me to get in anyway”.  Rocking helplessly with laughter I scrambled in, Bob smartly got the engine going and roared back to Windy.  I smothered my face in the towel and tried to stop my shoulders shaking.  On arrival at Windy, I alighted still stifling my giggles, where Bob stripped down to his glasses.  We then emptied the very important blue bag of all the very important documents within, including boat papers, passports, cruising guide, cash of many denominations and Bob’s phone and spread them around the saloon to dry.  The phone went into a bowl of rice.  Bob then retired to his bunk, not a very happy chappy.  This morning Bob could just about talk about his midnight swim.  I could just about not burst out laughing.
We headed off in good time, after removing all the clothes rinsed and drying along the boom, to St Vincent.  To keep spirits up (mind you that might have been half the problem) we hoiked up the sails and whooshed along under 16 knot winds, across a calm sea, a nice steady run, bathed in glorious sunshine.  Who could not have their heart warmed by such a beautiful sail (particularly if you have been ignominiously dumped in the sea the night before)?
We mooched into Keartons, in great trepidation as Beany tied us up to buoys fore and aft over a rocky shelf marked on the chart as a bottom scraper but actually 8 metres deep.  It is a beautiful spot and we can almost reach out and touch the rock face and peer very closely into very interesting looking cave.   We have not been short of company with all the vendors from Wallilabou popping round to try their chances.  We feel so sorry for them, particularly when they are super polite and not pushy, that we end up buying fruit that we don’t really need.  It was fun though when Garfield broke open a coconut and we enjoyed the coconut water over ice with a squeeze of lime, mm hmm.
I had my own near death experience when happily snorkelling.  Thank heaven for the fender step which I tow around with me in case I need a little rest.  A pirogue unexpectedly shot in, going flat out, between a rock and a hard place where I had thought myself safe.  Spotting the white fender he dodged past within inches (okay, feet) otherwise I would have been liquidised. Bless him, he was courteous enough to come back and apologise.  Otherwise a most pleasant potter around the rock bottom.
Taxi was due at 6pm (Bob for some reason didn’t fancy taking the dinghy out tonight) so a quick change, half a blog and we are ready to hit town, or rather the Rock Side Cafe.