Tyrrel Bay: What do you do with a ferry when it has the weekend off?

Darrell Jackson and Sarah Barnes
Wed 28 May 2014 16:59
12:27.52N 61:29.15

Tyrrel Bay is a huge well-protected bay and is obviously very popular with cruisers as it was full and we had to motor through a vast array of craft before we could find a suitable space to anchor. This is made more difficult by the reefs in the bay and a very large recent wreck. It was a relief to anchor in quieter waters and the strong winds we had endured for the last week or so, finally moderated. The only worry were the three ferries docked close by. In relation to our recent night time experiences of ferry manoeuvres, Sarah was keen to be reassured that we were out of the way. She was confused that although a steady stream of cars was going onto the ferry they showed no sign of leaving.
Tyrrel Bay is the yachting centre of Carriacou, due to it being so well protected and as it also has a small marina with haul out facilities. It appears that many live aboards choose to stay for extended periods.
Businesses line the waterfront, separated from the sea by a road. The shore used to be thickly wooded with manchineel and sea grapes. But someone had the bright idea of cutting them down to increase the visibility between the boats and businesses. The error of this was severely felt when hurricane Lenny threw record breaking swells into the bay devastating the unprotected shoreline and destroying much of the road. The government then had to build a sea wall to protect the waterfront.
We went ashore by the marina, although it is small, they have been developing their facilities and it is well looked after and has the tidiest boatyard Darrell has ever seen! We found a very nice restaurant next to the marina in the old slipway building, which provided wifi and excellent cheap meal in genuine surroundings and a very pleasant atmosphere.
Early Sunday morning we dinghied across the bay into the marine park area, which in this case is to protect the mangrove swamp and oyster beds. Outboard off we paddled the mile or so up the length of the swamp in the hope of spotting some interesting wild life hiding in the roots and branches of the mangroves, as well as enjoying the peace. Unfortunately, we only saw one green backed heron, a gull, an oyster catcher and a sand piper, but definitely no parrots!
During our afternoon walk along the beach we solved the mystery of the cars going onto the ferry. An enterprising individual was providing car washing on the car deck and the locals were making the most of the opportunity!