Enjoying life in Union Island and Petit St Vincent

Saturday afternoon we returned to Happy Island for my birthday. There was a huge crowd in – who, strangely, had bought their own food and were using Jonti’s BBQ… so I guess they must have paid him a set fee or something for the privilege. Anyway, everyone was in party mood, and we spent some time with a family from Cornwall who are taking a year off to cruise the islands. Again the weather was changeable and the wind was strong – bringing out more and more kitesurfers to entertain us. They always seem to get acrobatic as the sun starts to go down too.

Kite surfers enjoying the wind

Sunset at Clifton

More kitesurfer acrobatics

Shortly after sundown Jonti called us over for our meal – and what a spread!  The food just kept coming – garlic potatoes, a huge pork joint accompanied by a variety of vegetables (which are called provisions locally), salad and fruit and an amazing onion sauce. This could have fed a family of four easily!  Anyway… we had our fill and it was delicious. We then realised that the water taxi drivers had been sat there for hours and their guests had not even offered them anything to eat – really shoddy we thought, so we gave them our leftovers. They were amazed and grateful and we were sent some extra beers and I even got a couple of dances in! Phew….about 10 pm we called it a night…and went back on board and straight to bed.

Birthday meal 1

Birthday meal 2

Sunday morning and we headed out to Petit St Vincent. We sailed away from Union under headsail alone and went the long way round outside of the reef to keep the sailing angle. Again the seas were pretty big but not too uncomfortable. On our way we spotted the Royal Clipper on the AIS and then it appeared majestically sailing along behind the reef. What a sight!

Goodbye Clifton

Quite big seas

Royal Clipper sailing by

Arriving in the anchorage and we were amazed, again, by the colour of the sea. This is, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful anchorages in this area.

Petit St Vincent 1Dink enjoying the beautiful water

Petit St Vincent2

We spent the afternoon snorkelling – and were a bit surprised to see that our anchor had completely disappeared in the soft sand – followed by bobbing in our blow-up chairs. Later in the afternoon we cleaned up and headed into Petit St Vincent’s beach bar for sundowners. Enjoyed ourselves and I love the way they utilise driftwood here, although always feel sorry for the lobsters that are on death row! A great way to end the day… A windy night in the anchorage meant a rolly one – so not much sleeping going on unfortunately….

I think I left an anchor here somewhere!

First chair bob of the season!

PSV beach bar setting

Driftwood tables

Petit St Vincent 3

Sundowners at PSV

Driftwood lamp

Lobster death row

Petit St Vincent 4

Monday up bright and early and the sky is blue again – hurrah!   Went snorkelling again – not much to see really just the usual suspects but this weird fish lying on the bottom with his wings out! He folded his wings and swam off just after we took this photo and don’t know what he is – definitely not a flying fish though! Oh yes, and while out with the camera, we checked out dink’s new hydrofoil which helps him plane at lower speeds – so faster and more fuel efficient… Doesn’t he look smart???

Ahhhh cute....

Strange fish sitting on the sandy bottom

Sea urchins everywhere

Dink's new go faster wings

After snorkelling and more boat jobs, we had a spot of lunch, noting with interest that there were a couple of dinghies on the beach. This is a private island and the public are not allowed outside of certain areas – and, yes, security soon made them leave! In the afternoon, we were going to bob in the chairs again, but the clouds rolled in and it started raining. Oh well – a lazy afternoon on board and a quiet evening.

Dinghy on the beach - not for long!

Tuesday and we moved on again – this time to Chatham Bay, back on Union Island. The wind direction is perfect for us to sail through the gap in the reef and harden up to get around the corner – so the headsail is out and we enjoyed the best sail of our trip so far. Beautiful seas with winds between 15-20 knots and no rain squalls…. Just plain perfect.

Coastline of Union Island

Enjoying the sail

All too soon, however, it was over and we had arrived in Chatham Bay. We love this laid back place. Got ourselves anchored and Richard snorkelled it to make sure we have a good set – this is an anchorage notorious for its strong winds so we have a lot of chain out…. Well, the mistake I made was letting him take the camera with him, so while I’m fussing around checking everything is set he’s taking snorkelling selfies and views of Morphie never seen before!

Snorkelling selfie!

Me checking the anchor

Giant starfish

Different view of Morphie

We then went ashore to the Aqua Resort – not really keen on this place but it is the only way we can get the internet and having been offline now since Saturday morning, wanted to just check all was OK. Was nice, because I picked up some more birthday messages….. thanks everyone….. Back on board and we did more jobs before going ashore around 3ish – and straight into Bollheads to see the gang. Although we were hoping for some bobbing time, the weather turned against us again as the rain came down. Oh well…. But Tony, Shauna and Tim were delighted to see us again and we had a great time catching up with them and Tim cooked us some of his most amazing fishcakes as a treat. (Ron and Carolyn please note – they are still delicious!). Enjoyed the sunset and were back on board around 6.30 pm for a quiet night.

Chatham Bay

Tim the chef

Tim's famous fishcakes

Sunset over the anchorage at Chatham

During the night the wind howled – as expected – but there were strange noises coming from the anchor chain as we swung around. So a couple of times Richard went out to check everything and all was well – we think it was just snatching so we led out another 40 foot of chain…. It was a gorgeous moonlit night though although the photo really doesn’t do it justice. So another restless night – and we are both pretty tired!

Bright moonlit night

Wednesday morning and we were up bright and early – and did more boat jobs like laundry and making water. Oh yes, Richard had to go back to Aqua to retrieve our dinghy padlock which he had dropped into the sea yesterday!   Didn’t let him have the camera this time…. We eventually went ashore around 4pm and did a beach bar crawl. The first bar – called Mr Pleasures – was very local and near the fisherman’s village. Really friendly people and we enjoyed chatting with them. One of the guys – called Stress – had caught an iguana in the morning and it was bubbling away in the pot. So Richard, getting in practice for “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”, decided that it was worth a taste. No, it doesn’t take like chicken! It was strong and tough as old boots – and I nearly gagged watching him chew on the green lizard skin…. Yuck although the local guys were very impressed that he ate it!   Later on we moved to Sunset Bar and bumped into some cruisers that we had met recently in Carriacou. Had a bit of a laugh and then wandered off on our own to have an early dinner at Bollheads…. Fantastic spread as always – thanks Tim!  Amazing what he can turn out with the very limited facilities that they have behind the scenes.Panorama of Chatham Bay

Tim's wonderful meal

Another sunset and this time with a cruise ship coming into anchor behind us for the night. Who needs the moon when these guys light up the anchorage for you????

Another Chatham sunsetCruise ship in our anchorage

Thursday morning and we have a bit of a lay in…. followed by some boat jobs. I’m keen to clean up the stainless along the guard rail, the rub rail and the deck fittings – so get in dink and manage to get half of it done. The rest can wait until tomorrow as we are supposed to be ashore for 1pm at Bollheads today. They have very kindly invited us to join them for their staff lunch (at no cost). What an honour and pleasure it was – fantastic food too. Really really local – callalou soup (think spinach) which was the base for a stew which contained plaintain, carrots, home-made dumplings, pigs tails and chicken wings… All on the bone of course… so lots of eating with hands followed. We had a really nice time.

Staff lunch

Callalou stew

After lunch we went off to Aqua again as we want to check the weather forecast in preparation for our next sail direct to Bequia. The weather actually is vastly improved with the odd shower and potentially stronger winds overnight Friday into Saturday – but any other day would be good for passage making…. Coming back to Morphie we spot that Troubadour have just anchored – so we went over to say hi and then went ashore for happy hour and caught up with all the other cruisers, who all knew each other from before. It was great to see Linda and Chris again.

After a great happy hour, we then walked back on our own down the beach to Bollheads for sundowners. We enjoyed another spectacular sunset and then as we were leaving Tim ran out with a huge pot of the callalou stew for us to take back onboard – so guess what we had for dinner on board too?!? Fantastic tasting stuff…. and, with bellies full, we had an early night.

Sadly no green flash tonight

It is Friday now and we have decided to leave for Bequia on Sunday or Monday – providing the forecast sticks. So this morning I have finished the rest of the stainless and Richard has done a couple of other jobs…   We are in Aqua again now to publish this and are hoping for some beach bobbing time real soon!

Bye for now