Exploring Carriacou and beyond

Tuesday and the weather started to improve with just occasional showers and some blue sky. Hurrah! We spent most of the day doing boat jobs and watching the anchoring shenanigans – so glad we are at the back of the fleet and away from most of them. Even a large motorboat came in and tried to anchor five times before finally giving up and leaving altogether – I assume embarrassment was behind that decision… Oh yes, and we have a Swedish boat anchored alongside us and they do like to get naked!

Morphie enjoying the sun

About 4 pm we went ashore for sundowners at the Lambie Queen. Had a few cold beers and enjoyed the view out to the anchorage and catching up with the owner. The sun was starting to go down as we headed back to Morphie and we were really pleased to be able to get such a great photo of her. We had a quiet evening followed by a rough night as the wind howled and the boat rolled….. Oh well.

Lambi Queen

Morphie is at the back!

Morphie at sunset

Wednesday and more boat jobs accomplished – Richard is working to a regular maintenance schedule now and I spent a few hours washing the salt off all the external woodwork and stainless steel. The weather continues to improve and the sun is now shining so we take some time out to explore the mangrove swamp. Feeling our way through, around and across sandbanks, Richard the intrepid dinghy captain explorer was thoroughly enjoying himself.

The dinghy captain

Creeping across sand bars

Just inside the entrance we came across quite a few dead boats – presumably remnants from previous storms. Dinking around and there is nobody here apart from us and the birds…. and the huge fish that keep swirling close to the surface and one huge one which almost leaped out of the water alongside me, and it really made me jump it was so close! The whole area just kept opening up as we meandered through and was a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours – a real treat.

Dead boats 1

Dead boats 2

White egret in the mangroves

Huge mangrove swamp

I can still see you!

Huge mangrove swamp 2Go faster stripes

Panorama of the mangroves

On the way back we had a look at the new marina they are building – well, actually, they’ve been building this for more than a decade and very little to show for it so far! And all of this goes on alongside the sleepy traditional way of life with fisherman cleaning today’s catch on the beach….

It's only taken 13 years so far

Cleaning today's catch

Oh yes, and at the dock, there are a family of cute little fish to welcome you – and here I am with my hands and camera in the water trying to get a good photo – only to be warned by the locals that this particular type of porcupine puffer fish are incredibly toxic and a puncture wound by one of their spines would be fatal…. Not one of my better ideas then!

Welcoming party at the dockCute but deadly!

Wednesday late afternoon we went ashore to the Lazy Turtle which has just reopened under new management. We enjoyed a few sundowners and had a jolly time chatting with some cruisers before going back to Morphie for dinner and to our rolly bed.

View out from Lazy Turtle

Thursday morning we had a lazy start before going ashore to do a tour of the island. Although we have been to Carriacou before a few times this is one island that we haven’t really explored much. And there really isn’t a lot to see apart from some stunning scenery across the Grenadines and down towards Hillsborough…. But interesting nevertheless, particularly hearing about their traditional boat building heritage, which continues to this day with all construction being done by eye, with no plans.

View down to Hillsborough

Paradise beach looking out to Sandy Island

When we got back to Tyrrel Bay we dinked to the new customs and immigration office where we checked out for a Friday departure to Union Island. Job done and back on board, pretty shattered, so after a restorative nap Richard took me back ashore to the Lazy Turtle for dinner. Good food and pleasant evening….followed by an early night.

Panorama of Tyrrel Bay

Up early Friday morning and we are underway by 8.30 am. Weather forecast was a bit iffy again but nothing to concern us. As we headed out towards the Sisters Rocks the wind kicked in – strongly! But no worries, we are reefed down, and then we get a series of squalls with winds around 35 knots. We changed our course to get some shelter from the foaming seas by running inside Sandy Island towards Hillsborough before we headed out into the channel towards Union Island. And we found some superyachts anchored here too……

Goodbye Carriacou

A rainbow to wish us on our way

Superyachts by Sandy Island

Sandy Island

As we passed through Hillsborough into the channel the torrential rain squalls just kept coming! Boats were struggling to keep control and one charter boat in particular kept broaching and every time he recovered he ended up on a collision course for us. Luckily we had spotted him before the latest whiteout and kept ourselves safe by taking constant evasive action! What is it with these people? Full sails up in really rough conditions with poor visibility?? Grrrr…..

Oh well…. no harm done… and we arrived into Clifton around 11 ish. Got ourselves sorted out – while simultaneously fending off a selection of boat boys who remembered us from previous visits – and then went into town to check in. Customs was open but immigration not manned – so we had to head off to the airport to do this bit. This always happens to us! Back on board with the new flag hoisted and we had a lazy afternoon on board with constant squalls coming through.

Can't see much!

Whiteout coming!

Finally it settled down just long enough for us to get to Happy Island to see Jonti. We spent some time chatting to him and some rather inebriated French and Germans whilst watching Morphie hanging onto her anchor for dear life in the squalls…. The conditions drew the kitesurfers out too and we were royally entertained by their acrobatics! Made it back on board by 7pm and had an early night.

Hang on Morphie

Sunset from Happy IslandKite surfers showing off!

Saturday morning and we are up early – and Happy Birthday to me!!!   Thanks for all the messages and cards – much appreciated…..

Happy Birthday

We came ashore for breakfast at the Anchorage Hotel and to get internet access.     We are planning to go back to Happy Island for the afternoon and to have dinner there…. and may move onto Petit St Vincent tomorrow if this sun and blue sky continues!

Bye for now