Friends reunited – part four

Sunday (7 July) we left Mayreau – saying a fond farewells to Saltwhistle Bay – and had a great reach down to Clifton, Union Island, our destination for today. Into the Anchorage Hotel for lunch and I hoped to get the blog published – to no avail as the connection was way too slow – and just spent the time chilling. Well, actually, it was more like steaming!!!! Really really hot today with very high humidity and all of us were feeling it….  Back on board and after a while we headed over to Happy Island to say goodbye to Jonti. Bobbing off of his island in the cool water as the sun went slightly lower in the sky was completely restorative! Phew…. Back on board for dinner and so to bed.

Monday we were planning on going to visit Petit St Vincent for the day and to have a special dinner there as Carolyn had had a birthday just prior to arriving in Grenada. However, on Sunday the makings of a tropical storm had turned into a ‘named’ storm called Chantal. Although forecast to pass 100 miles north of us it was potentially going to bring some rough conditions – so we sadly decided to abort going to PSV and decided to move back to Carriacou into Tyrrel Bay which is more protected. But of course to do this we have to check out of St Vincent and the Grenadines in Clifton. Oh ho…Customs office shut! Apparently it is a Bank Holiday – shut for Carnival – so Richard and I went off to the airport to do the proceedings, leaving Carolyn and Ron to wander the town and get our fresh bread, fruit and veg. Having paid overtime fees – again! – we headed off out. The sky was grey and the seas were a bit lumpy – but, even so, we had a great sail with Captain Ron again honing his helming skills.

Into Hillsborough to check into Granada waters – got tied onto the dodgy dock – and went into clear immigration. Queue of four boats ahead of us and one of them hadn’t cleared out correctly from SVG so we all had to stand in line and listen to the tirade from the immigration man. He gave the guy in front of us a hard time too…. so while I was waiting I double-checked everything and was relieved to find that I passed the test with flying colours! And I didn’t get charged either – although all the others had to pay. No rhyme or reason really but hey, who’s complaining…. Over to customs and the port authority – paid the fees – and finally we are legal once more. Wandered Hillsborough and brought some more tee-shirts then back on board, hoisted the new flag and got ready to move again.

Motored around the corner to Tyrrell Bay and found a nice anchoring spot. Sorted ourselves out and went ashore to check the latest weather info. Looking rough for Tuesday with winds and rain forecast so have decided to stay put here another day and head down to Grenada on Wednesday – which was our original plan anyway. Had a nice afternoon chilling ashore and then back on board for dinner and to bed.

Tuesday morning we all woke early but didn’t bother to get up as it was raining and we are staying put here today. Had a lazy morning and went ashore at lunchtime to the Lambi Queen for some food that we had pre-arranged with the owner. Had some really really cold Carib – lovely! – and then was surprised to find that the internet connection was good enough to publish some of the blog. Great news….. After a few hours we wandered down the road to the Twilight Bar where we could sit in our own private cabana over the beach and Carolyn could have a decent glass of wine. Very very chilled today…

Back on board for a snack dinner and enjoyed the peace and quiet – grateful that Chantal has passed by as a non-event – when suddenly in the dark we hear a horn being sounded. This is a common signal and usually means that someone is dragging. Oh dear…looking ahead towards the beach…we spot that a catamaran has collided with a large motor trawler. Clearly tangled up as it took some time to get them apart and the catamaran moved off to re-anchor. We were willing to offer international rescue assistance but the radio was quiet – we were monitoring it just in case – and dink was already hoisted up on his davits ready for the passage to Grenada tomorrow. Oh well – excitement over – we all turned in relatively early.

Wednesday morning up bright and early and we headed out just after 8.00 am for the run down to Port Louis Marina in St George’s. Conditions were perfect – 15-20 knot winds on a reach, although the seas were a little lumpy. We made really great progress with speeds above 7 knots and then the seas grew and changed direction – then they absolutely bubbled like a Jacuzzi with white caps and large breaking seas – then they went flat and then they grew again. So confused it was hard to know what would happen next – and quite testing conditions for our novice crew! But they took it in their stride and totally enjoyed the run south.

Arriving outside St George’s and we can’t get the marina to answer the radio, we think they were at lunch!   Finally they answered – after we had Ron driving us around in circles for a while – and we went into the marina into an alongside slip nice and gently. Tied up and after booking ourselves in for a week we all trooped off to the showers for a long luxurious soak in unlimited water…. absolute bliss!!!!….. and then ashore for happy hour and a really great dinner wearing our crew shirts in the marina restaurant.  Struggling to stay awake after a few bottles of wine, some good food, and loads of fresh air – we retired to bed around 10pm. It was so hot that Richard and I slept in the cockpit….

Thursday morning up and showered in unlimited fresh water again… boy I feel really clean!!!… and we had breakfast together on board. After that Carolyn and Ron said their farewells to Morphie and headed off to their hotel where they are going to really enjoy that Jacuzzi, air conditioning, and a (large) bed that doesn’t move!    We had had an absolutely amazing trip with perfect sailing conditions and weather for most of the time. Shame we missed out on Petit St Vincent – but hey tropical storms have to be taken seriously!  Really sad that they have left us again but it’s only until Saturday when we are all going on an island tour.  Time for us to get on with boat jobs like laundry and gas refills…..

Bye for now