Friday, October 21, 2016

Big Square rigger at Chatham Bay

Fruit Hammock loaded up after a visit to Clifton

New Year -New Islands

After a spectacular New Years Eve night 2016 dawned and it with a good weather forecast it was time to shove off and sail north up the coast of Grenada and then across open ocean to the island of  Carriacau, although a separate island its still part of Grenada. Our destination is Terryll bay a great all weather harbor that also has a customs office so we can clear out of Grenada and continue on to the next country St Vincent's and the Grenadines. Our sail the thirty five miles or so to Carriacau was as expected, the Christmas winds were abating but we still had a fresh breeze with a steady 20 knots with gusts to 40! After a full season in the Caribbean we were ready for the conditions, we had about 50% of our main out and only staysail on the bow, we were a little underpowered in the lee of the island but once we broke out into the open ocean between islands Discovery powered up and  galloped its way north. As we passed between islands we had to take a slight detour around a marine exclusion zone that surrounds a underground volcano called Kick em Jenny, its a active volcano and it acts up occasionally so its best to circle around it. The issue if it decides to misbehave is that the bubbles that would come to the surface would change the displacement of your boat and perhaps sink it!
     We arrived in Carriacau after a great sail, anchored in our normal area just off the beach as close as we could get in around 10 feet of water. We spent several comfortable days in the bay strolling the main street and doing a little shopping, finally clearing out at the customs office located at the marine haul-out. We had another good weather forecast calling for settled weather and normal trades for the next few weeks. So it was time to jump off and take the short sail up to the Grenadines and visit to one of our favorite island groups in the entire Caribbean!

     Our first landfall after Carriacau is Union Island, its the first island in the Grenadines on the way North, and because it has a customs office at the airport its the natural place to clear in to St Vincent's. We do not like the anchorage at Clifton the main town on the island and home to the airport, so we like to anchor just a few miles away in behind Frigate island. Frigate has a tall hill that does a good job of breaking the strong trades so its calm and quite there in strong east winds. Also the snorkeling is good and the holding is great! We normally dingy in to Ashton, the small fishing village
at the head of the bay, Ashton is a very small and poor fishing village, the cement docks offer few places to lock your dinghy but you can find them and when you do its a short walk to town and then you can wait for a bus or walk the 2 miles or so into Clifton. Although we don't care for the anchorage at Clifton we like the town very much, it has one of the best outdoor fruit markets we find in any of the islands! Also there is a bank with a ATM, several good places to eat and a great little bakery!
    After we cleared in and visited the fruit market, we sailed around to the north to one of our favorite places in the Grenadines, Chatham bay! Chatham is a large very well protected bay with great snorkeling on either side, and at least a half dozen beach bars and restaurant's on the beach that runs the entire eastern side of the bay. We had a great week here on the way down and were looking forward to our return! We made a good friend in a fellow named bushman, he was working for Baldhead beach bar when we first arrived, this year he came blasting out to see us in his new boat and announcing he now has his own beach bar along with his new girl friend who was the cook at Baldheads! We had another great time, eating at Bushman's new place and snorkeling the coral in the bay, in addition we had the treat of seeing a large square rigger cruise ship that anchored in the bay while we were there.
    Alas it was time to move again and make our way the short distance north to Mayreau and the Tobago Keys, the closest place to the Bahamas in the West Indies. This year we were hoping to get into both Saline bay and  famous Salt whistle bay. Saline is a nice anchorage but Salt Whistle is on of the most spectacularly scenic anchorages in the world! But its also one of the hardest to get into because to the high number of charter catamarans that visit this area both from St Vincent's and Grenada! As last year we found a place at Saline but next day could not get into Salt Whistle it was just to full, so we went around the corner and traveled the 3 miles to the Tobago Keys and anchored there for a few days! we swam with the turtles and we visited the small island called Petite Tabac, this was the island they filmed the marooned scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 1, the one where Capt Jack and Elizabeth are left on the island with the rum cache and Elizabeth burns the rum on the
beach! The island is gorgeous and it was cool to stand in the exact same locations that the movie filmed in! It didn't hurt that there were a dozen wind surfers zipping around to add even more color to the island charisma!

     After too short a stay in the Tobago Keys we needed to head to our next destination and last stop in the Grenadines Bequia and Admiralty Bay!  But before we arrived in Bequia the Grenadines offered up another gift, a 30 pound Wahoo hit my lure after just leaving the Keys! Fish on and fish in the boat! We had another pleasant sail up to Bequia and with the fish cleaned and in the freezer we found a nice spot just off of Princess Margret beach and dropped the hook! Lucky for us because the anchorage was busy due to the annual jazz festival that was going on! We have learned to love Bequia and we savored every day in the anchorage! This year we discovered the devils table point for snorkeling and we could not get enough of this great spot! While in Bequia we meet up with a buddy boat we had seen the last season, Vision Quest a Saber 42 out of our home port Kemah Tx! We knocked around this wonderful Anchorage for almost a week until it was time to make our way north, we decided to travel for a while with Vision Quest and since neither us or Vision Quest had a interedt in stopping on the island of St Vincent's due to crime issues, we planned a trip all the way to St Lucia and Rodney Bay! This would be about a 70 mile trip so we scheduled a 3 am anchor up so we would arrive mid morning early afternoon to get a good spot to drop the hook!

Scene at Terryl Bay Carriacau
At The Dock at Clifton Bay Union island

Another pic at Clifton on Union Island

Fruit market in Clifton!

Another tall ship comes to call at Chatham

Petite Tabac wind sufers

Petite Tabac beach

Standing in the spot Capt Jack found the rum!

Copping a feel at Tabago Cay turtle beach

Pic from the top of the mast between islands at Tabago Cays!

Had to take the shot

Off the stern pic in Tabago Cays

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