May 2009

May 2, 2009 - Brittania Bay, Mustique to Tobago Cays--21.46nm

We were on our way to Canoucan when we got a radio call from our friends on sv Pickles who were close by at the Tobago Cays, so we decided it was worth it to divert. We anchored close to Pickles and it is beautiful here, the water is crystal clear. Can't wait to explore, just now two turtles and a stingray swam by our boat. Unfortunately our underwater camera, the one we just bought in St. Thomas has fallen apart. I am very disappointed.

We spent an amazing four days here. We did school in the morning then every afternoon we went snorkelling in a different area and go to the beach to fly our kites. The snorkelling was fantastic. Also, right by the beach you can snorkel with a whole lot of turtles. We met another cruising family on sv Alouette, they have two children on board.

Tobago Cays

Flying kites in the Tobago Cays

Super clear water, Tobago Cays

Lizard, Tobago Cays

May 6, 2009 - Tobago Cays to Charleston Bay, Canoucan, SVG - 7.4 nm

The Charleston Bay anchorage is another Moorings/SunSail base and so is covered in mooring balls, however it is not very busy, so we didn't have a hard time finding a spot to anchor. We walked around the village and went for a drink at the Tamarind Beach Resort. In the middle of the night, the wind shifted 180 degrees and we were almost on top of a mooring ball with a boat attached to it. That doesn't make for a good night's rest. At 0600 we moved up and reanchored.

The next day after school we went for a bus ride/ walk around the island, the views from the top are out of this world. No wonder half the island was bought up by an Italian development company and they are building a resort on the north end of the island. We went to see if but they wouldn't let us in. The resort I'm sure has created lots of jobs for the locals but they have also lost half their island which isn't very big to begin with. Also the resort has a golf course which I'm sure takes up precious water that would be better used elsewhere.

Grenadines

Canoucan, SVG

Walking around island, Canoucan, SVG

Amazing views-Canoucan, SVG

May 7, 2009 - Charleston Bay, Canoucan to Saline Bay, Mayreau -- 7.8 nm

All the islands in the Grenadines are so close together it takes no time to get between any two which is very nice. We tried to anchor is Salt Whistle Bay but it was extremely crowded. One guide book says there is room for 5 or 6 boats, but there was probably 15 at least, so we decided to do a very tight turn with our handy twin engines and get out of there, well guess what? Our port engine died mid-turn, I went down below to push the button for the circuit breaker on the engine (which of course in my panic I couldn't find and I had to get Ryan to show me where it was!), by the time I poked by head back out, Chris had us turned around and headed out of the anchorage. Chris decided he must pull out all the wiring on our engines and redo it. This has been a constant problem and it will have to be addressed. Chris fixed the engine while we motored around the bay to Saline Bay. However same thing happened while we were motoring around the anchorage looking for an anchoring spot, the port engine gave out again. However we were not in quite so close quarters so we were able to anchor with no problem.

Mayreau is another tiny island, we were able to walk all the way to the opposite end of the island to Salt Whistle Bay one afternoon, it only took us about an hour - and that is going 4 year old speed. The views here are again spectacular. We walked to the Salt Whistle Bay resort and had a refreshment, then walked back. We stopped to say hi to Dennis at Dennis's Hideaway and had a very powerful Dennis's Special - luckily the rest of the walk was downhill back to the dingy.

Mayreau

Mayreau

Church-Mayreau

Inside the church-Mayreau

A great chart of the area, Mayreau

Dennis's Hideaway, Mayreau

Playing in the palm trees

Salt Whistle Bay

May 9, 2009

Saline Bay, Mayreau to Clifton, Union Island--3.5 nm

Walked around town, very geared to tourists and especially yachters, talked to a bartender who said they haven't been very busy this year and they are really hurting. Glad I stocked up in Bequia, I paid $10EC for 2 lemons here. Unfortunately, my galley has been overcome with weevils. I have been so careful putting bay leaves in every possible bag of dry goods, but they got in somehow, so I had to unpack everything, throw out rice, pasta, rice papers etc and repack it again in new ziplocks with even more bay leaves.

We celebrated Ryan's 7th birthday in Union Island, there weren't any other children around but we still had a great day. He chose recipes that he wanted to make out of the children's recipe book and we didn't argue with any of his choices. We had chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, hotdogs for lunch, mudslides for dessert, we went tubing, opened gifts, watched movies, ate peanut butter and jam sandwiches and doritos for dinner and to top if all off we made Dish of Dirt for dessert. We also went snorkelling and to the little island bar and restaurant for a drink. All in all a successful birthday.

We saw Cat Tales, a Canadian boat from New Brunswick in the anchorage and had them over for a sundowner.

There were thousands and thousands of green jelly fish swimming by the boat all day long, I don't know where they came from, thankfully they were not here yesterday when we spent alot of time swimming and playing behind the boat.

View of Union

Locals

Happy Birthday Ryan!

Happy Birthday Ryan!

Fun times

Fun times

Happy Birthday Ryan!

Happy Birthday Ryan!

The World's Coolest Beach Bar - Happy Island!

The World's Coolest Beach Bar - Happy Island!

The World's Coolest Beach Bar - Happy Island!

The World's Coolest Beach Bar - Happy Island!

May 12, 2009 Clifton, Union Island to Petit St. Vincent 6.3 nm

Petit St. Vincent is a little island with an exclusive resort on it and that's about it. We dingyied over to Petit Martinique to check it out before heading over to Carriacou, Grenada. It is a small, very laid back island. We walked for a while and stopped for a roti on the beach. You can see the traffic jam we found ourselves in on the road. In fact the road just ends the road does not extend to alot of the houses.

Petit St. Vincent

Petit St. Vincent

Goats on the road - Petit St. Vincent

Petit St. Vincent

Petit St. Vincent

Petit St. Vincent

Petit St. Vincent

Passage making activity-playing chess

May 13, 2009 - Petit St. Vincent, SVG to Hillsborough, Carriacou, Grenada -- 7.5nm

Another tiny hop between islands, however now we are in a different country, Grenada!!

As soon as we dropped the hook, I ran off to customs and immigration to try to make it there before they closed. While I was gone, the anchor dragged so the kids pulled it up and reanchored while Chris drove. I will be out of a job soon.

We took the local bus up to the North end of the island called Windward and we met another cruising family from Denmark. They had three kids and was pregnant with a fourth!! Very pregnant I might add, they were planning to head to Trinidad and have the baby there. We met up with them on their boat in the evening for popcorn and drinks.

May 15, 2009 - Hillsborough to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou -- 4.5 nm

Boat jobs: Chris spent two hours fixing port head, clogged up like last starboard one. Had to disassemble clean and reassemble – gross, yuck, yickee

We went to a Maroon party in Tyrell Bay. The locals here are so friendly and inviting. They make you feel right at home. We went with a bunch of other cruisers who organized the bus. There was local bbq'd food but the dancing and singing we had to skip because it was too late for the kids.

Chris's birthday was in Tyrell Bay as well. We walked over to Paradise Beach with Cat Tales, the kids had a ball playing on an abandoned boat on the beach. Ryan and Cari spent hours playing there. They met a few local children and swam with them. It was a great time. Seeing as how, on my birthday I fell out of the dingy I subconsciously thought that on Chris's birthday he should do the same, I thought that he was in the dingy so I started to lift the stern anchor up and he starting doing the splits!! He didn't want to squash the three kids in the bow of the dingy so he had no choice but to cling to the concrete block of the pier. I fumbled with the stern anchor to get it out of the way of the outboard and after a few awkward moments went and retrieved him. Being a nice guy, he is still talking to me but hopefully the birthday dumps from the dingy are behind us. I made him a lemon cake to beg forgiveness. I think it worked.

Carriacou

Tyrell Bay, Carriacou

Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach

Happy Birthday Chris! Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach

May 17, 2009 - Tyrell Bay, Carriacou to Prickly Bay, Grenada - 38.85 nm

We had a great sail in 18 - 20 knot breeze , we chose to go down the Windward side of Grenada so we wouldn't have to motor down the whole lee of the island, turned out half way down the island the wind died anyways and we had to turn the iron genny on. There are some huge houses or resorts on the water. We spent half an hour motoring around the anchorage looking for a spot to anchor and we saw two other PDQ's - Yolo and Seamans' Elixir. Today is our last day out at anchor, tomorrow first thing we are being hauled out at Spice Island Marine and will be living on the hard.

May 18, 2009 - Haul Out Day

We have been waiting for this day for a while, initially we were going to do it when we arrived in Curacao but the bottom of the boat was so covered in barnacles and green moss that it was taking at least 1-2 knots of our speed. The anti-fouling on the bottom was for fresh water, not salt and there was none left at the stern and on the tip of the bows. We couldn't wait any longer, it had to come out.

We had heard good things about Spice Island Marine and lucky for us they had a spot for us so here we are.

Chris spent months researching which bottom paint to put on, he finally decided after hours of research and phone calls to go with a certain type and brand. We phoned the chanderlies in Grenada and were assured that they had it and in enough quantities. Well, suffice it to say, we didn't need to bother doing any research! We just used what we could find. If ever one plans to haul out a boat to do major work, make sure you have EVERYTHING you need before the travel lift gets anywhere near your boat. In the end it all worked out fine and we got a lot of work done including replacing our fixed props with kiwi props.

The kids were invited over to the other PDQ 42 Yolo to watch Captain Ron, Chris and I went and had a quiet dinner which was great. One benefit of being on the hard is that all other boats that are leaving for the season give you their galley contents!!! I was able to put off going grocery shopping for about a week with all the items we were given.

On the way to Prickly Bay, Grenada

Haul out at Spice Island Marine

Haul out at Spice Island Marine

Haul out at Spice Island Marine

May 22, 2009

Launch day!! After five days of enduring highly toxic fumes, being eaten alive by mosquitos every night, being boiling hot, climbing up and down the *!* ladder I don't know how many times, everyone was ready to head back out to the anchorage. Here are some after shots:

New kiwi props

All clean, painted and ready to spash

Thank you Spice Island Marine!

Let's go!

There is a very large cruising community in Grenada. There is a cruising net on the VHF radio every morning where they broadcast the upcoming social activities, the weather and what people have for sale. We are exhausted as we are not used to all these organized activities! So far we have been to a fish and chips night, taken a two hour bus ride to see leatherback turtles crawl out of the ocean and lay their eggs on the beach. We saw several turtles in various stages of egg laying. Coming out of the water and leaving their tracks in the sand, going back into the water, digging their holes, laying their eggs, placing the sand back over the eggs. One turtle laid her eggs in a hole that kept filling up with water so the researchers put all the 65 eggs in a bucket and after she was gone, moved them up higher where they would be drier.

We decided to take the day off school and take the bus to St. George's. The local bus system in Grenada is awesome, it is inexpensive and easy. One doesn't have to walk very far before there is a bus trying to recruit you onto it! There is a fort in downtown St. George's, but it is unlike most Caribbean forts. Instead of refurbishing the fort, they have built a police station and a trainee station in the middle of it, as we were walking around part of the fort, there was a police trainee having a shower and then walking around with nothing on but a towell!! We found an inexpensive cafeteria style restaurant for lunch that served Creole food.

St. George's

Fort George

View of Anchorage, from Fort George

May 31, 2009 - Prickly Bay, Grenada to Hog Island, Grenada -- 5.8nm

There is a rasta organized bbq every Sunday at Hog Island so we moved the boat over from Prickly Bay to Hog Island for a couple of days. The kids had a great time playing together on the beach. Ryan met some local children and played soccer for hours. There was a live band and it was a lot of fun.

Hog Island, Grenada


Hog Island, Grenada


Hog Island, Grenada

with sv AirBender