14 Jan 2015

[Captains Blog] St. Lucia

OK. I apologise, it has been 2 weeks since my last entry, but we have been a little busy relaxing. We were woken up by the fireworks in Admiralty Bay, Bequia at midnight as 2015 started and we watched the spectacle from the comfort of our front cabin, with our heads out of the hatches. Display over, we went back to sleep. It's an exhausting life, which requires much sleep. On NYD we sailed across to St Vincent to collect Jon & Hannah who were due to arrive in the evening, so we took a mooring in Young Island Cut and waited for their arrival. LIAT airlines (commonly known as Luggage In Another Terminal) decided when they touched down in Barbados en-route to St Vincent, that the flight was full and they were bumped off the plane and into a Bajan hotel for the night. They arrived the next morning feeling somewhat jaded, and so we didn't leave straight away but gave them a chance to rest a while. The trip back to Bequia was its usual lively self, and with the winds being double the forecast (as they have been ever since) we decided to take a mooring in the bay. Right decision. We had gusts of over 40 knots and we know that some boats were dragging.

Speaking of boats dragging, there was one incident where I had to get involved. A blue hulled british yacht flying the blue ensign (usually a bad sign as they appear to be a bit superior in mind, and inferior in capability) dragged almost the length of the bay, fortunately missing boats along the way. The owner and crew were absent ashore, oblivious to their boat's peril. Inevitably, it was heading towards another yacht, also without crew aboard, and so three of us conscientious sailors intervened. We pushed the boat sideways using our dinghies so that it missed the innocent yacht in its path, and then took the pressure off the anchor chain so that we could play out much more by hand in the hope that eventually the anchor would bite and hold. We had 2 attempts at this before we finally managed to halt the drag. The owners, on returning to their boat adopted the bottoms up attitude (i.e. burying their heads in the sand) and were unwilling to discuss the matter,  hardly even bothering to say thanks. Why did we bother??? Actually, it was to save the innocent boat from damage, and their owner was ecstatic. "It's the best Christmas present I could ever have expected" was his comment while thanking us effusively and inviting us around for drinks that evening.

We have since visited Mustique (very chic, but very rolly in the bay); Tobago Cays where we saw a huge stingray gliding serenely by, ate lobsters in the pouring rain and saw a couple of 4 ft iguanas; Petit st Vincent where we enjoyed cocktails in the rain, and back to Bequia in a tropical storm where we couldn't see the island ahead of us until we got to it. Generally the weather has been challenging to say the least with very high winds, and boisterous seas. A challenge to non-sailors, but Jon & Hannah have weathered it well. Good for them. We are used to it now and we are undaunted, helped by the fact that Tumi handles it so well.

Last thing, coming into the marina in Rodney Bay, we touched bottom in shallow water. Fortunately it was just mud, and with some serious revs, we managed to inch our way back to the deeper water without having to be towed. Hey Ho ...