The sail from Les Saintes to Union Island in the Grenadines took just under 36 hours and was a real mixed bag: squally conditions on the passage between Guadeloupe and Domenica which saw winds regularly over 35 knots requiring us to keep well reefed, followed by 4 hours having to motorsail down the west coast of Domenica, albeit 15+ miles offshore, with the easterly winds being blocked by the island. We then enjoyed around 12 hours of good sailing as we continued south past St Lucia and on to St Vincent, primarily because we were by then 40+ miles from land and weren't affected by it. As we neared the southern tip of St Vincent the wind died and so we had to motorsail south just west of the Grenadines island chain as far as the southern-most island in this group, Union Island, where we dropped the anchor for a night's rest.
We had a small tear in the foresail after our journey south from the Turks and Caicos back in early January which Paul wanted to repair when we were in Antigua but the sail just wouldn't lower when we tried to take it down. I think the pulling and twisting in trying to get the sail down is what damaged Paul's back, following on from having to pull the anchor up when the windlass failed. Because we couldn't get it down to make the repair, we decided to leave it until the end of the season to sort it out. A mistake as it has turned out as the high winds between Guadeloupe and Domenica has seen the small tear extend across the sail, tearing into the sun strip as well and so as soon as Paul spotted it we had to roll away the foresail until the tear was fully rolled away. This meant us sailing with a double reefed sail in light winds sailing south from St Vincent and hence the necessity to motorsail if we wanted to get there by dark.
We fully expected to have to motorsail on from Union Island to Grenada, another 40 miles or so, but wind speed increased and we enjoyed a great sail down on Tuesday.
So now we are in Port Louis marina in St Georges, the capital of Grenada. My Mum and her partner Alan have joined us for 10 days and so today we explored the capital city and had a local lunch out of pan seared Tuna whilst the sail is being repaired.
With Paul's ongoing back problems, we paid for someone to come out to take the sail down for us, knowing how it wouldn't budge when we tried to lower it in Antigua. Yesterday, when we released the halyard, it fell to the deck without any pulling at all .... typical! We should get it back in the morning and then will set sail for the south coast of Grenada and Prickly Bay.