28 Mar 2018

27/3/2018: Clarke's Court boatyard

We dropped off Dan and Jackie in Prickly Bay on Saturday morning and, after refuelling, sailed around to Phare Bleu marina to start the decommissioning process, not something either of us were relishing. Removing the sails and all lines, deflating and cleaning the dinghy, wiping down internal surfaces with vinegar (to deter mould forming) and taking down the Bimini and sprayhood all takes time .. it only seems a short time since we were commissioning Tumi back in mid-November!

This morning at 8am we headed into the haulout dock to start the final laying up tasks. It's always a sad day seeing Tumi lifted out of the water, heralding the end of another season, this one being our last one in the Eastern Caribbean, as far as we know!  Anyway within an hour or so Tumi was on stands, tied down to the ground, her resting place until we return. We managed to find a local man to apply protective polish leaving us to focus on other tasks. By 4pm it was all done and now we are relaxing ashore and looking forward to our first night in a stable bed for 19 weeks. Bet we don't sleep!!

So that's it until November when we'll return to prepare for our next big adventure, the Western Caribbean and Pacific. Until then, have a good summer and thanks for following our blog.

Debra and Paul

23 Mar 2018

22/3/2018: Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

We've had a brilliant few days kicking off in the Tobago Cays where the snorkeling was first class and we were able to swim with the turtles, up to four or five at one time as they grazed the sea grass near us. The water was stunningly turquoise and we had to tear ourselves away.

After a night at Petit St Vincent, a private island where we enjoyed sundowners watching the sunset,

we cleared out with Customs and Immigration in nearby Union Island and then anchored in Chatham Bay, an unspoilt, uninhabited bay on the west of the island with just a few beach shacks offering BBQ food. We decided to give it a go and enjoyed amazing BBQ-ed lobster and Mahi Mahi ... delicious.

This morning we sailed across to Carriacou, Grenada's smaller sister Island.  Paul had a real performance checking us all in with Customs and Immigration but after three return trips we were finally admitted and embarked on an island tour.

Carriacou is a laid-back, under-the-counter island which is quite charming and very picturesque. We learned from our guide that most young people leave the island for Brooklyn, Toronto and Huddersfield of all places but usually retire back to the island.

Tomorrow we will sail down to Grenada, our last sail of the season. It's forecast to be a good day so we'll make the most of it ... it's got to keep us going for several months.

19 Mar 2018

19/3/2018: Lazy days in Tobago Cays

Our friends Dan and Jackie arrived on Friday evening to be escape the cold and snowy Boston winter and will stay with us for the sail back to Grenada.  We're currently all relaxing after a lovely lunch and morning of snorkeling (I am the only one awake!) and are enjoying the gentle breezes and sunshine. Heaven.

Our time in Bequia this year was fantastic fun with lots of hiking and getting together with friends. Despite fully intending heading off somewhere for a few days we instead stayed right where we were! Most unlike us. On Saturday we joined a "rum shop tour" to Southside with around 30 other cruisers. A great opportunity to visit a part of Bequia we would otherwise not have seen, walking between the various and numerous small rum bars (shops), starting off in the fishing port where the traditional whaling boats head out from when whales are sighted. It's an unpleasant end for the whale but a tradition which has endured for decades. These days they are limited to catching four whales a year but it is often only one or two.

So this morning we were swimming with turtles again, only a matter of a few feet away from them grazing the sea bed. Amazing. And snorkeling the nearby reef is like being in an aquarium. We're very lucky to be able to be here.

Only 4 more days afloat now before we start decommissioning Tumi in readiness for her summer storage. Three days of cleaning, removing sails, deflating the dinghy are ahead of us before we haul out in 8 days time. Hey ho, hopefully a sunny summer awaits!

6 Mar 2018

6/3/2018 : Back in Bequia

It has been an interesting time lately.

Last week, we were sailing around the Grenadines with Janet and Philip, Debra's aunt and uncle. We showed them around Bequia for a couple of days, then set sail in the north-easterlies to Mustique where they were hoping to get to see some celebrities. Sadly, Basil's Bar was being refurbished, which was their best chance of seeing someone famous, but there was a pop-up Basil's instead. We went for sundowners and some music was planned for later, but none of us saw anyone we knew. The music was very good however, and we reggaed the night away quite happily. We walked around most of the island too, finding the odd palm tree to climb along the way.

The walk around the windy side of the island to Macaroni beach was spectacular, turquoise seas that were constantly attacking the shoreline were amazing. As we climbed higher along the cliffs, we hoped to see a whale, but sadly it wasn't to be. Back on board, Debra and I went snorkeling with turtles which was a treat.

The sunsets we're pretty special too. As always in Mustique, the anchorage was rolly, and we only stayed two nights before heading down to the Tobago Cays.

The Tobago Cays were as lovely as ever, if a little busy. The snorkeling out on the reef allowed me to come face to face with a reef shark, about 6 feet long. It glided serenely past me, and I turned around to tell Debra what I had just seen. She is going to be doing her PADI open water diver course this coming week. She wasn't happy at the prospect of meeting a shark just yet and so we went further away from the reef and snorkeled the coral heads instead. We didn't think the variety of fish was as good as the last time we were here in April last year but it was still pretty special. However, we did manage to swim with turtles once again, and by duck diving, I was able to stroke two of them.

We returned to Bequia just as the winds switched to be south-easterly and had a really great sail back. We said goodbye to J&P yesterday and the swell that had turned to coming from the north-west hit. We were OK on a mooring close in to the top end of the bay, but the boats out at anchor were really rolling in the surge. Two metre plus waves were crashing on the shore and a recently completed walkway was destroyed.

The surge has abated somewhat today, and we have walked the shore to see the damage, but the shore is still suffering and it's forecast to continue like this for a few more days.  The power of nature beats mankind every time.

Thankfully, we are still able to enjoy ourselves!

We dined at the Sugar Reef restaurant which sits on the beach. Food was great, location superb, company wonderful.

We are waiting for our last set of visitors to arrive at the end of next week and we will sail back down to Grenada with them. Then the work starts getting ready to haul out and come back home. Not long left here now 😣