Grenada to St. Lucia

Anna Marie and I left the dock mid morning heading for Sandy Island, Carriacou.  The weather called for favorable winds with some showers. We motor sailed until the winds built and then sailed the rest of the approximately 25 mile trip. We definitely ran into some showers, but all in all it was a good trip.

It’s a little wet out here…

We were fortunate to get there early enough be able to grab the last mooring ball available. The island is small. I don’t think it could be longer than a few hundred yards. The Island is part of the Marine Protected Area surrounding Point Cistern on the west side of Carriacou. To say it is picturesque would be an understatement.

View to the west. Where the sand ends is the western tip of the island.

Welcome to Sandy Island

We found some great snorkeling on the north end of the island. We really have to spend some time researching waterproof cameras and getting our hands on a decent one. We saw some really great fish, squid, eels, and coral in this spot and would have liked to have photographed some of it.

When dinghying in, we thought these large dark areas in the water were grass.  It turns out they were incredibly large schools of small fish. There were too many of these schools to count, each containing thousands of fish.

School of small fish

Anna Marie and I spent a couple days here before checking out and heading to Mayreau. Before checking out, we had to stop at the bakery that some friends recommended.

I think it’s this way

Follow the chicken

Here it is. Smells delicious!

With bread in hand, we checked out of Grenada, headed back to the boat, sailed to Union Island, checked in to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and sailed up to Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau.

Carriacou, Union, and Mayreau Islands

Mayreau is an Island of only about 450 residents. The anchorage was populated with both cruisers and charter boats. The locals are very friendly and they come out to the boat offering dinner on the beach, fresh fruit or vegetables, fish, and lobster. We spent about three nights there and opted for dinner one night at The Coconut Tree Bar and Restaurant. This establishment is one of about five restaurants  on the beach where drinks and food can be found.  Most are small shacks with a couple picnic tables.  The largest one maybe had 5 or 6 tables. We were served a delicious dinner of fresh lobster, potatoes, rice, and garden fresh vegetables.  We took home leftovers.

The Coconut Tree Bar and Restaurant

View of the restaurant from our table. The cooking gets done on grills out back.

The beach was beautiful on the bay side as was the one just a short walk across the small amount of real estate that separates the one to the east.

Bay side beach

Beach on the east side of the island. Tobago Cays is in the distance.

We strolled into town one afternoon to see what the inland areas were like.  There is only one road that traverses the island north to south.

Haven’t seen one of these in a while

Come on Paul, it’s only a little further.

We came across a small restaurant in town. We were hot, thirsty, and hungry. What a great place to stop and fill the tanks.

Island Paradise

Island Paradise – bar wall

The establishment had a cruiser and tourist friendly theme. The bar wall was lined with paper currency from all around the world while flags from many different countries hung from the ceiling.

Words to travel by

It wasn’t long before it was time to head for Bequia.  We had visited this special little island back in June with Daniel and his friend Jason. Anna Marie and I had a great sail up with only a few unexpected but short bouts of rain and gusty wind. We found Admiralty Bay as pretty as we had left it. We were only there a couple days but we found the time to do some snorkeling, meet some new cruisers, and relax a bit before leaving for Saint Lucia.

Cruisers beach party – Admiralty Bay, Bequia

It was time to head to Saint Lucia. The plan was to leave at 5 AM for the 60 to 75 mile trip we had ahead of us, depending on whether we stopped somewhere in the south end of the island, all the way north to Rodney Bay, or somewhere in between.  I was up at 0400 and began checking the weather. Some of the reports looked like things hadn’t changed since the night before, while others were looking like we might have more wind on our nose than we would care for. After a period of over analysis, I decided we would go but we were delayed as a result and didn’t get the anchor up until 0530. The sail was going great until we got around the southeast corner of Saint Vincent. I looked up at out Genoa (the front sail that provides most of our power) and noticed one of the seams near the top had opened up. We rolled the sail and had to motor sail without the Genoa. Because the winds were blowing so well, we were still moving at a good clip with the engine only providing a little bit of assistance. This was our longest sail to date on the RK and we made it all the way to Rodney Bay (74 miles), in a little over 10 hours. We had the anchor down by 1600 (4 PM) and were making plans to head into the marina the following morning.

The Pitons of Saint Lucia in the Distance

We got into the marina and were greeted with numerous welcomes from old friends.

Shaka to my right and Jude to my left. That belly isn’t looking good in this one.

We got settled and began to plan to knock some things off the ‘to do list’.  One of the big items was to replace the membranes on our watermaker. With the help and guidance of our friends Mark and Cindy on s/v Cream Puff, we were able to accomplish the task at hand.

I think it goes this way

We did some shopping…

Mildred – our go-to girl for fresh fruits and vegetables

and I went to visit Kabooms a couple times. For those of you who don’t remember, Kabooms was the gentleman I had washing the boat early this year when it was stationed in Saint Lucia and I was back home. He suffered a stroke and bad fall back in May, and has been recovering ever since. Fortunately he is out of the hospital now and being cared for by a very nice woman, Arlene. He is doing much better, but he still has little strength on the right side of his body. His strength and movement had improved improved each time I saw him, so we are hopeful and pray that he will be mobile very soon. The following photo was taken last December.

Kabooms and I enjoying a little breakfast

We had a huge surprise from the marina staff. The dock master, Nigel (aka Tiny) told me there was a package for us in the marina office. I thought that was odd as we were not expecting anything. When we arrived, we were greeted with a bag of presents. The staff had all gotten together and bought us gifts for Christmas.

Some of the amazing staff at IGY-RBM. Sasha, Anna Marie, myself, Liz (Front L-R), Tiny and Menin (Back L-R).

They got us visors, floating sun glass straps, koozies, sailor soap, and the best gift of all, was a personalized swim shirt.  My name embroidered on the front, and the exaggeration on the back!

I was so touched I was teary!

In our card, one of the staff wrote “guests like you should never leave”, but it was time to head to Martinique. We will be back.

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