Nothing Wrong With The Familiar
After almost three weeks of cruising St Vincent and the Grenadines (where has that time gone!?) we are back in Rodney Bay, somewhere we’re coming to think of as our ‘Caribbean home’. There is something wonderful about coming into a port and not spending your entire first day working out where to clear in, where the supermarket is, or walking around trying to find an internet cafe. We’ve treated ourselves to a weekend in the marina and have celebrated this increasingly rare convenience by doing nothing but cleaning, provisioning, fixing and repairing, replacing, washing and laundering. After two day’s we’ve almost finished our long list of jobs. Who said living on a boat was nothing but lazy relaxation?
Well the last week hasn’t felt very relaxing. We’ve spent most days sailing north from Grenada, but it’s been somewhat reminiscent of the old days beating up the English Channel. Except, thankfully, without the beanies, gloves and wet weather gear. But it certainly hasn’t been easy, or particularly pleasant. However, we need to get used to it; we’ll likely be sailing very close to the wind for the next month at least.
Back in Bequia
We first sailed to Carriacou, but only overnight in order to break the journey up. After clearing out first thing in the morning, we headed to Bequia and arrived mid-afternoon. We were very pleased to be back in Bequia and celebrated by going back to our favourite internet cafe Chameleon and ordering their awesome ham, cheese and pickle toastie. Eupraxia were also anchored nearby- just can’t get rid of them- so we had dinner again with John and Sandra. We dinghied over to their’s and Sandra and Nick teamed up to produce a very delicious pork and vegetable dish. One of the things about the Caribbean (so far- would love to be able to change my view on this) is that, if you can cook, there’s really not much point in eating out that often. The restaurants have, in general, been both expensive and the food quality unexceptional. Rodney Bay I exclude from this- there are some awesome restaurants here, although they are pricey. So we prefer to cook for our friends than go out to eat.
St Vincent: A World Away
After a day in Bequia we made the 15 mile journey to a little bay called Keargan’s in St Vincent. There we tied up to a mooring buoy owned by a local restaurant called Rock Side Cafe, with the help of a questionable looking fellow in a tiny wooden dinghy. Once secure, we went ashore to explore.
St Vincent was completely different to anywhere else we’ve been in the Caribbean. Okay, well we only saw one little corner of it, but still, it was in stark contrast to the relatively sanitised version of tropical paradise we’ve experienced so far. It is totally undeveloped and feels wonderfully wild and rugged. The people are so friendly- everyone we passed said hello- and it was completely unsophisticated and rural. We walked to the neighbouring bay and then around the corner to a little waterfall (a local described it as “some rocks with water” which did sum it up) amongst a tropical garden. It was 5EC entry but we didn’t mind, even if the waterfall was a bit of a let down.
We then had dinner at Rock Side Cafe with Rosi, its German owner. The dinghy ride in was a little fraught due to the breaking swell on the beach, and there was a moment of exhilaration as we managed to ‘touch down’ without getting wet. That quickly turned in dismay as we realised that the pink, rubbery object floating in the nearby water was pig’s intestines. We saw the slaughtered animal earlier that day, being nonchalantly wheeled through the small village as the local school put on what was clearly a sport’s day. Charming!
There were two other tables there, both from our neighbouring boats and we had a wonderful evening. We had a perfect view of our boat at anchor and Rosi treated us like friends rather than guests. She even gave us a printed personalised menu- although my name was, as usual, spelled incorrectly!
We worriedly told her that we planned to leave first thing the next morning, but were concerned that one of the other boats’ mooring line was going to get caught around our propeller as we swung around (we were tied both stern and bow). Rosi cheerily said that someone will be out at 7am to drop the lines for us, making life much easier. We went back to the boat full of rum, wine and Caribbean food, and, after a few nervous minutes on the pitch black beach trying to a) find our dinghy and b) avoid the pig’s guts, we managed to return to the boat, still dry. Small miracles.
The next morning we waited in the cockpit drinking our coffee and watching the shoreline for signs of movement. A man appeared on the beach and waded into the water, putting on his snorkel, mask and flippers. Nick and I looked at each other.
“That must be him.”
“It can’t be. It’s 6:58.”
“So? Ross said 7. This must be her guy.”
“Yeah, but it’s the Caribbean. There’s no way he’ll be on time.”
Yet, I ate my words, because at exactly 7am he undid our stern line (with a wave) and 30 seconds later we were motoring out of the anchorage.
Our sail to Saint Lucia was long, tough and rolly. It didn’t help that we were constantly being pushed away from our target. The wind was coming directly north-east and guess which direction we were trying to go… yes, north-east. The last 10 miles took forever, not helped by the engine cutting out sporadically. We decided to forgo Marigot Bay and get ourselves into Rodney Bay marina to try and sort out the engine. Plus, if it died completely, we knew we’d be able to get towed in. Luckily it didn’t come to that!
Nick’s changed the filters and the diesel looks clean, so we’re not sure what the problem is. Hopefully it won’t happen again, but it’s something we’ll need to keep an eye on.
So that brings you up to date! This week: back to the land of french baguettes and rosé wine!