First the end of Bonaire.
Two of many snaps taken at the Carnival in Bonaire.Mid February
Wind seems OK for a sail to St Thomas, which turned out to be another cracking sail. The only casualty of the upwind sail was the wind instruments. The stick held on by willpower before finally flying off on holiday to the ocean depths. Sail trimming was de rigueur for the rest of the sail up to the BVIs Yes we arrived after dark but with so few yachts in the bay there was no problem anchoring. We checked in the following day and then looked around the town of Charlotte Amalie for any bargains.
|Just the street furniture disarranged.|
The Hurricane exhibition has closed down so nothing to see there. Off on the bus to K-Mart which has only Hurricane necessities new bedding, mattresses, pillows and other household essentials. Nothing in the way of new sandles or shorts! Malcolm went to the masthead to seal the contact points of the missing wind instruments.
4th March We then set sail for Lamesure Bay, St John where Malcolm did some snorkeling
5th March Sailed to Virgin Gorda and anchored in Gorda Sound behind S/Y Chanto. Quite by chance Peter and Nicky had a spare windex ready for their Pacific trip next year. We borrowed this and although it worked it was not accurate. Malcolm was able to recalculate the readings so that we stayed on course, however it will need looking at before they use it themselves.
I must say that the approaches to Gorda sound were VERY rolly. We looked in at Spanish Town and could not have entered even if we wanted too. There was far too much white water in the entrance channel. Even getting into Gorda Sound was exciting! This snap shows another yacht making an attempt.
We took a dinghy ride around the Bay to see the damage. It must have been horrendous last summer. All our favourite haunts have lost their jetties and a lot more!
|Here is Eden Rock up close|
|…….and from the sea.|
|These on the opposite shore.|
Tucked up in Gorda Sound was far from the crashing and banging of the waves outside. A few days later when all had calmed down we accompanied Peter and Nicky aboard S/Y Chanto to do the deeds at Customs and Immigration. This meant that we could then sail for St Martin.
12th March 2018
Sailed for St Martin and arrived for the morning net, however we were too far out to contact Mike to say that we had arrived. We left the announcement for the next day. S/Y Chanto is here already I suspect they motored since yet again this year the winds were against us and quite light.
No internet at Shrimpies yet it’s still down after the hurricane season last year. Fortunately the waterfront cafes were open and also gave free wifi.
|Nicky and Peter on the Marigot seafront.|
Now for the shopping spree at the other end of the lagoon, this again showed great signs of the Hurricanes last year.
Many of the unrecoverable boats had been tidied up but there was still evidence of quite a bit more work to be done. We stayed out in Simpsons Bay which was quieter that usual.
A pleasant sail to Saint Barthélemy. No Jane and Paul this year. The cottage below them has a Jack hammer working 24/7 and also Paul has pulled his back so a long air flight would not be sensible! That said we did have a great time.
As we approached the island some rather large yachts came towards us-they were racing and gave us a wave as they passed.
After checking in we moved to a buoy in Columbier Bay. Gustavia not so Wi-Fi challenged as St Martin, possibly due to all the money around at the Bucket.
18th March Sailing and rain Deshaies where it mostly rained.
20th March Sailed to Pigeon Island Guadeloupe. for our last dive of the season.
|Lachnolaimus maximus Giant Hogfish|
Although we had some outstanding fish sightings the flora was disappointing to say the least. Possibly a knock on effect of the Hurricanes which would have churned up the sediments. This in turn must affect the corals and similar growth. It could take years before the flora will recover and only then if there is little more disruption in the next hurricane season.
21st -22nd Off to the Saintes.
We sailed in company with S/Y Chanto so that we could take pictures of them sailing from the Saintes to Dominica. Luckily we were ahead of them so pictures are better. We were welcomed in the usual style and decided on a tour with 6 other cruisers which was quite depressing. Much of the island has been rearranged by nature. Consequently the scenery has changed since we were here last. We did drop in at the Dominican Chocolate factory and the samples were awesome. We also had a very good lunch washed down of course with a Caribe beer or two. Accompanying us were S/Y Ubiquitous (Jim & Ann), S/Y Galena (Richard & Rowena) S/Y Eowin (Chrissie & Graham) and of course S/Y Chanto.
|S/Y Chanto hot on our tail.|
|On route and the road is a casualty|
Martinique 27th March
Arrived in St Pierre with S/Y Chanto and went ashore to check in. Then wandered about the town just for the fun of it. Peter had the bright idea of visiting the Depaz Rum Distillery so together with S/Y Soozy 2 we all hiked along. It was hotter than being aboard so we took it gently. It was also Peters birthday so we had lunch in a leisurely fashion at the restaurant on site.
|The Anchorage. |
(notice the Peak of Pelee is clear.)
|The house is now open.|
Sailed down to St Lucia for our yearly visit. Anchored more than once to avoid jet skis and tourist boats with their wash. Alongside the other Pigeon Island which is connected by land. We were joined by S/Y Longbow of Itchen and enjoyed sundowners with them and a spot of time liming on the beach. We both moved again at the weekend as there was a rather loud concert going on. Needless to say it was more pleasant listening from a couple of miles away! Hazel and Tony are meeting guests in Antigua so will be off tomorrow. They plan to sell Longbow and get something more manageable for Tony to sail in the Pacific next year. We wish them all well.
We also visited Derek and Bridgit on the lagoon, both are suffering from age but still batteling on, no sailing for either this year. They now have a full time carer to help around the house and cook for them AND a gardener who calls weekly.
S/Y Chanto arrives soon after and we return their wind instrument. They, like us, are on a deadline to get down south for haul-out before they fly home.
|Malcolm retrieving the wind instruments to return to Chano|
5th April O Dear! While Malcolm was looking for something he found half a bucketful of seawater under the piano stool. So the locker had to be emptied washed out and dried before the contents were repacked. This involved cleaning all the rust which had formed of every item-all of them tools, some too badly corroded and had to be ditched.
6th April Bequia.
As usual we arrived after dark. We anchored close into shore had a quick bite to eat and then to bed. Next morning we re-anchored a little nearer the town. After unloading Forte we then went ashore to check in and do a little shopping. We finished up at the Fig Tree having perfect coffee with toast and real bramble jelly! Plus Wi-Fi what more do you need? Plus the nasty rumours about the shoreside walk were just that. We walked it into town shopping and it was as good as last year and in some places even better! Remember-you read it here xx (the part further along is not so good maybe that is what the rumours are about?)
|The Fig Tree|
7th April made a big effort and emptied, cleaned and repacked the nav table locker. Most satisfying as there was no seawater to be found.
9th April Sailed to Mayreaux which is where the only mishap of the season occurred. Mostly the anchorages were crowded and there was a swell. So we motored around checking out others. In the confusion of reading so many sailing instructions we managed to clip the corner and touch rocks in the process (I though another earth tremor was happening) As soon as we had anchored Malcolm went to investigate, luckily no big damage just a scrape to the keel and rudder, phew. Although it was Monday we had Roast pork etcetera (cooked by himself) followed by fresh pineapple.
10th April Sailed to the Tobago Keys, which is always a favourite of mine. They seem to have stopped the daily croissant run so coffee and biscuits as usual. Which is when we see S/Y Prism anchored just ahead of us. They got in yesterday so have already had the BBQ ashore. This didn’t deter us as we love the early evening eating succulent Caribbean Spiney Lobster.
11th April Sailed to Union Island and anchored just in front of S/C Ballerina Girl, Don was aboard with his guest and we gave him 15 minutes of fun watching us re-anchor to Malcolms satisfaction. That done we had coffee and then Malcolm went ashore to check out.
12th April we sailed in company with S/Y Prism to Carriacou, needing bananas we went ashore and found a NEW supermarket. We looked in the marina for Graham but were told that he moved back to Trinidad in January. Pizza that night with Prism and Tevii at the Iguana Restaurant.
Finally sailed in company with Prism for the last part of the journey to Trinidad.