Friday, 11 March 2016

Tobago Cays and Back 25 Feb - 9 March

23 Feb

Vanessa, arrived from England and would be staying till the 14th. She kindly brought some needed supplies to replenish "The Stash", which had been depleted...
Stash replenishments
This is a *SERIOUS* boat owner, all the essential equipment on board..

25 Feb Rodney Bay -> Vieux Fort

We left Rodney bay, shortly after checking out and were helped along by the wind and we made pretty good progress, arriving at View Fort, on the South end of St Lucia, by 18h00. We covered 35NM in 7.5 Hrs, we only had enough daylight to inflate the ducky and cook some food before the sunset..  As far as anchorages go it wasn't overly picturesque -  so no pictures were taken.

The Pitons



26 Feb Vieu Fort -> Chateaubelair
I went ashore, to complete the customs formalities and immediately discovered that the ducky's motor needed some attention ( in all fairness, it had been used late in August).  After a Customs and immigration was pretty straight forward and we were off shortly after 09h00.  We then set off to Chateaubelair, which is a dedicated port of entry.  The guide book mentions welcoming committees - the moment you are spotted, you get at least one boat (this is when you as still 0.5NM from anchorage) and people on paddle boards/canoes, pretty much anything that will float, offering all sorts of goodies from fruit to gunja - we politely declined...  Going ashore was equaly daunting, bordering on annoying, when two or three people are offering to help you land, look after your boat, take you to customs - Argh!!!!!!!!!!!. Despite all this atention, customs was cleared and we could all come ashore... We went ashore in the evening and ate at the Beachfront Restaurant and Bar, the food was pretty reasonably priced and was pretty good..

Ashore to clear customs

Sunset from Beachfront Restaurant and Bar
27 Feb Chateaubelair -> Bequia
The trip to Bequia was pretty quick, we covered  21NM in under 4hrs and were at anchor.. We went ashore and I stayed at jack's bar, keeping an eye on the boat while Vanessa and Chris went walkabouts... We went back to the boat (for a swim and a shower) before we came back ashore for dinner. Initially our anchorage looked ok, but the wind picked up and we were getting a bit close to the boat behind us, who had set close on 50m of chain in 6m of depth... The concern was we would swing and clip his anchor, so we weighed anchor and tried again... That too did not work as where we had set the anchor, we were directly above another boat's anchor... Third time was a charm...  We went for dinner as Mac's Pizzeria and back on the boat. We spend another day in Bequia..

The crew hard at work...



Ashore at Jacks bar..



Day 2 in Bequia...

Bequia High Street
 At the Waleboner

 Now you see me, now you dont



29 Feb Bequia -> Canouan
Sailing to Canouan we covered 21NM in under 3hrs, the wind was off our beam with no swell.. There we were greeted by Rising Sun, who was waiting to collect guests...  We were at anchor and Vanessa and Chris wanted to go ashore and so called a water taxi, they were about to leave when there was an incident - the head was blocked and since Chris was the last one to use it he kindly offered to help unclog it...  I'll omit the gory details, but it was  pretty shitty way to spend the afternoon..  The cause of the blockage was a certain unwelcome guest, who failed to listen to simple instructions on using the head - the most important of which is ONLY things that go in your mouth are allowed to go in the head!!! With the crap work out the way, we went ashore for a beer..


Ashore after taking care of the crap...






1 March Canouan -> Tobago Cays
We motored to Tobago Cays as it's only 3NM from Canouan. We picked up a mooring ball and paid the park fee. After lunch we went to the Turtle Sanctuary to do some snorkeling and hopefully see some turtles... Chris managed to spot a reef shark, close to the boat and a turtle in the Turtle sanctuary. I managed to take some photos underwater, finally using my waterproof housing for my Camera. That night we went ashore for a Crayfish dinner - which was without a shadow of a doubt *BEST* beach brai *EVER*...



Little guy stopped for lunch


After lunch we went over to he  Island to try to look for turtles...

Viewnfrom the top of the Island... Some snorkelling and photos...
A fyshe on the floor..

Things what you dont want to step on

Out of nowhere a shoal of these bad boys and girls just decided hang around and pose...

Enough below water nonsense.. Off to explore the Islet and there were a number of these big lizards....



Back to the boat and some more underwater tourism.....
 Fresh calamari...

 Parrot fyshe, not willing to pose..




One of the underside, to compensate for the sunsets etc..

We then went ashore for dinner... View from the table..



*BEST* beach braai *EVER*




2 March Tobago Cays -> Mayreau
We motored 2NM to Saltwhistle bay where we anchored. Chris and Vanessa wanted to go ashore and I took them, I spent time on the boat testing the hamahock Derek had bought me and shooing a boat away which had set his anchor and came to rest where we had set our anchor. That night we had Pork tenderloin for dinner on the braai, which was nice...

 Farewell Petit bateau Island....

*THAT GUY* anchored at the mouth of a narrow channel

 Rising Sun and other bigger boats in the hood..

At anchor and...

Aboard while the island was being explored ...


Yep the hamahock works!!!
Salt Whistle bay..




3 March Mayreau-> Bequia
We left Saltwhitle bay and sailed north to Bequia, that was a nice 25NM and we were tied up to a mooring ball in under 4hrs..  We went assore and I spent some quality time at the Whaleboner, Vanessa and Chris went walkabouts.. We met up for dinner again at Mac's Pizzeria, where we met a happier than usual Chris was grinning from ear to ear...

View from the Whaleboner

This  is where I picked up the stalker beer... It has been following me..

View from the boat
Celebrating this beer's birthday ;-)

Sunset in Bequia..


4 March Bequia -> Wallilabou bay
That was another short day, we covered 16NM and were at anchor in 3 3/4 hrs.. This was the location for Pirates of the Carribean II and III. We anchored with a line run ashore... We swam ashore as we were less than 15m from the shore... Vanessa swam back to the boat and I noticed that the boat had moved, so I had to abandon the beer, swim to the boat and re-tie the line to the shore... That proved to be a mission, but was successfully accomplished..  The lesson I learnt - is don't use the line that you tie ashore to be used as a ferry line for guests to propel themselves ashore!!!  We dinned at the bar/restaurant..





The yellow car wasn't in the movie..

 Storyboards..


Pirate themed bar...

Sunset

5 March Wallilabou Bay -> Cumberland Bay
We motored 1.5 NM on to the next bay, and anchored, where we swam and lounged..  On the way we were forced to take evasive action, despite being the stand on vessel as some *JACKASS* had engaged his autohelm, with sails and under power and decided to go down below for a nap.. We sounded the audible alarm(5 blasts), hailed him on the radio... Clearly he had this pat as he knew what he was doing... Once we anchored, Vanessa and Chris went ashore to explore, briefly..  I stayed on the boat and read a book.  That night we ate am Mama Elma's Bar and Restaurant.  The food was really great...
The jackass who takes a nap, 1NM from shore El Shaddai


Mama Elma's is off to the left and this is the sunset from Mama Elma's..


6 March Cumberland Bay -> Chateaubelair
We motored the 2NM or so to Chateaubelair. As we arrived we were greeted by the welcoming committee, which informed us that on the morning of the 4, a boat had been boarded a Wallilabou Bay, by masked gunmen and one of the guests had been killed... Always good to know.... No sooner had we anchored than Vanessa and Chris wanted to go ashore. I stayed on the boat and read a book. Later that afternoon, I went ashore and we met up an the Beachfront Bar and Restaurant where we had beers and a Roti for dinner..

Sunset from the Beachfront Bar and Resaurant


7 March - Chateaubelair -> Vieux Fort
The plan was to get up early and check out of SVG, I got ashore and was again mobbed, this time there was some useful information conveyed - the customs officer was not in...  I went to the police station and was informed that the customs officer would only be back before lunch in the meantime there was nothing to be done - bugger! I went back to the boat and the plan was should the custom's officer arrive before 10, we would still leave after that we would have to stay another night at Chateaubelair.. After dropping Vanessa and Chris ashore, every 1/2 an hour I would be looking for the custom's officer..  He arrived at 11h30 - so I sped over on the ducky(here some imagination is required) , checked us out of SVG and we were ready to depart early next day..  Later that afternoon, I went to join Vanessa and Chris at the Beechfront Bar and restaurant, were we had Roti and beers for dinner... As we are getting close to a spring tide, the waves on the beech were a bit more that our previous stays, so we timed the waves and had the plan.. Unfortunately we were provided with a learning opportunity - if one is slow leaving against surf, one will end up with a boat mostly full of water and with passengers in the water..  With a bit of help from the residents, we moved the ducky further down the beach and launched successfully back to the boat...

 Sunset...




8 March  Chateaubelair -> Vieux Fort Soufriere Bay
We set off to Vieux Fort, so we could clear customs and continue our trip. Due to the wind being low to non-existant we had no choice other than to motor (brought back fond memories of the med).. 1/2 Way across, I decided to head to Soufrier Bay instead of Vieux Fort as we could see another port and could complete our entry formalities there too..  We covered 43NM in 8Hrs.. I went ashore to clear customs, then came back and picked up Vanessa and Chris who had submerged themselves in the water to have a smoke... I advised them against swimming in that harbour as there was a lot of foam on the water and a wiff of swerage in the air... I guess I was a bit late with my suggestion... We went ashore to get some cash and then I went to Skipper's bar while Vanessa and Chris went on a mini walkabout for sandals for Chris(he had donated one to Neptune the previous night)..

Farewell Chateaubelair
Haven't seen one of those high tech fly repellants in some time...





9 March Soufriere Bay to Rodney Bay
The wind was still off helping someone else so we were forced to motor the 21NM to Rodney Bay, we arrived at 11h30 where we filled the boa with diesel, docked and trip done!


Farewell Soufriere Bay

Pitons

Hello Rodney bay



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