Tuesday, May 12, 2009

South From Bequia

Anchored Tobago Cays National Park
St Vincent and the Grenadines
12 38'.11N 061 21'.71W

Hope this finds you all well as I'm posting this via my Iridium Sat
Phone. I left Bequia on Mother's Day around mid morning bound for
Myreau, 23 miles due south. I spent more than 3 weeks in Bequia. I
really am plush with time as my schedule is to haul Christa in July in
Grenada just 25 or 30 miles to my south, so no real rush. But as is my
habit I just waited for good weather to maximize enjoyment and limit
the amount of strain on Captain and Christa. I enjoyed my stay on
Bequia even though the entire island is without paper coffee filters.
It is the strangest thing, but I hit every store and hotel asking for
coffee filters. All hands were confused about this lack of what I
would consider essential gear. I've been using Bounty paper towels for
nearly a month now to brew my coffee and really have grown used to the
Bounty operation. So other than the fact I got nipped by a dog during
one of my runs, Bequia was just fine, somewhat mellow and unique. So
after hauling the anchor I set sail on a standard delightful trade
wind sail. Winds 15 to 20 from the east with a pretty gentle sea.
From here on down to Grenada, there are so many reefs and small
islands they serve to knock down the sea. Similar to but less than
running on the leeward side of the Exuma Island chain in the Bahamas.
Christa averaged 5.5 knots, passing by the Islands of Mustique and
Canuan before making landfall in Salt Whistle Bay on the north coast
of Myreau. I could swear I'm in the south pacific. The water is
crystal clear and the beaches are pure as sugar with Palms everywhere.
Although I continue to have issues with Charter boats. For
clarification most of the problems are with so called professional
captains that are running these 50 to 60 foot cats and not Mom and Pop
chartering a boat for the first time. Most newbies are exceedingly
cautious (not all though) and give folks space. But here is the deal.
The beach in Salt Whistle is so picturesque and beautiful the charter
companies want to give the best experience to their customers which
means the front row no matter what. In the morning I found myself the
only one in the whole bay! But between the hours of 2pm and well after
dark these bozos come piling in, plop their anchor down up wind of
Christa, pay out chain till they are 25 feet off my bow, shut down and
immediatly abandon ship to go ashore. It's like arriving to the movies
early to chose your seat only to have someone with an enormous head
roll on in late and sit right in front of you. Further more last night
they lit off the barby and nearly drove me out of my quarters with the
smoke and flames that were billowing down my hatch. As Tom Larson
would say, "dude your livin the dream." It is hard sometimes to
maintain my anger because the people are having such a good time. The
charter guests really have no concept and besides they are to busy
snapping pictures.

I did take a jaunt down the only road on the island. The island has
600 permanent residence and as usual is very poor. But I have found it
interesting that since I arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines I've
noticed the amount of goats running around is significant. In Puerto
Rico it was the chickens but not down here. As some of you may know I
am an animal lover. I like them all and even though I had that recent
altercation with the dog I still stop and see if I can pet the stray
animals. Most are scared but crave attention. Anyway on my trek around
Myreau I started to hear a substantial amount of goat noises coming
from somewhere in the bush. Upon investigation I came upon the island
cemetery and as with everything on the island it was in a state of
despair and disrepair. But there were a bunch of goats that had been
tethered to grave stones and little shrubs presumably to graze.
However they were all wound around trees and headstones right up to
their poor necks and couldn't move. Some were just babies. So I spent
an hour in the blazing sun unwinding these animal while they bleated
incessantly. I think they appreciated it though So onward I journeyed
and came upon a small Catholic Church situated on the highest point on
the island overlooking the Tobago Cays. The view was incredible. Just
as I was breathing in the view I hear another baby goat making a
ruckus. Upon investigation I found the little guy inside the church on
the Alter right next to the black Jesus. I shoed him away and told him
to have a little respect, it's an alter for christ sake.

So this morning I had to wait for the charter cat to roll as my anchor
was beneath the behemoth. I took the opportunity to change the
transmission fluid and inspect the engine room for any kind of
mischief. I had the anchor up prior to noon for the two mile trip to
the Tobago Cays National Park. Now this place is a true gem. When I
get to an internet connection in a few days I'll post the pictures and
just let them tell the story. Of note is the sand, here it is the best
I've seen since the Bahamas. I dropped the hook in 15 feet of
beautiful water. I did my usual dive on the hook. The sand is so deep
I was able to bury both arms up to my elbows. I can't even see the
anchor as it is totally buried. We could with stand quite a blow
without the anchor moving. So life is good, I'm really enjoying nature
and all that it offers. I plan on staying in the park for a couple of
days before I move onto Union Island which will be my last stop in St
Vincent and the Grenadines. Can't believe it is just over two weeks
before the official start of hurricane season!

Capt Chris


Chip said...

Hey Chris,

Wow, what a surreal experience with the goats! I've come across quite a few in my cruising travels as well, but normally they were sedentary, content, lovin' life and no worries. How odd that you should come across distressed animals that way.

Sounds like you're winding down and ready to gear up for the next phase. All the best to Crista on the hard when you leave her. She'll miss you.

Anonymous said...

I like the new updated picture. I enlarged the Bequia shot and it does show more of the island, thanks for the tip.


Anonymous said...

I thought Miami was the only place other boats find you alone and drop anchor down and share there music with you!! Great shots of the island thanks

Anonymous said...

So put on some Willie Neslon or Buck Owens and point the speakers upwind. Think out of the box. Bet the cat would move rapidly.