A Change of Direction - March 5th, 2002
There was a comfort (at least from my perspective) of being back on the move again after almost three weeks in Trinidad. Once again we took in the familiar sights and sounds of being out on the water. But more than one thing had changed from the last time we were out.
The most obvious difference, since we were now headed north, was the west wind coming over the starboard quarter instead of the port. We heeled a good 30 degrees to port in the 30 knot winds and everything aboard that had shifted itself to the right now creaked, clanked and moaned as it slid down to find a home on the now low, left side.
Different too was the person on board who was now sea sick. For in Trinidad we had met a guy named Don who was very keen on joining us for the sail up to Grenada. Don, who had never been sailing, was interested in the new adventure and thankful for the opportunity. Even as he puked over the side he took the time between bouts of nausea to thank us for taking us with him. Miranda instead of being sick herself steered the boat throughout the night and comforted Don as much as she could (knowing all too well just how awful he felt).
Miranda and I really began enjoying the 30 knot wind passages, as long as we weren't getting too wet. All the way down the islands we had a lot of wind and big seas so we were getting used to sailing under the double reefed main and small jib. Even with this sail configuration we were cruising at over 6 knots most of the time. As usual we made good time to Grenada and arrived around 10 am on February 23rd.
Once Don got ashore he rapidly recovered from his sea sickness and began planning our night out on the town of St. Georges. We enjoyed both the town and country of 'Spice Island' as Grenada is known. With Don, before he flew home to Trinidad, we enjoyed the long sand beaches and the nightlife of St. Georges. The following day Miranda and I took a bus up into the rainforest and hiked to the secluded Seven Sisters Waterfall, so called because it is made up of seven falls. The half hour long hike into the falls took us through beautiful scenery. Banana trees, with bunches of fruit hanging off of them, lined the road. The Nutmeg trees were so prevalent that the spice's scent pervaded the air and as we walked we couldn't help but step on the nutmeg fruits that lay scattered everywhere. The orange Imortelle trees lit up the mountainsides with their bright orange flowers. Once at the falls we sat on a rock at its base and ate the lunch we had packed. For dessert we stripped off our clothes and jumped in the pool of crisp water at the base of the falls.
That evening we rendezvoused with another couple we had become friendly with in Trinidad, Skip and Julia aboard their boat Odyssey. Aboard their boat we had a lovely dinner and learned how to play Mexican Train Dominos. We had a lovely evening in their cozy cabin.
As we headed north through the Grenadines we sailed in tandem with Odessey, and enjoyed their company for a few more evenings. The islands in the Grenadines are all just a hop away from each other so from Granada we sailed up to Carriacou, and then in one day jumped from Carriacou to Union Island (where we took a quick lunchtime snorkel after checking out of Grenada) and then up to Saltwhistle Bay, Mayreau. Mayreau is a tiny island with one road around the perimeter and Saltwhistle Bay is extremely picturesque with a sweeping palm lined white sand beach. We spent a lovely day rowing around the bay, picking coconuts, and walking along the windward beach.
Only about a mile away from Mayreau are the Tobago Keys, beautiful sand and palm tree islands that sit just behind a large semicircular reef. We anchored quite close to the reef reef and spent a glorious afternoon snorkelling. Just before dusk we tucked behind one of the sand islands, and dinghyed over to Odessey for another delicious meal and game of Dominos. The next day we prepared a lunch of pasta salad, grabbed our masks and snorkels and headed for one of the sand islands for a picnic. We ate, climbed around the island, swam, snorkelled, and just relaxed on the beach. It was another lovely day.
Up from the Keys we headed for Canouan, spent a bouncy evening there and the next morning made our way through a headwind to Bequia. Motoring into the large seas and wind was made even less fun by the rain squalls and fog that descended over us as we made our way north. It wasn't a long way to Bequia, but the headwinds slowed our progress to one knot at times, and what should have taken us about an hour and a half ended up taking three hours. But, we made it to Bequia before noon, the closing time at customs and immigration, and had lunch with Skip and Julia under a clearing sky.
Miranda and I had gotten to know Bequia well on our way down, as it was where Miranda had gotten sick. We were ready to push on towards Les Saintes so after lunch Miranda and I said good-bye to Skip and Julia and headed north to St. Vincent for the night. The weather had quieted and the sky changed allowing us a nice sail to St. Vincent. Anchored in a little bay called Petit Byahaut we had a lovely sunset snorkel before dinner and bed.