14 May 2018 Chatham Bay, Union Island
Glenys pulled out her sewing machine and had a busy day repairing and adjusting various pieces of canvas work. She also added some blackout material to the curtains in the aft cabin, which will reduce the sun light in our bedroom in the morning.
Whenever the sewing machine comes out, the saloon is turned into a workshop, so I kept out of the way and had an administration day, publishing my blog and then obtaining quotations for the various parts that I want to buy over the next few months. There are some expensive items on my list and I might be able to get them cheaper in the UK than in Trinidad.
I also went up the mast to have a look at the top of the mainsail furling. One of the suggestions of the guys at North Sails is that the luff tension is too low on the main sail, so I was concerned that the luff was too long and the halyard is jamming at the top of the mast.
However, the head of the main sail is still at least six inches from the top of the luff extrusion, so that doesn’t seem to be the problem. While I was up there I noticed that the Topping Lift is half worn through, so that’s another thing to add to my shopping list.
15 May 2018 Chatham Bay to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
After breakfast, we motored around to Clifton. It’s only five miles, but it was a hard slog directly into the 20 knot wind. As usual, the small bay at Clifton was jam-packed with boats. We’ve always anchored on the shallow reef to the east of the entrance, but that is now occupied by mooring balls. It’s hard to find a good anchorage away from the moorings, but we eventually settled at 12°35.78N 61°24.73W in 7 metres.
We were very close to other boats and I was unsure of how good the holding was, so I snorkelled down and found that we’re in a patch of good holding sand. There was a catamaran very close behind us, so Glenys stayed on board while I zipped into town to clear out of St Vincent. On the way, I called in for a quick chat with “Leyna”, who we last saw in Brazil. They’re heading north to St Lucia and the will head west to the ABC Islands - they’re keen to get through to the Pacific next year.
I tied the dinghy up at the Anchorage Yacht Club and walked the 300 metres to the airport, where it only took 15 minutes to clear out. After dropping off our garbage in the skip at the yacht club, I zoomed back to the boat and we left the crowded place.
It was a pleasant sail downwind to Carriacou and we went outside Sandy Island, so we were able to sail all the way until the entrance into Tyrell Bay. As always, there are lots of boats in the huge bay and we struggled to find an anchor spot away from moorings. We found a place initially, but we ended up close to a steel boat on a mooring and I was uncomfortable with the fact that he was swinging differently to us, so we moved to 12°27.40N 061°29.21W, next to a lovely local schooner.
After a roti for lunch, we went shore and cleared in at the Marina. It was relatively straightforward, but the customs lady was a surly woman, who became annoyed with me because I kept asking her to repeat her questions which she was mumbling in a thick Caribbean accent.
I’d used the on-line Sail Clear to create an arrival request, but the officials weren’t as efficient as in St Lucia. I think that the customs lady was annoyed that I’d used it because she had to do more work. She had to go on-line, find my request, check it and then print out four copies - all extra work. It cost us $80EC (£20) for a one month cruising permit.
We strolled along the beach into “town”, which is just a dusty road alongside the beach. The place is as sleepy as it’s always been with locals chillin’ out under shady shelters or in bars. We visited a couple of tiny supermarkets, which had a limited choice of goods and a small vegetable stall on the side of the beach, where we bought a few things. Then we came across a new supermarket, what a contrast - air conditioned with shelves and packed with food - we could have been anywhere.
Surprisingly, there was nowhere that we could buy a SIM card for our phone. We’ve managed to buy SIM Cards everywhere that we’ve been so far including remote islands in places like Indonesia, French Polynesia, etc. The lady in the vegetable stall says that we have to go into Hillsborough where there’s a Digicel store. When we walked back to the marina, we stopped off at the Slipway bar and paid a donation to the Carriacou Childrens Fund, so that we can use their free wifi signal - terribly slow but good enough to get email.
16 May 2018 Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
We had a very slow start to the day, and after breakfast, we went ashore, dropped off two big bags of laundry and visited the super market to buy a dinghy load of beer and food. A lady called in at the supermarket selling Rotis, so we bought a Lambi one for our lunch which was excellent.
The afternoon was a quiet affair. Glenys pottered about in the galley and did a bit more spring cleaning while I chilled out and played some guitar - I’m motivated to practise because I have an electric guitar waiting for me in the UK.
We received an email from the Brazilians saying that they can’t meet our counter offer. They have a problem with funds because the Brazilian Real had dropped in value over the past six months. I said that I’d keep in touch and, if our situation changes (or the Brazilian Real recovers), then we’d be back in touch. Ah well, at least it motivated us to spring-clean the boat and get on with some boat jobs.
In the evening, we invited Sally and Anthony from “Fortino” over for a few beers.
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