On to St Lucia

19 November 2018  St Margaret’s Beach,  Bequia
Today's plan was to catch a ferry across to St Vincent, but while we had breakfast, it was raining heavily and the forecast was for unsettled weather all day, so we abandoned the trip.  Instead, we pottered about doing a few jobs - I screwed the fittings onto the cupboard doors, while Glenys painted a couple of other doors in the front heads.

The weather never cleared with little squalls coming through giving gusty conditions, so we lurked about, sheltering in the afternoon.  Glenys send a big bag of laundry off with Daffodil, who come around selling fuel and water and also wash & dry clothes.  They’ve been providing a fabulous service to cruising yachts for decades - we used them when we were here in 1994!

Interesting Catholic Church

20 November 2018  St Margaret’s Beach,  Bequia
We were up fairly early and dinghied into town to catch the 08:30 ferry, but unfortunately it left at 08:00 and the next one was at 09:30.  The security guard said that the ferry website has been wrong for over a year.  Faced with a wait of at least an hour, we went for a walk up towards the windward side of the island, which was pleasant, but sweaty.

The ferry left bang on time.  I was like a little kid, all excited to be on a big ship.  As we rounded the corner of Bequia and headed out towards Kingstown, we hit the big swell coming from the east and the motion of the ferry became alarming, rolling from side to side at 20 degrees.  Many of the locals immediately lay down on the benches, but thankfully, we now have iron constitutions and didn’t suffer during the 1 hour passage.

Kingstown is a quaint colonial town, a bit run down, but with some interesting buildings.  We wandered around the three main streets, poking our heads in to the various shops and the markets, buying a few things here and there.  We ended up walking over to the churches.  There’s a pleasant Anglican Church, which is being restored and, just across the street, there’s an amazing Catholic church, which is an eclectic mixture of architectural styles.  I believe that it was completed in the 1930’s.

We grabbed a couple of rotis from a street stall and caught the 13:00 ferry back to Bequia - 2½ hours is enough for wandering around Kingstown.  

21 November 2018  St Margaret’s Beach,  Bequia
The last time that we went scuba diving was in Madagascar over 14 months ago.  We plan go diving in the British Virgin Islands in December, so I dug out our diving gear to check it all out.  Unfortunately, when I press the purge button, two of our octopuses are free-flowing.  I adjusted one, but I think I might get a dive shop to check them out.  

Dive Compressor still works

We went snorkelling on Devil’s table again.  It was okay. We saw a scorpion fish in about the same place, but nothing else terribly exciting apart from being circled by a Great Barracuda.  After lunch, I ran our dive compressor and topped up our two dive tanks - I’m pleased to see that dive compressor still works.

The weather forecast looks okay to sail up to St Lucia tomorrow, so I nipped into town to clear out, which was a very painless process.

22 November 2018   Bequia to Rodney Bay. St Lucia
It rained during the night and, when we dragged ourselves out of bed at 0500, the skies were dark and forbidding.

There was enough light to see at 05:40, so we upped anchor, put two reefs in the main and set off.  The passage across to St Vincent was very pleasant with a good 15 knot wind and one metre seas.  We motored up the leeward coast of St Vincent for an hour and then ran straight into a big squall system at the north end of the island.

Unfortunately, the squall had strong winds and lashing rain, which combined with the acceleration zone at the end of the island, gave us 30+ knot winds and steep 2 metre seas.  When we hit it, we’d already rolled away the genoa, so we continued to motor-sail with two reefs in the main for an hour until the wind had settled down to a steady 25 knots and the seas had calmed down a little.

The next four hours were unpleasant, bashing through the waves, hard on the wind with a reefed staysail.  The waves crashing across the foredeck were so bad that they ripped the port navigation light from its bracket on the pulpit.  We then had to run downwind, so that I could go forwards to lash the navigation light to the pulpit with some duct tape.

Once we were in the lee of the Pitons, life became better, but we were still plagued by a couple of squalls before we thankfully arrived in Rodney Bay, just after sunset.  We anchored at 14°04.61N 060°57.57W in 6 metres of water on good holding sand, weed and rubble.