Saturday, July 19, 2008

Time to Move On- Grenada & Trinidad Here We Come

Sunset in Admiralty Bay , Bequia

Saturday July 5th,
We had a very rolly night. Randy read on Navtex Tropical Storm Bertha is heading to the Bahamas and chances are she is turning into a hurricane. We have decided we need to take advantage of the weather window and go as far south as we can. We’re sorry to have had such a short visit with Idyll Island and Rum Runner but this is what cruising is all about; as we will look forward to all meeting up again some time in the future.


Leaving Admiralty Bay we tried to get as close as possible to see "Moonhole" founded by American architect Tom Johnson. These "homes" literally grow out of the rocks; have no windows or electricity and actually continue to be rented out as vacation homes.

We’ve got a 1 ½ knot current against us, foresail and main are up but engine is on. We want to do an average of 5.5knots. The seas are turning into a gentle swell instead of a chop so it looks like we have a short reprieve from the strong currents.

By 0900hours we’re about 4.8 nautical miles off Canouan so we have decided to carry on to Carriacou instead of stopping. Our ETA is 1400hours.

At 1105hours we are off Union Island with the Tobago Cays to the East and we have 10nm to Carriacou. We have been told how beautiful the Tobago Cays are but we will leave them for next year.

As we go around the Sister Rocks into Tyrell Bay, Carriacou we see birds everywhere; the most birds we have seen in the last year and a half.

We have decided to anchor in Tyrell Bay, Carriacou after a pleasant seven hour motor sail. We have read Carriacou is an island with over 100 Rum shops and only one gasoline station. We’ve decided to leave early tomorrow morning so we will not launch the dinghy. We haven’t heard any roosters. Their cockles have been replaced with dogs barking and goats bleating,. We had three vendor boats come by; one asking did we want any oysters. We had read the oysters are from the nearby mangroves so we passed---we did not want to take a chance on getting sick. The next local wanted us to go to his restaurant on shore. We said maybe next time. Last, was Simon who is written up in the Cruising Guide. We did purchase a bottle of Chilean wine from him.
Sunday, July 6th

0545hrs, It’s 36.7nm to Prickly Bay, Grenada which will take approximately 7 hours. We’ll be giving “KICKEM JENNY” her 1.5 km exclusion zone. She is an active underwater volcano off Isle de Ronde, approximately 4 miles north of Grenada. Randy has read this morning Tropical Storm Bertha has turned into a hurricane still heading in the direction of the Bahamas.

Map showing location of "KICKEM JENNY"

0700hours we are traveling 6 knots; the winds are between 10-15knots and we’ve got up to 2 knots of current off Port along with a three foot swell.

0900hrs.. Winds are light off Grenada. On all of our passages I have gotten into a routine of each hour taking the lat and longs charting our course. So it is here that we find we have “Victoria” off our port with 17.5nm to Prickly Bay.

1100hours.Finally the winds have picked up off St. George and we had a screaming ride across the Bay.

By 1230 we are anchored in Prickly Bay N11*59.848 W61*45.850 and this is the view from the boat and dinghy.

A nice surprise---Taima, Phoenix III and La Bete are here. Shortly after our arrival Song Bird also came into the anchorage. We tried checking into customs, but being a Sunday had no luck. Of coarse we all had to get together over Pizza to get caught up on all our whereabouts. Our “French Connection”—Taima, Pheonix III and La Bete say they will head to Trinidad either Monday or Tuesday. We tell them we will check the weather and possibly join them.

Monday July 7th. We check into Customs and then check the weather. The weather looks good for a night crossing this evening. Checking with Taima they too agree to-night would be a good choice, so we all go back to our boats to get ready for the approximate 15 hours crossing. We also go back to Customs to get our Clearance papers. We again have read Grenada would be a good island to tour; so we’ve added it to “next year’s list”. Prickly Bay is a very rolly anchorage. If we had stayed longer we would have put out a stern anchor to keep us into the swells.

By 1715hours we have pulled up anchor. This will be an approximate 80nm trip.

Watching another beautiful sun set….Again hoping to see a Green Flash, but no luck. We have eight boats in our company tonight. We have heard many stories of boats being boarded in this general area; so we feel good having “safety in numbers”!! We will also make radio contact with one another on a two hour rotation.

The first few hours were good sailing but sure enough the winds died down to the point if we wanted to keep up with the other boats, which we did, the motor had to start.

2200hours. We are trying to take turns resting/ You probably remember without “AUTO” (Autopilot) one of us has to be at the helm at all times. So, each hour we each take a turn at the helm with Randy usually taking over before my full hour is up. We had a large meal just before we pulled up anchor so I feed us snacks on a regular basis; cut up fruit, cheese and crackers, water, juice, yogurt.

We check the Radar at regular intervals watching mainly for freighters. The moon has already disappeared so it is pitch black out.

0115 What looks like a huge freighter has come up behind us so we drastically change coarse to give it a wide berth and hail the boats to our port to let them know.

0200hrs. Off our port side we are coming up to the large 'Hibiscus", a stationery natural Gas Oil Rig Platform, 26m off Trinidad. It is lit up like a Christmas tree, absolutely enormous. Off our starboard a good 4nm away is another structure that looks like the Eiffel Tower.

Something has hit us!!! It is absolutely pitch black out and we felt three really strong thumps along the starboard side. Because it is so dark we have no idea what it is. It felt as if we went aground, but of coarse that is not possible as we are in 72 fathoms of water. Randy goes below to check on the hull and everything is okay.

0600hrs. July 8th; and we can see the Trinidad coastline.

We see Fish boats

Natural gas tanker

And lots of caves; all types of birds and dolphins.

The gradual swells remind us of when we were entering Luperon, DR.

0845 and we’re docked at Crews Inn Marina. Two gentlemen helped with the docking; bow first. We re at B31. FIRST IMPRESSIONS; Great!!! Customs and Immigation was very straight forward and friendly. And who should walk in to Immigration but Kerry (Bellagio) so of coarse it is off to breakfast with him and Kathy to get caught up on all their news. We will be watching their boat for them while they go back to Canada to see the new twin Grand babies.

1 comment:

Kate and Brian said...

It seems so hard to visualize that you are doing all of this. All the years of reading books as far back as the Hiscocks and imagining all that they experienced. The time seems to have flown by so quickly, but you guys continue to take risks and live your dreams. Not too many people have the courage to do that. They think it, and dream it, but they never put it into action. I wonder what gave you the strength to just do it!! It takes only one step to go in a direction, and then another and another to keep going. What initiated your first step?
What can you say about the scenery. It just continues to show paradise. We're so glad that so many of you are able to travel together through the "chancie" places, for safety and peace of mind.
You gave yourself away when you said you would pass that area, but see it next year. We now know there is at least a 3 year cruise and counting.
Life continues to be full of ordinary miracle days and we continue to be grateful for every single one of them. Even the simplest things like dinner on the deck, and a row after dinner have so much sparkle in them. The good news we discovered is that you can fill your dreams and evolve anywhere you are. There's some quiet in that.
Sail on and keep the pictures and the dialogue coming. We love to keep in touch with you both this way.
Your birthdays aren't so far away either. Who would have thought that you'd be spending your birthdays on a sailboat in exotic locations? I guess Randy always knew that, but we know he doesn't talk much and when he does, it's either hysterical or life changing. Obviously, this time it was life changing.
Love to you both Lynn and Ranjit

Kate and Brian