South through the islands, old friends, new friends, shredded sail, underwater typist, and on to South America.
May, June 2007
Sailing South again we removed Jacks stitches whilst on passage, I suppose one sudden roll with the stitch cutter in hand and he could have been a goner! But he survived and is now fully recovered.
We had some excellent sailing down island with an 80 mile run in 8 hours between Montserrat and Les Saintes. We enjoyed the fresh baguettes once again in Les Saintes, but were soon on the move again to Dominica meeting our friend Pancho whose mooring we used. Following a painfully rolly night when everything aboard Double Waters constantly clunked and banged as it moved we set sail early with barely any sleep. Once again in Martinique we settled ourselves at anchor in a deserted anchorage and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
There are less cruising and charter yachts around now as the end of the cruising season approaches. And in the windward and leeward islands with the threat of hurricanes from July onwards those living aboard tend to be moving South or North.
In St Lucia we had just 3 days in Rodney Bay marina and cracked on with some jobs, perhaps one of the greatest repairs was the wind instruments which have been stubbornly stuck for the past 6 months. Diagnosing the fault, soldering, and rewiring were all time consuming and all taking place at the top of the mast! We now have electronic wind speed and direction to back up our observations!
Whilst back in Bequia, St Vincent we made friends with a Swedish family aboard their yacht Liv1. Over the next couple of weeks we spent plenty of time together, with Jack and Jed finding plenty to do with Fillipa and Emil with swimming, snorkelling and playing games, and in the evenings getting together for conversation, a guitar singsong, and sailing stories…..of course!
It was whilst racing Liv1 to Grenada that in relatively light winds our cruising shute went BANG and was soon little more than shredded nylon. We crossed the finish line some 30mins after Liv1, rather slow as expected, however under the race rules, for every fish caught, 60 mins could be deducted from the elapsed time. We caught a tuna, Liv1 caught none!
On a beautiful afternoon we joined our friends aboard Liv1 and went in search of the underwater sculpture park near St Georges in Grenada. This sub aqua art includes life size statues of people sitting, praying, riding a bike and typing at a desk, all at about 5 metres depth so needing a good dive down to see well. Probably the most spectacular piece was a group of ‘people’ standing in a circle holding hands.
We enjoyed a further week tied up at Clarkes Court Bay marina on the South coast of Grenada, Bridget found herself with the massive task of repairing our cruising shute sail….plenty of thread, plenty of patches. George took on some varnishing jobs on deck. And all the boys were back to school during this time.
We knew it was time to move on when we found that a family of swallows had started roosting inside our mizzen boom!
It was an early start (03.00) for our passage to Los Testigos, but with a fresh following breeze and a favourable current of 1-2 knots we had a great passage. We missed landing 2 very large fish, but arrived safely in these remote islands off Venezuela. And so to South America!