We realize we owe you, our faithful blog followers, an update before you give up on us, but we've been enjoying the freedom of living back on the water again! It had been since August 20th, 2012, that Troubadour and her crew were "grounded". Being back aboard took only a little adjustment, such as me not being able to remember where or how I stowed items, figuring out our technique for raising and lowering the dinghy with our new davit arch, and adjusting to the movement of the boat (especially in Prickly Bay).
The timing of our visas expiring and our move aboard was perfect. We cleared out of Grenada on April 24th with plans to clear into the Grenadines on April 25th and stay as long they would have us (our visa is for 30 days). Some of you will recall that we talked about going to St. Lucia for Jazz Festival, but I wasn't up for the long overnight sail from Grenada, and we weren't sure we were up for the stylings of island jazz. Land living is noisy enough, as most cruisers will tell you, and we were both looking forward to the quieter sounds of the being on the sea.
In pictures, here's a little of what we've been up to since we left Grenada, and proof that we sailed!
Conditions when we left Grenada started out great, but then the wind died and shifted in all directions, so we motor sailed for a bit; then we put the sails up again, but then we saw a dark squall line, so we took the sails down and turned on the Perkins and plowed through choppy seas, heavy rain and strong winds.
|Leaving Grenada in the morning.|
After hearing from our friends Pam and Glenn on Blue Pearl that they enjoyed a lovely calm anchorage at Frigate Island on Union Island (Frigate Island is actually an isthmus, linked to the main island by a narrow strip of sand and mangroves) we headed there. And loved it very much. We took the dinghy to shore and tied off to a rickety pier and walked into Clifton to clear in. Clearing in at Union Island is ... hmmm worthy of a few beers. You get your exercise in minor frustrations. We were able to clear customs in town, but the immigration office - in another building in town - was closed, so we needed to walk to the airport to clear immigration. So on the way back we stopped for a beer to quench our thirst.
|Our anchorage at Frigate Island. The dinghy pier is a bit rickety and may not be worth tying up to if it is low tide.|
Just around the corner to the west and north of Frigate is one of our favorite places, Chatham Bay. We like this bay for its laid back style. A long sand beach is dotted with only a handful of local bars and restaurants where you will get the catch of the day. These are the types of places where you don't need shoes (or even shirts, I guess). We got reacquainted with King (who we met last year at Pleasure's bar) and now works at Aqua. Aqua is an enchanting place. I love that the deck is right on the beach, that it has an infinity pool and the bar has wicker chairs, couches and chaise lounge chairs. King used to work in the cruise ship industry, he told us, and he is friendly and attentive. If he comes out to your boat and invites you to come to the restaurant, go and enjoy this piece of paradise.
We took time to visit Pleasure again, too. If you want really low key island style relaxing, this is the place. Pleasure brought out his guitar and sang some of his own songs; Chris played, too. We promised Pleasure we would be back for lunch and the next day, Chris swam ashore to make our reservation. Pleasure made us a family style feast from land and sea that gave a whole new meaning to surf n' turf that included land crab, slipper lobster, shark and couvalli. This was the best price and more food than we could eat. Please visit Pleasure - you'll recognize his sign, it's the one with the rasta man and guitar. Pleasure is looking for a tape recorder for recording his songs, if you have one he'd really appreciate the gesture.
|Chatham Bay, Union Island|
After several days at Chatham (don't ask me how many, I don't remember) we headed to Mayreau Island (say it like "my-row"). We didn't plan to, but we arrived in Saline Bay during the Mayreau Regatta 2013. The beach was full of the local sailing boats getting ready to race. On the beach were very loud speakers pumping out soca music. Even with our ears in the water while snorkeling the anchor and a nearby reef we could hear the pulsating beats of the music. We plan to go back to Mayreau to check out the beach another time. It was fun watching the regatta from the boat.
|Sailboats in the Mayreau Regatta 2013|
|The captain practices the ukulele in Chatham Bay. |
He doesn't realize it yet, but his big debut is coming up in Bequia!
More to come on our stay in Bequia later. We dropped off our laundry and have spent the day at the Fig Tree where there is free Wi-Fi, updating our blogs, checking the internet and sharing a fresh fish burger & fries.