Friday, 25 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Beating to windward gets old fast. Bristol Rose has done plenty of that in the past 13 months. In anticipation of some downwind sailing across the Pacific, we had Soca Sails in Chaguaramas, Trinidad make us an asymetrical spinnaker.
These images captured our christening of the new sail and also a first for the crew; a new experience sailing with a spinnaker! Not bad for a first try in light winds, around 10 knots.
Sunday, 20 December 2009
The Carribean Islanders love their music and they love it played very loud and into the wee hours of the morning. Sound seems to travel better over an anchorage at 4:00am.
In the Dominican Republic and. Puerto Rico we enjoyed Salsa, the Leeward and Windward Islands imported Soca from Trinidad and Reggae from Jamaica. On hair-raising bus rides, we are comforted with gospel music in vehicles christened "God is Love" and "Jesus is on Our Side". During Carnival, Pan Bands work their symphonic steel magic along with Soca and Calypso performances. In Trinidad and Puerto Rico we were also serenaded with Karaoke. Leading up to Christmas, Trinidad rocks to parang, with a humorous twist on the Christmas theme with titles like "Santa got no wife".
We thought we had heard it all before we arrived in St Lucia. Sitting down to a local lunch in Vieux Fort the DJ cranks up the volume and out comes American Country and Western. This is not just limited to one venue, sounds of Johnny Cash and a host of the Nashville greats fill the air with classics from the past.
On Saturday, day and night, the anchorage is filled with C&W music; much more than a dash, we got the full menu until 6:00am. As we've come to expect, at full volume, making sleep restless if not impossible. The roosters' chorus is drowned out. It's 8:00am now and only the dogs are barking.
Friday, 18 December 2009
St. Vincent passes slowly as we check our paper charts and portable GPS and search the horizon for signs of other vessels. Only fishermen in small boats are out here, perhaps wondering if we are mad, flailing about. Light fades, it’s painfully slow going. Time to cook up some sausages and hot dogs. It will be a long night, come what may.
We take 3 hour watches in pairs. Once we leave St. Vincent behind we pick up to 4 knots, off and on. Then as we get closer to St. Lucia we’re sailing at 6 knots. We turn our instruments on as we approach St. Lucia’s southern coast.
It’s 1:00am on Friday. It’s taken us 18 hours but we’ve made it safely into Vieux Fort. Fortunately, this is one of the easier anchorages we have negotiated in the dark and there are only 3 other boats anchored. As Robert and Owen drop the anchor, Elliot drops the mainsail. Nicely done, and no tow needed after all.
Monday, 7 December 2009
On our way south to Trinidad we had a wonderful time here and wanted to share the experience with our sons, Owen and Elliot.
Sitting at anchor in Mayreau this morning, the weather is not cooperating; high winds and building seas. I have been thinking that our stop in the Cays may be a disappointment. After a short beat of about an hour from Saline Bay, past Saltwhistle Bay and around the northern tip of Mayreau to the mooring area of the Cays, we found the water looks as perfect as we remembered. The boys jumped into the dinghy to secure our lines to the mooring ball and once that was done, dived off Bristol Rose into the tourquoise water.
Within minutes they were swimming with the turtles. The turtles, large and small, graze peacefully on the turtle grass. This is a marine park and they seemed perfectly comfortable with their audience. Elliot and Owen were able to gently touch their backs as they grazed on the turtle grass.
We picked the boys up in the dinghy to snorkel further out on the reef. Despite the windy conditions the water is quite clear. Trish snorkeled with a nurse shark today, although she didn't know it until later!
To finish off a perfect day in the islands we cooked fresh fish we purchased earlier from one of the local vendors who come along side in their boats. Tomorrow morning we are off to Bequia, about 20 miles north (23 degrees).