Sunday 19th July. We raised anchor at 0530. It was already light with no wind as we headed south but by 0700 we were sailing with a reefed main and full genoa in a nice E F4, another pod of dolphins cavorting in the waves!
For breakfast we had porridge. We tried instant oats and instant grits (known as mealie meal in SA!). Not bad, nice and easy but not as good as when it is properly cooked.
Bu the time we neared the top of St Vincent the wind had picked up to a F5 and gone north-easterly, the seas a bit bigger. The electric auto helm was having difficulty steering; we had too much weather helm as the main was overpowering the genoa. Richard went forward to put in the second reef, the boat speed picked up and we were sailing nicely again. The wind died for a while in the lee of the island, so the ‘iron topsail’ was employed, but we were sailing again when we reached the gap between St Vincent and Bequia. There was a huge dark cloud so we quickly reefed the genoa as well, but the squall went by ahead of us. Whew!
After yet another pod of dolphins, including one totally airborne right next to Galene, we were anchored in 5.5m off Tony Gibbon’s beach by 1730, just behind Coho! 63 miles in 12 hours.
|What happens if you drink and sail!|
Next morning we had to go ashore to check in and then had a nice leisurely catch up lunch with Coho at Gingerbread. There are tables under a huge almond tree right on the shoreline, very pleasant. We had an excellent braai on board with them on Tuesday night and sadly they left on Wednesday. Never mind, we will probably catch up somewhere later.
|Beautiful Tony Gibbons beach|
There is a great cruisers net here run by Cheryl of the Fig Tree Restaurant so we have weather forecasts every morning and lots of local information.
|Traditional boats off the beach|
By Friday one of the hot topics is Kick-em-Jenny, an undersea volcano just off the north coast of Grenada. It has been rumbling for a while and now there is an increasing chance of an eruption. There is always an exclusion zone of 1.5 kilometres over the volcano but this has been increased to 5K. This is because Kick-em-Jenny can release so much gas into the water that the water density can be reduced to the extent that boats simply sink! There is also the possibility of a tsunami if there was a big eruption. We decided to stay in Bequia until things settle down a bit! Here in Admiralty bay (Port Elizabeth) we are 40 miles away from the volcano, tucked into a nice beep bay with a few islands in between to hopefully break up any wave! As usual we managed a few boat jobs between shopping in the lovely craft shops and galleries here and a bit of snorkelling.
|Scrubbing the dinghy with a little local help|
We beached the dinghy to scrub the bottom. Even though we lift it every night it still manages to go green and even collect a few barnacles. Richard fitted our new rev counter at last. We have not had a working one since Dartmouth! (In my defence m’lud, it has not been the highest of priorities and the replacement instrument only arrived last July!)
While doing this he discovered a split fuel hose, but we managed to get a replacement here and Kenny redid the ends. We got all excited as we thought maybe this had been letting air into the fuel system causing our difficulty in starting. I think this is the first time we were pleased to find something broken on the boat! Sadly, this was not the case. The mystery remains unsolved.
|Typical local house|
After some more scrubbing of the hull we have decided that the antifoul really needs doing as soon as possible. We will see about it in Carriacou or Grenada. Now that hurricane season is upon us we need to be further south before we stop for a while.
|Fishing with technology old and new - note the mobile phone!|
The Fig Tree Restaurant does a good Fish Friday BBQ outside and live music with a view over the bay. A great evening, D Real Ting acoustic band a jaunty background during dinner, then a few dance tunes and ending with traditional Calypso. We bought their CD, but have not really listened to it yet as our CD player is playing up (!!!) and keeps ejecting the CDs at random. Another job on the ‘to do’ list.
|D real ting|
After a weekend of more snorkelling, turtle watching from the boat, a walk ashore where we found more Pawpaw leaves for tea and keeping an eye on Kick-em-Jenny we decided to leave on Monday. This got changed when the propane gas ran out on Sunday! We have a spare cylinder but we always fill the empty one at once if possible and we can’t remember what happens with gas in Carriacou.
|Galene from the beach|
Monday Richard takes the cylinder to GYS, it will be ready Tuesday! As he is walking back with the newly filled cylinder the pressure release valve blows! We sit looking at it at the dinghy dock, not sure what to do, as it blows again and then keeps hissing slowly! Back to Galene and we leave it on the aft deck while we do some last minute shopping. When we get back it seems to have stopped, but we are not very happy. We have to check out from St Vincent and the Grenadines (still sounds like a 1980’s punk band to me) Our propane cylinder is left out all night and we decide that if by morning it still seems stable we will head for Carriacou. We still want to make the Regatta at the weekend.
|Bunkering with fuel and water before we leave - Bequia style!|
Wednesday morning dawns and we have a propane cylinder that has stopped venting; we suspect the cylinder was slightly overfilled. So Carriacou here we come.
|Our last night in beautiful Bequia|
If we can get there early enough we can make the Carriacou children’s fund pot luck BBQ.