Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Carriacou July 15

Carriacou (Carry a coo) July 15

We raised the anchor at 0600 on Wednesday 29th July in a light shower and were sailing with one reef in the main and the full genoa in an easterly F4. We soon put in the second reef as this really helps the electric autohelm as we were now sailing on a very broad reach. We had choppy quartering seas with the odd big swell  and the wind more or less behind us. After Union Island we could change course slightly so the wind was more on the beam and a much nicer sail. As well as Terns, Noddys, Frigates and the usual Brown Boobys we saw a few Red Footed Boobies too and a few small dolphins in the gap between Union and Carriacou.

Magnificent frigate bird

By 1515 we were anchored in the centre of Tyrell Bay quite far back as the bay was very crowded. Even so we were only in 6.3m of water and right next to Exit Strategy!  We saw Remedy as we came in and Dick told us Coho are here too. By the time we had tidied the boat away we decided it not to rush and try and check in – still had to lower the outboard onto the dinghy – we do not tow the dinghy with the engine on.  This meant we would not be able to go ashore for the BBQ, but we were quite tired anyway. We had  sailed 47 miles in 9 1/4 hours. So Dan came over and we had a nice quiet catch up.

The crowded bay from the dinghy dock

Thursday was the day of the Carriacou Childrens Fund Auction. This charity was started by cruisers and the funds collected help needy children with uniforms, lunches and anything they need to help them attend school. We had a few things to donate and dropped them off after checking in. We met Coho for a drink and then back to Galene for lunch and a swim.  At 3pm it was off to the auction, a whole hall of items for sale and then a bit later bigger things on auction ranging from paintings to a haul out donated by the boatyard. We ended the evening with pizza and live music at the Lazy Turtle.

Yet another beautiful sunset!

Friday was the start of the regatta here and being at the back of the fleet we had prime seats for the start and finish of the races. It rained on and off so we rigged our raincatcher and while we have not caught a lot while we have been here it has mostly kept our solar shower full.

At Anchor with the dinghy raised  - Always at night and when we are not using it to help prevent weed growth.

More racing on Saturday and then we decided to go to Hillsborough on Sunday  with Exit Strategy, Remedy and Coho to watch the work boat regatta.  These are locally hand built wooden boats traditionally used for fishing, whaling and trading between the islands but are now just raced. There is fierce competition between the islands and a great atmosphere. 

Merry Regatta Mayhem

The smaller boats are started from the beach with the last man or boy pushing and leaping in at the last moment, sometimes being hauled in by his shirt.

And the're off!

There was two days of racing and the grand finale on Sunday afternoon brought out all the island it seemed, dressed in their finery to watch egg and spoon, needle threading, bicycle and donkey races. 

When did you last see this?

The last and most hilarious was the greasy pole with cash at the end in coke bottles and all the hopefuls trying to reach it, some running, some crawling but all falling off spectacularly.

More like 'walking the plank' then climbing the greasy pole

Old and young equally enthralled!

After the regattas the bay emptied quickly , Dan leaving too and we had a nice sociable time with our friends including an excellent lamb BBQ on Coho. We tried several of the local restaurants, all very good and reasonably priced.  We had a bus trip to Hillsborough one day for some grocery shopping as the shops here have quite a small range. There is Patti’s Deli where you can get almost anything you need that the others don’t have like freshly cut ham, cheeses, bagels, etc.

Snorkelling the Barrel

We dinghied over to The Barrel on the south side of the bay with Coho for a nice snorkel. Quite deep in places but we saw many white spotted filefish, fingerprint Cymphoma on sponges, reef squid and two octopus as well as all the usual creatures. The topography is interesting too with big rocks and channels for fish to hide. Sadly on this dive my little Sony camera, supposed to be waterproof to 10m let water in and that seems to be the end of it. My lovely Fuji with its underwater housing is also malfunctioning at times so I really have to look at a new underwater camera. Any suggestions?

Anse le Roche

One day Coho invited us and Remedy to sail with them up to Anse le Roche, a nice snorkel spot to the north. We had quite an exciting sail to windward in their Hinkley 42, quite a bit bigger than Galene! Unfortunately the viz was not very good so we did not see much of interest, but there are some nice big elkhorn corals and Gordon spotted an Eagle ray on the grass but it shot off when he arrived.
After a tasty potluck lunch we had another fast sail back – a lovely day with lovely company.

Elkhorn coral

We booked Galene in with the boatyard to be lifted and antifouled on Monday 17th August and Uwe, a well recommended engineer came to look at our slow start problem. The conclusion is it is the injectors. We must get all the parts from the UK and then we will come back here for him to do the job. Progress at last. 

Remedy and Coho moved on so we just passed the time with small boat jobs and local shopping. Whenever we walk down the main street, the local busses always stop and ask if we are going to the “City” – Hillsborough, the capital of an island with 6000 inhabitants!

Purple peppers from the local veggie stall.

Sunday was a big day here – the new bar we had been watching being built had their pre- opening opening!  We had a couple of beers to support them and then walked up the back street for a delicious dinner at Tanty Mavis accompanied by live Blues. Of course, we met some more cruisers and only got back to Galene at midnight, and I don’t mean cruisers midnight!

So Monday arrives – lift out day! Richard goes to the boatyard as requested at 0800 to see what time we should come over. They are not ready for us, two boats need to go back in before there is room – it is a small yard. Probably Wednesday now.

Caribbean  1  Cruisers  0

We pass the time again – have a look at the new Sealife underwater cameras at the dive shop, take the laundry and then Wednesday dawns. Richard goes over at 1000 as requested. They are still not ready. 

Caribbean  2  Cruisers  0

At least we have something to keep us amused while we wait. There is a hurricane forming out in the Atlantic and is the hot topic of discussion ashore. All the predictions say it will not make landfall till much further north, but at the moment it is still south of us, and 1500 miles away out in the Atlantic.

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