Sailing the Caribbean – Grenada, the Grenadines & Tobago Cays – November 2011

Happy Island, Clifton, the Grenadines

Tobago Cays Turtles
Lee, Ruth and Richard joined Ibis for a week of frolicking through the beautiful Grenadine islands…loads of fun, fresh air, turtles, stingrays and boat boys…oh, and 9.2 knots fast sailing!!!

Lee, Ruth & Richard Sail the Grenadines

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he week started on Sunday for Richard and Ruth with an afternoon of snorkelling at the Moliniere Underwater Sculpture Park and a sunset sail back to Port Louis Marina for a rendezvous with Lee. Then after a quick stop for last minute provisioning in the morning we set off for Carriacou.

Bash to Carriacou

Lunch underway was Spanish Tortilla and salad, the sun was blazing and the sea a deep blue, but by about 3pm we still had half the distance still to go and a 2.5 knot East-West current was pushing us further & further away from our destination. We decided to head for the closer islands of Isle Ronde, a nice easy hour away and carry on the beat North the next day. Anchored up, we had time for a swim before dinner of vegetable tagine and cous cous over a bottle of wine.

Setting off early the next morning we had a great, fast sail on one tack up to Sandy Island on Carriacou, a small spit of sand just outside the main town of Hillsborough, where we picked up a bouy and went snorkelling along the reefs. As with previous days, Richard tried his hand with a spinning rod and some lures but had no success….and even the trusty hand line with some bait was faring badly.

After checking out of Grenada in Hillsborough and a stock up on fresh water we carried on to Union Island, arriving as the sun set and dropping anchor behind the reef, close to Happy Island Bar, built on a mountain of conch shells. Dinner ashore left something to be desired, but it was a lot of fun and we made it back aboard safely. That night, however, we were blasted by over 40 knots of wind and driving rain, so the skipper didn’t get much sleep! With reefs in front and behind and a busy anchorage, our trusty Bruce anchor was a lifesaver once again.

Saltwhistle Bay & the Tobago Cays

Next morning dawned bright and sunny, if a little blustery, and we set off for the short sail round to Saltwhistle Bay with Lee at the helm. We arrived in no time and manoeuvred ourselves into a good spot tucked in behind the reefs again in the picture perfect anchorage. A boat boy paddling a canoe came up to offer us a lobster barbecue on the beach that evening; Lee told him to come back and chat when he had some ice creams with him!

On to the Tobago Cays Marine Park for the night and as we approached the tricky pass between the islands the sky blackened and it threw it down! It cleared enough for us to negotiate the 5 metre wide channel with little more than 2 metres of water under the keel and reefs on either side….stay in the dark blue bits, Lee! And dropped anchor behind the reef again. Later that evening, a friend of Ibis, Marc, skipper on the Catamaran “Two Pigeons” called over for sundowners with one of his guests – ostensibly to talk about fishing gear, but in reality to check out the girls sailing on Ibis this week – as I got the barbecue ready for the evening.

That night the wind picked up to 42 knots again as a squall pushed through and an adjacent aluminium boat dragged its anchor back towards the reefs behind. Skipper got out the klaxon and woke up the whole anchorage….except, apparently, the people on the drifting boat. They eventually reset their anchor in the dark after touching down on the reef!

Everyone loved the next morning snorkelling with turtles and exploring the deserted white sand beaches of the Cays which makes for some magical moments.

Chatham Bay

Grey skies and rain kept us away from the beautiful islands of Morpion and Petit St Vincent so we headed round Union Island to Chatham Bay, a perfect stretch of beach fringed with palm trees, and we nearly landed a barracuda en route! Sadly he got away which put paid to fish dinner plans and we sailed into the anchorage for the night. The girls had a bonding session in one of the beach bars, giving Richard a badly needed break from talk of nail varnish, shoes, sunscreen and OK Magazine. Lee found her future husband, Eddy, whose eyes didn’t quite point in the same direction….but next morning’s wedding plans were abhorted in the cold light of day! How dinner materialised on board is anyone’s guess, but Pork with Thai Basil and a fried egg tasted pretty good after a few rum punches.

Heading Home

It was a beautiful sail back to Grenada the next morning with 18 to 30 knots just aft of the beam and we made great time, hitting 9.2 knots and averaging 8 all the way. We were in time for Lee to have the chance to see the underwater sculptures although a final “that was crap” told us clearly what she thought of them!

We motored the short distance back to the marina but just as we were approaching the dock the dinghy line got caught in the rudder which meant Skipper had to jump overboard to clear it! Un-needed as it happened as the line freed itself!

We arrived on the dock safe, happy and pleasantly tired after a wonderfully fun week….THANKS everyone!

To see when we’re next sailing where, click on our Caribbean Sailing Calendar, or the main menu links at the top of this page, or contact us if you’d like to find out about a private sailing charter on Yacht Ibis.

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