We crossed from St. Lucia and sailed down the side of St. Vincent. The big tourist attraction is the set of "Pirates of the Carribean" in Wallilabou. We were met by a young fellow in one of the traditional double ended row boats over a mile out to sea. These boats are seen in the background of the busy harbor behind Johnny Depp but the movie people daubed a muddy grey brown over the tradionally brightly colored boats. Digital magic lighted the rowers and eliminated a radio tower in the background. Our young friend offered to help us with a stern tie and rowed all the way in almost as fast as we could sail. Once getting us tied up and collecting the $4.00 fee for his efforts, he calmly lit a cigarette. Much of the movie set is intact, although rapidly decaying.
Almost five years ago, we did our first Caribbean charter in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on a flotilla sail with Tradewinds Sailing Center. I have to say that without that trip, it's likely that this trip never would have happened. So now we are back in the Grenadines, revisiting places we saw before. From the southern most island of SVG, where we are currently anchored it is reasonable dinghy ride across the water to Petite Martinique, which is part of Grenada. We have not officially checked out of the Grenadines nor into Grenada, so you aren't supposed to visit there. But they have a convenient fuel and water dock (which they advertise as the best fuel dock in the Grenadines), and the restaurant offers boaters free rides over and back for dinner.
click for next column>>
| As we mosey down the island chain, we run into many of the same boats making the same leisurely trip. After finding yourselves in the same anchorage several times, you swim/dinghy over and make friends. Last night we went over to the restaurant with a boat we haven't seen since St. Martin, even though we have been hitting all the same places. A wonderful time was had by all, the food was delicious and not too expensive. Petite Martinique has about 900 people, and most of the boats moored about are built locally. We walked on the beach this morning and watched the boat building in progress -- sizeable wooden fishing boats, which will be rolled down the beach when finally completed.
We are now officially as far south as we plan to go this year. We will spend the next two weeks getting ourselves back up to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia where the boat will be hauled out and stored in the boat yard. On the way down, we stopped in Bequia, Mayreau, and the Tobago Cays. We have mostly had beam reach, smooth sailing all the way. The way back up is likely to require a little more effort, an occasional tack, so we will probably make more stops, and hit some of the islands we have skipped. All the passages are short, except the run back over to St. Lucia which will require an early morning start to make a late afternoon anchoring. The weather has been a bit rainier and overcast than is usual for this time of the year, but generally quite lovely. The sun is noticeably more potent down here below latitude 13, and more sunscreen is required.