As always I have ran behind in writing stories. So I’ll be doing the remainder of the St Vincent and Grenadines as a short entry.
On Thursday I went snorkeling in three different places, and re-anchored four times. First I snorkeled near the beach where the sea turtles are. This was at 7 in the morning, before it got busy there. And, I got really lucky, saw 4 adult turtles and two small ones. They were just grazing about, not being bother by a snorkeler. Then I brought the boat around to World’s End Reef, the east most reef in the area. There is no island there, just the protection of the reef itself. Anchoring there became a little trickier than I anticipated, navigating between reefs, but managed to keep it safe. After a long snorkel there I went to anchor behind the little island of Petit Tabac. Went for a snorkel and swim around that island. But the anchorage was a little too rolly for the night, so before sunset I went to around the corner of Mayrau and anchored in Saline Bay. There is a little town (up on the hill) there with a beach area. The beach is used by people from the cruise ships. The cruise ships anchor about a mile from the island. And then there are a number of sloops and other boats from the island taxiing people to the beach (and back).
On Friday I decided to go a for a good sail: passed the island of Canouan on the east and on to Bequia. That was mostly a half wind sail (except for the last stretch into Port Elizabeth), but a harder sail than I thought. In the channels between the islands there is quite a lot of current, making for some rough seas at times. Plus there were some showers passing, giving me plenty of work all day.
Friday night I went into town (Port Elizabeth). Allowed myself the luxury of eating out and wandered around a little bit. But there did not appear much to do. Of course the music was cranked up all the way, but things were not very lively.
Saturday took a short hop across the water to the island of St Vincent. Really not that far, and doable in one tack. But, the closer I got to Kingstown, the gustier the wind, making things pretty hard for the last few miles. It is a big port, with not really many yachts visiting. Decided to anchor on the north side of the bay, near a tiny beach where the local fishermen keep there little open boats. Was a bit of a rolly anchorage, but I just wanted to see a little bit of the real St Vincent life. Met some locals hanging out near a bar on the bazar. From what I can gather the standard of living of most inhabitants of St Vincent is not very high.
Tired of rolling around all night I decided to leave early Sunday morning. The nearest bay would be Wallilabou Bay. About 6 miles north, as it goes it still will take 2 1/2 hours to get there: short sails are always the hardest. Plus at first there was a strong and gusty wind, and in the end the wind disappeared completely. But, it was definitely worth the effort. A beautiful bay, surrounded by green mountains, and with a few old buildings around it. There are moorings available (to make anchoring easy since the bay is pretty deep). Turns out that some of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were shot here (thus I learned from a picture board in the nearby picturesque restaurant). The first few hours I had the whole bay by myself. But by the end of the afternoon a few chart boats came in and it got quite busy (well, for someone who has been anchored out for a few months, things are busy quite quickly).
That day I had to make a decision where to go next? Keep going north? (St Lucia was next, supposed to be very nice). Well, I decided it was time to start making my way westward. Aiming to be in Panama by the end of the year, and allowing about two weeks for a haul out (maybe in Cartagena, Columbia), it is about time to start heading in that direction.
So on Monday morning I went back to Kingstown, the reverse route from Sunday to get ready for a passage to Bonaire. Needed to do some shopping (not many stores in those idyllic places along the Grenadines) and deal with customs and immigration.