Up at 0650, breakfast and tea. Up anchor and under sail by 0745. Heading for Bequia (pronounced Beckway) about 30 miles NNE of Union Island. A long beat north in a NE 15-20 knot wind then tacked eastward to Admiralty Bay. Arrived at 1445 and put down anchor - miles out. Motored ashore in the dinghy to book in with customs and immigration. Colourful stalls all along the harbour front but we got ripped off buying fruit in the market. The luxury three masted sailing ship that came into Chatham Bay last night is now at anchor in Admiralty Bay, Bequia. It is called Mandalay - must look it up to see about prices for a two week trip next year for Jackie's birthday or our anniversary.
Thursday, 7th February
Last night Chris announced a change of plan! We are having another day here at Bequia then going back SE to Mustique on Friday. Will have to get a T shirt there to go with the Bequia one I bought yesterday.
Up at a reasonable hour this morning and after we'd had breakfast Simon rowed me ashore to catch the ferry to the island of St Vincent. Ferry times are not very reliable but we left at 0940 and the crossing to Kingstown took about one hour (45Eastern Caribbean dollars return - about £10). Spent a couple of hours wandering around looking for fresh fruit: St Vincent is the place to buy fruit, apparently, as they supply all the smaller islands, but all I managed to get was a bunch of seven bananas for less than £1 - no sign of any ripe mangos or pineapples. Got the 1300 ferry, which actually left at 1345, back to Bequia and must have fallen asleep on passage - I woke up as we were docking.
Spent the morning taking various bits off the generator to see if we can find the fault. No joy. Went ashore to PM beach to snorkel and sunbathe. Back to boat for lunch then more work on generator - still no joy. We decided to move on tomorrow to St Lucia so went ashore to book out with customs and immigration. Chris thinks he can get spare parts for generator shipped out from the UK or Italy if they're not available in St Lucia and if it costs too much for repair work there we may return to Trinidad, where he is confident the work can be done much more cheaply. If spares/repair can't be obtained/done Chris has suggested the Pacific trip may have to be cancelled/postponed as he is not keen on doing the crossing without generator/water maker.
Up at 0730 and usual breakfast. Weighed anchor and mainsail up by 0830. Lovely sail across to St Vincent then up the west side of the island. Very light wind here so engine on and motor sailing. Once N of St Vincent the wind picked up again and we had a brisk sale up to St Lucia. The Pitons mountains on the SW corner of the island make a very dramatic sight. Continued up the west coast of the island and eventually reached Rodney Bay at about 2300. Spag Bog for a late supper and bed at 0015.
Email to Jackie:
1100hrs and sitting in cafe with Simon in Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia while Chris books us in with customs and immigration. This is a fabulous place filled with super yachts, a Sandalls Resort Hotel, lovely beaches and lots of fancy, expensive beach-side houses.
The luxury sailing cruisers all look very nice but I agree with you about chartering a yacht next year and doing our own thing. There are loads of 40ft catamarans and monohulls for charter which would give us loads of room to romp about and we could sail up from Grenada to Union Island, Bequia then back via Mustique (which we haven't visited).
Did you have a nice meal with Jim and Maureen? Have they any plans for sailing this year?
I think we are going to move into the marina for a couple of days while Chris tries to get the generator repaired so I should have good access to Internet for a while. I'll try Skyping you later.
Up just before 0800 and took photos of monster luxury sail cruiser, old sailing boat and Sandalls hotel resort. Quick swim around boat then we moved to other side of bay to go ashore and book in with immigration and customs. Rodney Bay Marina is very plush and not as expensive as you would expect. Sat having a coffee while Chris booked us in. Used wifi connection, sent emails and had Skype conversation with Jackie and Rose (six-year-old granddaughter).
Didn't sleep well last night. Up at 0715 for cereals, mango and tea then moved into marina (berth E8).
Couldn't log into marina wifi servers so ended up going to Elena's cafe, buying a cup of coffee and using their free(?) wifi. Had nice long Skype conversation with Jackie.
Three bags of laundry to 'Suds' - 50ECdollars (about £12.50) ready for collection in about two hours.
Returned to boat and made beef, tom and cu sarnies for lunch.
Electrical engineer had been to boat in the morning and it looks as if the generator can be repaired here. He or his boss was supposed to come back later but he didn't turn up!
Simon and I went shopping in the afternoon.
Pork chops for dinner with 'christophers' (a sort of courgette) and rice - delicious.
Tuesday, 12th February
Email to Jackie:
Repairs to the generator are likely to take up to a couple of weeks and Chris still doesn't know when or where Eric will join the yacht. Since the boat is not going far I am coming home, as I don't see much point in sitting here in the marina or at anchor in the bay outside.
I have booked a seat on British Airways flight number BA2158 leaving St Lucia at 2025 on Thursday, 14th February and arriving at Gatwick at 0830 on Friday, 15th February. Will get a train from Gatwick back to Fishguard. Will call you when I get back to the UK to let you know I have arrived okay.
Wednesday, 13th February
Up at usual time and went for a shower - water not very hot. Back to boat for usual breakfast.
Simon and I caught the local bus into Castries, capital of St Lucia, and spent quite a long time wandering around the market. Lots of fruits and spices as well as local craft stalls etc. Bought several bits and pieces to take home.