August 2014 ~ South to Grenada
Day 1417 ~ Bertha's ComingAugust 1st, 2014
The winds are predicted to come in from the south which could make the swell uncomfortable so we decided to move to the south side of the bay in preparation for Tropical Storm Bertha. First, we went into the marina to top up on diesel as long as the anchor was up. We've been meaning to fuel up since St. Martin. Plus, there was no wind so a perfect time to sidle up to a dock. We arrived just in time as they were about to close for the day.
Heading back out into the bay, the number of boats in the anchorage dropped from 25 to 11. We put down our 35kg Brittany anchor attached to the Spade and brought in anything that would fly away in case the winds piped up. It didn't take long before we were done and then it was time to wait. Being tucked in the corner will shelter us from Bertha, but it also blocks most of the breeze so it was hot waiting. We ate dinner in the dark because we were swarmed by flying bugs attracted to the lights.
By the time bedtime rolled around, we still hadn't had much of any breeze and wondered if any would come.
Day 1418 ~ Non-EventAugust 2nd, 2014
Spent a couple hours undoing everything that had been done. Bertha passed over the north end of Martinique. Because most of the wind was on the top end, we didn't feel anything except dead air and bugs. We manhandled Brittany back onto the deck and lifted Spade before heading back to the north end of the bay for some breeze and wifi.
Day 1419 ~ Anna the TeenagerAugust 3rd, 2014
Anna turned 13 today so we officially have two teens in the family. Because of various kid dynamics with visitors, she opted to wait to celebrate until Emma's birthday in five days. That way, Emma's friend, Paloma, and Kate's friend, Meghan, will have arrived to add to the kid fun. The girls made chocolate chip bars so we gave her a small family party.
Day 1421 ~ Arrival of a FriendAugust 5th, 2014
Paloma arrives today. Her family wasn't able to visit us this year, but they were able to send one and agreed that coming for Emma's birthday would be the perfect time and a cool gift. We broke the surprise to Emma last night as we didn't think we could conceal the reason for a two hour car ride. Rodney Bay is located at the north end of the island and the international airport is situated at the extreme southern end. The options are the 3-hour west coast road or the 2-hour east side drive. We opted for the somewhat straighter east side.
Day 1423 ~ BequiaAugust 7th, 2014
We pulled anchor at 7am and opted to motor 1.5 hours around the north end of St. Lucia as opposed to burning the fuel for 3+ hours in the wind shadow of the island. The ride around was bouncy, but not as rough as we've experienced before. The only difference was the two dark grey clouds marching toward us, one after another. We kept on an easterly course for the first one, but to pass between it and the second would be impossible. Good thing we started with a reef in the main sail. It also took us a while longer to get past the shelf and into smoother water.
By the time we reached the southern end of St. Vincent, we'd been hit by eight squalls of various magnitudes. Partway through the last and largest, we passed a schooner with its headsail luffing. After several failed attempts to hail it on the VHF, we assumed the captain was just be cautious and going slow. We continued on ahead and, eventually, lost sight of the boat in the grey.
By the time we reached the channel in between St. Vincent and Bequia, it was well past dark. We hailed Discovery on the radio when we got closer our intended destination and they helped guide us in the darkness to a sandy spot just in front of them. Finally, at 10pm, we dropped our hook. The boat was a mess of fallen dishes, books, papers and food stores, but it can wait until morning.
GPS location Date/Time:08/07/2014 03:44:00 AKDT
GPS location Date/Time:08/07/2014 07:09:04 AKDT
GPS location Date/Time:08/07/2014 14:08:41 AKDT
Day 1424 ~ Launching Sea PearlAugust 8th, 2014
Poor Sea Pearl has been sitting on the deck unused for far too long. In St. Barth's we did some repairs to make her sail-able again and, since we'll be in Bequia's calm anchorage a couple days, now is the time to relaunch her. Discovery piled aboard and they were off exploring. A squall came through and pummeled them with rain, but they hung out at the beach 'til it passed, then continued on their adventures.
Day 1425 ~ Birthday ManiaAugust 9th, 2014
Today is a day of birthday celebrations. Anna entered the teen world on the third, Emma turned 15 on the 8th and Pippin turns one today, or seven in dog years, so we now have four birthdays in August to celebrate (Peter's is coming up the 18th). The timing was right as both we and Discovery each have a teen guest visiting to make the party more the merrier.
We began the day with Pippin, since it was his breakfast time anyway. Sardines and peanut butter, who could ask for anything more?! Yes, he's spoiled rotten but, needless to say, he was in doggie heaven and licked the platter clean. The rawhide bone present was the topping of his day.
The girls then busied themselves making a brownie/vanilla swirl cake. Gifts were wrapped, decorations set out and the party was ready. After cake and some rope-swinging, the girls made their beds on the tramp and chatted into the night. Friends, parties and sleepovers, what more could two teens ask for?
Day 1426 ~ Land for the Rich and Maybe FamousAugust 10th, 2014
We had heard Mustique was a must-see island so we decided to check out with Discovery. A short sail, we spent a leisurely morning and then headed out. The island is privately owned and no anchoring is allowed. Moorings are $75USD for up to three nights. A bit pricey, but it's a new island for us so why not.
The park employee came out soon after to collect our fees. He also informed us that, due to a peak-season 2-week closure, we would not be able to explore the island beyond the shoreline that we could see from the boat. Of course, we could pay $60 for a taxi to drive us around for an hour, but he wouldn't be allowed to stop anywhere. There are only three of these a year, Christmas, Easter and first part of August and the rich and/or famous don't like the idea of boat hippies roaming free with cameras. We just happened to catch the beginning of the summer peak.
The kids were oblivious to it all and just content to just swim and swim and swim in the ultra-clear water.
Day 1427 ~ No Mystique in MustiqueAugust 11th, 2014
We made the most of our three-day pass. The kids swam and the parents went to shore. There's not much to see in Mustique; we're still trying to find out the attraction. We hear there are good hiking trails, but we're not allowed to go beyond the beach. However, when asked if we could send a postcard from the overpriced gift shop, we were directed up the hill, into 'forbidden territory', to the post office. We took that as a blessing to 'jump the line' and went for it. Once up the hill, we realized that it was silly to worry as, considering the normal rich and famous clientele, none of the workers or residents are going to interrogate two white tourists as to their intentions for fear of offending somebody who is somebody. So, we relaxed and enjoyed our walk.
There wasn't much to see as most of the roads were private driveways, so we walked to the end of what looked to be a residential neighborhood and found the post office along the way.
We're still scratching our heads as to the island's draw.
Day 1428 ~ Rolling OnAugust 12th, 2014
We wanted to make the most of our three-day $75 fee, but the rolly bay ultimately made our decision to move on. I suppose that is their one advantage to keeping cruisers from staying too long. Add that to the 'banned weeks' throughout the year and the island stays exclusive I guess.
At any rate, move on we did and, in a few hours' time, dropped the anchor in one of our preferred SVG bays. Very few people, no loud music, deserted beach and free wifi. Peter took Pippin for a run and run he did, glad to finally be let off the boat after two days.
Day 1429 ~ Keepin' On Keepin' OnAugust 13th, 2014
GPS location Date/Time:08/13/2014 06:38:40 AKDT
GPS location Date/Time:08/13/2014 11:34:29 AKDT
Day 1430 ~ CarriacouAugust 14th, 2014
Day 1432 ~ Underwater SculpturesAugust 16th, 2014
We stopped at Molinière Point for a couple hours so I could dive the sculptures with the last quarter of my tank. The kids snorkeled around. Unfortunately, the pieces are quite spread out which makes finding them a bit challenging. After wasting a bunch of air searching, I finally found a few. The sea is taking its toll and several have succumbed, but managed to get a few photos. Again, the mooring field is quite rolly, so we moved on to St. Georges soon after.
GPS location Date/Time:08/16/2014 08:57:39 AKDT
GPS location Date/Time:08/16/2014 11:29:49 AKDT
Day 1433 ~ Destination, GrenadaAugust 17th, 2014
At long last, we made it to Grenada. Discovery and another kid boat were anchored in St. Georges so we joined them. The anchorage doesn't offer great holding for the most part, but we managed to find a small sandy patch where the anchor could sink and hold us firm. Didn't take long and the kids were off and playing again.
Day 1434 ~ August 18th, 2014
Day 1435 ~ August 19th, 2014
Day 1436 ~ Malls, Batik and QueensAugust 20th, 2014
Day 1437 ~ Home AgainAugust 21st, 2014
There's been little to no wind here in St. Georges so the boats float side-on to the swell making for a rolly stay. While it's handy to be a dinghy ride to town, it's not worth the misery of constant rocking so we headed out and around the southeast point to our old hangout in Hog Island. The anchorage was full and a boat was on the mooring ball we had last year, but we managed to secure a spot near the inner shoreline and enjoy flatness once again.
GPS location Date/Time:08/21/2014 10:06:30 AKDT
Day 1438 ~ August 22nd, 2014
Day 1439 ~ August 23rd, 2014
GPS location Date/Time:08/23/2014 11:32:29 AKDT
Day 1440 ~ August 24th, 2014
Day 1441 ~ Seven SistersAugust 25th, 2014
We joined forces with Discovery and hired our preferred taxi driver, Joe, to take us to the Seven Sisters waterfall. Another group of kid boats were going so the opportunity was perfect. The rains came on our way down the already muddy trail, but with so many kids everywhere that no complaints were heard. Everyone swam despite the cooler weather and had a great time.
Day 1442 ~ August 26th, 2014
Day 1444 ~ August 28th, 2014
Day 1445 ~ St. GeorgesAugust 29th, 2014
Discovery wanted to show their visiting friend some more of Grenada and took their boat around to St. Georges and the Underwater Sculpture Park. They invited us to tag along and we gladly accepted. We left around 11am and stopped to snorkel first around the sculptures. We then stopped briefly outside of town and dinghied in to the mall for our favorite smoothies. It's difficult to find good holding, so John remained aboard.
Day 1447 ~ VolleyballAugust 31st, 2014
Boat kids generally fall into the 7-11 age range so finding those within our girls' age range is a treat. This year, there happens to be several boats that fit this category anchored in the bays surrounding us. They get together often at each others' boats and also at least three days a week on the volleyball court at Secret Harbor.