Sunday, November 27, 2011

Island Hopping


We left the peaceful and charming island of Carriacou behind and day sailed up the islands, gently easing ourselves into the sailing mode with a relatively short to hop Union Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The following day we made the 30 mile trip up to Bequia. And finally a 70 mile trip from Bequia to Rodney Bay at the north end of St Lucia. 70 miles is more than we can manage in day light and so we made a (very) early start, leaving at 2am in the morning. This means that we are shipshape and ready to go the night before and in bed by 8pm. At 2am when the buzzer sounds we haul our sleepy selves out of bed and make coffee before we can do anything. Then its engine on and heave ho on the anchor windless. Sim and I work silently as we lift anchor, tie dinghy on deck and set the sails in the dark, working as part of a well oiled team. I like these mini night sails as it means that we sit in the cockpit at night together, something that we wouldn’t do if we were doing a full overnighter. There is something much more peaceful sitting there in the darkness when someone is with you, than when you are on your own. Sim likes night sailing and the dark doesn’t bother him but I find the darkness uncomfortable with only my vivid imagination to keep me company. So with Sim at the helm and the cat in her box by my feet, I feel happy and content and safe surrounded by the darkness. I stay up for a couple of hours until the motion of the boat makes me drowsy and I go back down below to sleep for a few hours. Sim pretty much deals with most things until lunch time and then just after we approach the coast of St Lucia he goes down for a few hours rest himself and I take us up to Rodney Bay.

We had a romping sail between the islands once the wind picked up, with a reef in the main and the full headsail out. As usual Imagine of Falmouth who we were sailing with over took us. We had to motor sail a bit of the way to keep to windward especially when we were in the lee of the islands, unlike Imagine, whose super fast boat can get much closer to the wind than we are able to. We passed the famous Pitons and the huge sailing ship The Royal Clipper. We passed huge cruise ships out of the port of Castries. Then at 5pm we arrived with Imagine of Falmouth at Rodney Bay and in time for a well deserved glass of wine and a rum and coke, tired but happy to be here.

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