Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Trip To Windward - Boat Buidling in Carriacou

Tyrell Bay
As the famous Carriacou regatta approaches Sim and I thought we would take a trip over to Windward on the north east corner of Carriacou to see how the traditional work boats are made. These sailing sloops have been hand crafted with skills passed down from generation to generation, ever since the Scottish settlers arrived at the beginning of the 20th century.
Quaint little houses.
The bus journey took us through a part of the island we hadn’t ventured before.  It is undeniably beautiful with small little houses dotted amongst fruit trees and brightly coloured plants. You will not find any resorts on the island and many claim Carriacou to be one of the last untouched islands in the Caribbean.

Windward Beach
The bus dropped us off at the small fishing village of windward. The coastal road ran to the right of us and we could see the smaller islands of Petite Martinique, Petite St Vincent and Union Island to the north. It was a beautifully hot, clear, sunny day.

The building of a new sloop
The "Yard"
We strolled up the road, Sim stopping to look at different boats pulled up the black sand beach. There is no official boat yard as such; just a stretch of windswept beach with flotsam and jettison washed ashore. The hulls of boats are laid up on wooden piles and it’s hard to distinguish one yard from another. The bare bones of a new structure were laid up right next to a small pig farm. There was no evidence of any work going on at the time but it was interesting to see how the trees that had been felled had a particular shape that matched the shape of the frames. Apparently modern tools are not used, just a keen eye and plans marked in the sand. We had apparently just missed the launch party of a newly finished sloop the previous Sunday where a celebration gets underway with the slaughtering of a goat. We strolled along through the shallow waters chatting to the odd person here and there, passing mangrove trees and huge amounts of empty conch shells. There were all sorts of boaty bits lying around and Sim was sniffing around them like a boy in a sweet shop. It’s amazing what junk brings a smile to his face. But it was hot, very hot, only mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun!. So we caught the bus back into Hillsborough and had a little lunch at a cafĂ© over looking the pretty harbour before heading back to Tyrell Bay and an evening on our new friends boat with Chris and Naury on “Darling Blue”.
The Pig Farm
The house next door
Masses of conch shells
The boatyard.
Sim with his leg through the padlocked gate!
Happy!  Its lunch time
View from the cafe.


  1. Wish I was there for the Carriacou Regatta weekend - have a great time!!

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