Monday, November 25, 2013


Another day of calm seas and almost no wind! We motor sailed with just the genoa, but could not make more than 4 knots, due to 2 knots of head on current. Slowly but surely, we crawled to St Vincent. Around 1:00 pm, we were tied to a mooring ball at the front, and to the pier at the back, by the help of Sean, who had greeted us at the mouth of the bay. People have been complaining about the boat-boys (some of them quite old) who are rumored to be fighting among themselves to get the business of helping the yachts. The two times we had been here, we only saw stoic islanders trying to earn a few bucks by providing an essential service (tying the boat to shore requires a free dinghy and not easy for the people like us who carry it on the davids). The mooring balls are so close to each other, that securing the boat quickly becomes vital. Long story short, it was a pleasent experience, and we had a good relationship with all the people who came to help.  One man on a wooden boat asked for the mooring charge of 20 EC dollars, and mentioned that we could get it back if we ate at the restaurant, who owned the mooring balls. The restaurant was the set for the movie called Pirates Of The Caribeean, starring Johnnie Depp. It is quite desolate at the moment, with a few customers, who only stop there because of the customs office. We learned that the officer came around 5:00 pm on Saturdays, so we asked the fee collector to take us to shore. Geting in and out of his little row boat was an ordeal, since it did not have a horizontal bottom for a foot-hold, and very fickle, worse than a canoe. But we managed. We sat at the restaurant for a couple of hours, had a few beers and lunch. The customs officer showed up earlier than expected, so Al gathered our documents and hurried to the office almost adjacent to the restaurant. There is not much else in that small and desolate bay; a two-storey building complex, housing a few offices (all but the customs were empty) and the restaurant with a couple of rooms for hire at the pier, and a few huts in the distance at the beach. It gets deserted at night.

Before we went to bed that evening, Al exchanged some pleasentries with the owner of the neighbouring yacht. He was from Brazil, spoke little English, but was able to communicate that he was planning on leaving the next morning around 6:00 am.
When I got up in the morning around 5:30, there was no sign of life on the boat. Al had been worried that the boat-boys would not come early to the bay to release our lines. Our only hope was the neighbour leaving before us, giving us room to swing around.

I made tea and was puttering about, while Al was still in bed, when I heard the Brazilian shouting at us. I looked out, and he made a gesture indicating that he was going to untie our line first, since his line was tied to the same post, under ours. He jumped into his dinghy, and stated paddling towards the post. I alerted Al  immediately, so he got ready at the helm, and started the engines. Good thing! As soon as one line was loose, which I started to haul in, Ruyam II shifted towards the neighbour. Al had to steer her away to avoid a collision, while the Brazilian was untying his own boat. Al decided on the spot that we should start our trip immediately, he could have breakfast underway. Wow, that was a first; he would never start the day without eating, and taking his sweet time getting  ready. I on the other hand, wake up early and get ready in a flash!

Anyway, our way to Veiux Fort, St Lucia was about 35 miles, so starting early made sense. As well, Doyle warns about some wrap around winds at the northern tip of St Vincent, which come from nowhere and hit one suddenly, so he  suggests motor-sailing to be able to control the boat.

No comments:

Post a Comment