Thursday, November 27, 2014
I like Canouan. First of all, the water of Charlestown Bay is pristine, unlike all the other islands, despite the small town overlooking it. We anchor off of Tamarind Hotel and use their services, like the dingy dock and the restaurant. Their food is good, but prices astronomical. We like their breakfast, which is good value, and the service is impeccable.
Most important feature of Canouan is the Customs facility, so that the Union Island hellhole can be avoided.
On Saturday morning around 8:00 am we weighed anchor and furled out the sails from Tyrrell Bay. I prefer going around the west side of Union, which is very close to Carriacou. Getting there was easy, we pointed a little east of north, and passed the channel in no time. Once we were in the lee of the Union, Al started the engines, an we motor sailed to the north west corner.
Canouan is to the northeast of Union, but on the way, to the east Mayreau is located. Further down to its southeast is the notorious Tobaggo Cays, a dangerous pool of reefs and rocks. To the west of Mayreau, almost at its entrance to Salt Whistle Bay, there are the Catholic Islands. When I read Doyle this time to check the route to Canouan, I saw that he recommends passing from the east of Catholic Islands. So, we decided to do what he says, although Al was complaining that west of the Catholics was a more direct route, however, one has to turn east to get to Canouan afterwards.
After Union Island, we pointed towards the Catholic Islands, but the sails became a burden, since the wind was on our nose. Wouldn't you know it, providence is always against us. Winds always come from the direction that we want to go, so this time it was northeast. Since we were not in a hurry, we did what any other sailor would do, we tacked, pointing towards the south corner of Mayreau, and turned when we were almost touching, in order to safely pass the rock formations of the Catholics. I cursed Doyle until we passed them, which took an inordinate length of time. However, right after, the direction towards Canouan became much more favorable, since it is to the northwest of Mayreau. After dilly-dallying for a while, we gained momentum and reached Canouan by sail.
The sun was shining, the waves not too high, winds steady; all in all it was a good short ride of about 4 hours.
We anchored in front of Tamarind Hotel and got ready to get to shore. When I looked, I located the high dock to tie the dinghy, so we got there. Al was complaining that he did not remember the dock being so high, but I reached up, and tied the painter with a bit of difficulty. After that, getting onto the dock was a bit treacherous, many of the board being loose at the top, and the horizontal boards at the side to act as a ladder being too high and slippery. Anyway, we climbed up, while I congratulated myself for being quite agile thanks to my fitness training during summer. However, walking on the dock was a problem, there were many missing and loose boards. I walked from dead centre, following the extra beam in the middle. I could not believe the disrepair at such a posh resort, but we reached the shore safely, and did our business at the customs.
In the morning while retrieving the anchor, I realized that there was another dock a little further up, which was the one we had used the last time, which leads to the restaurant. The one we tackled was for the dive shop. It appears that we had anchored too close to the ferry dock, and did not see the dinghy dock blending into the landscape. Oh well.