A new crew joined us on Tuesday 15th January, making us a compliment of 14 for our next voyage around the Caribbean Windward Islands. Once again we have to go through the rigmarole of customs and immigration to enable us to effectively move around, so we found ourselves in Carriacou overnight to check out of Grenada and into St Vincent and The Grenadines (yes… a completely separate country). We sailed up to Mayreau for an overnight stay as it was one of the crews birthday and we wanted to go to Dennis’ Hideaway Bar for celebrations. As you might of noted from earlier in this blog Dennis makes a mean cocktail and having done ‘sundowners’ and returned to the boat for dinner and birthday cake most of us didn’t make it back up the hill for the evening. This may have been a good thing…..
The whole crew enjoyed Mayreau …but who wouldn’t of course. We made the short hop to Tobago Cays the following morning with a plan to spend the day. It was a gorgeous day , everyone who snorkelled saw Turtles and a variety of fish. The skipper found a fallen coconut on the beach and set about ‘breaking into it’….took over a few hours of his day with man pitched against fruit!
The next day found us in Canouan and an afternoon at the private hotel beach just off the bay. Silky water and sunbeds, real sunbeds, which we stole ourselves onto for an afternoon in the sunshine, washed up with a beer at their private bar. The evening provided quite a different turn of events with a rum shack, situated just along the bay and home to Ezra, our publican for the evening. When a night begins with limbo dancing you know you need to worry. When it ends with pole dancing you know you were right to worry. Ezra has a different approach to rum; plastic cups, lots of it, smidgens of ice and a tipple of mixer. After he had set fire to the bar on two occasions (purely effect he said) we thought it might be time to pour ourselves back into the dinghy and do our best to head for the boat!!!
On Sunday, after a long sail, we therefore returned ourselves to the calm and tranquility of wonderful Bequia where we enjoyed sundowners at one of the many bars along the seafront.
The crew decided upon a different ending to our voyage and we decide to head for Sandy Island – which is exactly what it says on the tin – a sandy island, and nothing else, bar some trees. We were told the island was outstanding for snorkelling, we were not misinformed. We spent the late afternoon snorkelling amidst literally thousands of fish who meandered up and down the shore line, only hastened by the occasional incoming Barracuda looking for dinner. We also discovered a small rum shack on the sand, nestled amounts the trees, serving just about every imaginable spirit of liquor going. At their suggestion we booked ourselves in for dinner the following night.
During the day on Tuesday we went for a sail up to Petite Martinique, a beautiful quaint and unspoilt Island opposite the infamously famously private Island of Port St Vincent. Whilst the latter has much to offer in terms of beach life it does not equal the calm simplicity and kindliness that exists on the former. We sat under the trees on the lawn of Palm Beach Hotel and drank coconut water and watched the world go by before heading back for dinner at Sandy Island.
Dinner deserves a paragraph all to itself. The setting is laced with romanticism – so the arrival of fourteen hungry sea dogs was perhaps underserving. We sat on the beach and drank rum punch, watching the sun go down, whilst lobster, chicken and fish, were prepared on the makeshift BBQ sitting under the trees. A full moon, perfection achieved , we sat down to eat. The smells, the spices, the ambience…..the lashing rain. Great British rain arrives in droves and soaks you to your knicker elastic…turns out it’s the same at Sandy Island. The British stalwart attitude was put significantly to the test as we ate heartily, unaffected by our extreme conditions. There were crabs nipping at our sandy toes as they made a dash back for the sea, water swimming in the rice and some of the crew sitting under the table with their dinner. Tough eh…Just when things felt a little desperate the cook put on a Glen Miller tune; Little Brown Jug, and those trusty British dancing feet took to the sandy floor fully regaling ourselves with more cries for Rum…….our hosts were significantly confused. It was a great evening, one to live in your thoughts forever, with a speedboat ride back to the boat chucked in for free. What a way to finish….