Friday, November 18, 2016

The Good Life

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Gil & I got our noses into books (the Emperor series about the life of Caesar) and when that happens, time slips by. We’ve also spent some time in anchorages without any internet service. Time to catch up!

A two hour sail took us from Carriacou to Chatham Bay on Union Island; one of our favourite stops. It’s a large bay with a long sandy beach and good snorkeling, but it’s also a quieter place; not frequented by too many cruisers. No internet service here! Gil caught us dinner, a good size barracuda, on the way, but I missed the photo opp L! One of the neat things we saw here was what Gil & I call a "fish boil" ... the water teams with so many fish that it appears as if it is boiling. The birds then have a feeding frenzy!


The following day we sailed another six hours to Bequia. The day started with this sky….

Later in the day, we got this coming for us…..

What to do? Take in sail? Wake the captain? Hang on to the rails?

….and before the day was finished, I washed Serenada from top to bottom!

We have been surprised this season by the number of lightning storms we’ve witnessed; all at night; and fortunately, all from a distance. In our previous three seasons of cruising, we only remember seeing one; but this season we’ve already watched at least a half a dozen!

In the cliffside, coming in to Bequia                    my first photo of a lionfish @ Bequia

Bequia is another of our favourite islands. It’s isolated enough to remain unspoiled, but lively enough to be entertaining. Good beaches, good snorkeling, plenty of eateries and bars, and some fun shopping. Food though is expensive! I didn’t remember it being so pricey – maybe it’s the declining Canadian dollar? I wished I had brought my camera into the grocery stores …. two carrots for 10 EC ($5 CAD), a head of cabbage for 18 EC ($9 CAD), two broccoli florets (not stems) for 18 EC …. better to shed a few pounds!?

Bequia sunset

North of Bequia is the island of St. Vincent. We have never stepped ashore there, and once again we elected to pass it by. There have been too many reported incidents against cruisers on St. Vincent. That concerns us more than inclement weather. So, better to be safe than sorry. We can satisfy ourselves with what all the other Caribbean islands have to offer.

We chose to sail north along St. Vincent’s windward shore, as the weather was forecast to be very settled – ESE winds @ 10-15 knots. St. Vincent is a high mountainous island and therefore casts a big wind shadow on its’ leeward side, and we did not want to spend the day motoring. 

We did not see even a single white cap on the water. 

It was a ‘flat’ sail with full canvas up.  As a bonus, Gil caught us dinner again; this time a tuna J (and again I missed the photo opp – I suppose Gil's catch of the day is becoming routine).

We stopped for the night under St. Lucia’s iconic pitons.

Here, we encountered pirates!

At night, while under the pitons, the water flashed with phosphorescent life. We have yet to learn what creatures we saw – some long and thin (eels?),  some big and round (?), and others just small points (?). 

Soufriere, the community nearest the pitons, is not as prosperous as one would expect, given the draw of tourists to this area...

Soufriere's waterfront

Not noticed in previous seasons, but highly abundant in the waters this year, were these beautiful jellyfish. 

I witnessed a scrawled filefish trying to have one for dinner, but surprisingly it got away.
Thankfully, they don’t sting; as the only way to avoid them would be to stay on the boat. 

schools of jellyfish ... they look like dice!

We are currently a little further up St. Lucia’s coast at Anse Couchon.   It is known for diving and snorkeling (and I love to snorkel). It is ridiculously busy here with dive boats during the day, but very peaceful after 5pm.  It is also a popular fishing area for the locals....


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