This is the first time I have been able to wrestle the laptop away from Rhian and add something to the blog, it could be the last anyway here goes.
After three nights at anchor off Mustique its time to leave for Canouan the next island south, but first we just have time for one last breakfast at Basil’s Bar. There was a photo shoot taking place on the beach by Basils and a very thin model was posing on the bow of a local speed boat. There were about a dozen people involved and it must have taken a good hour to get the necessary shots, I could have nipped over with my trusty point and shoot job and had the whole thing wrapped up in ten minutes.
After breakfast we wandered up the road a few yards to the supermarket as Rhian wanted to get a couple of essential items, rum and raisin mincemeat and crostini!
Getting back to the boat involved a detour as a large tanker had come into the bay and a hose was floated out to it from the dock so that it could unload its cargo of Diesel, apparently this happens every two weeks. We headed out to sea around the stern of the tanker and then back into the bay; just as well I bought the big outboard!
We cast off the mooring put up full sail and headed for Canouan, the wind was blowing at about 15 knots from behind and we were soon making 6 knots, at times the sea became confused as we passed some small islands but generally all went well until we reached the northern tip of the island where the wind and swell picked up. Rhian decided to take over the helm from ‘Cyril’ our autopilot, saying that she could do a better job as he doesn’t understand Beyzy! A short while later we came into Charlestown bay and searched for a mooring. Moorings Charters have a base here and many of the moorings belong to them but we were looking for Marcus as recommended in Doyle’s guide. He found us in the end and put us on one of his moorings that are just off the Tamarind Hotel beach.
It was obvious that it wasn’t going to be a quiet evening as the music from the other side of the bay (about a mile away) was so loud that you could feel the base notes hitting you in the chest. Apparently we had arrived at the end of a four day Whitsun party regatta, lucky us!
The next day we decided to explore a bit and paddled to the dinghy dock ,as it was so close. Well it looked close from the boat but seemed to take an age to get there not helped by the fact that neither of us could agree on who was paddling the hardest and we were also towing a wooden pallet we found drifting nearby and decided we should get it ashore before it damaged a boat.
The island is divided into two parts. The northern half is owned and managed by Raffles Resort and is gated with guards. The Southern part has the town and main ferry dock. It looks to be quite a poor island although quite a bit of construction work is going on. The locals are very friendly, Marcus and his cousin John even offered to deliver petrol and water to the boat and collect the money some time later as we needed to get to an ATM. Unfortunately the locals are not making the most of what they have as some buildings look out of place and there is litter everywhere. We met an American couple, who had been talking to a local teacher and it appears that if you need your child to have secondary education they have to go to St Vincent and stay with a local family during term time. This costs quite a lot of money but those who can’t afford it just don’t get schooled beyond the age of 11.
We walked up the steep hill from the beach to get a view of the Atlantic side of the island and its magnificent reef. It didn’t take long as the island is not much more than half a mile wide at that point. After such strenuous exercise we headed for the beach bar at the Tamarind Hotel and had a few drinks followed by two enormous pizzas. The drinks and food are quite expensive, a small local beer about 4 GBP whereas in Bequia it was less than 1.5 GBP, but the setting is great and it’s a holiday resort so you would expect to pay extra. Somehow paddling back to the boat in the dark was no problem at all!