Sadly we left Carriacou yesterday, motoring around to Hillsborough to clear out. On Wednesday evening we had a delicious meal in the Slipway Restaurant, next to the boatyard. They served excellent food and had a local band playing the steel pans, guitar, saxophone and singing. One of their best numbers was ‘Green, green grass of home’ by Tom Jones. Just what you would expect in the Caribbean!
In Hillsborough I made a last stop at Patty’s Deli for some frozen smoked tuna and marlin. Ellie produces this and it was excellent last time we were in Carriacou, so we had to stock up. The deli does tasty French bread, some of the best we have tasted out here and on Tuesdays they have fresh milk. They have a meat counter with roast beef, smoked hams and cheeses. A great place to buy some special foods.
The 112 mile trip from Carriacou overnight to St Lucia was uneventful, with good speeds and small swell making for a comfortable passage. Dolphins joined us off St Vincent and a couple of other yacht’s lights could be seen in the distance. We took 2 hour watches through the night and managed to sleep.
It was strange sailing past all the islands we had visited on our way south and some of the bays were busier than in June and July. A beautiful ship was anchored in Chatham Bay on Union Island. We were offered lobsters, still live, by local fishermen for 7.50 GBP per lb. They were the same price in St Lucia, so guess the market rate. Difficult to decide how much a medium sized lobster would weigh but we will buy one in a day or two.
Once we were anchored, Gregory, the vegetable and fruit seller motored by and we bought some provisions plus a mint plant, which we hope will thrive and get used in mojitos over Christmas.
I then went ashore to clear in at the marina. The docks are quite quiet, awaiting the ARC in 2-3 week’s time. They have enlarged the customs and immigration office, redecorated them and provided a long desk with pens for the forms. Obviously getting prepared for the 250 boats next month. It cost 10 GBP to clear in and we have been given a 6 month stay due to needing to be here longer than 6 weeks. There is just a 1 page form, similar to those on other islands.
Other than that not much else has changed. The same cafes and restaurants line the boardwalk so we will be spending some time there shortly. Our friends on Nyda arrive from Trinidad early next month and Peter, from Salila, arrives on the 12th.
ARC 2012 starts on Sunday from Las Palmas and Rob and I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable crossing. We look forward to welcoming some of them when they arrive here and meeting our friends Hannah and Robert again. Can’t believe a year ago we were out of sight of land and other boats and had another 17 days to go!
Here there is a local flotilla sailing from Castries to Rodney Bay to co-incide with the ARC starting from Las Palmas, something that has been organised for a few years. The prospect of 1000 people or more arriving is something the local economy is keen to celebrate. We will be joining them and the party afterwards!