Been a busy week, with a couple of rescues in Carriacou before we sailed to Mayreau and on through the Tobago Cays to Bequia.
Rob and Steve decided to walk up the southern headland of Tyrrel Bay ‘to see what was on the other side’ and during their trip they came across a goat trapped in barbed wire. It got its tether entwined in the wire so badly, it formed a noose. Once they had freed it, it just ran off to the nearest bit of grass without a backward glance. Much luckier than the one sacrificed on Sunday!
We met up with a few other members of the Ocean Cruising Club at the Tyrrel Bay Yacht Club for a ‘pot luck curry evening’. We took along desserts, so quickly produced spiced panna cotta with rum soaked raisins and a chocolate mousse with mini easter eggs as decoration. Being in the galley excused me from the walk. Both desserts were made with a few local ingredients, including the Grenadian chocolate we bought at the cocoa plantation. It was an enjoyable evening and we also check in on the OCC SSB net in the mornings to see where everyone is.
Moving around to Hillsborough was a quick hop but we had gusts of over 30 knots as we motored there. It has been very windy during the middle 2 weeks of Steve’s stay but at last it has calmed down to under 20 knots for our longer sails north. The wind has also come slightly south of east, making it much more comfortable.
Whilst anchored in Hillsborough, a 45 foot catamaran anchored just in front of us. A little too close really but we have become used to that. We thought it had started to drag but were unsure and the owners left for shore anyway, leaving nobody aboard. During a few more gusts, it became obvious the boat was heading backwards and was soon alongside us, a few feet away. We grabbed our fenders and tied them to our port side before getting into the dinghy and boarding the boat. As with ours, the engine cannot be started without keys and we couldn’t move the anchor chain without power as the bridle was attached. Our only option was to tie their boat to ours.
At the time ‘Zipper’ was reasonably close to us but a sudden gust took her well back again and we hurriedly tied our longest line to their bow and raced back to ‘Beyzano’ with it. Just as we got to our stern, the line ran out so we had to tie another onto that and hand it to Steve to secure to our stern cleat. Steve and I then went ashore to try to find the owners, in vain and by the time we returned Rob had made a bridle and kept watch. The gusts were still very strong but our amazing anchor held both boats without a problem. We didn’t even need to motor to relieve the pressure.
I called on the VHF for anyone who might know the owners and be able to telephone them but again, in vain. Rob went ashore after an hour and this time he found them. They were shocked as they hadn’t dragged before but were very grateful. Once they got back on Zipper, they motored forward to release our line and then anchored again, this time behind us! We were very lucky that the boat didn’t hit us 🙂
Very shortly afterwards they brought us a bottle of champagne and thanked us once more. The skipper said we had ‘saved their lives’ and perhaps in a way we had, as if Beyzano ever started dragging and ended up on the reef then our sailing life would be over for a very long time. I just hope that someone could save her in the same way if we weren’t around. I am thinking of taking the portable VHF radio with us whenever we leave the boat now, for such an emergency.
That excitement over with, the following morning we checked out and sailed east of Union Island to Mayreau, spending the night under yellow flag in Saline Bay. As it was so much calmer we had some peaceful sleep. By 0800 yesterday we were motoring out of the bay to enter the Tobago Cays via the southern approach and spent an hour on a mooring buoy surrounded by spectacular white sand and turquoise water.
The boat boy didn’t ask for any money to tie us up and the park rangers let us off the park fee, as we were only there an hour for a coffee. Quite a novelty! We did buy some delicious fresh banana bread for breakfast though and were given the non-charter boat price!
We then had a brisk and comfortable sail to Bequia, with speeds up to 8.5 knots through the water. The lure was trolled along in hope but we only caught 2 large birds that dived on the line. To help them get free we slowed right down and luckily they managed to disentangle themselves.
Our Raymarine E120 plotter also threw a wobbly during the passage, giving a ridiculous position and SOGs of 0.3 kts one second and 16.9 the next. Rob found the GPS reboot option and normal service resumed.
We have now cleared into Bequia for a couple of days, anchoring in beautiful white sand off Princess Margaret’s Beach and we are all looking forward to exploring the island. Clearing in the 3 of us cost 105 EC$. The weather looks good for sailing to St Lucia on Sunday/Monday as Steve’s flight leaves on Wednesday.