Well, we made it to Grenada after 102 hours covering nearly all of the 481 miles under main and engine.
The weather forecast was pretty accurate but due to an adverse current from Blanquilla to 62 degrees West, it was slow at times. We were glad it was neaps.
The highlights were catching a nice tuna, the sunsets, amazing number of stars, playful dolphins, whales hunting and a bird standing on a piece of driftwood!
We set off at 1000 on Sunday, leaving in rain and thunder but glad to be off the mooring as we had swung round to face the sea, a slight reversal and this made it difficult to drop the 2 buoys safely. Once we were round the southern tip of Bonaire, we headed towards the Aves and Roques, passing both to the south and at night. We made sure we didn’t go too far south, to avoid Venezuelan waters, as recently another cruiser lost his life in Margarita.
The seas were calm, the wind less than 10 knots and there was very little swell. Next we sailed for a few hours, between Orchilla and the Roques, leaving the 5 mile zone which yachts are forbidden to enter, clear. We were heading too far north so tacked and dropped the genoa to continue motoring towards Blanquilla, as we wanted to stop there for lunch and a swim.
We arrived at the beautiful island at 1130 on Tuesday spending a couple of hours swimming, showering standing up and had lunch before heading on to Grenada. 2 other yachts were also anchored and it would be lovely to spend much more time there next trip. The white sand beaches were stunning but you have to take care of the reefs when anchoring as some looked quite shallow.
The rest of the journey was quite frustrating, with the currents of up to 2.5 knots pushing us WNW, forcing us to tack along the 12 degree line into Grenada but it was not impossible, as people had told us! After 12 degrees the current dropped until it was negligible and pushing us a touch north. On approaching Grenada the seas and wind built up making the last morning uncomfortable with the sounds of GRP slamming into the waves but Beyzano coped brilliantly and the engine kept on pushing us through for 97 hours. In the end we did an extra 100 miles on top of the ‘as the crow flies’ mileage but I have read that some people did well over 300 more and took more than 6 days, so we were more fortunate. We wouldn’t contemplate the trip in stronger winds.
Just as we entered St George’s, a big squall came through with winds of 30 knots but it passed quickly and we managed to anchor securely on the third attempt. The holding is very poor in places and another squall came through this morning, when a couple of boats dragged and had to anchor again.
Now cleared in, for about 22 GBP, we are in the bakery, Rob’s favourite place and have also been in the chandlery! Much the same here, same voices on the cruiser’s net but the Yacht Club has has a major update and looks great. My MacBook has died so I can’t add photos yet but will be off to buy a laptop tomorrow.