I forgot, in the last post, to mention the most exciting part of our journey from Trinidad!
A few miles north of the Boca we picked up a ship on AIS (identification system on our plotter) which appeared to be on a collision course with us. Time passed by and we didn’t see any change in their course, so with only 8 minutes left before impact we decided our only option was to call them up on the VHF. If they turned to port to avoid us and we had decided to turn to avoid them, they would have hit us anyway and given the ship was 18 times the size of us, we didn’t fancy a quarrel.
The ship was sweetly named ‘Methane Princess’ and fortunately there was someone on watch. He listened as I explained our location and asked if he had seen us, code for ‘where the xxxx are you going?’
He said he had seen us, so my question would be, why didn’t he try to avoid us as we were sailing and he was under power and not constrained by draft. He then said he would go to starboard, then a few seconds later said he would go to port so he could go behind us, the safer option. Hooray ☺
We could again see, on our AIS, that he changed course by over 10 degrees and the vectors also showed he would be going behind us, so we were happy with that.
Something we saw that interested us at least, was a boat in Port Louis marina which had in mast furling totally stuck. A local rigger was two thirds up the mast trying to pull the sail out but wasn’t having any luck. The sail was ripped further down, perhaps where the crew had managed to get some of it unstuck. We used to have in mast furling on our first boat and it did get stuck a couple of times. We always managed to get it free by pulling it in, then out, in, then out, little by little but I guess on a big sail that isn’t such an easy option. Hope they got it free in the end.
Then we had another bit of excitement on our journey to Carriacou yesterday. Our new lure, costing 11 GBP, got a huge bite and a monster fish leaped out of the water. Sadly for him and us, he snapped our line and took the lure on only it’s second outing.
On the way north, a mile off Grenada, we encountered several small yellow floating discs, not very big but suspiciously like fishing net buoys and had to take avoiding action. A few more were bobbing about just north of Grenada as well. The water was over 1500 metres deep so can only assume they were nets gone adrift.
Our journey was the longest we have made between the 2 sister islands, as we could not make the course we needed due to the ENE wind. We can sail 35 degrees to the wind given the right conditions and did manage to sail virtually all the way, just not always in the right direction. We had to put in a long tack to get into Tyrrel Bay and the journey ended up 10 miles longer than on a straight course. It took us almost 9 hours but we were sometimes doing over 8 knots!
We found the bay quite quiet really, with many American boats now heading home. Hurricane season officially ends for our insurer on the 30th November but many others state 15th November or even the 1st. It rained as we anchored and washed the salt off our decks but it is good to be back in Tyrrel Bay, surrounded by many boats we know, such as ‘Darling Blue’, ‘Jambalaya’, ‘Amarula’, ‘Ocean Rainbow’, ‘Adagio’, ‘Spirited Lady’ and ‘Beach House’.
We can now legally open our duty free from Trinidad. A good red wine was 2.60 GBP a bottle, rum was 4.50 a litre and Beefeater gin was 4.50 for 70cl. Not bad at all. Hendricks was 17 GBP a bottle but they had run out of beer unfortunately. The number of forms on clearing out was amazing this time, I swear there are far more than in 2012. It cost more than 20 pounds as well!
A little has changed here. The YC bar roof is finished and they are having an opening party on the 28th. Happily our favourite restaurant, the Slipway, has not changed and the view is still blissful. After a few days here we are going to sail back to Grenada, hopefully down the eastern side so we can swing into the harbours along the south coast, starting with St David’s. Then on to Mount Hartman where our friend Karen, on ‘Misty’ is back from Norway for the winter. Lastly around to St George’s again to meet up with friends flying in from the UK, provision up, clear out and head off to Les Saintes in 1 hit, a journey of 230 miles. We have seen so much of the islands between them and Grenada and fancy seeing something new this season. If plans go to plan, we won’t be back in this area until the summer of 2018, a very long way off.