Monday, July 9, 2012

Pigeon Island

 What a day it was today! We woke up to a beautiful Caribbean morning with bright blue sky with white cumulus clouds sailing through it and plenty of sunshine to bring out the colors of water, trees, houses and plants. There haven't been many days like this lately,  there was always some haze in the sky that made taking photos difficult. On such a day even working is not so hard - we did "pickle" our watermaker (the process where you put some chemicals in the system to conserve it for longer periods of time), we cleaned and repaired some of the hatches, did a small load of laundry and repaired the seal on the engine command panel, that wasn't watertight any more. And in the breaks between work we cooked lunch, had a couple of swims in the sea and captain made chocolate - Gregory got us a cocoa fruit the other day, we ate the flesh that is around the seeds yesterday and toasted and grind the seeds today. Then some other ingredients were added - like condensed milk, sugar syrup etc and the result was not exactly like chocolate, but it was good and had interesting taste. It really was a beautifull day.

Yesterday we moved back to easter side of the bay from Pigeon Island to be closer to marina. We made arrangements to get to Martinique by a smaller ferry boat right from the marina, which makes departure a bit easier. 

We enjoyed the days we were anchored in front of Pigeon Island, except maybe for Wednesday that was rainy and wet. We worked a lot (we got the jib down and stored it in 20 knots of wind etc), but also snorkeled and swam, and spent two evenings on land. We visited Jambe de Bois (or wooden leg in English), which is a nice restaurant with good food and cocktails. And we walked to the fortress on the top of the smaller of two peaks and wondered through the forrest.

On Tuesday night we had a full moon.

The trees on Pigeon Island are in bloom and it looks like forrest on fire.

Jambe de Bois and the taller of the peaks.

Heron in the bay, photographed from Jambe de Bois

The terrace is lovely and furniture unbelievable.

They have several cats...

... and this one became my best friend after we shared a cheesecake.

Around the hill there are many remains of previous times - like several graves from 18th century.

There are also papaya trees in the jungle.

Pigeon Island was an island once - not too long ago when marina in Rodney Bay was built, they used the material from dredging the lagoon for connecting the island with the "mainland". The boat on photo is Heron of course...

The fortress on the top.

Looking towards the other peak called a Lookout - there the Brits had a lookout for French ships and it is said that on a clear day one can see all the way to Martinique.

The view east towards Rodney Bay

The beautiful blooming trees

Some old buildings are overgrown with trees and look like a scene from Junglebook

And then back to Jambe de Bois for a roti (like a tortilla filled with curry) and a cocktail.... or two.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Back to St Lucia

 On early Sunday afternoon we left Clifton bay on Union island whit its colorful Clifton town...

... coral reefs with tiny islands...

... with island made from empty conch shells with an restaurant on it...

... and  perfect turquoise water at anchorage.

We sailed only three miles north to the island of Mayreau, to the Windward bay. It is a huge bay on east side of the island, protected by several reefs. The color of water is beautiful and one has the wiew of Tobago Cays to the east. And we were alone in whole bay.

Not only in whole bay, but we haven't seen anyone on the beach also, just a few houses on the top of the island.

The night was a bit rolly, the wind was strong and Heron was dancing on the waves like she was sailing.

Next morning we sailed north. On the west side of Mayreau we saw this beautifull bay - Salt Wistle bay. Next time we will anchor here...


A little further is Catholic island, no idea where the name came from, but it is pretty and full of birds - the right kind of island for me....

After 25 miles of nice sailing we reached south west corner of Bequia.

A little further on the western coast there are "moon houses", a project of an American architect. The original one must be the one in the cave. There are many more hidden on the hill behind and it is sort of a hotel.

We spent another two days in Admirality bay, lazying around, snorkeling and preparing for the long passage to St Lucia. We loved the Grenadines very much and haven't seen it all by far. So we will have to come back soon...

We sailed off early on Wednesday morning and it started with strong wind, that died once we reached St Vincent. So we motored for couple of hours. Off the northern point of St Vincent there was the wind again, but it was much more northerly than forecast. So we were beating hard, luckily the waves weren't too bad, only 2m. But our speed was not good, only 5 to 6 knots, and we reached Pitons on St Lucia already in late afternoon. There the wind died again (this is the curse of tall islands), so we motored for next few hours. Luckily a school of dolphins payed a visit and swam with us for couple of minutes, otherwise this would be one of the least enjoyable passages. After 12 and a half hours we reached Rodney bay and anchored already in the dark.

Next day was a laundry day, we made a good use of hot water that we had from so much motoring the day before. And on Friday we started working on the boat - we prepared the starboard (right) aft (back) cabin for storing the sails and other things, that we need to remove from deck. We managed to get the main sail off the mast between showers and stored it in the cabin, together with lazy bag. And we installed automatic switch for bilge pump (avtomaticno stikalo za kaluzno crpalko in Slovene). So now if any water gets in the boat, bilge pump will start automatically and pump it out.

For all this hard work we need lots and lots of vitamins - luckily Gregory comes by every morning and always has something new and exotic for us  - like soursop (big green thing left in the photo, we tried it already on Union island) and dasheen root (or taro root - right in the photo), wax apples (the reddish small fruit in the basket), along with "standard" offering of passion fruit, mango, ...

And today we got to try local guava (yellow round things left and under wax apples) and guinep (the small green things on top). All super yummie...

For the time being we are staying on anchor here in Rodney bay, it is calm enough to work and we can swimm in the sea often, which is necessary when working in this temperature and air humidity. We still have a lot to do and the time to our departure is getting shorter and shorter.