North from Grenada

After a couple of weeks fixing things and winding down after the Atlantic crossing, we left Grenada and started to make our way north towards St Lucia.

Our first stop was Tyrell Bay, on the island of Carriacou, followed by Clifton Bay on Union Island.

Clifton Bay

Once we’d negotiated the reefs and found a mooring buoy, we went ashore to “clear in” which is sailing-speak for Customs & Immigration. A local recommended a sunset cocktail on a tiny island (20 metres across!) in the bay so off we went. Wonderful!

Happy Island Bar

From there we anchored in Saline Bay, Mayreau Island, Charlestown Bay, Canouan, then past Mustique and Bequia to St Vincent. We were cautious about St Vincent as there are many online reports of burglaries, but we stumbled upon Keartons Bay, just south of Wallilabou Bay. We were helped to a mooring buoy (only room for four or five boats) and ashore we met Rosie and Orlando who made us welcome and cooked a wonderful meal at their Rockside Café. We were the only guests!

Keartons Bay

We arrived in Rodney Bay Marina on the 22nd of December, but decided to take a break from the boat over Christmas and checked into the local Hilton for three nights. It was weird spending Christmas Day by the swimming pool…

Christmas Day

Then it was back to work and a short trip to Martinique to get the backstay tensioner repaired and serviced. There must be 3-4,000 boats in Le Marin Bay, certainly the centre of yachting in the Caribbean. And because it’s really France, we hired a car and did massive shopping at Carrefour and Decathlon!

Le Marin Bay

Finally, I’ve googled the national flags of the countries we’ll be visiting in 2023 and prepared their courtesy flags. Happy New Year!

Courtesy Flags
Courtesy Flags

Leg 2 – Cape Verde to Grenada

2180nm in two weeks. By the time we got to Grenada we were ready for a break.

Preparing Dinner
Preparing Dinner

The first two or three days were the worst – the genoa furler packed up so we had to drop it into the forecabin. The furler needs to work in case you need to furl the sail in a hurry, for example if a squall hits unexpectedly or man overboard. The genoa is the “power sail” so our speed reduced from 7.5 to 6.5 knots – a shame since we’d had a good start and were sitting around 20th out of 88 at that stage.

The next day we flew the Super Zero, but after an hour or so the tack line cut through the bowsprit so we had to try to take it down. It got horribly caught around the forestay and – long story short – Karen went up the mast and cut the sail away. It was dark by the time she was back on the deck, and her arms and legs were black and blue with bruises. Very brave.

The rest of the trip we sailed using only the mainsail and the jib (staysail), so the passage took two days longer than planned. Laura and Karen prepared some wonderful meals – we ate very well – and under Martin’s guidance, landed a wahoo which we cooked and ate the following evening.

We are now resting and repairing the boat ready for the next part of the journey. We will make our way to St Lucia for Christmas and the start of the World ARC on 7 January.

Much more on this passage on Karen’s blog.