Ahoy there Boatbloggers ®
Welcome back to the latest edition of theboatblog.com.
We have certainly been racking up the nautical miles since the last issue. We are no longer in the Windward Islands, but have headed North and currently are at anchor in Little Bay, Montserrat.
It was last Wednesday we bid a sad farewell to Grenada which had been our home for a few weeks. We actually had to stay that long, because the diesel hose for the generator had sprung a leak and we needed to get it mended.
But if you have to wait to get a leak mended, you might as well do it in Grenada.
Because this is where they make the CHOCOLATE.
THIS IS HOW CHOCOLATE STARTS – bet you didn’t know that.
…and the bananas.
Not to mention the rum.
One day we went trekking through the rainforest…
..and ended up at a waterfall.
It would have been rude not to jump in…
…so we did.
They have great beaches…
But it’s not all just fun and games. There is still high powered business to attend to.
A HARD DAY AT THE OFFICE
We were pleased that when the Getty’s heard we were in town, they insisted on parking their boat next to ours.
Now that’s a pretty boat. If you want to charter it, it’s $380,000 a week (or you can have a week on Domini for a bit less.)
Anyway, time to move on. Our first stop was Carriacou, which is still part of Grenada and only about thirty miles north.
And then we left the Windward Islands, and set sail for Dominica. It was an overnight passage past all the Grenadines, St Vincent, St Lucia, Matinique until we arrived in the Leeward Islands. I’ve no idea why they call them that. They’re a darn sight windier than the Windwards.
Dominica is delightful. Completely unspoilt by progress. Which is great when you want to see virgin rainforest, but not so good when you want to charge your mobile phone.
We rowed up the Indian River..
..which is completely magical.
Almost like a film set.
In fact it is a film set. They shot Pirates of the Caribbean here.
They don’t allow outboard engines, so the only way is to row. Which is exhausting.
So we got Martin to do it.
MARTIN – Master River Guide
PARROTS OF THE CARIBBEAN
They call it the Nature Isle.
And it is. We were sorry to leave.
After Dominica, we sailed through another rainbow…
…to Guadeloupe, which is technically France, so they take Euros, speak French and take three hours to eat lunch.
We had a bit of a drama last night.
We were anchored at Deshaies in the north of the island. Roundabout midnight, a storm hit us. 30 knots of wind, and horizontal rain. We got up to double check everything was alright, and that was when we noticed that we were now perilously close to one of the other boats.
The anchor was dragging.
No time to lose. In the middle of this gale we weighed the anchor just in time to avoid hitting anything. But it was a close run thing. The French tend to anchor in the same way that they faites le camping. Right next to each other.
But that was just the start of the problems. Now we had to lay the anchor down again. It’s hard enough normally, but in 30 knots, terrible visibility, and surrounded by other boats it’s a nightmare.
Finally we managed to drop the anchor again. It appeared to be holding and all seemed well, so we decided to run an anchor watch and take turns to stay up and check that we didn’t drag again. It was all fine for an hour or two, but then on Ju’s watch a mega squall hit, and we started moving again. He called up Lyn to weigh anchor and start the whole process again, when suddenly we stopped.
The anchor must have dug itself in again!
Ha ha. Not so simple. It had caught on something, and was not budging.
Still, at least we were no longer moving. We decided to carry on the anchor watch and sort it out in the morning.
At long last the sun came up, and the storm died down. Ju dived down on the anchor to see what the problem was. We had snagged it on an ancient rusting bit of chain from a long abandoned mooring bouy, and it was not coming off without a struggle. It was about 8m down, so Ju took a deep breath and dived down with a piece of rope which he managed to slip around the rusty chain and bring back to the boat. What a hero! This held the chain up, so all we had to do was lower the anchor, then motor forward till it was clear of the chain and we could haul it up.
At least that was the theory.
And the theory worked!
So…off to Montserratt!
This is a remarkable island.
In 1997, the volcano in the south erupted. You can still see steam coming out of it now.
The devastation is hard to comprehend. This is the capital, Plymouth.
It looks like a nuclear bomb has been dropped; the houses all buried in ash and lava. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the church is buried up to its steeple.
And it is from here, in the north of Montserrat and about ten miles from the volcano, that we send you this blog.
But to finish, this issue’s arty fart prize goes to Lyn, for her study entitled simply. Coffee.
By the time you read this, we should be on the way to Nevis.
Bye for now Boatbloggers ®
Ju & Lyn