Bye Bye Windward Islands – Hello Leewards

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.

Grenada Chocolate

THIS IS HOW CHOCOLATE STARTS – bet you didn’t know that.

…and the bananas.

Grenada Bananas

Not to mention the rum.

One day we went trekking through the rainforest…

Trecking

RAMBO

This will get cut

MRS RAMBO

..and ended up at a waterfall.

Grenada Waterfall

It would have been rude not to jump in…

Grenada Diving In The Falls

…so we did.

They have great beaches…

Grenada Beach

and walks.

Grenada View

But it’s not all just fun and games. There is still high powered business to attend to.

Grenada Ju

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. 

Taletha

TALETHA

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..

Dominica Indian River 1

..which is completely magical.

Dominica Indian River 2

Almost like a film set.

In fact it is a film set. They shot Pirates of the Caribbean here.

Dominica Indian River 3

They don’t allow outboard engines, so the only way is to row. Which is exhausting.

So we got Martin to do it.

Martin

MARTIN – Master River Guide

Dominica Birds of Paradise

PARROTS OF THE CARIBBEAN

Dominica Red Caves

They call it the Nature Isle.

Dominica

And it is. We were sorry to leave.

After Dominica, we sailed through another rainbow…

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!

Bon heureusements!

 

So…off to Montserratt!

This is a remarkable island.

Montseratt 1 Distance

In 1997, the volcano in the south erupted. You can still see  steam coming out of it now.

Montseratt 2 Volcano

The devastation is hard to comprehend. This is the capital, Plymouth.

Montseratt 3 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.

Arty Coffee

COFFEE

By the time you read this, we should be on the way to Nevis.

 

Bye for now Boatbloggers ® 

 

Ju & Lyn

2 thoughts on “Bye Bye Windward Islands – Hello Leewards”

  1. Thanks for the catch up Ju and Lynn.
    Lovely to see the photos and great to be able to be a part, at least vicariously, of your adventures. I’m enjoying the Caribbean education, but also the adventurous instalments of the blog. I always knew you were a competitive character Julian, but this sailing mullarkey clearly requires you and Lynn to be some kind of all action heroes, just to undertake the day to day business. Whilst a part of me would love to think that Jo and I might undertake such an adventure, the pictures from Montserrat prove otherwise. It’s not the volcanic devastation that is so worrying (although I acknowledge that this must have been a terrifying ordeal all round) no, it’s the waves. They are real, white-topped and no doubt moving the boat about accordingly. For a while I have been seduced by the white beaches and palm trees, with distant azure sea. These views are splendid, but hide the whole story – that the boat is still going up and down even in the splendid scenery. As for boats jumping about in storms and trying to play bumper cars, well! Fair play to you guys for remaining calm and dealing with it all. As far as I’m concerned, ‘Anchors Aweigh’ is a nice musical with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra and shall remain just that for this land-lubber.
    I’m sure that you keep up with the news in many ways, so I won’t bore you with our current activities, but did just want to make sure that you knew that Bradford City are in the quarter finals of the FA Cup. I realise that for some readers, this may not seem very important, but unless they put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) then they’ll have to put up with what I think is important.
    Stay well, stay afloat and stay away from things that sting and bite you.
    Al and Jo xx

  2. 8 Meters!!!!! That’s 24 feet aint it? Don’t you have to have training for that kind of thing. I thought only those Japanese Pearl divers can do that!
    Great pics. And I’m turning greener with every blogg!!
    keep well both.

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