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Back in Carriacou, Grenada

We had an exciting sail down from Bequia to Carriacou today. We sailed on the lee side of all the Grenadines and with the wind from the ENE made an easy turn onto Carriacou. We hooked three fish along the way but ALL three got away. I changed the hooks on the lure that was being successful but then our ‘luck’ ran out.

We checked in at Hillsborough then made our way round the corner to Tyrell Bay where we’ll hang out through the forecasted bad weather for the next few days. Where II are here so no doubt there will be beers involved with this stay.

Now that we’ve changed countries it’s time to publish our recent tracks. These are our tracks for our recent stint in St Vincent and the Grenadines.


View 2009 Grenadines 2 in a larger map

Tired of Bequia

These beautiful little islands can get a little boring. Bequia is wonderful to stay for a while but we’re feeling as though we’ve done enough here. We’ve made the decision, subject to a final weather check this afternoon, to check out this afternoon and make an early morning run to Carriaco in the early morning and check back into Grenada there. We’ll then tuck into Tyrell Bay and wait out the nasty weather that is forecast to peak on Friday and Sunday.

We’ve been quite productive this morning. Helen has been cleaning and waxing the dodger while I have relocated the SSB and Pactor modem. When I was helping to troubleshoot the SSB setup aboard “Where II” I was impressed by the position their kit had been installed in the void above the freezer compressor accessible through the hatch under the navigation table. Moving our SSB was put on the summer projects list.

Being bored here in Bequia this one was doable so it’s been done this morning. I’m rather pleased with the result. Click on the picture for a close up view of the installation.

I have also laid in a ground wire which I intend to connect to the water maker control box case to neutralize the noise from there. I need to do some further testing before I complete my cable run so that’s been left for another day.

Gingerbread

Well – we finally managed to find a restaurant that was open. In fact, it was the one we had first thought of visiting for our anniversary – the Gingerbread restaurant here in Bequia.

No surprises. We both had a curry. The meal was pleasant enough and we had the place to ourselves. Desert was back on the boat while watching “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” which we’d downloaded in honour of our recent Ozzie friends.

Today was boat work. Primary focus was the fuel line to the genset. I had spares for the secondary fuel filter. Flipped this out but it looked quite clean. We managed to find a replacement primary filter ashore. When I changed this one all sorts of crud fell out of the old despite recent draining. After priming the engine all sounded fine. In fact, it sounded better than normal but that could just be wishful thinking. We will learn in time if this has helped.

It is one of my summer projects to beef up the primary fuel filter system. The Pacific is notorious for grotty fuel so a good system coupled with lots of spares is essential. Time just overtook us on this one.

We’ve also rechecked all the drive batteries to see the results of our acid mixing at the beginning of the month. Mixed results. Next step will be to equalize them which we’ll need to do in a marina down in Grenada.

We’ll hang around here while the forecast still looks bad. The winds are forecast to be up in the 20s. The boat will sail fine in these conditions but anchoring behind a reef or low lying island would be bumpy and make Helen miserable. That means getting ahead on our summer projects while we’re here. I bought some earth wire today so I can have a go at grounding the water maker and MPPT casings to reduce SSB interference.

Petit Byahaut

Soon after the cruisers net this morning we moved Dignity around the corner to Petit Byahaut. The water here was crystal clear. Having put out the washing done earlier while testing the genset we put on our snorkeling gear and swam ashore to check things out. The water was abundant with life including hundreds of tentacled jelly fish which gave both of us a number of stings. Ashore we found the most quaint but empty mini-resort. Calling around we could find no one so we decided to head back to the boat and wait out the morning to see if anyone would show up.

On the way back to the boat we snorkeled further out and were rewarded with yet more sea life and yet more stings.

The morning played out, we had lunch and no further signs of life showed. With the relatively heavy weather forecast to come in on Wednesday we decided the best place to find a meal would be back in Bequia. So off we sailed, this time leaving before the current was properly in our favour. It was a close haul all the way but again we made it with one tack. We’ll go ashore soon to find somewhere willing to feed us.

On the way over the genset had another murmur. Folks on the net are reinforcing my view there is an issue with the fuel feed – probably a filter that needs replacing. I’ll start trouble shooting that tomorrow. We have now effectively begun our trip back to Grenada where we’ll get stuck into our summer projects. How far I can remediate the genset issue will dictate our speed of return.

For now here are just a few pics of Petit Byahaut. I wish we’d taken the camera ashore but that would have involved going back in the dinghy.

A little more detail

Ok – so I took the privilege of not writing too much yesterday. It was my birthday after all. This blog is for my own future reference so lest I forget, here’s a little more detail on the last couple of days.

On Saturday, after our trip to Montreal Gardens, we decided to go ashore on Young Island to look around. As it is a private island with a private resort built upon it we were restricted to visiting the bar. Given that they had decently priced cocktails this didn’t feel too limiting.

While sitting there we met a couple from Texas (Sandy & Tom) who had just arrived without their luggage. Their last flight had been aboard a LIAT plane which just reinforces the “Luggage In Another Terminal” expansion of their name. They joined us to chat and we soon learned about each other. Tom was an avid sailor and made a proposition to go sailing which we readily accepted.

The evening progressed with Tom and Sandy coming aboard Dignity for drinks, nibbles and further conversation.

The next morning we picked them up from the jetty at 7:30 in the morning and soon we were off sailing to Bequia. Being slightly east of Admiralty Bay we survived the current and made it there on one tack. As we approached Bequia I turned on the genset a little earlier than we would normally as we’d been using the stored power in the drive banks to avoid running the genset for the last week or so and were getting low on juice. For the first time we’ve experienced the genset gave a couple of ‘burps’ where it almost stopped but picked up again. Didn’t cause us any issues but it was concerning.

I dinghied Sandy and Tom into Bequia so they could explore the town. While they were ashore I checked the water strainer to the engine and cleared out a few small leaves and a baby crab. Not enough to cause issues but I was looking so I felt I should free the crab at least. I also completed my final oil change on the hookah as I had been putting it off and we wanted to go diving.

When Tom and Sandy returned I took them over to the dive site we’d been to before. Finding it was difficult as the bottle float that marked the end of the line to attach the dinghy to had lost it top and had sunk. Furthermore there was at least a knot current driving the bottle down and us away. I jumped into the water and dove down to retrieve the line and after a few goes with Tom steering the dinghy we were safely tied.

The current became a bit of an issue so we kept the hookah tied to the dinghy and limited our swim to the length of the hoses. This was far from limiting as it forced us to look more closely at a smaller area and we saw just as much as ever including a couple of lobsters hiding away.

In the afternoon we sailed back to our intended destination in St Vincent, Buccament Bay, where we’d heard a new Taiwanese restaurant had opened which was supposed to be quite good and had fair prices too. The timing was perfect as the currents would be in our favour at that time. The genset problems continued and this time it cut out. Not that it posed a great risk as we had the batteries now charged – more than enough to get into a safe anchorage. I tried switching to the opposing fuel tank and this time the genset ran fine. Again – we made the trip on a single tack. We anchored in a section of the bay that neither our charts nor guidebook suggested for anchoring. We found a great spot with the anchor biting first time and on inspection it had buried itself without dragging at all.

We dinghied Sandy and Tom ashore and found a taxi to take them back to Young Island. We also found the Taiwanese restaurant but also discovered it closed for the holidays. Not sure if this is just for the carnival week here in St Vincent or for the entire hurricane season. Either way it meant dinner back aboard Dignity.

Our plans for the next few days are now focused around the genset and the weather which is threatening winds in the mid 20s from Wednesday for a few days. As of writing we’ve ran the genset for an hour doing the laundry and it has run perfectly. Maybe I have an issue with the original fuel tank – maybe it was just something in the fuel line. Either way it needs investigation at a place with access to parts and people. Given the current successful test we’ve decided to move round to the next bay, Petit Byahaut, where there is an exclusive resort with reportedly great dining. We’ll celebrate my birthday there. Tomorrow we’ll head back to Bequia where we know the anchorage is sound and try and determine the cause of the genset anomalies while the weather passes over.