Here are our tracks through the Grenadines.
View 2009 Grenadines in a larger map
We decided we’d see more if we walked rather than biked. So for our last full day here we trundled ashore and went by foot.
We did indeed see more than perhaps we might. We found an interesting tortoise monument, a pretty library/primary school, a memorial (including a plaque for Princess Margaret), a bamboo church, a roaming iguana, another tortoise (no picture as he looked a bit like the other one) and plenty of great views.
Our walk took us to the north east and north of the island walking round the airport anti clockwise and taking in the coastal path all round the north east. The airport was very quaint with a thatched roof terminal. On the way back we were lucky to see a plane land just as we were passing the end of the runway.
The coastal trail around the north east end was well worth the effort of getting there. Facing the Atlantic, the coast was more rugged than the west side and the ocean had greater energy. We still got to see many splendid homes including one or two being (re)constructed. The island has only 120 lots so there can’t be too many entirely new developments – especially on the prime spots which these were.
We didn’t finish the walk until 11:30 and were consequently quite hot from the close to midday sun. The afternoon was taken up with reading and some online work.
Today we’re out of here and off the World’s End Reef just east of Tobago Cays. My guess is we’ll be off the net for a few days but we’ll still blog via SSB. I am trying to get back into the habit of one blog per day written in the morning when we tend to get best access to internet.
The morning started with my extracting the two folding bicycles from their storage and preparing them as they had never been used nor unwrapped before. In doing so I thought it would be a good idea to oil the moving parts to keep them working well and stave off the effects of salt in the air.
Somehow, towards the end of the exercise my 3-in-1 oil vanished. I could not find it anywhere. By deduction I could only surmise I put it down somewhere where it fell over and went over the edge. I hadn’t heard a bump or a splash but it was the only thing I could think of. Of course I went in to look but I found nothing bar the picked clean tuna skeleton from previously.
I eventually got the bikes sorted and after breakfast we dinghied ashore with them. The road to the south looked flat so we decided to ride to the south of the island where our printed out map suggested there was a nature trail. Reading the map was another thing. We managed one or two wrong turns, all the more painful due to the fact that the road south was not so flat after all. Most of the uphill sections required us to get off and push.
We eventually reached the ‘nature trail’ only to find out it was more of a greened over landfill. We decided not to walk the trail but to explore the area and nearby beach/rocks. We found an interesting blow hole where the waves would rush along a crack in the rocks, be forced up and back over at the end of the tunnel forcing air and spray up out of a hole in the rocks. Crabs of all sizes would climb in an out of this hole as we watched.
Back on the boat we had lunch – this time left over curry from Friday. Normally this is our Saturday lunch but the tuna took it’s place. After lunch I did some troubleshooting on a voltage drop on our 12V circuit. The read out on our console was now 0.6V lower than that at the batteries. This meant we had some annoying losses but more importantly we’ve recently had two false alarms in the middle of the night of batteries being too low. With some help from another 420 owner I traced the majority of the loss to contamination on the breakers which was easily, if only temporarily, rectified by turning them off and on a few times.
In the afternoon I decided to have one more look for the lost oil in the water. I still didn’t find it but did see a number of interesting sea creatures. I even saw a sandy colored ray sitting almost completely camouflaged on the sea bed. I dove down and waved water at it hoping to make to swim off. It stayed put and I wondered if it was dead so I touched it’s edge. This is when I discovered there are such things as electric rays. Ouch.
In the evening we went for a drink at Basil’s where they had a live band. It was a couple – an electric piano player who looked like Fidel Castro and a saxophonist. The atmosphere was pleasant but we saw no locals (celebs) as far as we could tell.
Guess what we had for lunch. Yup. Tuna. We kind of overdid it though. Between us we took one full fillet and grilled it accompanied with noodles fished up with tuna head broth. Couldn’t quite finish it all.
This afternoon, once it cooled down, we went for a random walk around the island using a map I’d picked up at the check in station. Right off the dock you come to the village which is just a few very ornate shops and a bar called Basil’s. The beers are twice the normal price but we may go tomorrow evening when they have a band playing. Who knows, we may bump into one of the locals.
The island is very manicured – what you’d expect for the island where the rich and famous live. The properties, such that you could see, were very well designed and kept, frequently occupying strategic view points. The grounds were expertly kept with beautiful flora which gave Helen a thrill. Along the way we came across a free roaming tortoise.
The roads feel a bit like a country club along with everyone driving around in golf carts. Fortunately that means no one is going really fast so it’s relaxing to walk round the roads. Tomorrow we may well just get out the folding bikes for the first time to follow the coast road around.
Sometimes it just all works out well. We left Friendship Bay around 7:30am, 2 hours after moonrise to have the best of the lunar effects. Sure enough, we made it over to Mustique on a single tack. As we left the harbor we saw a lot of activity on a nearby cay. It has many onlookers on land and many boats surrounding it. We had heard that one of the annual quota of (one, two or four – not sure which) whales had been caught yesterday. We wondered if this was something to do with that. But that was not all. Shortly after leaving the Bay, as we passed through some gull activity indicating there could be feeding activity below, we hooked something on the lure I bought in Bequia. Reeling it in we found we had caught a Blackfin Tuna.
This was the first fish I have filleted so I made a bit of a mess. The second half was better than the first so there’s a suggestion I’ll get good in time. Now we can look forward to fresh grilled fish for lunch and there’s several pounds of good meat in the freezer for later.
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