July 1994 - St Barts to Grenada

1 July 1994 St Barts to Castaways Beach, Dominica (Day 1)
We got up early and had a very pleasant sail across to St Kitts. St Kitts is still my favourite island to look at – nice and green, a total contrast to the Virgin Islands. We motored round the sheltered side of the island and then sailed towards Nevis. At this point we got very strong gusts (30 knots) off the island, but this soon stopped and we decided to carry on overnight to Guadeloupe or even Dominica. We had a few squalls during the night, and at times we were doing over 7 knots which was exciting. Glenys didn’t like going so fast especially in the pitch black night, so she had a bit of a traumatic first watch.

2 July 1994 St Barts to Castaways Beach, Dominica (Day 2)
We raced on until about half past four, when we entered the wind shadow at the south end of Guadeloupe - we then had to motor for about an hour before we cleared the island heading for Dominica. We had to motor again when we got in the shadow of Dominica. We had a good run of 191.8 miles in 29 hours (6.6 knots average).

We had a swim, lunch and then a lazy, dozy afternoon. We’ve only got 250 miles to go now, so we plan to go shopping for wine in Martinique on Monday morning.

3 July 1994 Castaways Beach to Anse A L’Ane, Martinique
We’ve discovered why Dominica bottles and exports water – it threw it down just as we were leaving. We left the awning up and just motored along the coast. We saw a group of dolphins who came to say hello.

We had a boisterous sail across to Martinique and then motor-sailed down the coast. The trip down the coast was wet and wild with gusts of 30+ knots in rain laden squalls. We tried to find a place in Anse Mitan, but the place is full of liveaboards mostly on moorings. We gave up and motored round to Anse A L’ane which is just as nice as I remember it – only 3 others boats, sheltered from the wind, nice beach with palms - I don’t know why people go to Anse Mitan.

We continue to get electric shocks off the steering wheel, rigging and guard rails when the engine is running – I even got shocks as I was pulling in the fishing line this afternoon! I must say that Glenys looks very cool in her skiing gloves, which she puts on when she has to steer! The stern gland was leaking quite badly, so I’ve tightened it again – it needs to be repacked properly when we get hauled out.

4 July 1994 Anse A L’Ane to Prickly Bay, Grenada (Day 1)
I actually managed to get a weather forecast this morning on 930 kHz and it is E2O with showers. At the end, the presenter said that tropical storm Alberto had moved north and dissipated in Texas. It worried us a bit that we didn’t know anything about the first potential hurricane of the season, even though it was up in the Gulf of Mexico. We motored round to Anse Mitan and went to the supermarket to buy 30 bottles of wine at 12FF per bottle.

We then set sail for Carriacou. The sail to St Lucia was brilliant – a screaming reach, blue skies and fairly pleasant motion. We were slowed down a bit by St Lucia’s wind shadow even though we were 5 miles out. Anyway, it enabled us to have a peaceful dinner. Once past St Lucia, as darkness fell, the wind picked up to 20-25 knots and we had a wet and wild reach.

5 July 1994 Anse A L’Ane to Prickly Bay, Grenada (Day 2)
Just after midnight, we were becalmed by St Vincent and I had to run the engine for a couple of hours. The wind just started to come back at three o’clock at the end of my watch, so I gave Glenys an extra hour in bed, so that I could get the boat set up and sailing nicely for her.

At six o’clock, we were off Canouan so we decided to head straight for Prickly Bay. We arrived in Prickly Bay in time to have a bacon and egg lunch. We then collapsed.

6 July 1994 Prickly Bay
Glenys went into major tidy up mode and I kept out of the way during the morning. In the afternoon, Glenys walked into Grand Anse and I tidied up the front heads and the workshop. In the evening, I went to see Gary to give him his dive watch and have a natter.

7 July 1994 Prickly Bay
Brett spent the morning counting the hours until Grandma’s arrival. Glenys continued cleaning and I worked out our financial position. We have spent £10,000 over the last 4 months and if we continue to spend money at the rate of £1,500 per month we will have to go back to Europe next year. We talked about it and decided that we will plan for crossing back to Portugal in August 1995. This is a depressing concept!

Ceris arrived at two o’clock and we spent the afternoon looking at the mail and other stuff that she brought across. She actually brought a new computer over with her. Only 9 months since I sent the old one back! She also brought some mail that Carol had sent to Antigua instead of St Thomas. Gareth took it back to the UK and gave it to Ceris! It contained Glenys’ credit card which we’ve cancelled.

8 July 1994 Prickly Bay to Hog Island
We went around to Secret Harbour and filled up with water and fuel. We then went around to Hog Island and dumped the kids on the beach! We chatted to Anne on “Sandpiper” who is over here in Hog Island by herself again.

I went into St Georges to pick up the 3rd Grade Course for Brett and the Kindergarten Course for Craig. It’s nice to be back in Grenada again – green vegetation, friendly people, familiar!

9 July 1994 Hog Island
Ceris and Glenys went into St Georges in the morning, while I did school work and loaded software onto the computer. In the afternoon, I dinghied all the way around Hog Island looking for a decent dive site to train Glenys (and others) but it’s not very good visibility anywhere.

I went over to Secret Harbour to get some tanks filled and picked up Gary who came to dinner. I met Bob and Pam there but didn’t talk to Bob much. Gary says that Bob is probably going to set up a new dive centre at another hotel that is kicking out the dive operator who’s been there for 6 years. Sounds like there may be a bit of hassle, but I might be able to pick up a bit of work in September.

10 July 1994 Hog Island
Glenys went round to talk to Roger on “Sea Hawk” who have several children and let Glenys look at an old Calvert Grade 1 course. We think that the Kindergarten Course is a bit simple for Craig so we’ll probably go through it in five months and start Craig on Grade 1 in January.

I spent the morning putting software onto the computer and then discovered a load of allocation errors on the hard disk. I ended up having to reformat the hard disk, which is a pain in the neck since I’ve spent about 12 hours on it so far! It’s Sunday today, so we went to the obligatory barbeque. Horst and Karen from “Flow” turned up today – it’s starting to feel like home!