There is that special feeling. I remember it from when we had a small powerboat on Candlewood Lake. I remember it from Solitude, our 30 foot Hunter sailboat in Connecticut. And I remember it from when we left the dock in Mystic, CT on AfterMath a year and a half ago. It is the feeling that comes with the first day out. It is a feeling of freedom. It is one of no longer being bound to the land. It feels slightly insecure, like riding in a car without a seatbelt, but it feels so amazingly good to be released from solid ground. We are back on the water again. After four months in Grenada with only a couple of weeks of dinghy time while we were there, we are back at sea. It is beautiful and warm and wonderful to be here.
Although we planned to leave our dock on Saturday, we found out Friday evening that we had a little bit of an electrical problem that needed attention before we set out. We called our friendly electrician, Michael, who had done some other work for us in Grenada and he came by Saturday morning. It turned out to be merely a flipped circuit breaker that we didn’t even know existed, so, we just enjoyed the day and changed the plan to leave until Sunday morning.
Following Tropical Blend out of Port LouisLeaving St. George’s, Grenada.The beauty of nature is amazing.Goodbye to the island of Grenada.\Sunset at Sandy Island
Just as we left the tip of Grenada this cloud popped up. When Becky and Judd were with us on the island we had a great time describing what we saw in the clouds. I snapped this picture with my phone and immediately sent it to them with the caption of “The Pillsbury Dough Boy Waving his Final Goodbye to us from Grenada”.Sunset at Sandy IslandKirby loves his dinghy rides. The beautiful water around Carriacou.CarriacouA view of Sandy Island off the coast of Carriacou. Can you find AfterMath?Symbiosis at its mooring.Left to right, Symbiosis, AfterMath, John on Tangent, and Tropical BlendDebbie and Noi tending the fire.Scott walking the beach at Sandy IslandThe beautiful beach at Sandy Island. And yes, that guy in the distance is clothes free. Kirby got to run this beach and meet up with him. Noi was walking with Kirby and had to keep her eyes averted.Debbie and Larry enjoying our potluck dinner.
Sunday was a gorgeous day, with light winds and calm seas. By 8:30 AM the staff of Port Louis Marina was at our boat and at Tropical Blend with our friends Debbie and Larry who were traveling with us. We were untied in short order so we left St. George’s for the last time, finding our friends Noi and Scott on Symbiosis, who had made their way from their anchorage to join us, nearby. The three boats took the short trip to Sandy Island, which is a spit of sand off the island of Carriacou, part of the country of Grenada. We stayed two nights at Sandy Island and while we were there we took the dinghy for a ride, swam, snorkeled, and even had a potluck dinner on shore with a lovely fire constructed and tended by Noi. Unfortunately, my underwater camera stopped working, so the snorkeling was not documented. I will be sending it back to Olympus, but I’m pretty sad that there will be no underwater images until I can get it back.
I looked at this beautiful view while John checked us into St. Vincent.Tropical Blend in Union Island meeting up with a boat boy.Another sunset. This one at Union Island.And after the sun set, for just a little while before it set too, we were treated to this gorgeous sliver of a moon.
Tuesday found us all on another short hop to Union Island, which is part of St. Vincent. After clearing Immigration and Customs we all dropped our anchors for the night. It was a peaceful anchorage and the water was clear and calm; perfect for an afternoon in the water on the pool float I brought from Bradenton, FL.
Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau
Wednesday we all left and made our way to Mayreau which is also in St. Vincent. The anchorage there, Salt Whistle Bay, is a funny little one; full of boats, shacks on land that offer full meals and music, and lots and lots of boat boys. Boat boys can be annoying to some cruisers as they approach incoming boats before they are even in the bay, wanting to help with anchoring or picking up mooring balls, or selling fish or lobster, or even just getting rid of the ship’s trash. For me, however, I welcome the sight of those colorful little boats coming towards us when we are picking up a mooring. AfterMath’s bow stands high off the water line and my job when mooring is to reach down with a boat hook, pick up the line with a loop hanging on the mooring, and run two lines through the loop, cleating a line to each side of the bow. However, most of the moorings in the Caribbean have no hanging lines, or at least very short ones that do not reach my position on the bow. When the boat boys show up I only need to hand them each bow line separately, and take the ropes back aboard to be cleated. The few dollars we have to give as tips makes the service invaluable to me and I smile when I see those boat boys approaching.
In Mayreau we experienced the most rain we have had on our whole trip. All six of us hopped in dinghies and went to shore for lunch. We no sooner made it to the dinghy dock, which was treacherous with its loose boards that lined it, when the rain began pouring down. The service was very slow at the shack we picked, but we were in no hurry to get back on our dinghies and we had a very enjoyable afternoon watching the rain, enjoying our lunches and keeping each other company for a few hours. Finally the rain let up and, full of delicious food, we climbed back into the dinghies and back to our boats for a restful afternoon and evening.
The Tobago Cays
Sunset over Bequai. I promise, this is the last sunset for a while. It’s just so hard to stop!
Thursday came and we all took the very short trip from Mayreau to the Tobago Cays. Here we snorkeled looking for the turtles that live there, but they, unfortunately, seemed to be missing that day. We did see a huge manta ray, lots of puffer fish, too many jellyfish for my liking, and one lionfish. Back on AfterMath, John checked the weather one more time and saw that Saturday would be windy and wavy, not a good combination for me or for Kirby who doesn’t appreciate rough seas any more than I do. Because of the predictions, we decided to continue on to Bequai before the rough seas set in while the others decided to spend a couple more nights at the Tobago Cays. We would have loved to spend longer there, but the reward for being in Bequai on Thursday was that we could make it back to my favorite spot in the islands, Marigot Bay in St. Lucia on Friday. Not much makes me happier than the Capella Resort in Marigot Bay!
Those beautiful Pitons in St. Lucia again.I just love the way the rock swirls around the Piton.This is the volcano we visited last May by land. You can see the smoke rising as it does constantly.A beautiful resort on St. LuciaHomes nestled on the hillside.The little beach at the entrance of Marigot BayA short dinghy ride back into the Caribbean Sea brought us here. The homes aren’t much, but the view is phenomenal.
The view from our dock of Capella Resort and Marina. I love this place!AfterMath at rest for a few days.
We left early on Friday morning and traveled 60 miles to Capella Marina where everyone seemed to remember us from our May visit. They even inquired about Kirby and Jake and we were sad to have to tell them that only Kirby was with us now. Nevertheless, I can happily say that nothing has changed here. The service is impeccable; everyone from the dockhands, to the office staff to the pool staff greets us as if we are their long lost friends. And, of course, I have been happy to be back in the beautiful pools the resort has to offer. We will meet up with our friends again on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, but in the meantime, we will enjoy this beautiful resort where, thankfully, the marina is the eye candy for the hotel. While we pay only $48 a night for our dock, the rooms in the hotel generally run from $650 to $2500 a night during this season and, happily, we get all the same resort privileges.
And so our journey continues. What an experience it has been so far, and how wonderful it continues to be. Now we will stop at islands we have visited before and will spend more time at those we previously just skimmed. We will go to new places that were not on the way during our southward passage but will be on the northward one. All along the way we are finding boats that are now familiar to us from our time in Grenada and it all feels like one big happy family on the water and at the anchorages. It’s hard to believe that we are actually living this life. We do not take this privilege lightly. We continue to live our dream and to wish the same for all of you, whatever your dream may be. And to those of us on the water, we wish you fair winds and calm seas and ask you to be on the lookout for AfterMath as you travel along. We will be waving at you and hoping to get time to visit again.
Here is where we are today: