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Update:     25 January, 2001 
Location: Prickly Bay, Grenada
Position: 11° 59' N, 61° 45' W

We are back again at Prickly Bay, having had our first taste of the cruising life in the Caribbean. What do we think of it so far? WONDERFUL!

After a very sociable and eventful Christmas and New Year at Hog Island, Grenada,  we headed north to the Grenadan island of Carriacou and anchored in charming Tyrrel Bay, where Max joined us for a two week vacation. From there we sailed with him to the turquoise and azure seas and abundant coral reefs of the Grenadines. All too soon  it was time to head back south west again, to Grenada, to explore some of the island before sending Max back to chilly England. We think he got something of a taste for this life too.....

Left: relaxing in the Tobago Cays

On 4th January we travelled north in company with Island Moon, and with the wind being favourably south of east (prevailing tradewinds are north-east), we had a most wonderful sail north-east along the leeward coast of Grenada and past the outlying rocks and islands to Carriacou. There we met up again with friends on A Bientot and Nanamuk. 

We visited the main town, Hillsborough, which is very much an unspoilt West Indian place, with a good number of rum shops and a small, lively market. Some great wine and spirit bargains to be had in Ade's Dream Supermarket, good bread from Gramma's and lovely lunch overlooking the bay at the Calaloo by the Sea restaurant.

We had originally planned to return to Grenada to meet Max off the plane, but were advised to stay in place and put him on the ferry instead. This saved him an 8 hour beat to windward, and was a much more relaxing start to his holiday.

Right: Island Moon sailing past Kick Em Jenny (Diamond Rock) to the north of Grenada, on our way to Carriacou


Arriving at Tyrrel Bay in the late afternoon, we were astonished to see huge pelicans diving into the water right alongside the anchored yachts. Along with the Magnificent Frigate birds and Boobies, they are evidence of the abundant fish life around these islands.

Here we saw our first green flash sunset! This phenomenon occurs as the last of the sun sinks below the horizon, and briefly turns a brilliant green. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes in the company of others I would still disbelieve it.... and this was witnessed before the rum punches, honestly....

We had a wonderful evening at the Poivre et Sel restaurant (after happy hour at the Sea Blast internet cafe), and great lunches at the delightful Carriacou Yacht Club.

A new venture in the bay is the Angel's Rest floating bar, a neat innovation for yachties who want to go out for a drink but don't want to be too far from their boat. Many other services are available without even leaving your boat, as the 'boat boys', such as Warrior and Simon, will come round to offer you lobsters, limes, wines and beers and other services

For a small place, Carriacou seems to have everything, but they have still not fully recovered from the damage done in 1999 by Hurricane Lenny, which washed away roads, jetties, beachside bars and the underpinnings of some of the houses in Hillsborough.

Below: scenes in Hillsborough, Carriacou (yes the boat visible through the doorway is Oasis)
At Hillsborough we conducted the formalities of clearing out of the Grenadines and then sailed across the Martinique Channel to Clifton, Union Island, where we cleared in to the Grenadines. 
Now we are starting to learn about piloting through coral reef strewn waters, and we had to wait for a break in the weather (yes it was cloudy and raining) so that we had good overhead lighting for our sail around the coral islets of Punaise and Mopion to Petit St Vincent. This private resort island, surrounded by white sand beaches is an idyllic location and the calm anchorage has views of all the nearby islands.
Right: view of Petit St Vincent from the Palm Beach Restaurant on Petit Martinique
Highlights of our stay here were snorkelling around Mopion and Veronica's birthday lunch at the Palm Beach Restaurant on Petite Martinique. This island is actually part of Grenada, but is so close to PSV that the restaurant sent a launch over to collect us. After lunch we went for a stroll, picked up some bargains (bottles) at the local supermarket and saw some local boatbuilders in action.
Our next destination was the Tobago Cays, famed for their fabulous snorkelling, and they did not disappoint. The colours of the waters here are indescribably beautiful, and although the anchorage was crowded with sailing vessels of all shapes and sizes, it somehow still has the feeling of a tropical hideaway. Without a doubt, we will go back.

The snorkelling was almost as good as scuba diving, with a wonderful range and variety of fish, corals and sponges, all within a few feet of the surface. The whole area is a marine park, with mooring buoys for dinghies, to avoid any damage to the reefs.The surrounding islands are uninhabited, and the anchorage is open to the Atlantic tradewinds but the waters are protected by the surrounding horseshoe reef.

Fabulous. A real tropical paradise

Left: The fabulous colours of the Grenadines

Back once again on lovely Grenada, we arranged with Selwyn Maxwell for an island tour, which included a short walk in the rain forest, a tour of the old Dougaldstone spice estate, a rum distillery, a waterfall, lunch at a typical local restaurant in Gouyave and a tasting at Pappy's wine shop. See the photos to give you a flavour of the island on the next page...

Right: Hog Island Christmas lunch. An excellent feast and an ace location!

Below Left: Midshipman Max at the helm on passage 
Below Right: Our guest sooned seemed to get the hang of Island Time!
Below: Max "Lambi" Whitby reads Patrick O'Brian to get into the swing of life at sea

Below Left: Sunset at Tyrrel Bay 
Below Right:  Sunset at Tobago Cays
Below Centre: Sunset at Petit St Vincent

Above Left: We said we would drink a toast to you at Christmas. Cheers! 
AboveRight: Smoked salmon & scrambled eggs for breakfast on Dec 25th, as usual
Below: Oasis all dressed up for the holidays
Below Left: Hog Island anchorage, looking toward Clarke's Court Bay
Below Right: our standard form of transport nowadays
Left and Right:  Veronica's Birthday lunch was at the Palm Beach Restaurant on Petite St Martinique    
Below Left: Petite Martinique
Below Centre: the anchorage on Petit St Vincent, with A Bientot in the foreground
Below Right: boatbuilding on PM
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