Piet and Jenni’s visit on Vagabund
2nd March to 9th March 2014
We waited for Piet en Jenni to arrive in Prickly Bay in Grenada.
Shade Man came to pick us up at 19h30 in his taxi. After a delightful few hours of catching up we settled back in just before midnight for their first night on the water. (The excuse to stay awake as long as possible was to minimize Jet Lag. We were hungry for news from South Africa and this was the best opportunity to catch up). The Monday morning was taken slow but we managed to kayak around the bay while our visitors woke up. Zack went up the mast to tension the spreaders before we left for Carriacou.
A light breeze between 12 to 15 knots blowing close to the bow and was channeled over the surface of the sails. Together with one motor Vagabund was pushing along a choppy sea to ensure the minimum 6,5 knots for trawling lures.
Some birds diving distracted us from our set course and we ended up chasing birds and casting lures for some time before setting course again to Carriacou.
Shortly before sunset we dropped anchor in Tyrrel Bay and only managed to settle in for the evening after having a few chases from some kingfish on the fly. The next day we explored the island.
We visited Hillsborough using a local bus to watch the carnaval.
After a lunch at a local restaurant we roamed the streets waiting for the carnaval to start. Piet and Jenni tried the local specialty of Lambi fritters.
At the tourist information center we found some Afrikaans “Welkom” on a bench. How special!!!!
The scheduled start was ignored by the participants as apparently it was still to hot. On enquiry on when the carnival will start the most accurate response was “soon”. Island time had a strong resemblance for some activities back home. It feels like back home where Caribbean time is like Africa time.
We cleared customs and immigration from Grenada and set sail for Union Island that is in the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVAG).
After clearing in at the Airport of Union Island we head further North for a few miles to the island of Mayreau. Saline Bay is well protected from the prevailing trade winds and sea. Piet still managed to get a few chases from kingfish and managed to catch one on his fly rod before sunset.
The morning we decided to explore the island on foot.
On the beach we met a cute little island boy that just wanted to make friends.
Walking up the steep hills of Station Hill is very strenuous. Halfway we stopped for ice cream.
The restaurants along the road were beautifully decorated and everyone is keen for doing business. Most of them gave us a personal invitation. They are all geared up for the cruising ships dropping anchor and transporting hundreds of passengers to shore for the day.
At the top of Station Hill we came to the picturesque stone Catholic Church from the 1930's. The views from the back of the church overlooked the Tobago Cays and they were stunning. For miles you could see turquoise water speckled with coral reefs.
Looking down the other side of the hill we managed to catch a glimpse over Salt Whistle Bay.
After having had a good hill climbing exercise we grasped the opportunity once back on Vagabund to cool down in the water. We snorkeled at the Southern rocky edge of the bay. The visibility was not as great due to a lot of turbulence in the water caused by the cold front passing over. Fish life was in abundance and we still managed to have an enjoyable snorkeling experience.
After lunch we moved over to Salt Whistle Bay the next bay just North of Saline Bay. Dazzling beauty, crystal clear water, and a stunning beach with dreamy white sand and coconut trees.
Late afternoon we motor sailed to Tobaco Cays. For some reason nature came together in the Cays and decided to use all the natural resources to produce crystal clear water. We sailed into a breathtaking blue lagoon. Five deserted islands set behind a horseshoe reef in one of the most magnificent settings. The five cays include the following islands: Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Petit Tabac, Jamesby and Baradal.
We anchored between Petit Rameau and Petit Bateau. Rays were swimming underneath Vagabund. Late afternoon was spent on the beach at Petit Bateau.
Next morning we moved Vagabund to a buoy in front of Baradel Island. We had a perfect day with not much wind and clouds. Swimming with the turtles, exploring the coral reefs around the island and exploring the island itself.
We walked up the hill of Baradel where Inguanas still roamed the island.
From the hill the white of the sand seems to enhance the blue of the water. It is like a post card picture just more beautiful. Photoshop cannot enhance anything like this, only God could create a place like this using an abundance of blue.
Fortunately the Tobaco Cays is declared a Wildlife Reserve and Marine Park. We could just enjoy the pristine beauty of the marine park. It is definitely one of the jewels of the Caribbean.
That afternoon we also managed to snorkel on the inside of the horse shoe reef. Frisky parrotfish darted around. Reef fish fed on the floor bed. It was an amazing day to see the various species created for our pleasure to watch.
For sundowners we met up with our New Zealand sailor friends Brian and Sue at the beach of Petit Bateau.
Just before dark we inspected the water edge for stingrays. The stingrays came into the shallows at sunset looking for the spoils of the beach "braai".
Some appear gliding silently out of the deeper water while others settled in the shallow water.
The duration of Piet and Jenny`s visit are short therefore the next morning before breakfast we headed down South again to Union Island to clear out from customs and immigration. Sailing from Union island to Carriacou we decided to sail around Carriacou on the windward side. We stopped at Mopion island. It is a small piece of flat sand with an umbrella in the middle of nowhere. A deserted island surrounded by a reef and clear water.
We hoisted the screecher to utilize the light breeze to a maximum.
At Saline Island we anchored for the night to Piet’s delight.
This created extra fishing time. Late at night he caught a 9 kg King Fish.
Early the next morning we cleared customs and immigration at Tyrrel Bay before setting sails for Grenada. With all the fishing lines out as well as the teasers and applying all the different techniques of attracting the big fish. Zack and Piet each even gave their own version of the billfish-calling dance. Unfortunately we still ended up empty handed for the day. The only conciliation price was a 3kg barracuda.
The week days ran out like sand in an hour glass. It was too short ……..will miss all the laughter and fun exploring the islands together. Special thanks to Piet and Jenni for traveling halfway around the world to come and enjoy Vagabund with us.