Finally! Boat stuff complete, good byes said (or as we like to say, “until we see you again”), we are underway for “Season 2” of our cruising adventure.
We got underway from Port Luis Marina about 10 am this past Thursday. It was a picture perfect morning when we pulled out of St. Georges Harbor past the mega yacht docks and headed north, first destination Tyrell Bay, Carriacou.
We have added a few new toys since we were last underway including a set of wireless headsets that allow the crew to communicate directly with the Captain at the helm. We have found the improved crew communication to be quite helpful while we are departing or arriving at a slip or anchoring in a harbor.
That may seem like a small item to those that do not cruise, but to those of us that have spent any significant time with our better halves aboard a boat, headsets represent an exponential improvement. The headsets eliminate all of the wild gesticulating and colorful language that can sometimes be on display as multiple, inconsistent and hurried commands are issued by the various Admirals as the boat drifts doggedly toward what can only end in an expensive repair at a boat yard.
The first leg of our trip was a short 32 nautical mile run, just enough to see that all of the various boat systems are functioning and also give the crew a chance to renew their sea legs. We cruised up the west coast of Grenada, slid by “Kick-em-Jenny”, just outside the volcanic exclusion zone and entered Tyrell Bay just under four hours after our departure from our summer home of Grenada.
Day 1 behind us, the Pilots’ Discretion safely at anchor in 18′ of water in Tyrell Bay, we loaded up the dinghy and headed to shore for a pizza dinner on the beach at the Lazy Turtle restaurant. After dinner we were all off to bed early so that we could get an early start on our more challenging run to the southern end of St. Vincent.
This time of year in the Caribbean is known for a period of more intense trade winds, appropriately named the “Christmas Winds”. This year the winds have developed almost exactly in time for our Grenada departure. Typical trade winds blow out of the east at 10-15 knots for days on end. This time of year, it is not uncommon to see those trades pick up to the range of 20-25 knots with occasional gusts to 30+ knots. After a few days of that type of wind, the seas can begin to build to a consistent 6-8′ with some days looking at 10′ or greater seas. Those type of weather conditions can take a lot of the fun out of a days cruise as everything and everyone on board is tossed about for hours on end. Although we do not like to venture out in seas predicted to be larger than 6′, the Pilots’ Discretion handles them well.
Day 2 saw us travel north just off the western shore of Union Island, Mayreau, Canouan, Mustique and Bequia before taking up a heading to place us just off Young Island and the South coast of St. Vincent. We travelled just over 50 miles on a very brisk day with sporty conditions at sea. I am happy to report that the entire crew performed flawlessly and no one was spotted hanging over the rail as a result of the rough conditions. We are now moored securely at the Blue Lagoon Marina in St Vincent. The weather forecast is calling for very strong trades through the New Year so we will necessarily modify our plan and remain in St. Vincent until we are once again presented with a suitable weather window to move onto St. Lucia. Christmas on St. Vincent was not on our agenda but we will take advantage of this unexpected opportunity and share our Caribbean Christmas with the locals.