Tag Archives: St. Vincent

Ryan, Paulette, John, Randy, Theresa & Ronan in St. Lucia (Jan. 2018)

As the famous New York Yankee catcher, Yoggi Berra used to say, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it” – by Randy

As we have communicated to you before, the cruising community is different than that which our land based neighbors are accustomed to. We are, by definition, a group of transients with different itineraries, capabilities and goals. We have been cruising in the Caribbean for over 3 years now and we have crossed and recrossed paths with dozens of cruising families that we have enjoyed sharing our cruising dream with. Having passing acquaintances with other families is just part of the lifestyle. That said, we have developed some unique and close bonds with a select few. One of the special cruising families that we have shared a particularly close friendship with is John and Paulette Lee of M/V Seamantha, a Kadey Krogen 58′ trawler.

Paulette & John on the bridge of M/V Seamantha

Paulette & John on the bridge of M/V Seamantha

Tobago Cays (June 2016)

Petite St. Vincent  (June 2016)

Patton

Patton

We first met John and Paulette in the British Virgin Islands 3 years ago during our initial trip south through the Caribbean. When we arrived to spend our first hurricane season in Grenada, we ended up with a slip right next to Seamantha in the Port Louis Marina. John and Paulette spoiled our Cocker Spaniel, “Patton” with fresh bowls of his favorite vegetable, cauliflower, on the aft deck of Seamantha. They have watched our boys, Ryan and Ronan grow from little boys into capable young men. Throughout our trip, we have shared countless wonderful experiences with our cruising buddies. As the saying goes, friends are the family that you get to choose and John and Paulette have certainly become a big part of our family.

M/V Seamantha arriving in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

M/V Seamantha arriving in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

After watching the devastation and subsequent recovery of the Caribbean after one of the worst hurricane seasons on record, we have decided it is the appropriate time to turn the Pilots’ Discretion north and head back towards the United States. We are actually looking forward to retracing our route through the Caribbean and points north. It will be an opportunity to revisit some of our favorite spots. With our decision to turn north we have arrived at another one of those intersections in the life of a cruiser. Our friends on M/V Seamantha are departing St. Lucia this week to head south and so it is that we have arrived at Yoggi’s infamous fork in the road. Pilots’ Discretion and Seamantha will be taking divergent paths which in many ways is sad. We will not be saying goodbye, but rather, we will say “until we see you again.” So, as you depart Seamantha, we wish you fair winds and following seas.

Ryan, Paulette, John, Randy, Theresa & Ronan in St. Lucia (Jan. 2018)

Ryan, Paulette, John, Randy, Theresa & Ronan in St. Lucia (Jan. 2018)

Season Two: Caribbean Cruising, Underway Again – by Randy

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.

AIS screenshot showing Pilot's Discretion departing Grenada

AIS screenshot showing Pilot’s Discretion departing Grenada

 

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.

Sena SPH10 Bluetooth wireless headset

Sena SPH10 Bluetooth wireless headset

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.

 

Lazy Turtle, Tyrell Bay, Carriacou

Lazy Turtle, Tyrell Bay, Carriacou

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.

imageDay 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.

Port Louis, St. Georges, Grenada

St. Vincent, The Grenadines & Grenada – by Randy

For the past nine months, our family has been cruising south, through  the Caribbean including to and through the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spanish Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St. Martin/St. Maarten, St. Bart, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Alas we have arrived in our summer home, Port Louis Marina, St. George’s Harbor in Grenada!

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

Charleston Bay, Canouan, Grenadines

Charleston Bay, Canouan, Grenadines

After departing the serene Piton anchorage in St. Lucia we set a course towards St. Vincent & The Grenadines. Upon arrival, we opted to pick up a mooring ball in Charleston Bay in Canouan, the Grenadines. The bay, formerly home to a Moorings base that has apparently been closed down, was virtually empty the day we arrived. With only one other cruising boat in the harbor we moored within 30 yards of the beach  just off the Tamarind Resort Hotel and enjoyed a pleasant evening ashore. During our brief period ashore, we found the locals to all be pleasant and helpful. We discovered a charming beachfront restaurant with tables set in the sand from which we enjoyed our dinner while watching the sunset over Charleston Bay (the name of the restaurant was the Coconut Bar and Grill and the owner’s name was Ezera. Ezera and his beach dog “beachboy” made sure that everyone including our Cocker Spaniel, Patton were well taken care of).  From St. Vincent southward to Grenada there are literally dozens of small to medium sized islands, each with it’s own distinct personality and allure. Unfortunately, we have arrived too late in the season and must press on to Grenada but to be sure, we will be exploring as many of them as we can when we make our return trip northward.

GRENADA

Cruising into Grenada

Cruising into Grenada

With the “hurricane season” upon us, our boat insurance requires us to position the boat south of 12o30”   north of the equator. As such, we departed Canouan and continued our journey south towards our summer home marina in Grenada. Since our course took us in close proximity to “Kick ’em Jenny,” an active under water volcano, prior to departing Canouan we obtained an Eastern Caribbean volcanic activity update at: http://www.uwiseismic.com/.  Kick ’em Jenny has a reputation of kicking up nasty seas and she did not disappoint on the day we cruised  by. Despite staying well clear of the 1.5 km safety exclusion zone, there was a noticeable shift in seas, which continued until we got into the lee of Grenada. The island of  Grenada has all along been our end of the Caribbean chain destination and so we had yet another surreal moment as we cruised into the sheltered lagoon at Port Louis Marina, Grenada in our own boat.

Port Louis, St. Georges, Grenada

Port Louis, St. Georges, Grenada

Once settled into the marina, we set out to explore new our new summer home base. Since we will be here for several months, we will have ample time to explore Grenada at a leisurely pace.

Already we have discovered a local hiking/running club which organizes weekly hikes in different locations around the island.

The boys have completed their homeschooling for the year and we are looking forward to exploring all that Grenada and the surrounding islands have to offer this summer.