So firstly, now that Mum has her own account, she’ll be using hers for her posts and I (Jaye) will be using mine to put some posts up to.
“It’ll be about 15-20knts of wind coming from the East so it’ll be a nice comfortable sail and should only take about a day and a half. We’ll be fine!”
These were our words to the various friends and family we facebooked and e-mailed from our boat as we tapped into the Rasta Café’s internet using our Badboy (we’ll explain what it does in a post soon enough!) the night before we left. Little did we know how wrong these words would be.
So, Mum and Dad woke up at four the next morning, raised anchor and headed for Bequia. We motored for a few hours due to a complete lack of wind and only hoisted our sails once we were out of Nevis’ windshadow. Once we got the predicted 15-20knts, we were flying along at about 8-9knts. So fast that our chartplotter was telling us that we’d arrive a good 5 hours early! We were all so excited and were getting into the groove of things. I had my fishing line out hoping for a bite while Xav settled down and watched a movie.
However, our joy was shortlived.
Several hours in, we suddenly lost all our speed as the wind decided it would hide itself for a while. We were all horrified to see our chartplotter steadily delaying our arrival in Bequia from a day and a half all the way to three days and our slow speed made the boat’s motion very unpleasant. Dad’s voice filtered through the sound of the water lapping against our hulls, “right furl the headsail, we’re motorsailing!” We motor sailed for a few hours before the wind decided to show itself again, at which point we unfurled the headsail and set off at a steady pace, once again. Except, now we were going fast, too fast. So we put in a second reef and pushed on. “The wind seems to be shifting a bit. It’s coming more on the nose and it’s getting really strong!” yelled Dad over the roar of the wind. Great, the last thing we need is for the wind, along with the swell, to be hitting us anymore forward than it is or we’ll be zigzagging our way to Bequia in a very uncomfortable and slow journey. Sure enough, the wind swings more forward and picks up – a lot! We’re talking gusts of 35knts which is bordering on gale force winds. Our chartplotter is telling us we’ll be arriving in about 3 days time and Xav, Kir and I are lying down because we all feel sick. Just incase strong winds and big seas weren’t enough, the dark descended upon us. Now, we’re talking really dark! We could see about ten stars all up, not an inch of land and to add to the drama, there was no moon. Despite all this, we decided to push on.
We decided on three hour watches and I had the first watch starting at 9pm. All went well until about 1-2am, during Mum’s watch, at which point we were hit by a lot of rain and Mum and Dad (who Mum had woken during her panic) could see nothing at all. We had rain driven at 25knts battering us and the occasional wave coming over the boat, sending spray everywhere. At about 4am, we finally admitted defeat and decided to head to Martinique. This meant we had to motor straight into the wind and the swell, which, sent spray over us quite frequently. A few hours of that and we finally arrived in the lee (the side protected from the wind by the land) of Martinique which meant no wind and flat seas – a welcome change! We motored along for a few hours enjoying the scenery and resting up before we set sail again. We had just trimmed the sails perfectly and we were cruising along at a comfy 7-8knts when suddenly we heard the screeching of line being taken off our reel. Dad wrote a great facebook post about it which we posted a few days ago, so if you haven’t read it, I suggest you take a look here. Anyway, we managed to drop the sails, reel the fish in and eventually gaff it and within ten minutes we had a nice sized wahoo onboard! I was relieved that I didn’t have to live up to my promise of selling the rod if I didn’t catch something and everyone was excited to be having fresh fish for the next few nights.
After our slight ordeal with the fish, we started sailing again and a few hours later arrived at Anse d’Arlet which is a lovely little anchorage in Martinique. We stayed there for two nights and got our much needed rest and we managed to clean the boat up a little which was nice. We checked with a local fisherman to make sure that wahoo don’t have ciguatera (a toxin found in fish that will get you very sick and can be fatal in some cases) in that area before Dad and I filleted the fish.
After our two days were up, we set sail for St. Vincent, which was a nice pleasant sail, and we arrived in Wallilabou which is actually one of the main shooting locations for some of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. We were greeted by a boat boy who offered to take our mooring line to the buoy for us and once we were settled, about eight blokes came out on all sorts of make shift boats ranging from old dinghies and wooden boats to old windsurfers with a brick for a seat. They swarmed our boat offering to sell us jewelry, fruit, fish and vegetables. We had heard stories of some of the boat boys getting aggressive with people so we bought a bit from each of them, chatted with them and got to know them and it turns out they’re all really friendly and the produce they sell is amazingly good and so cheap! Can’t believe everything you’re told!
Because this is where they shot Pirates of the Caribbean, the tiny little town still has the props and buildings that they built for the shoot and the local restaurant even has a photo board with autographs from the actors and crew.
It really is a special place. The people are lovely, the scenery is amazing and it is so quite that you would never know that they shot massive Hollywood films right here!
Anyway, it’s been a long post but we had so much to catch up on! Unfortunately we don’t have good enough internet to upload all of the photos so once we get some decent internet (seems like we’re saying that all the time!) we’ll post the remaining photos up. We’re not sure what our plans are from here but we’re fine with it because now that we’re in St. Vincent, all of our passages will be no longer than a few hours (for real this time!) and we can spend as long as we want, wherever we want, so relaxing and enjoying ourselves is at the top of the priority list at the moment. And as the title says, our plan is to have no plan and that’s how we like it!