Sunday morning we awoke to a beautiful sunny day with strong winds. Thankfully the engine battery remains fully charged and the house batteries are in good order too. We started the engine easily and are now convinced that this problem is, thankfully, behind us although we will obviously monitor it more closely than we had done before!
We went ashore to the Anchorage Hotel to use their internet and caught up with all the weather forecasts for the next few days – we regularly monitor both NOAA and the StormCarib hurricane sites amongst others as we are officially in the season now. Our original plan had been to move out of here on Monday across to the private island of Petit St Vincent as we wanted to go check out the beach (which is public) as well as the tiny desert island of Mopion (which is only 0.5m above sea level). The snorkelling here is supposed to be really good as the islands are surrounded by reefs – but we need flattish seas for this really. Well – we found out that there is a tropical wave coming through on Monday / Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday – so we are going to hang out in Union for a little while longer as this wave will bring big seas, strong winds and lots of rain. But the good news is that once it has passed through the forecast is much better…. Hurrah….
In the afternoon back on board and Charlie comes by with our laundry. We had been persuaded by him to give his service a try, so we had put in five towels and a set of sheets. Big mistake! Not only did he try to rip us off on price – although we stood firm on that and refused to give him extra – it wasn’t even a good job. The sheets had dirt and rust marks from being hung out to dry, and the dye had run in the towels. We had been waiting for this to come back as we had quite a bit more to do. Damn. So, instead, we ended up spending the afternoon with Richard on washing duty, with me rinsing and hanging out. Felt quite jealous of the guys zipping around in front of us on their kite surfers having fun, but chores must be done first! But we did sit and gaze at them a few times as well as enjoying the colours of the water on the reef….
About 5pm we headed over to Happy Island to chew the fat with Jonti. Told him about our laundry experience and his view is that all the boat boys are ‘hustlers’ and even though they have been told to work co-operatively with each other and fix prices, they do not understand that people will not return if they have a bad experience. But as Clifton is a port of entry / exit into St Vincent and the Grenadines many people don’t actually have a choice about coming here. Jonti also thought that the increased crime rate of late was because it was coming up to carnival time and people were desperate to go to St Vincent but didn’t have the cash. Interesting take on the current situation from an educated local entrepreneur.
Later on we were joined by Ann and Bill who are cruising on their trawler and were amazed to see that they had a depth gauge on their splendid dinghy! Had a really nice chat with them, watched the sun go down, and returned back on board for a quiet night.
Monday morning we awoke to the start of the weather – no rain yet but significant wind and large seas. A skiff came by and a guy from Sail Grenadines told us that the yacht behind us had been stolen over the weekend! Unfortunately all we could tell him was that it had not been there on Sunday – but couldn’t help. Felt terrible on two fronts – for the owners of the vessel and also for the people who had been booked to come on a sailing holiday. Shaking off the bad news – and making sure Morphie was securely tied and locked up with no means of starting her engine – we went ashore to do some provisioning for when we leave.
Clifton has three small supermarkets and not one had everything we wanted – so had to visit all of them and still came back without basic things like washing-up liquid! Whilst shopping, we bumped into Shauna from Bollheads who was actually with Tony when he got robbed and we were really shocked to hear that it was actually two masked men with a gun and he had no option but to hand over his day’s takings. She also told us that a boat had been broken into and raided over there too – this is starting to feel like bandit country! Wandered around town for a while, enjoyed seeing the sharks in the shark pool, and headed back on board.
In the evening we went ashore – making sure Morphie was alarmed as well as locked. We had dinner at the Anchorage Hotel with Bill and Ann and had a really nice time. As we were enjoying after-dinner drinks the heavens opened and we had a thunderstorm. Sat it out and, when the rain had eased a bit, we headed back on board and were pretty soggy by the time we had lifted dink back on her davits.
During the night the wind howled and the rain was torrential – so much so that we didn’t get out of bed until almost 10.00 am today (Tuesday). We are having a lazy time onboard and are planning to go ashore to get latest internet updates. When we get the latest weather info – and it has been pretty accurate up to now – we’ll plan for the next few days. We are actually ahead of schedule as we have friends joining us in Grenada at the end of June and, if we wanted to, we could get there in a day or two as it is only 40 miles as the crow flies. However, we really want to continue our very slow meander down there so that we can check all the best places to take them when they come onboard for a sailing holiday with us. So will keep you posted.
Bye for now