Down to SVG

We've spent a couple of days in Martinique, provisioning, and hiking. Cathy and taffit took us to see a pink mangrove swamp, "Mangrose". This happens when high salinity in the water causes algea to bloom with carotene.


Joined by our friends Connor and Robin, we also went on a canyoning hike with taffit, up between the pitons of Martinique.


We want to head back down to the Tobago Cays in St Vincent and the Grenadines. To enter St Vincent, we needed PCR tests, so we planned to leave on Tuesday, after getting COVID-19 tests on Monday morning. However we didn't book these far in advance, and come Monday morning, we found we weren't on the day's testing list, and they couldn't accommodate us. So we extended our car hire for another day, and went into Fort-de-France to get tested at a lab there.

First we need to check into St Vincent, and we plan to do that in Bequia. That's slightly more than a reasonable day's sail from Le Marin, so we planned to leave early, and overnight at Chateaubelair, again.

We weren't able to return the hire car on Monday afternoon, so we had to wait until they opened on Tuesday morning, before we could depart. Then, when tensioning the genoa halyard, it snapped. So, another couple of hours' delay while Connor went up the mast to replace the halyard.


Finally, at about 9:30, we set off South. The wind was light, so we only used the first reef on the main, and the full genoa. It was mostly a broad reach, comfortable downwind sailing.


Clare spotted a pod of whales, we think. Lots of spouting and some fins.

A fair number of yachts out, and there was a report of a missing fishing-boat, so lots of chatter on the radio.

This carried us most of the way down St. Lucia, but as we approached the pitons in the South, we got caught in their wind-shadow and had to motor-sail a bit.

An hour later, we were comfortably sailing through the channel to St. Vincent, as the sun set. We knew the winds at the North West corner of St. Vincent could be quite strong, so we switched down to the staysail. This turned out to be prudent, we were carried at 8+ knots towards Chateaubelair. Finally, we dropped the sails (in still quite strong wind), and motored into the sheltered bay, to drop the hook. There were a few other yachts at anchor in the bay, but thankfully the spot we'd previously anchored in was free, so we knew we were dropping in an area with good holding.

Time on the water: 14:19
Distance covered: 74.3nm
Avg speed: 5.2kts
Max speed: 10.1kts
Crew: Stefano, Clare, John, Connor, Robin


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