SV Khaya Moya
19th Mar 2012 - 9th Jul 2012
Heading South Again
Monday 30 March we were all set to go and clear out of Bequia and the Grenadines. Normally when one clears out of a country, there are no charges for customs or immigration unless one clears out on a weekend or public holiday. So we were pretty gobsmacked when we were charged the exorbitant sum of $63 and $50 by Custome and Immigration respectively. When queried, we were told that the country had just declared a public holiday because the West Indies were playing Australia in a ODI cricket match in St Vincent. So we were charged overtime rates. If we would have known beforehand, we would have stayed an extra day and cleared out on the Tuesday. Seeing that all the forms etc had been completed we decided to write off the $113 and leave. (R340). we heard afterwards that the cricket ended in a tie.
We were going to sail straight through to Grenada but when we were passing Carriacou we noticed that our American friends we met in Bequia, Mike and Mandy from the boat Parrot Tales, were anchored in Hillsborough Carriacou so we decided to call in and spend the night there and the following morning sail down to Grenada with them in company. Had supper with them on their boat and left the following morning. An amazing sail and we were very surprised the way Khaya Moya performed against Parrot Tales, a Hirsch 45. They actually battled to keep up and eventually deployed their spinnaker and managed to draw away.
Once in Grenada, we did a bit of provisioning and obtained diesel and water and cooking gas. Fiona, Mark and Kieran Whitworth from SimonsTown on Avatar arrived from South Africa and we met up at the Grenada Yacht Club to share stories. Mark had to get back to the oil rigs in Nigeria where he is a commercial diver so we will meet up again when he returns. So after a week in Grenada we headed back up to Carriacou in bumpy and windy conditions.
Back in Carriacou we have found a new venue for Saturday liming. A small pub back from the promenade run by a large lady called Miss Lucky. A real darling and she does chicken and chips or ribs and chips for only $12 and drinks are also very reasonable. It is a popular place where the locals and yachties gather for good company.
We only stayed a few days in Carriacou and on 3 April we headed back down to Grenada where we had heard a lot of old acquaintences had gathered. at Hog Island, Grenada. We went first of all to Secret Harbour and then to Hog Island where we have spent many happy days there in the past. This is where the renown Rogers Beach Bar is where the cruisers gather from all around the southern Grenada anchorages. The Rum Squalls come through here pretty regularly. We met a Norwegian who has a Morgan same as Khaya Moya and he recognised her as Sea Dream and gave us some history on the boat that he knew. During Hurricane Ivan in 2004 she was washed onto the rocks in Mount Hartman Bay (next door bay to Hog Island) but was salvaged and her damaged rudder repaired. Another boat that washed onto the rocks with her is still on the rocks with no hope of salvage. Another interesting part was that her first owner, a Japanese POW, was cruising along the coast and his wife was washed overboard and he could not get her back on board. He threw her a life jacket and sailed to the nearest port, got some assistance, sailed back to the vicinity where the incident happened and actually found her again and managed to save her.
It was now time to head up the island chain to Vieux Fort in St Lucia where Shirley was to fly out to Canada. So we bid all our friends adieu on 24 April and headed around to St Georges to get Fuel and water and began the passage up to St Lucia, approx 150 miles. We had five days to get there and in hind sight we should have left earlier. We had terrible weather all the way up with wind almost on the nose and very uncomfortable seas. We made two overnight stops. the first in Chatham Bay, Union Island and then in Bequia. We could not wait for favourable weather as time was against us now for the first time in all our cruising. It is not good to have to sail with time constraints. We had 20 to 30 knots of wind all the way and bumpy seas and current. One consolation was a huge pod of dolphins surfing alongside the boat for a long time between St Vincent and St Lucia.
We arrived in Vieux Fort on 27th and Shirl was due to fly out on 29th. Close call. Nice to be back in Vieux Fort where we had been two years ago on our way up to Bermuda and the States. Really nice place to be while Shirl is away. 29th April she took off from the Herranowra International Airport. Whilst she was gone John had to now cook for himself etc etc. Met some really friendly cruisers and locals. The intention was to do quite a bit of maintenance work on the deck but due to the large amount of rain that we had during the three weeks that she was gone, little work was done. John met a local couple that had a catamaran in the anchorage and a villa up in the hills. Ken and Diane Charles are ex Canadian Military and when Shirl returned we were invited up to the villa for breakfast and a walk through the banana plantations and a visit to the Bamboo Springs water plant where a family has a business bottling drinking water. Watched the whole process, Very interesting.
28th May and it was time to head back down to the Grenada area as Hurricane season was almost upon us. (June to November) So we left Vieux Fort and set course to sail down the windward side of St Vincent. where the wind and current is more consistant. Ten miles out and the trolling line twanged tight. What a magnificent sight to see a huge bull dorado take the lure and leap up into the air. We were on and the adrenalin was flowing. Took a good half hour to bring the line in behind the boat. It was a monster. The gaff broke while trying to gaff the fish but a well aimed shot of rum in the gills did the trick and it subdued the fish instantly. Got him on deck and got the scale out. 15 Kgs or 33 pounds. Stunning. Biggest fish John has ever caught. Managed to get nine meals out of it plus a fish braai with friends when we got back to Carriacou.
We had to stop off in Bequia for a couple of days because just after catching the fish, the prop shaft came adrift from the coupling. We managed to get to Bequia where repairs were undertaken and the shaft sorted out. The key had come out the keyway and the shaft was free wheeling. Met some more good friends from South Africa, Rod and Mary on Sheer Tenacity and had a good evening with them.
We had a nasty trip down to Carriacou with one huge storm that lasted three hours with driving rain and howling wind and about 50 feet visibility. It passed just as we were sailing past Union Island and we carried on through to Tyrrel Bay Carriacou where we were very happy to get the anchor set and just relax.
During the first two weeks in June, we spent a lot of time with two SA cats that had come up from Hog Island on our recomendations and an Australian cat. It was Avatar with Mark and Fiona, Shiloh with John and Holli and Chaotic Harmony with Ian and Jo and Gill and Keeley from Oz. Spent many an evening on the beach or on a boat enduring Rum Squall after Rum Squall. Then in Mid June Alley Cat with Alan and Marita and Exta Sea with Mike and Muffy (all Saffirs) arrived. The parties were really on.
On 21 June 2012 we got the good news that Bruno and Debbie had been rescued from the pirates in Somalia after 20 months in captivity. Another good reason to celebrate some more so we arranged a pot luck on the beach and a good time was had by all. Seven boats and seventeen people.
These boats all went back to Grenada after visiting Sandy Island and Tobago Cays. Then Olive with Ron and Jeanne arrived. Enough already. The liver needs a break. They stayed awhile and returned to Grenada. We can now recover in peace and solitude. But all in all it has been a good three months and now we start getting prepared for the hurricane season by keeping close watch on the weather reports etc.
John has been racing on weekends preparing for the Carriacou Regatta festival at the end of July. The last race, Saga, a boat that John Raced on last regatta ran onto the rocks off Frigate Island but with help from Bloody Mary and Free Spirit (the boat John was on) managed to pull her off under sail. Quite a feat and Tim was really lucky that his boat was salvaged and not too seriously damaged. He even managed to complete the race.
That is all for now and will try and post more regularly.
We love and miss all you people back home and abrord. Take care and remember the offer to come and visit. Free accommodation. You just have to get here.
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