Our time in Union Island got rather bizarre prior to our departure. When we had arrived, there were a few boats around, mostly catamarans. So after several hours on Happy Island when we were approached by a dinghy with two fellows from Norway in the dark, there was not a great feeling of comfort. The men frantically explained that their 55 foot yacht had been stolen from our mooring. They wondered had we seen anything. We had not and quite honestly did not really like being approached at night.
The story got more bizarre, with the dinghy coming back in the morning saying they were anchored (not moored) by us and that their boat went missing mid day, after only leaving it for a few hours. We explained that we had gotten to the mooring approximately 2:30 and we not only didn’t see anything in the harbor but we also decidedly saw no monohull headed north prior to our arrival. The man from Norway said he had left his boat at 1:20 and was only gone a few hours. The odd thing is that he approached our boat so late at night when we were in the vicinity since 2:40 and we did not see them prior (looking for their boat). They also had been kite surfing in that same harbor much of the afternoon and failed to notice their missing boat. In the end they found the boat north of Grenada; the details were rather contradicting and on the cruisers forum, there seemed to be an implication that we, Madame Geneva, saw something that we did not.
Not all on Union Island was uncomfortable or bad. We had a really nice walk about town (admittedly I took my laptop and our passports and kept them on us just in case our vessel went missing), searching for a water filter that they did not have. We enjoyed a lovely lunch. We explored a nearby island and found ourselves back at Happy Island.
The guys on Happy Island are quite nice, informative and friendly. We also met a very nice couple out of Boston who were on an instructional sail out of Grenada where they were honing their skills on a charterboat. Clearly their captain was doing a good job as we had spotted them approaching the anchorage. After having witnessed a morning debacle that included an owner-driven vessel after dismissing help from the very man that ended up helping them (then getting his wooden dinghy backed over by the owner), drop and lose all of their anchor chain and the various and painfully comical resolutions to this, Justin had commented that the charter boat was probably going to have a perfect anchor. And sure enough, they did.
We cleared out of Union Island on Thursday to head down to Grenada, anticipating Aunt Kelly Baldwin’s arrival on Saturday. We had the main and the jib up within minutes of dropping the mooring and executed the most stunning departure yet. We sailed south moving between nine and ten knots. It was simply spectacular and all did great.
We pulled into St. George to stay at a marina so we could set about the task of cleaning Madame Geneva and doing the vast amount of laundry that was stored in the utility closet. The laundry literally needed every minute until we left the docks on Sunday morning!
Our first night in St. George, Justin met Gene a.k.a. Porkchops and Dolly. A most interesting couple, they have been cruising on their bright blue trawler for over 30 years. Their stories brought about a hilarity and absurdity that only their charm and willingness for adventure made endearing. One such story had them unknowingly at the Charleston docks just days prior to Hurricane Hugo. When the incredulous man told them to “Get out! “There’s a hurricane coming,” they motored their way up in to North Carolina where they waited out the storm, in the storm. They then proceeded to go back south through McClellanville, which was the hardest hit of all. McClellanville still has boats on the other side of 17 from Hurricane Hugo. They got as far is the Sullivan’s Island Bridge but as that was “broken”, they had to turn back and go out to sea. They were charting using stolen placemats from restaurants along the way. Imagine their surprise when a submarine appeared just ahead of them and blocked their approach to Charlston. They continued on and instead went presumably into the channel at Edisto, a shoaly entrance in the best of times.
They were gracious hosts though, having invited our family to their trawler the next evening. The kids loved the boat (it even had a bathtub!!) and spent hours climbing all over the trawler. We listened to stories and truly enjoyed their company.
AKB arrive mid day on Saturday. True to her word, she packed only a backpack with enormous flippers strapped on it. Quinn was not all together excited to have to share his berth but AKB has been poking and he is now a joyful enough berthmate.
We had a late lunch at the marina restaurant and to Kelly’s inquiry about what exactly was a fish burger, we said “oh that’s what they call anything on a bun.” Weren’t we all surprised when the fish burger turned out to be ground up fish with some sort of breading?! Since Kelly and I were splitting that, after a few bites, I said, “Put it down. Don’t eat anymore of that!” It decidedly was not the finest culinary moment.
We set off from St. George at 10 AM on Sunday morning, heading to Carriacou. An another amazing sail, though this time with 15-25 knots winds, small seas, and one reef, we were close hauled. We moved anywhere from 5 to 9 knots. Again everyone did great! The boys ended up falling asleep and were well rested when we arrived at Tyrell Bay.
We cooked dinner on the boat and took a swim. And the next morning after a large breakfast, I organized everyone for a hike. Unfortunately, this is where I almost killed Aunt Kelly Baldwin. Having left late in the morning, the heat of the day was greatly upon us. It probably didn’t help that we had a few cocktails the night before and likely the amount of traveling can be aggressive to someone who hasn’t been on this boat for the months that we have. After a long walk along the beach, through the streets, and then a dirt and rock encrusted road on our way to the overlook of Tyrell Bay, we appeared to have lost AKB. She was rather pale on the side of the road and we opted to turn back. My typical dissenter, Che, of course made the comment “I really wanted to go to the top.” Oh my contrarian!
AKB recovered quickly once we returned to the shade and got her some necessary water. We grabbed a taxi and took it to town in Hillsborough as Monday turned out to be a holiday. We had a lovely lunch at Callalou at the Mermaid and AKB was back in perfect spirit.
When we return to Madame Geneva, Justin realized that some of the floating buoys behind our vessel were in fact noting a shipwreck. We swam out and snorkeled. Our first shipwreck was quite an amazing thing. The wooden boat was large and part looked like it simply exploded.
This morning we cleared out of Carriacou, with 24 hours to appreciate Petite Martinique which is our current destination (at the time of this post, we have actually changed course and are heading to Union Island because sometimes you can’t get enough of a good thing). Wind on the nose, we are motoring along the 9 mile passage. Kelly spotted a large tuna leaping out of the water chasing flying fish. Quinn is very much looking forward to catching that fish!