Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sail from St Lucia to Grenada

sv Honey Ryder in Marigot Bay - pretty girl
Thursday June 5th we departed St Lucia at 9:30 am.  When you look at a big chart, you see that sail from St Lucia to Grenada is somewhat south, southwest.  This should be an awesome point of sail given the trade winds.  However, the winds in the lee of each island can be.....fluky.  We joked the night before that it doesn't matter what the forecast or trade winds, it's always on the nose for us.  So, when the wind shifted around to the west towards the end of St Lucia, all we could do was laugh.  It didn't last long as once we cleared the end of the island completely, the easterly trades kicked in.  But here is a weird one........We were sailing south on starboard tack.  Another sailboat was sailing north on starboard tack.  Who has right of way?  YES, we were both on starboard tack. We had the fluky, lee of the island winds and the other vessel had the clear, easterly trades.  Ponder that one for a bit and let me know what you think.
Sailing past St Lucia's famous Pitons
We had winds from 2 knots to 19 knots over the entire trip but the average was around 10 knots. Very nice.  At the top of St Vincent we had some excitement when a small twin engine airplane banked around and came in low for a look at us.  By low I mean very, very low - mast height low.  I thought it was just a curious pilot admiring s/v Honey Ryder....and who could blame them!  When we mentioned this to other cruising friends that had past that way weeks before, they had the same thing happen. Perhaps instead of an admirer, it was some officials checking on boat traffic.  Any official looking for drug runners would know immediately that a sailboat isn't running drugs once they see the admiral (female) onboard.  Space is so tight on a cruising boat there is no way a female will allow extra cargo taking up space!  Ha!  The other excitement we had was a large class A - dangerous cargo ship south of St Vincent.  Apparently this is the first time we have encountered a class A as the AIS signal periodically flashed white explosion clouds on each side of the normal ships triangle that makes up the standard shape.  It was sort of funny - like a cartoon explosion.  We had a little added danger element on this passage as there is a rumor of a submerged cargo container somewhere around St Vincent.  We both kept a sharp look out while on our watches.  Of course this is a whole topic of its own for discussion but GPS beacons on each and every cargo container sure would be nice given the large number that fall off ships and are therefore floating submerged in our oceans!

Anyway, our sail down was lovely.  We arrived in St Georges Bay Grenada at 11am Friday morning.  We sailed into the anchorage just in time to see our cruising friends s/v Amaris pulling up their anchor for the ABC's.  Fair Winds guys, sorry we missed hanging out with you in Grenada.  See you in KC!!!  The guides books and Active Captain say this anchorage is tricky holding and they aren't kidding. It took us 3 tries to get a good anchor set.  Our cruising friend Ric off s/v Endorfin II saw us struggling came over in his dinghy to show us where a big cat was anchored successfully the day before.  Thanks Ric.

If it looks like we skipped a bunch of islands, we did.  It is now officially hurricane season and we needed to get further south - final destination is Trinidad, well out of the hurricane belt.  However we plan to spend a couple of weeks checking out Grenada first before the final sail to Trini (as the cruiser call it).  But don't fret, we plan to fully explore those islands we skipped next season.  

1 comment:

  1. The problem with containers (my company looked at this for a customer) is there are six sides which may be up and they are generally awash. So an attached GPS antenna has a 1 in 6 chance of being "up" and an even smaller chance of being above the surface long enough to get a good lock for a position and to transmit to a satellite. When I left the company we were looking at a water deployed AIS transmitter on a lanyard which would send a local MOB/ATON-like warning until the container sank below the lanyard length. Problem was the number of collisions did not justify the cost of the units if universally deployed. And the cost of the containers and a certain amount of container loss is built into shipping overhead via liability insurance. Since the only way one could make a claim would be if one could read the container ID, the economic problem drops to miniscule -- except for very high value cargoes. Right now there is more concern over whale mortality from container-ship collisions than there is about human mortality from container collisions. And last year there were more reports of yacht collisions with whales than with containers...