Thursday, January 1, 2015

Grenada to Carriacou

Last season when we sailed south through the islands we took our time.  We didn't want to run willy nilly from island to island.  We really wanted to explore.  This meant we skipped entire islands/nations.  For instance we skipped St Vincent and all the Grenadines.  We just ran out of time with hurricane season starting June 1st.  We had to get south of the zone to Trinidad.

There is something here in the islands called the Christmas Winds.  They are stronger than normal trade winds blowing anywhere from 20-30 knots and usually from the northeast vs gentle, east trade winds.  This can make sailing north challenging and/or uncomfortable at the least.  They are called the Christmas Winds because they generally start around Christmas time and blow into mid January.  We didn't want to get "trapped" in Grenada by these winds,  It's a lovely island but this is our second time here and we are just ready to move on after two and half weeks.  We want to get further north.

The weather forecast showed Christmas winds coming the rest of the week and well into the the following week.  It was go or wait at least a week and maybe two.  Monday, December we set sail out of Prickly Bay Grenada for Carriacou, a small island approximately 20 miles northeast of Grenada.  It's part of Grenada government wise.  The wind was........come all know this by now.......the wind was on the nose.  Since it was a full days sail to get there with northeast winds and since we don't arrive into harbors we have not been into at night..... we motor sailed.  Yeah, I know...disappointing but oh well.  The wind was 16 with gusts to 20 and the seas were lumpy.  We were not alone.  Four other boats set out from Grenada as well.  Three of us motored, one tacked back and forth and one opted to sail way west on a close haul nearly past Carriacou and then tack back into Tyrrell Bay Carriacou.  The three (including us) that motored arrived within mins of each other.  The tacking boat arrived an hour later and the close hauling boat arrived well after dark.

We arrived at 17:30 into a very crowded anchorage.  41.4 nautical miles total.

Stay tuned for pics and exploration reports from Carriacou.    

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