Sailing in the Windward Islands - May/June, 2004

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This was a bare-boat charter starting in Martinique and ending on the South coast of Grenada.  That's something like 180 sailing miles, so some of the days were pretty long.  Particularly St. Lucia to St. Vincent and Carriacou to Grenada. We had a 43 foot monohull sloop-rigged vessel, shown at a distance behind the dingy on the fifth row of pictures.

We anchored or took moorings in Martinique, St Lucia, St. Vincent, Bequia (where tropical wave squall somehow flipped our dingy over behind the boat while at a mooring -- hard to imagine how that happened), Canouan, the Tobago Cays, Mayreau, Union, Petit St. Vincent (where we dragged anchor in a tropical wave squall -- moonless night, howling wind and tons of water coming down -- lots of fun.  Not clear why we dragged -- we were set in sand in 15 feet of water with 70 feet of chain out .... best I can figure is that a fluke twisted us off somehow), Carriacou and Granada.  Note that a degree of latitude is about 70 miles.  Note also that this map may not be legible at the magnification that Internet Explorer presents it to you, even if you click on it and get the big version.  If so, right click on the big version and save it to your desktop, then display it directly from there.  Or find the icon in Internet Explorer that looks like a square with arrows pointing out from each corner and click on it to get the full-sized version.

This is a volcano on St. Lucia.. It was weird -- boiling mud and everywhere the smell of sulfur.

This is "Gabriel's Hole", named after a tour guide who broke through the crust demonstrating how solid it was.  He was seriously burned over more than half of his body, but survived.  We were told he now is a fisherman.

At the bottom of the falls, water heated by the volcano.

Our boat is at anchor behind the dingy.  This is a tiny island, most of which is shown in the picture below.  The only thing on the island besides sand and rocks is the one umbrella.

On the right I'm sailing but the autopilot is doing the work.  The autopilot doesn't work so well in Atlantic rollers, but in sheltered waters like this it does fine.

The dingy follows behind.  Note that the next picture was actually taken a different day.  One might keep the outboard on the dingy for a short transit, but for a serious sail it goes up on the rail.  That's a tough job.

The clouds are spectacular, but  were part of some weather.  We had a couple tropical waves, which are tropical depressions wannabe's that haven't managed to attain circulation but still have some pretty serious squalls.  I believe that the progression is tropical wave -> tropical depression -> tropical storm -> hurricane.  A tropical storm or hurricane would be very bad news in a vessel such as this.  Technically we were there during the hurricane season, but that far south so early in the season is really a pretty good bet.  For more about tropical waves and the weather therein see the comments above below the map.

Evening ...

Means dinner.

I believe that this tiny vessel is actually used for cruising and that a guy lives on it.  If so, it's by far the smallest cruising boat I've seen.

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