Position 12° 27.301’ N
61° 29.283’ W
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, Granada
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|The 'Super' Moon as seen in St. Kiits|
This life is far from boring, frustrating at times, yes! When things are going well and the ‘dream’ is going according to plan this life is as close to idyllic as it gets, or at least we think so. We can do what we want, go where we want, when we want and there are few if any rules. The feeling of freedom is hard to get used to at first; I guess we are all programmed to follow a course in life and the rules that come with that course. Out here you make your own life, own rules (few) and generally beat to one’s own drum. However, when things are not going according to plan then events can be scary, frustrating and annoying. For example readers of my blog will know we are attempting to spend the hurricane season in Trinidad and our insurance company considers that time to be July 1st. – October 31st. If we are not below 10° 50’N during these dates the plan changes! We have no insurance coverage for windstorm damage or, if we want, we can buy that coverage, it is US$420 extra per month! This, proportionally, is a huge extra premium in relation to the total annual sum we pay. The reason I have brought this up is that we have, again readers will know, been having a problem with our engine fuel supply with air getting into it somewhere and causing the engine to just stop! This is where the idyllic becomes horrific and the plan goes awry. At the moment we have been putting up with this fuel problem now for four months on and off and have finally made a decision to stop and have the whole fuel system investigated and hopefully fixed. We are here in St. Kitts and Nevis where we have employed an engineer of considerable qualification to work on our fuel supply dilemma. The problem we now have is getting him and his staff on board we have been in St. Kitts now for nearly two weeks and have yet to see a wrench! When this kind of thing happens and we have had our fair share, what with the generator failing twice, for different reasons and the inverter/charger giving up on us too, life moves into the ‘out of our control’ mode, not good!
|Vybrashun working on the engine|
Our mechanic Brashun, short for Vybrashun, his street name he tells us, showed up. He carried out many test on the engine to determine that the motor itself was not to blame for its own stopping. Stonewall Jackson passed with flying colours...it had to be the Racor filters or back from there to the tanks. First he discovered that the Racor filters were not full of fuel and that there was a small vacuum showing on the gauge. The filters themselves were new, however, and therefore were not causing the vacuum. Perhaps the fuel tank vents were blocked, all four of them, I don’t think so! Could it be a hose that had a restriction, much speculation was abounding. Brashun bypassed the electric priming pump we had in the line in favour of a fuel bulb the same as one would have on an outboard motor.
|Approaching the Grenadines|
|Gingerbread in Bequia|
|Our anchorage in Bequia|
The same gentleman, Lyston who started the bar and restaurant, was there as usual and greeted us. We joined in a conversation with some of the locals Bob, Jeremy and Fritz and were invited to join them on their table and ended up having an extended visit and more libations than planned...the dinghy ride home in the dark was interesting to say the least! As we sailed out of Admiralty Bay we cruised past Moonhole, check out the link, (http://www.moonholecompany.com/history.aspx) and a shipwreck!
We spent one day in Mayreau, had a ‘sundowners’ party on the beach with about a dozen other cruisers and later ended up back on ‘Partners’ with friend Les for a great supper and, as if we needed it, a good enough bottle of wine! We had a great day and in the morning watched as the ‘fleet’
|Moonhole, houses built into the cliffs.|
|Mayreau, Salt Whistle Bay|
|Mayreau, Salt Whistle Bay|
|Mayreau, Salt Whistle Bay|
Monday came and I took the dinghy into Clifton and immediately found out that it was a National Holiday in St. Vincent and all of the Grenadines! It is Carnival in St. Vincent and that is the reason! Sooo, the Customs and Immigration office was closed in town but still open at the airport, about a mile walk. Not pleased I made the trek to the airport and checked-out including paying the additional EC$120 overtime charge which we stayed until Monday to avoid! Oh well...
|Clifton, Union Island|
Our next stop was Hillsborough, the capital of Carriacou which is the other main island belonging to Granada and the only check-in port for the island. We did not intend stopping in Hillsborough long as our final destination was to be Tyrrel Bay, a cruiser friendly bay on the west side of the island. Check-in went smoothly and we were granted a three month visa. We wanted this just in case we decided to stay in Grenada longer before going to Trinidad; we were just covering our bases as it is easier to apply at the beginning rather than going back later to request an extension. The Customs office only charged us for a month stay EC$75 so if we did leave early we would not be out of pocket for the whole three months visa we had been given by Immigration; if we stay longer than a month, however, we will have to pay an additional customs fee but will not have to go through the immigration procedures again. We walked back up the town pier to where we had tied our dinghy and the young man who was there ’watching’ the dinghies, I noticed, also carved wooden plaques depicting various scenes. The wood he uses is a red colour and it gets everywhere including in all the moored dinghies! I didn’t think much of it at first and we just continued back to ‘Partners’. We decided to tow the dinghy round the two miles or so to Tyrrel Bay to save the chore of loading it up on the boat deck and then lowering it again after anchoring in Tyrrel Bay. By the time we had made this short trip and a small amount of water had splashed around in the dinghy the white fibreglass floor was red! The wood was toxic! Not really, but it did take me half an hour to bleach out the stains! Other boaters beware...We weren’t anchored for long when the well known ‘Simon’ came by in his skiff to say hello. Simon is a fixture here in Tyrrel Bay, he is written about in most of the cruising guides and can find most anything you will need and provide most any service you will need. Island tours to garbage collection and supplying fresh tasty mangrove oysters are all within his capabilities. We bought a dozen oysters and ate them relaxing on our foredeck seat washed down with a Caribe beer...another idyllic day. Well, actually not quite, we did have the engine fail four times in the short journey round from Hillsborough! While I was drinking my beer and enjoying the oysters I couldn’t help but keep looking towards the neat colourful boatyard just ¼ mile away. I agreed with Lavinia that we would enquire about getting a day tank installed while we were here. Both of us have become increasingly more nervous about making the long open passage from Grenada to Trinidad with our unreliable engine!
Tyrrel Bay, we found out the next day is apparently home to one of the best fabricators in these parts so the decision to install the day tank become more possible. We went to the boatyard and talked to Edwin the yard manager who directed us to Gus, one of the previous owners of the marina. Gus knew everyone and himself was an accomplished diesel technician. I arranged with Gus to come to ‘Partners’ the next day, Wednesday, to do some tests on ‘Stonewall Jackson’ and make sure we had the room to install a day tank!
|Our local Supermaket!|
That evening after a day where we felt we were on the right track to solving our engine/fuel problems we opened a bottle of wine and ate al fresco on a beautiful Caribbean evening with the only noise the water lapping against the hull. Lavinia heard something and enquired “what is that noise?” I replied and said “probably the wind in the rigging”. No, wrong, it was a neighbouring catamaran that had dragged its anchor and drifted straight back into us! The stern davits had caught in our anchor chain and snubbers and we were ‘joined’. We quickly tried to get fenders between the two boats to save the chaffing which was the noise we heard while eating dinner. Damage was done to our bow and after calling on the VHF and blowing our horn two very helpful men Paul and Brum came to assist us. I released out the two snubbers and used the boat hook to untangle the davits of the catamaran from our anchor gear. Finally we were separated again. The catamaran kept drifting off and the two men managed to get it in tow and take it towards the shore where they could re-anchor it in shallow water. The owner, Bill, we later found out, was not on board and it was lucky in a way that we stopped his boat from drifting out into the Caribbean and on towards Central America, a real threat as with the strong trade winds it would not be the first time a boat that had broken loose from its anchor had travelled the whole width of the Caribbean all by itself! Bill, the owner, was very apologetic about the whole incident and offered to make good the damage. Gus sent Nolan to inspect the damage and for a very reasonable fee will be making us as good as new today. Bill and I agreed that accidents happen and that his embarrassment is almost as bad as our damage, anyway we have agreed to put it all behind us and have a beer together in Prickly Bay, Granada as both of us will be headed that way.
|The Moon setting in our anchorage in Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou|
Gus informed us that Dominic, the fabricator, was away in Trinidad working (a good testimonial as there are lots of skilled workers in Trinidad). Apparently Dominic is very good! Gus said he should be back by next week and the fabrication of the tank should not take longer than three days, so we are hopeful that in 10 days we will be finished. A brand new tank to supply crystal clear filtered diesel to ‘Stonewall Jackson’, we can’t wait. Once we are operational again we plan on refuelling at Petite Martinique and then will cruise down to St. Georges, Granada for a short stop and to see and walk the town then round to Prickly Bay for some fun and island exploring.
The travels continue...