A PERIPATETIC JOURNEY
not all who wander are lost
Although we could have definitely stayed longer in the Tobago Cays, enjoying the peace and quiet and scenery both under and above water, the clock was ticking and we needed to get to Grenada for our fast-approaching haul out date. Our plan was to spend the night anchored in Saline Bay off the island of Mayreau, but after arriving there we found the wind and waves not especially favorable.
Instead we headed over to Chatham Bay on Union Island. As we motored into the bay, we noticed a familiar boat in the anchorage. It was our friends on SV Maple, whom we'd met in Dominica, and who had orchestrated our meeting with the families on SV The Amazing Marvin and SV Element. Our girls were thrilled, as were theirs, and there was much happy waving across the water between the boats. Later that afternoon, we all met up on shore. Maple had another family on board for a visit (a family of 3), and we all enjoyed meeting and catching up that afternoon. The kids played on the beach with a local boy, Emmanuel (the son of Vanessa and Seckie), the dads had a beer on the beach, and the moms headed down the beach to a small resort for a wifi fix.
Vanessa and Seckie own a bar/restaurant on the beach in Chatham Bay and they offer local fare to cruisers in the anchorage. We hadn't eaten on shore in a while, so decided to have dinner with them. We chose chicken, fish, and plenty of veggies on the side. Eoin thought both the chicken and the fish were some of the best he'd had in the Caribbean! Vanessa, Seckie, and Emmanuel were warm and welcoming - and very good cooks! We enjoyed chatting with them both during the afternoon, and at dinner.
Later that evening, as we hoisted the dinghy, we noticed a bright green light under the water. We were anchored in shallow (about 12') water and had been able to see the bottom clearly during the day. There appeared to be a lit flashlight sitting on the sand below. We looked around the boat and made sure we hadn't dropped anything overboard. We hadn't, but there was definitely a light in the water. As we watched, the light rose to the surface and spread out, and we realized that it was a ball-like cloud of phosphorescent zooplankton! We called the kids out to see and we all watched it float in the water behind the boat, swirling and changing shape as well as glowing darker and more brightly at intervals. At the same time, small fish fed in the glowing green cloud, creating trails of green sparks as they darted back and forth. It was at least an hour before the cloud dispersed (or too many of the creature were consumed) and it was one of the more amazing things we've seen on this adventure. Unfortunately, it was impossible to photograph, but we will never forget the experience.
The next morning, we left the anchorage early to head over to Clifton, on the other side of Union Island. We were headed to Carriacou later that day, but it is in a different country (Grenada), and we needed to clear out with St. Vincent customs and immigration first. Most countries require paperwork from the previous country showing that we completed the necessary formalities before they will clear us in. If you don't clear out before heading to the next country, officials could send you back to do it.
We picked up a mooring in Clifton, tied our dinghy to the dock at Lambi's (the owner enthusiastically waved us over, promising to keep an eye on our dinghy), went through a gauntlet of vendors selling fish, vegetables, and handcrafts, and emerged onto the main street of Clifton. Brian went to customs and immigration, while Kendall and the kids did some exploring and shopping. We were looking for a few fresh fruits and veggies and we also needed paper towels for some cleaning... and of course, some wifi. Brian was able to clear customs in the waterfront office, but the immigration officer was not there. He or she was due 'any time now' and Brian could wait, or he could walk to the airport because there was likely an immigration official there. He decided to go to the airport (it was reasonably close by). It was a pretty quiet airport, in fact one had to avoid cow patties in the parking lot and on the sidewalk. Kendall and the kids went to the post office to mail some postcards, stopped by the vegetable market in the center of town, and met some very helpful locals. Low season begins officially on May 1, and things get much more quiet in the islands. People have less to do and there is more competition for the fewer tourist dollars, but everyone was very friendly.
Once Brian returned from the airport, we went back to Lambi's, had a quick drink (a small courtesy to the owner for keeping an eye on the dinghy), bought some ice, and headed back to Counting Stars.
McGlynn family 5 (Isla, Marin, Eoin, Kendall, and Brian) sailing Counting Stars
Satellite tracking: See where we are and where we have been on this DeLorme InReach map