Union Island

We’ve finally left Carriacou and anchored at Ashton off Union Island. We were determined to leave today even though the weather looked grim because yesterday the part was finally fitted by the Sam, the refrigeration mechanic, and we’d been in Tyrrell’s Bay a week! I’ll update you on what we’ve been doing since our last entry…..

Mal, Bruce & Sue at Slipway Bar

Wednesday was a quiet day with a shopping trip into Hillsborough for Gina & I to stock up on some provisions. We laugh everytime we get on the bus now because no trip is the same…. there is always a diversion for someone so we’ve rationalised it by noting that we get to see more of the island. The locals are a very caring community and there is always someone who needs help either carting boxes somewhere or picking up someone’s tiny child from pre-school and taking them home because they couldn’t. We’re cool because we’re not in a hurry! That morning I’d booked Gina & myself into a massage for late afternoon so after a swim to the beach and back and a quick shower off the back of the boat, Mal took me by dinghy to the yacht club dock. The description to our masseur’s home was to take the “path” through the mangroves on the right of the yacht club and her house was the first on the right. I found it and was greeted by Frenchwoman, Genevieve, who has lived here for 20 years after sailing from France. She and her partner travel back to France once a year to visit family. Following our massages Bruce, Mal & I called into Slipway Restaurant for a drink; the boys had a beer and I had the best and biggest papaya daiquiri ever! Gina went back to the boat for a swim and shower before dinner. Gina and I slept like babies after our relaxing massages. Bruce got news that the part he’d ordered from The States had arrived in Grenada and had missed the ferry to Hillsborough so it would now definitely arrive tomorrow. We’ll believe it when we see it!

Boat building at Windward
Typical old Carriacou home

Thursday, Gina & I took the bus into Hillsborough and purchased some supplies for our planned hike on the northern end of Carriacou. The boys were waiting for Sam and Andy to come and do their stuff. We took a bus to Windward which is on the east coast and home to the traditional boat builders of Grenada. We saw some original housing which are quaint little cottages with some being restored. The view from Windward was fabulous – across to Petite St Martinique and, as we hiked to the northern most point of the Island, we could also see Union Island “in the next country”. The varying colours of the water in shades of turquoise was spectacular and it was a beautiful day. The hike took us 1.5 hours and tested our resolve as there were a few steep bits. We saw hundreds of geckos, sheep, goats and a cow. We finished up back at The Rounds House in Bogles where we had eaten a week before. They were closed for lunch but we took a swim below their cottages/restaurant in Sparrow Bay. We really enjoyed it after a very warm walk. We had our oranges and bananas and then headed off to catch the bus to Hillsborough. Fortunately for us an American called Dave picked us up and drove us in to town. Another expat who’s been living here more than 20 years! We tooks a bus back to Tyrrell’s Bay and again had another refreshing swim.Part of our exercise regime is to pull ourselves up whilst in the water and hanging on to the back of the boat. We’re up to 30 pull ups and feel very satisfied with ourselves – so much so that we promptly have happy hour and undo all the goodness we’ve just achieved!

Unfortunately, Sam didn’t make it on Thursday but Andy did and fitted the new covers – Bruce and Gina are very happy with them and they got a good test in today’s sail (more of that later). Sam arrived Friday morning and got to work. I took a bus into Hillsborough for a pedicure, Bruce took our passports into Customs and Immigration for clearance, Gina did some cleaning on the boat and Mal worked with Sam. We were hoping it would all be fixed and we’d be able to leave early afternoon. WRONG! By the time it was fixed, 4pm, it was too late and we voted to stay the night. Gina was particularly pleased about this as it meant we would go to Lambi Queen’s for dinner where they have a Steel Pan Band playing on a Friday night. So, we all had a swim, a shower, enjoyed our nightly happy hour and then took the dinghy into Lambi Queen’s. Lambi is a specialty over here – it’s the flesh from the conch shell. Well, Lambi Queen’s is the place to be in Tyrrell’s Bay on a Friday night. Everyone was there – we had a great night with Andy, Don the Aussie with the catamaran called Ned Kelly, a boatload of eight 30-something Americans and heaps of others, tourists and locals alike. We had lambi fritters for starters, then mains of barbecued lobster, chicken, rice and lentils, and salad followed by bananas flambe! When Andy left Gina asked if she could have a ride in the sidecar of his BMW motorcycle. Bruce kept mumbling something about someone’s taken my wife! She arrived back shortly with the biggest grin across her face.We practiced our Caribbean moves on the dance floor to the fantastic rhythm of the Steel Pan Band and 18 Carib beers and 6 rum punches later, we headed back to the boat. We nearly ran aground at one stage but after some cursing and much laughter, we finally made it back on board.

Mal catching 4 Yellow Jacks for dinner

We got up early today and prepared to leave. Alas, the weather had turned during the night as Bruce had predicted, but we all agreed to head off anyway. I took my reliable drug, Stugeron, and we made our way out past the point, past Sandy Island and into the Caribbean Sea. The new weather covers were great but Bruce was on the weather side so he was copping the worst of it. The rain made it impossible to see the islands but as we’ve found, the showers don’t last long here. So between squalls we were able to see glimpses of Carriacou disappearing and Union Island coming ever closer. It was on the nose, again, for most of the trip but eventually when we reached the northern most point of Carriacou, the wind dropped a little, the sun came out and we put up the heady. Very pleasant! We got another squall just before Union Island but eventually that passed and we anchored just off Frigate Island, out from the township of Ashton. We spotted some turtles swimming and pelicans fishing. Mal decided to give it a go and promptly caught 4 yellow jacks for our dinner tonight. He cooked them on the barbie and they were fantastic! As you can see by the photo, the weather here is lovely.

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