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From Antigua to Grenada and back

In the preparation of this two-week Caribbean route was attended by some members of the tour, so to speak to the group. And, despite the information provided about the local context, it was decided to try to implement a program high, and walk from Antigua to Grenada and back. The regime chose this: for more than two days to get to the end point, and from there move at a relaxed pace, short dashes, from island to island, getting already stay emotions and explore the maximum number of Islands. Our boat turned out to be two year old from “Dreamcatcher” Dufour-405 somehow, with number 413 on Board and the name Maxwell. Basemanager Terry is a very friendly, unobtrusive companion, positively adjusted upon acceptance and upon delivery of the boat. Our small loss, and even fuel (!!!) he forgave us for what we self-cleaned the bottom of the Dinghy from the grass and shells, as he felt not washed the bottom of the Dinghy as its a serious jamb. At the check-out he was only interested in serious problems.

Our Dinghy after cleaning

After learning about our proposed route, Terry urged to close the border of Antigua and on each island (ie, the state) to go with a yellow flag and give this pointless procedure – opening and then closure of the border, an hour or two of time. Pograntsy Jolly harbour with stern faces found some fleas in our documents and a couple of hours it was all settled with Terry. Out, in the end, late. But we didn’t bother because the way in two or three days does not involve the exact calculation of the hour of arrival at the endpoint. Unfortunately, we have not given any flag nearby island States. Then, on one of the Islands, we had to buy disposable guest check box for crazy money.

Our trip to the pirate ways

So, we left the cozy Jolly harbour for a relatively long fairway with the “wrong” colours of buoys. The color of the water when leaving the Marina in the sun is simply unrealistic due to the bright sand on the bottom and a huge shelf with depths of 6-12 m.

The color of the water at the exit from Jolly Marina in the sun just super bright

Jolly Harbour – Pidgeon island (n 59.m.)

Beyond the first headland we got what was supposed to in the area this time of year. 20-28 knot winds and 3-4 meter flat and not a wave in the left side. What was perceived by some members of the crew for granted, but with emotions corresponding to the known conventional, not very censored phrase. On this basis, we decided not to force the sail and do almost a full Genoa with a properly exposed slide, which allowed us to give 7-8 knots. After 30 miles of the Strait, and several attempts of communication with Andrew, we were forced to abandon the original plan. In addition, the sea “unexpectedly” turned out to be such a wet topic that is watered from the top and bottom so that it was not always possible to dry quickly. The clothes were taken from the calculation that we were going to the tropics. But there is more wind and sometimes strong enough, plenty of rain and waves-the bullies who at the wrong time wash over you from head to toe and always in some kind of loosely closed door will pour 3-4 buckets of salt water. Given the sad state of some crew members, it was decided to seek shelter under the coast of Guadeloupe to get some sleep and get dry. Found a suitable Bay and under cover of night, threw the anchor at a depth of 10 meters in place, is recommended for the anchorage.

The clothes were taken from the calculation that we were going to the tropics. Tobago Cays

It should be noted that most of the Caribbean Islands to leeward, according to the laws of physics have the same cover from the wind and waves. And some of them, to save the calculated average speed, had to pass under the engine. It was, in principle, not bad, because still it was necessary to recharge the batteries.

Pidgeon island – Rodney Bay – The Pitons (144 n.m.)

The morning gave us a new hope, but updated a little common sense. A new goal was set – the island of St. Vincent is about 180 miles. And it could have been achieved if not for the intervention of another element. The passage of the Martinique night downwind turned into torture. Probably should thoughtfully select the path. Reasonable in this situation was to go along the shore, extending the path or the opposite – right on San Vincent, passing 17 miles from Martinique. Our distance from the island of 8-10 miles were unsuccessful. And predict it wasn’t real, because on the way back was nothing like this. It so happened that the wind was really not much, but the waves that envelopes the island from the North and from the South, staged a real Orgy of interference of diffraction! Swotting for 4 hours on a standing wave and a flapping sail, the inability to disperse the boat motor to a reasonable speed – all this in the morning brought the chief of the expedition to the decision to make a stop at the nearest Marina. I must say that the word Marina meaning – normal mooring or pontoon in a sheltered Bay, in the Annex to the Islands in this area, the phenomenon is not as frequent as in Europe. After studying the situation on the map, decided to go North of Santa Lucia in Rodney Bay Marina. This shift entailed tacking against the 3-4 meter waves, the wind 22-27 knots for nearly four hours. But it was a much nicer night swotting. Trying to contact the Marina by radio and not getting a clear answer, we entered the Harbor and turned for decency further 5 minutes, chose a spot and moored. The Marina was very impressive and we saw a large part of the boat-participants in the Transatlantic ARC race.

The Marina was very impressive and we saw a large part of the boat-participants ARC

There, in the guest pier, I met Dmitri Mountain, which the fleet of two catamarans have made the voyage from Guadeloupe to San Vincent and back. These two catamaran we met the previous evening somewhere abeam of Dominica. They seem to have marched from o Montserrat. Having received a respite, dine and again believing in the life, we paid at the office of the Marina for 4 hours and the Parking lot, deciding not to disturb the customs, went to the southern part of the island, on the picturesque Park of the Pythons.

The Pitons

My old habit is to sleep in the floor, eyes in the cockpit on anchor Parking have once again justified. We “welcome” Maxim-orderly put on a buoy and stretched the end to shore and other boats. In the night, after the next portion of the dream, open my eyes and see an unrealistic picture between us and our neighboring boat, closer to shore is another and also on buoys, which in the evening was not. Strained being too close to the shore. And then I hear thuds, and then wiggling and swearing on this boat. They throw the buoy, start a motor, cut our feed screw and dump in the dark. Then I noticed that the next boat too, no feed. Wake the duty of the diver that gets on the coast of new end, and he quietly practiced a motor from a neighbor on the other side, which we’re over. Having finished the mooring, using the same swimmer’s Wake up the crew of the boat with a broken feed. The captain of the second victim of the yacht we then very ceremoniously and with a value of thanked and rejoiced that the poor soul with his buoy swept past the hull of his yacht without touching it, and ragged rope – that’s the least of losses.

The Pitons – Bucama Bay (42 n.m.)

Figuring our water supply (on Santa Lucia to refuel failed), decided that he would spend the night in San Vicente Bay, so as not to contact with customs and the Marina will swing by in the morning for an hour to fetch water. Mentally prepared for another bridging of the Strait when wind and wave. Everything went relatively smoothly. However, if you approach directly to St. Vincent, we saw that it is tightly shrouded in clouds, which stretched then to the West, dark and thick. Someone blurted out:
– I think we came to the village Gadyukino!

S. Vinsent. Someone said – I think we came to the village Gadyukino!

But, as in previous similar moments, our approximation, the clouds dispersed and the rain, the usual Caribbean rains, do not exceed the length of 5-10 minutes. Actually we had the idea to go to the Bay, where the scenery after filming “Pirates of the Caribbean”. But seeing the lack of port scenery, decided to walk for the night close to the Marina and the Bay to visit on the way back.

But seeing the lack of port scenery, decided to walk for the night close to the Marina and the Bay to visit on the way back.

The Bay in which we anchored, it seemed open enough. But from the point of view of the Parking lot really was good. High curved wall from the East and North, the stable depth of 8-9 meters and no neighbors, not counting the colorful fishermen that night, and then in the morning, made the drop divers near our Parking lot and quickly removed. Surprising behavior of our boat. No matter how twisted fly a breeze, and as if we did not try to carry over, the boat always turned to the anchor astern, as if Ivan has asked to him to turn this place.

Bucama Bay – Uganda (40 n.m.)

Just leaned out from behind the Cape, covering the us from the South, he immediately received a brisk wind in your face. However, the wave here is not dispersed, but about 20-22 knots towards significantly slowed our progress under engine, which gets about 4 knots. After passing the island’s capital of Kingstown, went to the nearest Marina, marked on the map. Local assistant told me that water need to refuel in the next – adjacent the Marina, where I took the yacht in Charter service 5 years ago. Go to this Marina is very interesting. The last time carterii as the pilots themselves are taken out and brought the boat. The North-Western entrance marked with buoys that do not match their location on marine charts, on which there is a depth of 2 meters. Through it nobody usually goes. And there is a South-Western passage through the reef, with label slightly away from the exit. Figuring that the tide and at least +20cm we have each other, watching with horror as the entrance buoys guide us directly to the stone, the snail’s pace we pass this place at minimum depth sounder at exactly 2 meters. Our draft 1,75 meters, but damn it’s unpleasant to see in the clear water right under a stone. Fill it with water from sloshing in the Wake of the pontoon, and taking something in the store, forced to fulfill the second part Marlezonskogo ballet – exit the Marina. You can, of course, would be to ask a local Maxim, but I noticed that a couple of boats already out over the reef and the Dinghy has not been returned is encouraging! We put forward the beholder, but nakatyvaet wave usbutil water and only occasionally among the ridges with lambs on low relief waves, a glimpse of the deeper terrain of the passage. Chartplotter this time showed that we were on the right path. The minimum depth in the passage was 3.5 meters. So dug is deepened, according to the map there is the same 2 meters. Taking a deep breath, put the jib in the way. Then our course is South with a slight deviation to the West, which means the backstay and galfvind. Until the end of the island Bequia with its small add-ons and a boat on the rocks in one of the Straits come under the Genoa. Then after 6 miles, notice a tendency to remission of the wind up to 16-18 knots and we put the mainsail. At the end of the day we are pleased with the wind up to 27 knots and the boat was periodically accelerated for 8.5 knots. Was hoping to reach the Union o, but seeing the lovely beach and the setting sun, turned to o Uganda.

The food was very good! Cons: the rains have become more frequent and their duration increased.

There was made Maximkas Fred on rogue buoy near the pier and invited them to enjoy his music and Caribbean lobster. Having reached Paradise, of course I would like to see more joyous faces of the owners, and they were more anxious. But the food was very good and thanks for that! Cons: the rains have become more frequent and their duration increased. In the end, went to the salon with a wet sheet and a pillow.

Uganda – Bequia (45 n.m.)

Counting the remaining days and the desired mode, we decided to turn back, but first visit the reefs of Tobago KIIS. Unfortunately, the weather we are not pleased. Strong wind, lots of clouds and heavy rains. However, was made to swim on the protected island with turtles and iguanas, and then we moved, as we thought on the island, where the cottage of Mick Jagger. In fact, serious lordotic forced us to change plans for the evening and we made 6 miles, rear tack, came into full yacht Bay O. Bequia. Looking from afar, had doubts about a successful anchoring. But we have become a race to entice the sellers buoys and, in the end, we stood up to trump buoy next to the Parking lot of the Dinghy. And Maxim was a friendly woman who took us put bribe, asked about our needs and left. In the morning we sent delegates to the local diving, and they started to capture mobile water and fuel.

It was a noticeable yellow catamaran, with plastic tanks on deck. The gas station took us about an hour. Fuel flew quickly (not so much we spent), but the water Lily long. Then we repaired the broken autopilot. The lion’s share of time was getting critical bolt from impossible places (don’t think bad is the rear wall saildrive compartment, gilmorton, under a pile of ducts and hoses), showing the wonders of ingenuity.

Bequia – Wallilabo Bay (16 n.m.)

Along with visiting divers leisurely lunch on the shore and went to a 16-mile journey to the Bay of pirates. Slipped through a narrow Strait with the wind and we stopped in the shadow of St. Vincent, pulled the diesel sheet. As always, we parked a black friend, who later was our guide on a coastal walk, escorted us to the falls of dubious beauty, and muddy waters, where we Auntie left the money for the fact that she’s sitting in a cafe, in which nothing is for sale!

St. Vincent. Wallilabo Bay.

On the shore of scenery for the film were three plastic facade that mimic stone, quite a bit of effigies and coffins, defeat and desolation. Had dinner in the restaurant, drank Jack Sparrow. In our absence the watch visited a local customs officer, who recommended him to visit in the morning, and then offered to buy him tuna. About customs we have forgotten something, really did not want to lose another 2 hours.

St. Vincent. The remains of the sets for “Pirates of the Caribbean”

Wallilabo Bay – The Pitons (42 n.m.)

I must say that our entire journey starting from Tobago KIIS to the Pythons in the forecast and in reality, the wind is slightly deviated to the North. Therefore tacking continued when the wind gusts under the clouds to 33 knots. We carried the mainsail on the second reef and the gene is also wrapped up to conditional second reef. Once there was a prolonged blast of almost pure heaven. Once in the sphere of influence of the Santa Lucia, for the gals to the shore, we began to lose speed and the engine cranked, but I wanted to get to the buoy before dark. For cleaning of sails did not notice the floating end. The only interruptions in the operation of the engine forced them to look from the stern and see what I would not like to see. The red rope was gone in the waves and was lost from sight. Tomivshiysya one end length 8 meters we pulled off the screw, and the second is holed up in there tightly. Realizing that soon the sun goes down, meinem remains of sails, I take fins, mask and dive. See a picture of a little strange – the rope is wound on the rotor of the turnover at the 4, then goes to the fin keel, around it is also turnover and backward, over the horizon. Untwist the screw and pulls the rope, a small piece remains on the screw and pull off his hands is not obtained. When I’m out from under the boat, it rocked on the wave back and I felt a sharp shell. The rest of the rope was a length of about 350 metres. It was a floating hard fishing twisted rope with a diameter of about 15 mm, covered with small barnacles, sea worms and ducks. At the buoy we moved in with the running lights, but still with enough light from the twilight. Just left the boat on the buoy, on the right catamaran stretched between two buoys and we immediately got up to the buoy, the same on which we were standing and gave Maximim end for securing to the shore. The back shed with miramistina and anointed green paint, then a couple of days Squirting acerinum and practically in three days didn’t hurt. Parking overnight was at this time no surprises. In the morning we sent a delegation on local excursions. According to the participants, semi-legal entry into the territory of nature reserves and misses on some of the excursions are not worth the money that you got crafty Maxim-the Parking attendants. To the town on the shore we decided not to come due to the unwillingness of catching the eye of customs officers.

The Pitons. In the morning those interested went on a tour around the island.

The Pitons – Portsmouth (111 n.m.)

Late in the afternoon moved in the direction of Dominica with the intention to come back early in the morning and spend the day. Our course first full close-hauled, then turned almost pure galfvind and the boat flew the way did not expect from her. Normal levels have now been at least 8.2 knots, and sometimes passes 9. After dark, I offered to lower the sails not, for security reasons – the wind is stable enough so as not to come to the point in the night. But the changer asked not to interrupt a beautiful flight! In the end, we cornered the scheduled point in the morning.

Figured that would be a good idea to reach the North end of Dominica to the next transition less than 20 miles left. And how does not pull the time, came to Prince Rupert Bay in the 4 o’clock in the morning. Looming cloud, drizzling rain, visibility bad, the Bay is unknown. Calculated for the anchor lights and Chartplotter place that we should go and start moving there in the course of about 3 knots already a mile away – and for good reason! A fishing boat with no lights 30 meters in length I noticed almost right abeam metres 20! Saved probably the fact that we chose the light source on the shore and went into his glare on the water making a light zigzags as a sapper in a minefield. When the light from shore was more or less finish before us, found a bunch of yacht with no anchor light. And then out of the night floated the seller of the buoys, he was asleep, they usually catch their victims on the distant approaches, and here we have the anchor managed to put… and then beginning to dawn. The delegates headed to another waterfall sightseeing, with volcanoes, and we again found problems with the autopilot and rushed to fix it. In the light of day we overcame the sellers of fish, fruit, bread, guest flags. We decided to refuel – we were led to the buoy and stretched out the hose and at the other buoy opened the tap… As he considered the money for water – no one can explain!

Dominica. The delegates headed to another waterfall sightseeing, with volcanoes, and we again found problems with the autopilot and rushed to fix it.

Portsmouth – Deshaies (50 n.m.)

The next morning we quietly and accurately calculate the arrival in the Dash a little early, to find the customs office and leave there crew members to rest for another week. Besides, we came out of the harbour in the open field, and to Guadeloupe and from there, of course, had to come back. Transitions are increasingly began to come across a passing yacht. Left the Bay, knowing that according to the forecast the wind will be quieter than usual. But that “quiet” meant that gusts up to 28 knots will be less than usual. This transition was another record: within about an hour we caught three major crest, which you can not Dodge, can not hide. Who was nephroma to change. And the first comb almost washed away odrinska on the windward side. Went to the Bay of Deshaies about 4 hours and in search of custom. On Chartplotter it in the left corner of the Bay. In total, flowing communication difficulties with the French in English, found customs. It was a gift shop with a computer and the Internet. You yourself fill in on your computer the form the clearance, the clerk verifies the correctness of the, prints, stamps, your signature, go Euro and free!

Guadeloupe. Civilization in Paradise.

Civilization! One minus is the location in the Bay one, and the computer I’m currently writing for money online maniacs, one of which we asked to stop to fill up your check-out. I must say that this island is pleasantly distinguished by the absence of Intrusive black service. And the evening musical performance by father and daughter in the restaurant in General has put us in a world of harmony and beauty as much as three hours! The restaurant was Packed, and the other, a pathetic 50 yards and stood empty all night.

Deshaies – English Harbour (38 n.m.)

Here and extreme the transition to “native” of the island. We were read an article which described the brutality of the customs of our Jolly Marina that prescribe on arrival from another country to moor at their jetty with yellow flag and only the captain is allowed to go ashore for processing. And there are already three cases when violators this procedure has been fined 5,000 euros. We figured that the theory of probability is very small, so if three offenders in the day!

English Harbour. On the way to their home Marina.

Again the wind and rain, all the way to English Harbor, we were racing with a yacht, but at the finish went into different coves. Somehow, in this day apparent the wind was blowing 50-60 degrees and to accelerate the boat more than 7.5 knots have been rare. Went to the Bay and pretended to be her, because the flag we have Antigua. Wanted to go ashore, but an important member of the crew was asleep and then the rains loaded, but watched a training Optimists and Lasers. In the morning I dropped the Dinghy and ashore. English harbour is characterized by the fact that it come in dimensionless sailboats and Motorboats, and on the night of their “show-off” glowing red lights on the tips of the 50-metre masts. But the main attraction of the island was the neighbouring Bay of Marina Nelson. This is a real Museum – there bringing in the crowds for money. We got in for free, when I found out that we are from the yacht in the next Bay came by foot (it is 900 meters). The Bay is significantly tighter they are, but there are many huge yachts. Brand that place are palosaarentie columns, left without add-ons in the 19th century thanks to another hurricane.

English Harbor. Brand that place are palosaarentie columns, left without add-ons in the 19th century thanks to another hurricane.

The national treasure of Antigua, this village was the most important fortress of the English garrison in 1600-1700-ies. It was named in honor of Horatio Nelson. On the territory there is a serious sailing workshop with a large Plaza, rowing boats of transatlantico and the museums and Souvenirs. Walk to lunch, we weighed anchor and headed overcome by the motor (broken winch) extreme 14 miles to their home Marina Jolly Harbour to surrender to customs officials.

The beach next to Marina Jolly

That review finished the race with a length of more than six hundred nautical miles. All the participants are alive and well, cured scratched back and bronchitis. Wishes from the crew for next year is to reduce the routing component, to leave it to the athletes, and to focus on a more detailed study of bays, Islands and as little as possible to communicate with the local population.

© Text and photographs: Mikhail Mikhailov, Yacht-club “Navigator”, 2014

  • © Photo-materials: Yacht club Navigator

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