2013 Caribbean- St Vincent & St Lucia

Malua is at 13:15.05N 61:16.23W at Wallilabou on 3/1/2013 St Vincent

It is time to move north out of the security of Admiralty Bay and on to the main island of St Vincent. We had been warned of the fierce current and confused seas between Bequia and St Vincent similar to those we encountered when we arrived at night. However when we put our nose out from around the point and pulled up the main all we found was 15 to 18 knots of wind and a slight swell. It was ideal sailing weather for the 16 nm to a small bay we had chosen to stay the night. But first we stopped in at Petit Byahaut to see if we could stop there but it was too small and the swell was rolling in. We motored in the relative calm north along the coast to Wallilabou. When we were at the entrance to the bay a fellow - Alex approached and offered us advice and a mooring buoy. We declined the mooring and said we would Med moor with a line ashore. we dropped the anchor in about 18 m of water and went astern. The trusty floating polypropylene line came out again and we were soon secure in the anchorage. A few EC to Alex and we were all happy.
Next was to secure a lobster. Soon a boat appeared with a wide selection varying in size from small to huge. I chose one, negotiated a price and took it on board. The fellow did not have change for the note I gave him so we agreed that he would return with my change after making a few sales.
He returned twice to the bay but ignored my calls to give me my change so on the third time I took the RIB over and came alongside asking for my change. He said he did not have any showing me two 100 and a 50. Well after a small but kind encouragement he produced a note for my change but not the right amount. With further inducement he found the exact change and handed it over to me. The other boat boys saw the financial transaction and as I drove away I got cheers of encouragement. That boat was not from this bay's village and they did not like the interlopers.
The next day as I walked on the dock I was greeted with smiles and laughs about the financial transaction. They were pleased someone had at last highlighted the dodge practice which these fellows seem to pull almost every day! It gave the locals a bad name.
The bay is more famous than its lobsters because it was the Caribbean setting of Pirates of the Caribbean with Johnny Depp.  There is still some of the original material - scripts, venue sheets and buildings used in the making of the movie which is well worth a visit.
One can clear in and out of St Vincent at a small office on the dock at 4:30 pm.  There is no Immigration but that does not seem to matter.  We walked to the adjoining town to the Police station and they did not have a form nor a stamp for the passport so the net effect is we got nothing other than good exercise walking to the village.
Just another magical moment on Malua

Bats not Cats in the Cabin

Dedicated readers will remember the two incident where a stray cat has come aboard Malua during the night. The one in Greece the cat was unknowingly shut into the aft cabin for three days and it then escaped when I went shore on a completely different island. The other was in France when I caught the cat in the cabin one night.  Cats in the Cabin
Well last night I woke because something was wrong and moving in the cabin. Being anchored some distance from the shore I was sure it was not a cat. I got up and in the half light of the moon thought I saw something jump off the saloon table and move first towards the window then in a flash out the companionway. I immediately knew we had been invaded by a bat – birds cant see in the night.

While we were having drinks the previous evening I noticed a bat fly out of the trees along the edge of the high cliffs overlooking the anchorage and commented how large that particular one was much like the fruit bats of Australia.
The following morning it was obvious that the bat had come to eat the ripe guavas we had purchased while in St Vincent. It is much easier to wait for a yacht than fly the 28 nm to the next island.
Was it a magical moment on Malua?

Malua is at 13:58.20N 61:01.68W at Marigot Bay St Lucia on the 6/1/2013

We sailed from St Vincent to St Lucia. A very challenging sail in confused sea and stronger winds but went very well at more than 6 knots all the way.

Malua is at 14:04.79N 60:57.50 in Rodney Bay on St Lucia on 8/1/2013

We left Marigot Bay after going into the inner lagoon to fill with water and diesel. Our last fill was in the Canaries.  I calculated that Malua uses 1.75 litres per hour travelling at about 6 knots.  That is not bad.
The weather forecast was for winds in excess of 20 knots with gusts above 25 knots so we knew that we would be in for some wind however we chose to keep relatively close to the shore to avoid the swell which would come round the northern part of the island.
I put one reef in the main and just unrolled the blade staysail and we headed out into the wind.  The sea was calm and soon Malua was beating into the wind at more than 6.5 knots.  We were going like a train.  The trip is only seven miles at about 040 bearing.  We steamed north but could not make the east side of the bay and started to get the heavy swell coming round the headland so I put in a tack towards the shore and the calmer water.
Before we knew it we were in the shelter of the bay, so down came the sails and we motored up into the bay to drop the anchor to the west of the entrance to the marina.  The chain did not sound good as it went down so I dived on the anchor.  It was hooked on a rocky ledge and the chain lay over a patch of rock and shale.  Malua was in fact sitting on top of a large rock only a meter or so below the keel.  It was time to move.  Up anchor and move east towards the beach and hopefully sand.  The wind was still blowing more than 20 knots.
Down went the anchor and we went astern to pull it in and it held first time.  Good swing room and few yachts within range to be of any worry.  Off to the flesh pots of Rodney Bay.
We stayed a few days in Rodney Bay and travelled into town, walked along the beach and had a few drinks in the local marina bar.

Follow Malua as we sailed north to Martinique and Dominica.