Our next stop was just a jump away - it only took us about 30 min to make it to Union Island. We made our way around the reef and dropped anchor just outside the harbor channel, with only one boat next to us. We looked around, hoping that not too many more boats would come in due to the limited room for swinging as the channel was right behind us and the reef dead ahead. But, as it always seems, here comes the French. They see a big boat and must think “oh must be a good spot” and they drop less then a boat’s length away. And then another boat comes, and another, and yet another and it looked like we were all there to watch a drive-in movie! Luckily, the wind was steady and all the boats stayed pointing the same way for two days. Anyway, we always say “hey man, we are steel and I don’t think your gel coat would like us!”
Cath and Gail enjoying sun downers on Happy Island
As we laid back and had some lunch, Cath and I debated whether this bar in front of us (which is right on the reef in the middle of no where” was the same one we saw on Anthony Bourdain’s show on the Travel Channel, and it turned out it was! It is named Happy Island. The base of the island is made all from conch shells and boasts a view to die for. With out hesitation we thought it best to have our sun downers there.
The next morning we went in to town to grab some much needed fruits and veggies. Union has a great town center with very colorful fruit stands and was quite the little hub as the center is also a ferry stop so there was lots of activity to entertain ourselves with.
Fruit and Veggie Stands on Union Island
After walking around town, we heard of a great restaurant named The West Indies Restaurant, so we decided to check it out for dinner. The restaurant was a beautiful French place that had a dock right behind it so we were able to ride right up to it in the dingy. Cath and I were in the mood for a good steak and the guide book said this was the best in the Grenadines and boy, were they ever right! Their grill was right outside, so you got to watch your dinners get prepared… oh man, my mouth is still watering! Cath and I haven’t even tried to attempt a steak since, as we would just be disappointed. Gail enjoyed a great looking piece of tuna. And, we still managed to have room for Tiramisu and chocolate profiteroles. All of us were happy, full and ready for our sail to Carriacou the next day.
Colorful Union Island
The next morning, we got up early, dignied into town and stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies. We hauled up anchor and got ready for our sail to Carriacou. Good winds made for a great sail on a beam reach and we cruised right along. We kept a steady 5 knots, which made sure we got into port before Customs closed. We dropped the hook just outside of Hillsborough. While I stowed the sails, Gail and Cath took care of the clearing in. During my clean up, a Carriacou sloop went by. Carriacou is known for their boat building skills, so, if you ever get a chance to see a Carriacou sloop race, jump at the opportunity! They haven’t changed much through the years of building them, but the craftsmanship is beautiful and they still hold there own right along with some of the high-end racers in the regattas.
Sail to Carriacou
Gail and Cath came back on board we hauled up anchor again, ready to head over to Tyrrel Bay, but, as we were making our way there, Sandy Cay got in the way. No, we didn’t run aground, but it is a beautiful little park reserve with moorings for free and a great sandy white beach for Niko to run on. With one look from Niko, I knew it had to be doggy day, so with a change of plans, we were grapping the boat hook, ready to tie onto the mooring. There was a bit of current and wind, and with a bit of misjudgment on my part, Cathy tried her best to hold on to the mooring rope, but 37 tons and current were just a bit too much for her. Not wanting to get dragged overboard, she had to toss the boat hook over, since it had gotten caught up in the rope. Luckily, our friends on Moonsong were coming over in their dinghy and were able to hook up for us and rescue the boat hook. Everyday there is always something new to happen!
With all that craziness aside, Cath and I got the Boston Minnow ready and Niko didn’t have to be told twice to get into the skiff. Gail opted to stay on board to relax and read.
The beach was just beautiful with no one around and Niko had the time of her life trying to chase all the lizards, with no luck of course.
The next morning, Jerry from s/v Moonsong told us that Chris Parker, the weather guru, said that there was a tropical depression forming and was likely to hit the Windward Islands. We didn’t have any internet to have a second look, but luckily Gail had her cell phone and we called up Herk, Cathy’s father. He did confirm that there was a disturbance, so we figured we should head down to Grenada a little bit earlier so if something did hit, we could get a good spot to anchor and set up. We charted our course and did the necessary things to prepare for getting underway. I got my fishing gear out, set it up on the out rigger, and hoped for the best. With the weather moving in, there was a surprising amount of seaweed, which was getting caught up on the hooks and keeping me busy. But I was still hoping for the best - that we could coax a mahi out from under a seaweed patch. Just as we were over Kick’em Jenny (an underwater volcano), Cath asked me to take some photos of Moonsong under sail, as they were just ahead of us. Just as I got to the bow, “ZZZZZ” goes the line. I make the mad dash back to the bumpkin, just in time to see a great big bull dorado jump out of the water and toss my hook like it was nothing. You can just say I was not a happy camper.
Yet another great sign..."Intoxicating Liquors"
We were about 2 miles from Grenada when the wind picked up. Most of the islands cause an offshore strong breeze due to the rising mountainsides and the wind likes to shoot up over the top and come down the other side with a bit more oomph then some would like, especially if you are not aware of it, as it can cause quite a mess to your sails. So, we shortened canvas and set Mr. Auto Bot (our autopilot), sat back and enjoyed the scenery. We dropped the hook just outside of Saint Georges, awaiting our next day with a land tour booked. Time to see what Grenada has to offer.