Friday, November 9, 2012

North Thru the Grenadines

North Thru the Grenadines
Thursday, November 1 - Friday, 9 November 2012
After leaving the marina in Grenada we thought we would have a nice sail up to Chatham Bay on Union Island in the Grenadines. But the wind was on the nose so we motor-sailed all the way, except for 1 hour as we passed Carriacou and the storm over to the east. We stayed dry with mostly sunny skies and the seas were only 3 feet so with the main out it wasn't too bad of a trip. After a 6 hour trip we were anchored by 3 in beautiful Chatham Bay, Union Island, Grenadines flying our yellow Q flag. It is early in the season for boats to be heading north so not to many cruising boats in the anchorage, just a few charter boats. Vanessa from Sun, Beach & Eat came by to see if we wanted to come in for dinner, Tim from Jerry's also stopped by, they both have wonderful food but we had food on board that needed to be used. Should have asked Vanessa if she could sell some of her breadfruit salad to go, it is the best we have ever tasted. Beautiful water and turtles swimming all around the boat, just love this place. Around 4:30 we see a boat come in and anchor near by and it is friends Judy & Gordon on Dreamcatcher. We wave & after they get settled in call them on the VHF radio to invite them over for dinner. They are also on their way up to St Lucia to meet with mutual friends and ex neighbors Phyllis & Dennis. They have been VERY busy getting boat work/projects done before picking up Phyllis & Dennis on the 5th in St Lucia. Friday we sleep in and by the time we are up Dreamcatcher is long gone. We head out to go over to the town port of Clifton to clear into the Grenadines. Since it is slow season there is plenty of room to anchor, which is NOT usually the case. Always guys meeting your boat to try to put you on a mooring but not sure of the quality or ownership of the moorings so we always prefer to anchor. IF it is not crowded and you find a good spot it is really a nice anchorage, but that is a big IF. We arrive just after noon so of course customs is at lunch, so we have lunch while we wait. Even the town is not fully back into boating season with several stores closed, even a few of the veggie stands are closed. After checking in and picking up a few things that we forgot to get in Grenada we leave Union Island and make the short (less then 30 min.) trip over to the Tobago Cays and are anchored by 3:45. Never enough time spent in Chatham or the Cays, 2 wonderfully beautiful places. Saturday we take the dinghy over to one of the islands (Jamesby) so we can beach it to be able to clean the bottom. During our 3 month stay at the marina in Grenada we were stern to at the dock so we had to keep the dinghy in the water next to the boat the whole time. Marine growth loves to grow on things sitting in the water, so the bottom of the dinghy was very nasty !!! Beaching this dinghy is not so easy. Steve & I pulled it up as far as we could then Steve removed the motor and gas can, everything else had been emptied out earlier, and we were able to pull it up a little more and then flip it over. Then we went to work scraping and scrubbing the bottom of the dinghy for the next 3 hours. We might have cleaned more BUT the tide was coming in so we had to get the motor back on the boat and launch it back into the water. I got to TRY to hold the dinghy steady in the water with waves coming in while Steve got the motor back on. Then we had to get into the dinghy, not easy for me to jump in from waste high water!! Mission accomplished a very clean dinghy bottom and no mishaps with the motor. Sunday we spend the day just swimming and relaxing. Monday we get underway by 11 and have a wonderful sail to Bequia. As we are approaching the anchorage near Princess Margaret beach I am on the bow getting the anchor ready. I say to Steve, look at that boat to our right, looks like Dreamcatcher. He agrees but we can't see the name, then someone comes up on deck and I say that looks like Gordon again Steve agrees but too far away to be sure. The reason we are questioning if it is Dreamcatcher is this is the day they are supposed to be up in St Lucia picking up friends Dennis & Phyllis. We get settled in and call them on the radio to learn their engine fresh water coolant pump failed. SO as it turns out Phyllis & Dennis will be coming a few days later bringing a new water pump. It worked out okay for them also as Phyllis's dad just got out of the hospital so it gave her a few more days to get him settled in. We go in that night to have pizza at Mac's, and hear about the revised visit plans. Tuesday we have internet so spend the morning getting caught up then go into town for a few things and to just walk around. Admiralty Bay is a BIG Bay with lots of room to anchor, but think this is the least amount of boats we have seen anchored here, everyone still down in Grenada. When we got here Monday there was a cruise ship in and Tuesday there was another so things are starting to pick up and getting busy. Wednesday just hanging out doing a few errands & chores a great dinner on-board. Then comes Thursday, as most of you will already know we had a boarding incident. This is what I posted on Facebook pages as to what happened.

Burglary in Admiralty Bay Bequia, Thursday 8th November 2012

Ocean Star a 50 ft. Beneteau anchored by Princess Margaret Beach just off the point leading to Lower Bay. Some time between 3 am and 6 am during this rainy night, our boat was boarded and items stolen. We were asleep in our forward berth during the incident and did not know someone had come aboard to take 2 phones, a kindle, a Leatherman and around. $100.00 EC until we awoke at 7 am Thursday morning. The following is our best guess summary of what we think most likely happened.
We were up late reading, I went to bed at 12:45 doing my usual cockpit and surrounding area check before going to bed. Steve was still up reading in the salon with the lights on. At 3, I awoke and got Steve to turn off the lights and come to bed. At 5:40 (I have a clock by the bed) I awoke and noticed the hatches between our bed and the bathroom were open and the floor was all wet from the rain. I cursed and turned the light on then went to the bathroom. Got some towels to dry up the floor and hatches. Then went through the salon to the back ¼ berth to get another towel. I did NOT notice anything at this time, but in hindsight think I might have scared the person off the boat when I put the light on. I went back to bed and awoke again at 6:45. This time when I went out into the salon I noticed Steve's backpack up in the cockpit on the floor. I got distracted by also noticing that the hatch over his desk in the port side aft room was also open and rain had come in there also. After cleaning that up I went to check on the backpack up in the cockpit. It was on the floor by the closed back door to the swim platform with all the compartments open. I knew it was NOT there when I went to bed and it was just a little damp, not wet like the cockpit cushions from all the rain during the night. Steve confirmed that there was no reason his backpack (where the Leatherman was kept) should be in the cockpit especially since he had not used it the day before, and it should have been in the ¼ berth where he always puts it away. It was then that we realized our phones, that were out on the center island in the salon were gone.
It was at this moment that we realized that some one had come on board while we were sleeping and taken things. A very disturbing feeling !!!   We kept a “fake” “throw down” wallet on this center island also and the cash was all gone. As we looked around we discovered my kindle was also gone. Thankfully still sitting on the salon table 3 feet away was my computer, and Steve's computer was still back in his office.
We do have a sensor mat ( that at night we place under the rug at the companionway that rings a door bell in our bedroom. Who ever came on board stepped over this. NO one had been on board to know that this mat is used at night, so either he got lucky or they know about these “security” mats and avoid stepping on rugs. 
It is a very unpleasant felling knowing some one was on our boat. We are extremely thankful that the intruder did not come into our forward berth, and try to get more money from us and know we are lucky by only having a few items taken. We feel the island of Bequia and the Grenadines as a whole need to take these incidents much more seriously. We did file a police report but do not expect to hear much from them. We heard talk that they know who this “cat burglar” is but can't do anything about it. We hope that is not the case and that something will be done to add security to the anchorages. We want to come and visit and spend money on these beautiful islands but if incidents like this keep occurring we will stop coming.

The rest of the day was great, Phyllis and Dennis finally arrived by ferry, via air to Barbados and an overnight in St Vincent. We joined them and Judy & Gordon for lunch on shore then Steve & I snorkeled the point by where we are anchored and walked the beach. Finishing up the day with a wonderful meal on Dreamcatcher. Friday Gordon & Dennis worked on replacing the water cooling pump on Dreamcatcher so we can head north. I did laundry, both hand and send out, while Steve worked on finding and fixing another water leak from the generator. Yes the generator does get a lot of mention in our blogs, but the pulley rig we had made in Grenada is holding up great, the leaks were quickly found, one from the sea water pump cover and one from the exhaust hose. Sea water always leaves a nice trail of salt to track the source. A quick replacement of the cover plate with a new Speed Seal, a couple of hose clamps tightened, and leaks fixed. Of course there was the 30 minutes of moving things out of the way to get to the leaks, and 30 minutes to put it all back together, but that's life on a boat. Friday afternoon went into town to check out and pick up a few things. Steve and I were determined to leave Bequia with a pleasant memory so we went into Jack's for a wonderful dinner.
Saturday early departure St. Lucia here we come.

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