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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Canouan to Union Island

I slept well, but in the morning almost everyone else complained about the surge moving the boat so violently that they had trouble sleeping. I guess there's something to be said about having a medical condition that makes sleep so uncomfortable normally that you don't notice minor things like your bed shaking around with the waves. I sleep better on boats than I do at home.

Paul had not managed to find any flights or ferry from Canouan, and in fact would have to stay with us until we got back to Bequia.

Right after breakfast I heard the engine turn on. There had been no calls to get crew members on deck. Apparently, Norman had decided that from now on he would do all the sailing alone. On my initiative I got the boat hook ready and a bucket of water ready for the anchor to weigh, but Norman shooed me away. Well then, I would relax and enjoy the sail!
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The "sail" to Union Island was done without even unfurling the main. It was close enough that in 2 hours we pulled into the anchorage, which was crammed with boats of every size. As usual, the Illusion headed into the part of the bay furthest away from shore, but this time we appeared to be headed for a coral reef. We stopped right at the edge of the reef and dropped anchor. It's not considered cool to anchor right off a reef because an anchor hooked into a reef can cause serious damage to the coral. Ron and I raised our eyebrows at each other, but didn't do anything else—it wasn't as though saying a word would trigger anything but a storm of invectives. I'm sure that Norman knew what he was doing, but his questionable judgement the night before made us question this move a lot more than we would have.
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The skiff was out of operation, since the outboard motor had been flooded. Allison therefore called a water-taxi to take us ashore, but since they didn't have the cash for it, we would have to front the money and then have them reimburse us. Arriving ashore, we headed around looking for food. Allison had recommend this place called Jennifer's at the end of the street, so we chose it and ordered food. I had forgotten that this was the Caribbean, however, and everything operated on island time. The entire meal took 2 and a half hours, at which point it was nearly 3pm and we had a limited amount of time for snorkeling.
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Josh, Noah, Lisa and I headed over to Big Sand Beach, which was recommended to us by Jennifer. When Lisa saw it, she decided that she didn't want any of it, and headed back to town to do some shopping. Big Sand Beach, turned out to have terrible snorkeling. The beach was so churned up by the surge that we could barely see anything. I did spot what I thought to be a moray eel, but it wasn't all that spectacular. The coral was also in poor condition, and looked like it had bleached out, a sure sign of it being about to die. After an hour of struggling to make the best of a bad situation, we finally called it quits and walked back to town, where I caught up to Lisa and we took a shower.
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Getting the water taxi back to the Illusion was a fiasco. We had to split the party in two, as we did before, but we forgot to hold back some money and paid the taxi in full, so he never went back to pick up the rest of the party and they had to get a ride back from someone else. This reliability thing doesn't work very well when you're not in high trust countries.

The sunset from the boat was beautiful, though.

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