Soon it will be New Year’s Eve and we have planned to celebrate with grilled Lobster together with Håkan and Mirja at Flying Penguin. Preferably out on the Tobago Cays at Romeo’s Beach BBQ on Petit Bateau.
It is about 7 nautical miles to Tobago Cays from Petit Saint Vincent and it takes us just over an hour to sail here. There are quite a few other sailboats here when we come here, but there are still some vacant buoys and we moor in one that is close to the sand cape at Baradal. It feels great to come here again, have such fond memories since last season.
Tobago Cays is part of a nature reserve and you have to pay a visit fee that is 10 ECD (approx. 30 SEK) per person and day, and 40 ECD (120 SEK) per day for the buoy. So almost every day we get visits from supervisors from Union Island who visit the boats and charge. There are several so-called ”boat boys” and they visit the visitors several times every day and ask if you want to buy fish, bread, fruit, vegetables, drinks, or take care of your garbage. We usually buy fish (red snapper max 1 kg, tuna or Mahi-Mahi), vegetables or fruit if it looks good, at some point we have left our rubbish to them. As it is uncertain what they do with the rubbish, we now usually keep it on board and throw it ourselves when we get to a place with garbage cans.
There are several large luxury yachts anchored here and in addition to being visible, they have a lot of bath toys with them and some have so much that it takes a transport ship that has all the stuff. They also like to set up beach pavilions and sunbeds on the few sandy beaches found here.
There is very nice snorkeling here, but for the water to be clear, there must not be too much swell. It causes the water to move several meters down from the surface and causes the bottom sediment to cloud the view. When we were here this time, the visibility was very good. I’m no expert on reefs, but the reefs here look pretty lifeless in most places with a lot of coral that is gray (looks like petrified branches). In some places, there is a lot of fish and above all, there are so many different kinds of fish and plants that live on the reef.
One evening we take the dinghies to the eastern shore of Petit Bateau and go up to the top to watch the sun go down. The mosquitoes here are often active at dusk and they can spread dengue fever, so tonight we use the mosquito repellent we have with us. As usual, it will be a nice evening with a nice view of the anchorage. Once the sun has set, it will soon be dark and we will soon break up to climb down to the beach and the dinghies before it is pitch black.
Before the New Year’s weekend, easterly winds with gale-force are on their way, which means that it will be very windy out here on the Tobago Cays. On New Year’s Eve morning, it is already blowing around 25 knots and the waves break heavily out on the reef and the boat pulls hard in the buoy. We decide we can not stay and instead we sail into Saline Bay on Mayreau which is a few nautical miles west. More about that in the next post.