On New Year’s Eve, it started to blow more and the gusts had gale force. It started to get bumpy at the anchorage on the Tobago Cays and before lunch, most of the boats had left the anchorage. The wind would increase further during the day and reach gale force at night.
After consulting with Håkan and Mirja on Flying Penguin, we decided to go to Saline Bay on Mayreau in the hope of finding a calmer anchorage to be on over the New Year weekend. We had booked grilled lobster on New Year’s Eve at Romeos Beach Barbeque which we had to cancel. We promised to come back when the weather was better. He understood and said we were welcome later.
Saline Bay, Mayreau
There was only one boat in Saline Bay when we got there so there was plenty of room to anchor. Pretty soon a so-called ”boat boy” comes out and offers grilled lobster. He says we can choose where on the beach we should be. Perfect, we order 4 grilled lobsters and look for a good place where we can sit.
Pretty soon the swell starts to increase and the boats roll more and more and we realize that it may be very uncomfortable anchoring and difficult to get ashore from the dinghies. We go ashore to cancel the barbecue and it is already dangerous to get on the bridge. The beach is out of the question, where the swell breaks in high cascades of water and a dinghy risk turning around when disembarking.
We do not find the same guy who came to the boat, but we talk to another man who says he knows who we talked to and that he should tell us to cancel.
Ashton, Union Island
We set course for Union Island where we know that anchoring in the bay at Ashton, behind Frigate Island, has good protection for the northeast gale that will blow for a few days. After a few nautical miles we see a small open fishing boat going out from Mayreau, we do not think about it anymore, there are always boats like this running between the islands here. When we have just anchored at Frigate Island, the boat comes to us and he is the one we ordered the Lobster from!
He says that he has not found out that we have canceled and now he wants money for both lobster and petrol. We explain the situation and say that we will return to Mayreau when the wind has decreased again in a few days and that we can then eat grilled lobster. He is content with that but still wants money for petrol and for some of the food. After further negotiations, he settles for 50 EC so he can buy petrol and return home.
We are invited to the opening of the bar at ”Happy Kite”-catamaran at Frigate and after that, it will be New Year’s Eve dinner on board Sally with Håkan and Mirja. Unfortunately not grilled lobster, but grilled shrimp with Caribbean coconut rice and sparkling wine. So after many trips, we finally had a nice New Year’s Eve.
The kite surfers at Frigate Island thrive in the gale wind and usually sail back and forth near land where the waves are at their lowest. Unfortunately, one sail between the anchored boats, which makes it uncomfortable to swim because some come very close behind the boat where we swim. Going out and snorkeling is not the time, especially when there are ”foiling” kiteboards. They act as a hydrofoil, they have an underwater wing that lifts the board they are standing on in the air. They also go fast, and you hear almost nothing when they sail. Wondering how many turtles get injured by foiling kiteboards?
We have time to do some hiking on Union Island. We take the dinghy to Ashton where you can moor it at a public jetty. There is a local bar we sponsor by having a beer every now and then, especially if we have walked a bit and become thirsty. You almost always get thirsty in the heat here, so you do not have to go that far 🙂
After 3 days the wind has decreased and we sail up to Saline Bay on Mayreau again. More about that in the next post.