Island Time Gets
Audited in the Grenadines
The Island Time website audit committee (Nile
& Linda Schneider – Manana) decided that it
was time again to schedule an onsite audit. So on Feb 13th
the self-appointed audit committee,
flew to the Island of St. Vincent in the Grenadines via Barbados. Three
countries in one day,
between TSA and various Customs Dept’s we were well scanned and
Starting in Burlington we got the full TSA
shakedown, bags pulled aside and fully rifled through. The TSA
inspector first asked if there where any sharp objects in my bag, before
he plunged his hands in. I said, Yes, at which point he paused for
details. After a few seconds of silence I said, “Yeh, 4 lbs of Vermont
Cabot’s cheddar, very sharp!”. He was not amused.
Jet Blue left on time for JFK and then to our
connecting flight to Barbados. While waiting to board in JFK, I was able
to call Genie on their boat sitting in Admiralty Harbor in Bequia, via
Skype, on Linda’s iTouch.
By the time we reach Kingstown, St Vincent,
the sun had set. Our small Liat flight of maybe 40 passengers
took over and 1-1/2 hours to clear Customs. Ah, we are on
island time! Guess who managed to be the last two people
through. The owner of the guesthouse we were staying at was
there to pick us up, unfortunately he arrived when our plane
landed. The next morning he took us to the ferry for Bequia 10
View of Bequia from the “Dining room” of the Richview Guesthouse where
overnight on St. Vincent.
Young German fellow who flew down from the
USA to work on a private yacht, currently anchored at Bequia,
for a couple weeks. The Yacht is heading for Maimi in a couple
The Ferries to Bequia run south and North, but the
prevailing wind and waves between the two islands is from the east. The
ferries do some pretty good rocking and rolling.
The fellow in the lower left of these two pictures
saved me from bodily injury as I was thrown off balance in his direction
while trying to take pictures. If he had not been quick enough to catch
me, my future tan would of started with some black and blue tones.
Island Time, viewed from the ferry arriving in Bequia. No, that’s not
fog, just another squall.
The local fuel “dock” in Admiralty Bay, Port Elizabeth
Genie and John catching up on email. John has a booster WiFi antenna
and a “local” WiFi router on the boat. I made a number of iTouch, Skype
phone calls back to the states. So much for being out of touch.
John and Genie had a rough sail north to Bequia the
previous week from Trinidad. The Christmas winds in the Windward Islands
had been running full tilt, 30-40 knots. Fortunately a day or two after
our arrival they backed down to 15-20, so we sailed south to Chatham bay
on the Leeward side of Union Island.
Passing Mayreau, heading south to Union Island, we notice that it is
cruise ship day.
Windstar (from their website)
They must of taken this picture when the
ship was new, because the ornamental “sails” we saw down wind of
the smoke stack, were rather gray.
Mayreau is on our itinerary for later in the week.
Mayreau is the smallest inhabited island in the Grenadines, 300 people
or so. They were a very active fishing community until a few years ago
when cruise ships started arriving one day a week. Now the residents
can earn more in one day than they made fishing all week.
Chatham Bay, Union Island
Chatham Bay is a quiet anchorage that
can only be reached by boat or hiking trail. There are 5 or so beach
“restaurants/bars”. “Shark Attack” where we ate was full, both
pick-nick tables were reserved for the evening. Talk about an exclusive
Lobster dinner at “Shark Attack” on the beach.
The north coast of Union Island
Mayreau and the Tobago Cays to the right, viewed from Union Island
Lunchtime at another beach bar in Chatham Bay
No green flash !
Leaving Chatham Bay
Tobago Cays in the foreground, behind Horseshoe Reef. Mayreau is in the
We spent two days at Tobago Cays National Park,
snorkeling and hiking on the uninhabited islands. There is an active
group of boat vendors, who follow you to your anchorage or mooring
offering their unsolicited help. Fortunately they have worked out a
pretty good system of dividing up the visiting boats, so you don’t have
multiple vendors pestering you. We ordered papaya and bread which was
delivered early each morning.
Interestingly, with the wind pushing 20 knots and a
full moon, it became significantly more rolly as the waves pushed over
the reef near high tide. Snorkeling at high tide took a fair amount of
effort to buck the current coming over the reef.
Tobago Cays, only a reef between us and Africa
Linda and Genie
Waves breaking over the reef
Queue the theme to Jaws
Damn ! that young lady in the back ground nearly ruined this shot.
Hiking to the top of Petit Bateau, the tallest island, view to the main
Old and New cruise ships, view to the northwest from Petit Bateau.
French tourists from the Cruise ship above (right) doing their morning
water aerobics until they spotted me and gave a cheer. Or I assume,
pardon their French.
Moonlight and mooring lights
We spent two days at Tobago Cays and then headed to
Cruising to Mayreau, Linda getting rather relaxed.
Ah! the cruising life. Linda fully relaxed.
Entering Salt Whistle Bay which is overlooked by the village.
John hiking up for lunch at Dennis’s Hideaway.
Lunch at Dennis’s Hideaway. We all voted it the best restaurant meal
during our trip to the Grenadines. Dennis’s has a pool and
air-conditioned rooms. Our alternate plans were to stay at Dennis’s
Hideaway, if for some unforeseen reason John and Genie did not make it
to the Grenadines on Island Time. www.dennis-hideaway.com
John talking with Dennis.
Tobago Cays, viewed from the Catholic Church on the top of Mayreau
Sea Turtle Sanctuary on Bequia
Fish processing plant on Bequia, built by the Japanese, in exchange for
voting in the UN for Whaling rights. Bequia is one of the few places
in the world still allowed limited whaling by the International Whaling
Commission. They average only a couple whales a year, sometimes none.
Admiralty Bay, Bequia
This is the boat that our German friend was working on. We crossed
paths with “JO” a number of times during our Grenadines visit. We ran
into him again ferrying some lovely young guests ashore in the Tobago
Cays, tough work. The picture above is “JO” back in Admiralty Bay from
the Ferry as we were leaving for our flights home after 10 great days.