Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)
Bequia, Union, Tobago Cays

  • L99 => TD5 => Named Storm: Ernesto
  • Figtree: A great conversation in Bequia
  • Trying the anchors at Chatham Bay
  • Nice days at Chatham Bay
  • Cristal water in the Tobago Cays

    Montag, 30.07, 03:30 – "Die Passage nach Bequia" - (Christian)
    Unseren Kurs in Luv der Inseln hatten wir sehr weit nach Osten abgesteckt, damit wir nach dem für heute Nacht prognostizierten Winddreher nicht kreuzen müssen. Dieses Vorhalten hatte sich ausgezahlt, obwohl der Wind seine Richtung erst morgens statt Mitternacht wechselte, nachdem es 1-2 Stunden kaum noch Wind hatte.
    Wir hatten beunruhigendes, aber faszinierendes Wetterleuchten am Horizont und einen Mond, der hinter den Wolken hervorlugte und sich auf dem Wasser spiegelte. Schön!

    Monday, 30.07, 08:00 – "Dolphins !" - (Christian)
    In the channel north of Bequia we were greeted by a very large school of dolphins. They were playing and jumping in the waves! The first ones on our whole trip!
    The conditions in the channel were good, but I guess it can be more than unpleasent if the strong current is against the Wind.
    After we rounded the cape of Bequia, the wind came nearly out of every direction, because of the mountains.

    Monday, 30.07, 11:00 – "Checking in and Checking out" - (Dagmar)
    We arrived at Port Elizabeth in Bequia in the morning and got our hook in the sandy bottom of Princess Margaret Beach. It is lovely there and quiet, only one restaurant at the left side of the beach.

    We made our dinghy ready and drove to the towndock for immigration and customs.
    The people there had their lunchbreak so we took a detour through the local shopping mall: only four shops or so and very small.
    But we were not looking for touristic stuff, but for bread, as usual. We did not like the bread they had left and tried to look for other opportunities.

    At the immigration and customs (same building) it was all easy, they told us we could either clear out at Bequia or Union Island. I would like it everywhere to be as uncomplicated as in Dominica, where you can clear in and out at the same time and stay 14 days in between.
    But sometimes I suppose they must create enough jobs for people here and so the procedures must not be too easy.

    Afterwards we found the market and bought vegetables and fruits, there are stalls in the surrounding of the dock with fresh produce as well.
    When the fisherboats bring their catch in, they blow the conch-shell to tell everybody: We got some fish! If the customer wants they do the cleaning and even cut out filets.

    Montag, 30.07, 12:30 – "Flipflops on stairs - scheißrutschig" - (Christian)
    We went into town not only to clear in but also to get provisions which is possible in several little shops. It started to rain and on the ex-dusty-now-wet-dusty-stairs of a supermarket my flipflops failed to get grib => a ugly bruise and a very bad mood was the result.

    Dienstag, 31.07, 18:30 – "Essen und einkaufen" - (Christian)
    Wir haben den Ort besichtigt => das geht sehr schnell, da auf der ganzen Insel nur ca. 6.000 Menschen leben.
    Bei Jack´s haben wir etwas gegessen und wurden für einen Internetanschluss auf ein kostenpflichtiges Angebot verwiesen => kein guter Service, zumal Dagmar gestern dort angefragt hatte, ob sie Internetanschluss haben!

    Tuesday, 31.07, 21:30 – "Security" - (Christian)
    On one hand I like Bequia! On the other hand here they do not only have hungry sandflies but also criminals!
    If you check you can read numberous reports that St. Vincent and the Grenadines are not realy safe.
    If you go through Bequia you can see that the locals guard themself useing big locks (On an Island where I suppose everyone knows each other).

    I am fed up with this and I do not want to have lock up our ship at night!
    Why the government or police do not do much about that is not understandable! They will ruin their economy because the Cruisers will think twice where to go!
    Just now we tend not to stay for another season in the caribbean.
    But on the other hand we have met many realy friendly people until now (locals and cruisers)!

    Wednesday, 01.08, 17:30 – "Figtree" - (Christian)
    In the morning I listend to the Bequia-Cruiser-Net on VHF 68, 08:00 local time. This helpful net is hosted by Cheryl in an very charming way. She runs the Figtree-Restaurant and supplies open WiFi.
    Despite Dagmar is feeling not too good, I wanted to meet her to say thank you in person and also I had to do some research on the weather, so I went there alone in the dinghy.

    I am convinced that this talk we had was the highlight of my stay in Bequia!!! Cheryl was 1 Year in Germany to get more knowledge how to care about blind persons and now she is running the restaurant, is in a board for blindcare and runs the children reading-club (with a bookexchange Dagmar will probably visit tomorrow).

    If you are in Bequia try her place!

    Mittwoch, 01.08, 20:00 – "Was nun?" - (Christian)
    Wir bleiben noch auf Bequia, da, je nach Modell, die Zugbahnen von einem offensichtlich bösen Tiefdruckgebietes von Martinique bis Süd-Grenada vorhergesagt wurden. Wir wollen erstmal ein klareres Bild, und entscheiden dann, wohin wir fliehen werden!

    Wednesday, 01.08, 22:30 – "Waiting for L99" - (Christian)
    Figtree-Restaurant and Mac´s Pizza provide an open internetaccess to check emails and the weather!

    There is a bad weathersystem in the middle of the Atlantic not named now but identified as „L99“ with a 30% chance to develop into a tropical storm or hurricane.
    The bay here empties and most are going south (Which could be not good if the system is taking a route to Grenada, but generally beeing north of the hurricancenter (and near!) is mostly very, very bad ...).
    The problem is that we do not know if it is better to go further north or further south. The simulations of the way this system will take are ranging from between Grenada and Trinidad up to Martinique => We are just now right in the middle!
    The Windforecast for bequia is talking of gusts up to 39 knots on fridaynight to saturday.
    We will check the predictions tomorrow morning and than decide! We tend to go south to Union Island and check once more on the weather and mayby clear out there.

    Our possibilities:
    Bequia going north to
    - Martinique, Marin = 100nm
    - St Lucia, Rodney Bay = 70nm

    Bequia going south to
    - Mayreau, 27 = nm
    - Union, Chatham Bay = 30nm
    - Carriacou, Tyrell Bay = 40nm
    - Grenada, Saint George´s Harbour = 70nm
    - Trinidad, Chaguaramas = 160nm

    Bequia going west to
    - Bonaire = 420nm

    National Hurrican Center-Warningsite on NOAA´s:

    Donnerstag, 02.08, 15:45 – "Passage zu Union Island" - (Dagmar)
    Wir haben uns nun entschlossen, Bequia in Richtung Süden zu verlassen, die Zugbahn wird jetzt aller Voraussicht nach eher über Martinique verlaufen. Wir werden erstmal nur bis Mayreau oder Chatham Bay auf Union Island fahren und dann weitersehen. Die Entwicklung dieser Wettersysteme ist schwer vorhersagbar und es kann sich sehr schnell etwas ändern: zum Guten oder Schlechten.
    Wir kamen spät weg, da Christian noch bei Figtree letzte Updates abgerufen hat (L99 is jetzt zur Tropical Depression TD5 hochgestuft) und wir auch noch Fisch gekauft haben.
    Dafür war es ein schöner Segeltag, allerdings hat uns die Bay in Mayreau nicht gefallen, es erschien uns als rollig und ziemlich ungeschützt. Und so sind wir gleich weiter nach Chatham gesegelt, mit Strom der uns anschob und 8,5 kn Geschwindigkeit brachte.

    Chatham Bay ist gross und bietet Schutz durch Hügel und hat an vielen Stellen guten Ankergrund. Es war nicht viel los, nur wenige andere Boote, wir wurden gleich von 2 lokalen Booten begrüßt, die zu den Strandrestaurants gehören.
    Da wir aber den Fisch aus Bequia hatten, war Barbeque für heute auf dem eigenen Boot und nicht am Strand angesagt, aber vielleicht an einem anderen Tag.

    Wir finden diese Bucht sehr angenehm und werden immer wieder gerne herkommen, es gibt nur ein paar Restaurants am Strand und sonst nix, man muss sich nur an die immer wieder die Hügel runterpfeifenden Böen gewöhnen, die gehören hier anscheinend auch an ruhigen Tagen dazu.

    Die einzigen, die wieder mal Krach machten, waren die amerikanischen Powerboats die am nächsten Tag ankamen um den Sturm hier abzuwarten.
    Die nerven mit ihrem 24h laufenden Generator ziemlich. Wir konnten gut die Ankunft und das Ankern beobachten und viel Vertrauen hat uns das nicht eingeflösst.
    Aber es ging keiner auf Drift.

    Friday, 03.08, 15:45 – "Waiting for TD5" - (Christian)
    In this bay there is no internetaccess ashore, only a few huts with restaurants. So we intended to get the weatherchart on Shortwaveradio (but somebody missed the broadcasting).
    We got the weather through satphone, and the girbfiles on Ugrib look ok.
    Despite we will reanchor a few meters, because our anchor has just hit a 1 meter wide weedpatch.

    Saturday, 04.08, 14:00 – "Preparing for TD5" - (Christian)
    The bay is filling up, a hord of motorboats came in and squezed themself near the coast => To near in my opinion. The bay is huge and I think in the middle it is better than near the rocks.
    The wind is changing a lot and our anchor was first digged in to the NW now we are facing SE! And the anchor turned with the wind and stayed on the same place! Very good! Our neighour-catamaran reanchored to get the hook in the new direction. Our neighbour motor boat (USA) set out the second anchor but still comes very close to us => I hope he has a 3rd-party insurance.

    Saturday, 04.08, 16:00 – "More preparing for TD5" – (Christian)
    a) We decided to get our 12kg extra weight riding onto the chain of the mainanchor to create a better angle and a Dämpfung in case of waves.
    b) We decided to get our 25kg Delta out of the locker and attached it to the 2m chain instead of the 8m chain => I think we can not get up the 8m Chain and Anchor => it is to heavy and on the foredeck it is not easy to work with an weight like that.
    We got the chain on the 80m Line and realised after letting the thing down: Shit – it´s the floating-line! I dived down and attached the 40m-line to the chain instead => much better!
    c) Now we are thinking if the riding weight on the mainchain will interfere with the rope of the second anchor and create a mess … => We will see.

    The motoryacht (They never said Hello! => Only one of the motor-hord greeted us) who got near us took up the anchors and went into the middle of the bay, after another 180deg windshift => Good decision!

    While it was blowing from SE the windsystem in Chatham produced this picture

    Sunday, 05.08, 22:00 – "Having a nice day" - (Christian)
    The anchorchain with the riding weight caught the anchor rope and made a mess => It tooksome diving to clear it.
    It was worth testing it out. I think it is normally better to have only one anchor down! And it is a good feeling that our Bügelanchor did not moved a meter => It behaved like a corkscrew and turned a least 720deg with full load!

    Tonight we went to Jerrys Palmleaf restaurant and meet Gael with Alice and Zoe aswell as Laurent and Marie-Eughenia => All from Belgium.
    It was a nice meal and a very nice group!

    Jerry will bring us bread for 10EC tomorrow between 08:00 and 08:30 => a nice service!

    Montag, 06.08, 11:00 – "Tobago Cays" - (Christian)
    We just left without the bread (No Jerry / No bread)! => not a nice service!

    I was in the Tobago Cays 20 years ago and remember them as a realy nice spot.
    Chris Doyle writes in his “Guide to the windward islands”:
    “The Tobago Cays are a group of small deserted islands, protected from the sea by a Horseshoe Reef. The water and the reef colors are a kaleidoscope of gold, brown, blue, turquoise, and gren. There are small sand beaches and cler water. On cloudless nights, the stars are cast across the sky like wedding confetti thrown in an excessive gesture of bonhomie. Even squalls can be dramatically beautiful as the approach from afar.”

    Montag, 06.08, 18:00 – "In der Postkarten-Karibik angekommen" - (Christian)
    Hier gibt es nix, außer ein paar kleinen Inseln, mit Sandstrand und Palmen, Riffen, Schildkröten, Fischen. Wir liegen auf der Luvseite der Inseln und sind nur durch ein hufeisenföhrmiges Riff von den Wellen getrennt, die direkt aus Afrika kommen. Die Brandung der Wellen, die sich auf dem Riff brechen ist als kontinuierliches Rauschen zu hören, dass mal schwächer, mal stärker ist. Ein völlig anderer Rythmus als das Aufschlagen von Wellen auf einem Strand oder das Bersten des heranrollenden Wassers auf einer Steinküste.

    Die Tropical Wave ist durchgezogen => war ok. Der meiste Regen ist südlich von uns runtergegangen, Manchmal waren die Inseln um uns herum nicht zu sehen, da ein Regenumhang sie verdeckte.

    Der Ankergrund ist gut und die Böen, bis 30 kn, haben sich eigenartigerweise nicht nach 30 kn angefühlt.
    Das Sturmtief Florentine hat sich jetzt auch verflüchtigt, mal sehen, wie es weiter geht...

    Der Ankerplatz wurde gegen Abend immer voller => 7 Katamarane, 8 Monohulls => mehr braucht es jetzt nicht => in der Hauptsaison wird es wahrscheinlich schwierig überhaupt einen Platz zu finden; ich habe von zeitweise über 250 Booten gehört ...

    Die Tropical Wave ist durchgezogen => war ok. Der Ankergrund ist gut und die Böen, bis 30 kn, haben sich nicht nach 30 kn angefühlt.
    Florentine hat sich jetzt auch verflüchtigt, mal sehen, wie es weiter geht...

    In ein paar Tagen werden wir nach Carriacou weiterfahren und dann Flüge buchen!

    Wednesday, 07.08, 18:00 – "Unprotected!" - (Dagmar)
    Just now it is a sort of rolly, but not from the side, more from the front! I discovered this in the morning aswell => Maybe it is because of the tides?

    Most of the anchorages until now were fine for 2-3 days and after that got rolly more or less.
    During the day it is not a problem, but I cannot sleep well when Taitonga is rolling from left to right and back like a dogstail.
    Sometimes we think about doing a boatchange: Taitonga against a catamaran. These seem to roll much less than monohulls and on such a catamaran you have much more comfort in living, due to much more space.
    But this won`t happen very soon and until now a catamaran seemed for us not to be a sailboat (Christian: More like a spacious container with a sail on it) => one day we have to checksail one of these!

    Thursday, 09.08.2012, 18:30 – "Coming and going" - (Christian)
    Many take this place just as a day anchorage. We are now 15 multihulls, 6 monohulls and one motorboat.

    It is funny to see, that one day nearly all the boats get their hook down on our left side and the other day on our right side and one day all the catamaran parked in a row in front of us.

    We have seen most of the boats driving their anchor in and checking it immediately with a snorkeler (even french boats!) => this gives me a good feeling.

    Most of the boats are french, followed by belgic, then british boats. It seem´s that nobody wants to meet some other boatcrews, but I guess this is a place to take care of yourself and your thoughts.

    Except beeing in France we haven´t seen so much french People around (but that can be explained by the huge charterfleet they have on the french islands and the huge amount of people on the french islands compared to the rest of the islands). And we never saw so many people of Belgium on our voyages!

    Freitag, 10.08.2012, 08:30 – "Wieder weiter!" - (Christian)
    Dagmar hat heute morgen keine Wetterfaxe von der NOAA über Kurzwelle abrufen können. Da draußen lauert ein potentieller Sturm, der Sonntag bei uns sein könnte.
    Ich fühle mich sowieso eher zum Gehen als zum Bleiben geneigt. Wir werden nachher ankerauf gehen und die Südpassage ausprobieren => kürzer und spannender.

    Die letzten Tage haben wir mit Schildkröten geschnorchelt, Dagmar hat Bücher gelesen, ich habe die Zeitung Compass ( gelesen (eher schon durchgearbeitet), das Riff (ziemlich tot aber mit Fisch) und die Insel Jamesby (total tot und mit wenig Fisch) abgeschnorchelt (Schnorcheln ist woanders besser!). In der Zeit konnte ich gut nachdenken und habe die Zusammenfassung über den ersten Teil der Reise begonnen (Mal sehen, ob und wann Dagmar dies ausfüllen wird). Ich will es nach diesem Logbuch onlinestellen.

    Dagmar meinte gestern: “Wenn wir nach Deutschland fliegen und ich sehe, auf was wir alles verzichten, könnte es sein, dass ich nicht mehr zurück auf´s Boot will!”. Das ist mir nicht aus dem Kopf gegangen => wir werden wohl nochmal etwas Geld in die Hand nehmen, um unser Leben hier komfortabler zu gestalten! Ich habe schon intensiv über einen zweiten Flügel über dem Bimini nachgedacht, auf dem wir unsere Solarpanelle schrauben könnten …

    Für die nächste Tage sind Meteoritenschauer angesagt. Bisher habe ich wenig Sternschnuppen gesehen.

    Friday, 10.08, 14:30 – "Check-out" - (Christian)
    After a nice sail from the Cays (we payed the 10 EC p.P/p.D. fees only twice), we anchored in Clifton on Union Island to clear out. A watertaxi brought me for 15 EC ahore and back, so we spared the handling with the dinghy. After trying to clear out in town I walked to the airport to clear out there!
    I do not understand why they have 2 offices (one closed, without a sign to go to the airport) and all the „services“ beside the landingstrip aswell (5 minutes walking distance).
    I do not understand why they ladys at -customs were so pissed off seeing me, before I even had the chance to say Hello, good afternoon => I simply disturbed them doing nothing! The guy at Immigrations was nice!
    I do not understand why the forms they provide does not have enough room to fill in my adress.
    I do not understand that some officers do not understand that they are part-payed through the taxes on the revenues made by the locals with Cruisers/Guests and even more that they are representatives, where I get the first aswell the last impression of a country´s friendlyness.
    => I like the french system better!
    => I like the system best, but unfortunately this is closed down now!

    It´s a good wind to go to Carriacou. I hope to arrive there soon, so we do not have to pay overhours to immigrations.

    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at a glance

    Country and People
    ca. 120.000 People
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    Bequia Port Elisabeth – Princess Margarete Beach (aka Tony Gibbons Beach):
    We discovered good holding in the sand (but some sunken wood on the seabed !!!)
    Locals and another boat discribed the holding as tricky
    With much wind I think it is better because more sheltered to anchor on the N-Side

    Mayreau, Les Salines:
    A bay which looked bigger and better on the chart. It looked too little, too open and too rolly for us so we went further to Union.

    Union Island, Chatham Bay:
    A big bay open to west. Looks like goodholding on sand, but there is weed also! We found some isolated stones in the water (wherever they come from) which might disturb swinging.
    On the northside there are some stones and hard sand near the shoreline!
    It was a bit rolly but ok.

    Tobago Cays, S of Baradel:
    A pretty bay with good holding sand

    Union Island - Clifton Harbour:
    A boat meet us before we entered the harbour and offered a mooring. We anchored in 3m on the westside of the reef and were ok, but Dagmar stayed on board watching the anchor. We would not like to stay in Clifton for a longer period.

    in Estern Caribbean Dollar (ca. 3,3 EC = 1Euro / ca. 2,5 EC = 1US ) Bequia
  • Clearence In => 70
  • Garbage-disposal => 0
  • Bread / Bag of 5 “Sponge”rolls => 2,25
  • Bread / Artisan Loaf => 15
  • Carrots => 5
  • Plantains => 1 each
  • Salad (2 little ones (=> 0,75 European size) => 8
  • Pumkin lb => 3
  • Fish lb => 9
  • Glas of Bitter Lemon at Figtree => 4
  • Cheeseburger at Jack´s => 42
  • Diesel 1 US gallon=> 18,75
  • Cookinggasbottle-Refill (US) 6lb => 18
  • Laundry 1 load (5kg) => 25

  •, © Dagmar und Christian Sahr