To and from Carriacou: too much wind, or too little!
As I wrote in my last post, after dropping off our friends Allen and Rachel at Port Louis Marina, and picking up our cruising companion Ken, we did a 180 and headed back up island to Carriacou. Although the conditions weren’t great, we made it there safe and sound, and in time to join the festivities.
The Saturday hash, our reason for traveling to Carriacou, was a complete blast. The people on the island are so chilled, and the atmosphere so festive, that we always have a great time at this annual event. The hashing trail, just under 7 km, was challenging, and very hot, but it left everyone with smiles and a sense of accomplishment. Later that evening, after liming with friends by the beach, we even found our way to a crowded disco, something that I didn’t even know existed on Carriacou!
Note: The disco was NOT five minutes away as was suggested!
1.5 hours, with a beer stop along the way.
Having weathered less-than-ideal conditions on our trip north, the three of us were anxious to have a better journey back to Grenada. The weather forecast showed that we’d have next to no wind on Monday, and so for this reason alone, we decided to skip the Sunday-morning live hash on Petite Martinique so that we could begin our return sail early. As it turned out, it was a good thing that we did!
Windward or Leeward?
Traveling to and from Grenada, sailors are faced with a choice: travel on the windward side of the island, where there is more wind, or the leeward side, where it is virtually guaranteed that you’ll have to motor for an hour or more. If heading to or from St. Georges, it only makes sense to take the leeward side, as it’s located part way down that coast. When heading from Carriacou to Grenada’s south coast though, a windward trip presents a sailor with a downwind course to the southern bays, as opposed to a nasty bash east after rounding Point Salines.
Such a route, for us at least, is reserved only for nice-weather days though. The windward side of Grenada has virtually no bail out points, except for possibly Grenville, which itself might be sketchy for a boat with our draft. Additionally, the course has you traversing a long a lee shore, with wind and waves always pushing you towards some nasty boat-eating rocks. Like I said, settled weather only!
We had a beautiful sail to the top of the island.
Presented with such settled conditions, and wind from a favorable direction, we decided that it might be a great day for sailing the windward coast. And we enjoyed a beautiful sail, albeit a relatively slow one, all the way to the top of the Grenada. Unfortunately, the wind was even less than expected, and with so little breeze to propel the boat, not only were we making very slow time, we were continually being set into the island. We do have a way to cheat though, our diesel engine, and when faced with the thought of an after-dark arrival, it was a no brainer for us to fire up the iron genny to give us that much-needed extra push. The remainder of the sail, with just that little bit of help, was pleasant. We arrived back to our normal anchoring spot at Secret Harbor just as the sun was thinking about setting, with cheeks sore from so much smiling and laughter, and minds full of positive memories.