23 November 2012

sleepless in paradise

Palm island and Janti's Happy Island (a bar in the middle of a reef)

This picture was captured at Clifton, Union Island. A charming town where we checked in for St.Vincent & the Grenadines. It’s great for provisioning and choosing fresh produce in the picture perfect market is a lot of fun as the vendors are very friendly. The only downsize is the anchorage. It is surrounded by reefs and it also has a small reef in the center called “roundabout reef”. According to our guide “the holding is unreliable and you should even consider an anchor watch”. Boat boys are trying to sell you their moorings which obviously also aren’t reliable. We’ve been here before and didn’t have any problems anchoring.

We were just about to sit down for dinner as a squall approached. The wind picked up considerably and it started to rain hard. Marco felt something was wrong and went up to have a look. “We are dragging, and how!!!” he screamed from upstairs. I flew up the ladder and saw the boat that was supposed to be anchored behind us passing by… Great! It was pitch dark, raining cats and dogs, the wind was howling and our anchor was not holding?! And you must know that having an anchor light is a luxury in the Caribbean so there were boats anchored around us we couldn’t even see – a real nightmare! But we managed the situation without even screaming at each other. We re-anchored and then held an anchor watch – like our guide recommended in the first place. Means we’ve been up all night to make sure we didn’t drag into another boat.  Don’t push your luck twice…

There was a Charter Catamaran anchored behind us that we watched out for in particular. In the morning they lifted the anchor to leave the anchorage. And you know what? They drove over the Roundabout Reef with full throttle and ran aground hard! Why did we stay up all night if this captain tried to trash his boat the next morning anyway?? 

The whole last year anchoring was straightforward. Our anchor was holding even in 40-50 kts of wind and changing currents. We usually set an anchor alarm that would ring if we were moving and slept fine. That changed now a little. We’re choosing our anchoring spots more careful, Marco even snorkels to check the anchor and we’re getting a little nervous when the wind picks up.

Nevertheless we’re enjoying the Grenadines with its green-turquoise water, small islands and friendly people. It's like paradise even though we might be sleepless at times...

From paradise with love

1 comment:

  1. Oh that is never fun. It always seems to happen at night. Stay safe!