Christmas and the Days Around It

On the 23rd, an airline delay meant that we spent 8 hours in or near the airport in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia awaiting our parents’ arrival. Finally, they came in around 10 pm. We gathered their luggage, got fleeced by a taxi driver, and rowed back to the boat at its windy and rolly anchorage.

The next morning, we set off and made our way slowly back to the Pitons for Christmas. The anchorage proved to be one of the most uncomfortable yet as ocean swells rolled the boat deeply to one side, then the other. Still, we managed a great Christmas, ourselves enjoying the tools and food that stuffed our parents’ luggage, they enjoying a warm escape from “Hotlanta,” and everyone enjoying having the family together. Our lot improved drastically with our mother’s wonderful cooking and our father’s fixing the engine, among other things.

After two nights we were ready to head south and had a good passage down past St. Vincent to the Grenadine islands. As the sun sank into the sea, we dropped anchor on the fringes of the mass of boats in Admiralty Bay, Bequia. To cap off the day, we opened a bottle of sweet white wine donated by Brian’s better half, and drank it by candlelight while we watched the full moon rise over the hills.

Two days in Bequia were busy and fruitful. We managed to repair our jib, do laundry, take on fresh provisions, get fuel, eat some tasty rotis at the Green Boley, and string up the hammock. Evenings were spent pleasantly by lounging around the cockpit chatting. But Grenada still called from the south, and we weighed anchor in rain on the 29th for Tobago Cays, deceptively still a part of the Grenadines and nowhere near Trinidad and Tobago. Strong winds accompanying the squall had the boat cutting through the waves at a good clip, but the breeze gave out before the rain. The chilly dampness and lack of wind left us bobbing in the sea like a parapalegic duck at Whitsuntide. Before long, the sun came out, the wind came up, and we made great time in a comfortable and enjoyable passage down to the Cays.

Some careful navigating between rocks and reefs brought us into calm waters, surrounding a trio of stunning tropical islands. Neon blue waters lapped gently onto hot white beaches, themselves giving root to coconut palms swaying in fair breeze. We found a perfect anchorage in 11 feet of crystal clear water amid some 60 other boats and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon swimming, snorkeling, and reading in the hammock. Dinner was a fabulous curry courtesy of Mom, washed down with a Hairoun, the local brew. Dessert was chocolate and the Milky Way, which dusted the sky thickly in the absence of natural light. Truly, this was what cruising is supposed to be.

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