9th-10th May – St Vincent

Soufriere was the jumping off point for crossing to St Vincent. A dawn start saw me away, motoring as it was calm across the bay and past the Pitons. Rounding Gros Piton point I had wind, gentle at first and could set a course for St Vincent. Later the wind strengthened a little, but a nice beam wind this and not too bad a sea and Sea Bear responded by showing 6 knots on the log, go Bear go, there were 40 miles to go so great to get good speed. I even saw some dolphins, the first I have seen in the Caribbean.
Much later as we neared the north end of St Vincent the wind picked up again, to expected as it accelerates around the end of the island and the sea a little livelier so I put the first reef in the main. A bit later I felt the need for a 2nd reef in the main and furl the working jib as it was getting a bit of a handful. However no sooner than I had done that the wind dropped and then a calm. We were in the lee of the island, thereafter it was a little fitful but we slid calmly along the sea being flat in the lee and entered Wallilabou Bay. This was the main setting for “Pirates Of the Caribbean”. Mooring bouy picked up and a stern line led to the old pilings with the aid of a boat boy and Sea Bear was snug. I had been a good fast passage. Time for a swim then later a beer ashore. Meet and chatted with the lovely American couple of the cat moored next to me Lew and Bev. and we ate together- lovely grilled fish, Amberjack, never had before, very tasty.

It was so peaceful and lovely here, I walked for about 4 hours the next day firstly up the valley then back to the beach.Hear I watched some strange ritual involving 3 corpulent ladies a man with a bell and book and a bag of what I think were flower petals, much anointing with sea water, bathing dunking and bell ringing. It went on a long time and gave some amusement to a man who came down to bathe and who I chatted with. I continued the walk along through Keartons and to Barrouallie the next village along the coast. All very scenic and interesting, got the impression that they don’t see many tourists or “whities” around these parts.
St Vincent is a pretty poor island, you can tell partly because the boat boys and fisherman have little rowing boats, not the big piroques with big outboard motors like other islands, some of the boat boys that sell fruits just paddle around on a surf board . The fisherman row 3 miles or so out to see in these little boats to go fishing, its quite incredible. Ashore some of the tiny shacks that people live in too speak of poverty

St Vincent was beautiful, loved it there and to think I nearly passed it by because it has a bad reputation for boat boys and robberies from boats

Wallilabou
Wallilabou
Wallilabou Bay
Wallilabou Bay
Wallilabou valley
Wallilabou valley