Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dominica to Carriacou May 2007
Picture: Meeting Recetta at Sea
Now that our company has left, we needed to laundry. Most of the time Bev does laundry on RAFT, collecting rain water, hand washing and drying on lines strung through the cockpit. But when all the sheets and towels are used, it is nice to treat ourselves. In Dominica we found a great laundry service, in Portsmouth. Colle’s Laundry operates behind the Senior Center on the main street. They have new European styled machines and for 23EC we got all got the sheets and towels washed, dried and folded. (the same amount it cost 28Euos in Ainse Mitan, Martinique)
We checked out of Dominica and got an early start for Martinique. Our wine locker was completely empty and we needed to resupply for the summer. Between Dominica and Martinque we sailed with Recetta. We had seen their boat in Portsmouth, but they had left before we had a chance to meet them. Having read "Embarrassment of Mangoes" we felt we knew Anne and Steve, so brashly Bev called over on the VHF and introduced ourselves. They were stopping in Saint Pierre, and we were heading on to Fort de France, so our personal meeting would have to wait for another time.
Twenty four hours later, checked in and out at Sea Services, we had spent $236 euros at Leader Price, and loaded 36 bottles of wine, 8 litres of sangria, 18 packages of cheese, 48 cans of beer, 3 litres of olive oil, 12 milk, assorted pates, dried sausages, pickles, yogurt, tortellis, etc onto RAFT. Filled up with water in Ainse Mitan. Off to St. Lucia to get pop. (Coke products in small plastic bottles) It is great to have been up and down the island chain and now knew exactly what we want and where is the best, most affordable place to buy it.
Since we did not check into St. Lucia, (yes we were BAD) we were anxious to get on our way. We planned an overnight passage to Carriacou, about 100 miles. Using our 5 knot rule, expected the trip to take at least 20 hours, and every long trip we have ever done, always took longer. We uped anchor at 7am and motored out of the harbour. Winds were expected to be East 12-15 so we should have a pleasant sail. Off the Pitons, as expected the winds went flukey and the seas were like a washing machine, so we motored for about 20 minutes to get away from the island effects. By late afternoon we were approaching the N end of St. Vincent, and as the sunset, the winds died for a short while, and we had to start the motor again for another half hour. But then the wind returned, and with the current we were flying. By midnight we were off Bequia and had reefed the sails and spilling wind, trying to slow RAFT down, thus allowing us to arrive in Hillsborough at dawn. Clearing in with immigration was easy (despite being Sunday on a holiday weekend), and was told to return on Tuesday to do Customs.