Offshore Sailor

Different strokes...

Different strokes...

Shindig is in Carriacou, an island some 16 miles north of Grenada and part of the three island state which also includes Petite Martinique. More specifically, Shindig is anchored in west-facing Tyrrell Bay situated at the southern end of the island and well sheltered from the easterly trade winds.

To say this is a rather nice spot would be an understatement. In this virtually tideless region there are no worries about boats swinging at anchor or grounding at low water. All lie to the wind, facing east, about as tidy an arrangement as there can be. The depth of water is almost constant. It's also very secure. The bottom is hard sand and the holding exceptionally good. For skippers and crew this is all very reassuring.

In my last blog I talked about the two attitudes to cruising: ‘cover as much ground as you can’ as opposed to ‘linger until you feel it’s time to move on’. Last year, with its Atlantic crossing and the need to haul Shindig out before the hurricane season sets it (a condition of our insurance) we were definitely of the first persuasion. So it’s with some relief that we’ve been able to adopt a more leisurely attitude.

And on a personal level very welcome too. After some fairly hectic months tidying up loose ends (finishing illustrating and editing a perversely overdue book, managing and/or completing essential repairs to Shindig, sorting out a few financial loose ends et cetera) the window of opportunity to go serious gallivanting shrank to below the practical threshold. This left the second option which we have embraced with considerable relief.

It takes some time to realise it but anchorages like Tyrell Bay strike me as being akin to cosmopolitan waterborne villages. There are more or less permanently settled local boat-dwellers ‒ sources of both useful information and gossip. Then there are those like us who linger for a while and will almost certainly revisit another day. Finally there are the waterborne butterflies ‒ often in charter boats ‒ who dash and splash (the latter meaning the anchor) and leave before you can blink.

Why, just yesterday afternoon a catamaran flying the French tricolour and swarming with more people than I thought could be shoe-horned into a boat that size, anchored immediately above where our own anchor lay. Chele and I debated whether to ask them to move, since we were toying with the idea of moving on the next day and couldn't raise our own anchor till they did so, but eventually thought it unnecessary.  Most of them took to the water. Much splashing and laughter. No effort was made to go ashore. Our guess was that their stay was a fleeting one; and we were right. The following morning they were gone ‒ doubtless seeking yet another bay to gambol in. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. Different strokes, as they say….

For us there’s probably one more destination before we head south towards Shindig’s temporary resting place. It lies no more than ten miles to the north, an altogether epic prospect. More anon…


Andrew Simpson

Andrew is a writer, illustrator and editor - mainly in the field of recreational boating. In addition to several books he has been a monthly contributor to Britain's most popular boating magazine for over twenty years. Andrew and his wife Chele spend about six months of every year sailing. After some years in the Mediterranean, they are now in the Caribbean. If you enjoy his blogs please share them with your friends. Comments or questions are also welcomed.

comments powered by Disqus
Sea Books