Despite best intentions, some sailing trips are slow getting started, and this little sprint through the Caribbean Windward Islands would fall squarely into that category.
Our plane arrived a half hour early in St. Lucia and for a brief few minutes our crew of pale white North Americans though we might just get to the Moorings base in Rodney Bay in time to check in, brief up and sneak out that very same afternoon.
But the cruise ships were in.
Traffic in Casteries, the island’s capital and main port made snails look downright perky, and by the time we’d stowed our bags, sorted through provisions and stocked the liquor locker, the tree frogs were singing. But we were warm and happy. No worries, we’d leave at first light. That didn’t actually happen either. I stood amazed just before noon on day two as I attempted to get our final piece of paper stamped and the last bill paid at customs. The friendly fellow at the final desk groaned when he ran out of paper in the credit card processing machine and a spare roll proved difficult quite difficult to find.
The reward for patience was a scorching beam reach south along St. Lucia’s mountainous west coast aboard our Moorings 4800 Korina. The ride melted any trace of winter from this sun-starved sailor, and when we arrived at the Pitons, there were still moorings to be had between the soaring peaks. What a spot and what a moon rise over the ridge.
This morning, we slipped our mooring lines at the crack of down and we were off. With 20 to 25 knots blowing over the port beam, we surfed our way 30 or so miles to the towering north coast of St. Vincent. Clouds hung over the peak as we rolled past, and gulls chasing flying fish put on a show to remember. Bound for Bequia, we soon left St. Vincent astern and sailed close-hauled the remainder of the way to Admiralty Bay. Though we were ready for it, the famed Bequia Blast didn’t as we rounded up to drop our sails. This was, indeed, a sail that was well worth the wait. Can’t wait to see what awaits us ashore.