Caribbean Holiday Days 1&2

I recently returned from 3+ weeks sailing on a yacht in the Caribbean to coincide with the cricket world cup. Our boat was a 46 foot catamaran with 6 berths sleeping 12 people.

Catamaran

Our trip began on the 16th April when we flew from London to Barbados and then onward to St Vincent. The yacht wasn’t ready for collection until the following day so we checked into a hotel – our only night of land-based accommodation. Our trip was within Lesser Antilles islands. These are a group of islands in an volcanic arc at the east end of the Caribbean sea. The rough plan was to start in St Vincent, sailing to the islands north, reaching St Kitts a week later for the first cricket game.

St Vincent and the Grenadines island nation of the Commonwealth. The island has much natural beauty. Part of the film Pirates of the Caribbean Dead man’s Chest was filmed here.

Beach

After dinner that evening we decided to venture out, and we all ended up in a small local bar. Rather than picturing a typical bar, think more of a tin shed with fridges holding beer and a few outdoor tables. The bar area itself had two patrons but they left not long after we arrived. When we ordered a drink, a person referring to himself as Papa Spoon organised for someone in go in car to collect the drinks from somewhere else. The car drove down an alley and returned a few minutes later with our drinks.

Next to the bar was a large open field that had a number of cars parked in it. A few people were in the cars or lingering nearby. Further up the street was more individuals, loitering youths mainly. On one edge of the open field and next to the bar was another small building containing a butcher strangely still open for business although it was past midnight. Inside the butcher was a family with some young children. They were chopping the meat in preparation for a supposed busy time starting 6:00am that morning. The family would apparently be sleeping in the butcher that evening. The location itself also contributed to the surrealness. Looking around I could only see the bar next door, the open field, and some houses off in the distance, not your average location for a butcher. But lo and behold a lady came walking up the street came and purchased some meat and then returned in the direction she came – a midnight snack??

Not long after our arrival a tall young man (who I assume was a local) had an argument with one of the people running the bar. He promptly left and walked up the road. A few minutes later a group of 3 youths started walking briskly up that same road. One of the youths was armed with a machete. We don’t know what was going on but I think the tall man would have been OK – he had a 5 minute head start and looked more athletic than the others. They had walked in the direction that we would need to go to return to our hotel. Needless to say I was quite happy with the safety in number of the group I was out with. Later on that night when we eventually left, two men trailed a few meters behind us. I don’t why, but one theory is that they were providing some form of escort. Or they were bored. We arrived safely back in the hotel to end day 1, an interesting day.

17th March

We used the day to do some sightseeing around the island. We hired a local taxi and was taken to various spots. The island is picturesque. Our first stop was Fort Charlotte – a hill overlooking St Vincent Bay. Our first group photo.

Group at Ft Charlotte

Back row: Claire, Peter, Leal, Josh, John, Andrew, Nic, Matt
Front row: Stephen, Luke, Tim and me.

After a look around the capital Kingstown, our taxi guide took us to a nice beach on the eastern side of the island for some lunch and lounging around in the sun. Around 4pm our yacht became available so we finally dragged ourselves away from the beach to start the boat preparation. The group split to perform various tasks รขโ‚ฌโ€œ food shopping, collecting luggage, receiving the sailing brief from the yacht hire company. We were hoping to begin sailing the following morning but were still sleeping on board that evening. We had one slight hitch – the luggage of Peter and Claire had been lost in transit, but we were still hoping their luggage would soon arrive and we would still depart as planned the next morning.

In the evening we had a quiet dinner and then played some cards on the boat. This ended day 2.

We started sailing on Day 3 – which will be on my next post once I get a chance.

3 Comments »

  1. Emma said,

    April 17, 2007 @ 10:43 am

    It looks oh-so-beautiful! You really are living the good life ๐Ÿ™‚
    [although St Vincents sounds a bit dodgy/scary]

  2. superyam said,

    April 17, 2007 @ 10:56 am

    Now you’ve whetted our appetite, get to it and get that next instalment out!

  3. Matt said,

    April 17, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

    Yes it is beautiful. My overall impression was that St Vincent is safe, I think that incident referred to was more about being out late in that particular area. All in all though, the tourist areas were quite safe throughout the islands we visited.

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