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Shared interests on Starling

Posted in : Starling

Very windy night last night, but luckily the dinghy’s not blown away. Nor any of the clothes pegged on the rails. #winning. Caitlin was on breakfast duty and got stuck in with a huge vat of delicious scrambled egg and toast. We needed a big hearty breakfast this morning as we have a long sail today to Tyrrel Bay, on the island of Carriacou. Wendy and Libbie spent a good long while last night and again this morning finalising the navigation plans. Lots of rocks, shipwrecks and interesting things to see / avoid en route! They’ve had to take into account a 16 degree magnetic variation to true north. Their route today has been labelled as D2DC (Dragon Bay to Carriacou). They briefed everyone after breakfast. And there’s possibly a rumshack at the end. There followed a detailed discussion about various rumshacks that we could visit over the whole trip. So shall we just navigate rumshack to rumshack? And then the team got to work getting ready for the day’s sail. Everyone already working well together as a team, and it was amazing that quite a bit of what we had covered yesterday has actually sunk in. Poor Andy appears to have had an accident on his bed last night, and he’s now drying his sheets this morning … nothing to do with someone leaving a hatch open as the dinghy was pulled back on deck. At least we now know that any ‘accidents’ won’t go through to the bunk below – Wendy can sleep worry-free. Wendy helmed us out of our bay. They had a detailed plan and lots of plotted waypoints.

We headed along the very pretty coastline with hills in the distance, and tropical forest right down to the beach, and passed lots of little villages. We went past Diamond, where Jouvert chocolate is made – in addition to nutmeg, Grenada is a very important area for Cacau. Behind the church in this town is a huge pub where they hold big Jouvert parties for Carnival. Most important waypoint was probably to avoid Kick’em Jenny – the fairly active submerged volcano, which we happily achieved. And the Sisters – several rather spectacular rocky outcrops. Everyone took their turn on the helm, it was lovely when we could finally turn the engine off. We got a good pace going, heeled over, keeping the sails close hauled. I did suddenly find myself aiming straight at a rather large island as the wind changed, but after paying more attention to the arrow at the top of the mast, and clouds (!) and less to the instruments (!) got back on a safe tack. Today’s lesson was reefs – so as a team we put a second reef in, in fairly choppy seas, which gave a few of us a soaking. We were clipped on with our lifelines, and everything went pretty smoothly. Andy risking life and limb to get the perfect shots as we did it. We are now well-versed with Handy Billy. Today was a long sailing day, and very sunny. I think most of us probably enjoyed a little too much of it. There’s a few red faces … and red ears … red thighs … red necks … you get the picture. We dropped the 2 front sails and then the main sail as we came into the small, crowded bay to find a suitable spot to drop our anchor. I wondered whether we could hook onto one of the orange buoys, until someone pointed out they were probably marking shipwrecks, so we’re probably best avoided. Caitlin did an amazing job on the helm, ignoring a very angry dog on a nearby cat, and even pulling a couple of u-turns to find the perfect spot. Amazing how the mention of a rum shack suddenly sped everyone up and we had the boat put away and the dingy launched in no time. (Although it was quite tempting to let go of the line and release Alex so she’d have to row back!) Then beers all round to celebrate a good day’s sail. Andy & Johnny cracked on with dinner – spag Bol, and it tasted every bit as good as it smelt. Conversation during dinner turned to the much-discussed rum shack – at which point everyone realised the miscommunication- a rum shop had been a way point. There was no specific rum shack here. Big sad faces. The team is pretty confident we can find a good spot to appropriately round off a v sailing day. This was followed by a long discussion as to how many crates of beer we need to buy at the next point. We have definitely found another common interest amongst this group.