Thursday, June 06, 2013

Eruptions, Fruits and Pirates …. of the Caribbean


Dear friends,

A quick recap of the latest movements of the Onda Boa…

Arrived in St Pierre in Martinique, once known as the jewel of the Caribbean, the Paris of the Caribbean but.. the eruption of the volcano on Mt Pelee in 1902 made an abrupt end to this. Almost 30.000 people died, and the city was greatly destroyed. The reason so many people died was that the mayor had told people not to worry (he was pressured by local business people to do so, otherwise those enterprises would loose a lot of money they thought…I mean, all people evacuating from the city and all.. ) well, it didn't go as expected,  and look what happened…I visited the small museum and saw items they managed to pull out of the ruins… Extreme hot ash and such rained down on the city, and these high temperatures made that glass wear just melted… unbelievable.. The city is trying to get back on their feet again so that is a good thing. Also there are a few wrecks of (cargo) vessels that sunk during the blast.. Also caught up with Reinhilde and Frits from SV Bella Ciao (will meet them in various locations as they are heading south as well..



Anyway, on my way to Fort de France (capital of Martinique) to get more provisions (groceries) etc, and do get the latest weather info, as internet was almost not possible in St Pierre. The weather is rather funny lately, lots of rain and so under grey skies arrived in the capital. Groceries done, weather checked, and all ready for a mega early start to set sail to St Vincent.

Anchor was up at three in the morning, and calmly headed south.. Until say 6-7 o clock the wind wasn't really good and the current was against at this point of the Island, so no good progress, later on however, 20-25 knots of wind (East) and waves of say 2m (also East).. so Onda Boa was flying again.. 7-8 knots (main sail third reef, and also genoa reefed).

A nice sail, with the occasional wave slamming side ways into/onto Onda Boa.. Then all of a sudden, St Vincent ahead.. clouds covering the high peaks of the mountain, and underneath the green slopes ending abrupt in the Caribbean Ocean.. lovely view…



Decided to stay in Wallilabou bay (back drop of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean (2 and 3)… a boat boy Nicolas helped me to my anchor place.. (all this of course in yet another downpour..), then two other boat boys/vendors approached the Onda Boa.. selling fruit… in order to keep everybody happy, purchased some at both vendors… and so I am over stocked on fruits (some I have to confess, I don't even know their name…)…



The next morning, went to see the props the film makers left behind and talked with Chef of the Wallilabou Anchorage Restaurant and he confirmed that everybody was greatly happy with the film activities, as all profited from it (from restaurant keepers to taxi drivers..).






The immigration was only going to be active between 5 and 6 pm at this location, so decided to give that a miss, and sail to Bequia (pronounced as “Bekway”… Again, a fantastic sail (good winds and waves) and Onda Boa was just gliding along at 8 knots.. Entering Elizabeth Bay (of course again during a squall, heavy rains and winds (short lived though) but still), I couldn't help but remembering Buzios (in Rio de Janeiro State).. the setting, the hills, the port.. it kind of looked the same… however much less wind, and much greener, and much more sailboats.. so hmm it doesn't look like Buzios at all.. anyway.. decided to stay at a mooring, and after organizing some stuff on the boat, went to shore, just to be 10 minutes too late at the immigration office, who did charge me overtime, rules are rules I guess..


Tomorrow will check out this lovely, sympathetic island, and then… further south again to Grenada..

Take care, enjoy


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