Monday, January 12, 2009

Cruising: Day 9 - St. Vincent

Today our ship docked in St. Vincent. Our excursion consisted of a 7 hour
ride on a 50 foot catamaran to a couple of nearby islands that are part of
the Grenadines.

Our trip started across a channel about 10 miles wide towards the island of
Bequia. We were traveling downwind so the ride felt pretty quick, although
it actually was about an hour’s time. Once we reached Bequia we rounded a
point and headed out towards another small island named Petit Nevis. The
wind was fairly strong, but the catamaran found a small area somewhat
protected by the wind so those that wanted to could snorkel. We anchored
there for about 30 minutes while some of the passengers jumped in for a
swim. Between the current and the wind, most of the folks had a difficult
time getting back to the boat. Nobody had fins on so it made it even more
difficult to make any progress. Fortunately, the crew of the catamaran had
a small zodiak that whipped out to each of the people wanting help back to
the boat.

After leaving the snorkeling area we sailed along the coastline of Bequia
until we reached a white sand beach. The catamaran pulled right up to the
beach and everyone hopped off for either a swim or a walk along the sand.
As we made our way down the beach we came across a dog that was swimming in
the surf. There wasn’t anyone around so I’m not sure who he belonged to, if
anyone. He loved the water, though. It was amazing to see how fast he could
move around and get to different parts of the water. Once he made it back
to shore he rested for a moment, and then spit up some salt water. I guess
it’s easy to swallow the water if you’re a dog. He didn’t seem too bothered
by it all as he headed back out for another swim.

After leaving the beach we sailed to a small village for a quick stop for
refreshments. As we stood on the beach we were caught off guard a little by
the local children. About ten or so of them walked by us on the beach and
started to undress completely and then jumped into the water to swim. My
guess is that they ranged in age from about 5 to 12 years of age. Boys and
girls, it didn’t matter. They acted as if it was normal. I guess it could
be in their part of the world.

Our trip back to the ship was an adventurous one. We were now sailing
directly into the wind and swells. Some of the swells appeared to be about
10 to 12 feet in height. It was a rollercoaster of a ride that everyone
seemed to enjoy. Nobody got sick despite all the rum punch being served.
The only downside was that it slowed down our trip back enough to make us
about 15 minutes late for the ship. The good part is that the catamaran
pulled up to the dock right next to the ship. They were waiting for us and
before we could get to our cabin we were already moving. They have a
schedule to keep.

It’s getting late and we have an early day tomorrow in St. Kitts, but I
wanted to mention that the show we attended tonight was Willie Tyler &
Lester. Their act is from before my time, but we’ve obviously heard of them
and seen them on tv when we were younger. It was fun seeing a legend of
sorts on the ship and a nice surprise.

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