09 February 2009

Tobago Cays National Marine Park, Grenadine Islands

Anchored Petit Bateau
Tobago Cays National Marine Park
Grenadine Islands
Caribbean Sea
12'38.1N/61'21.6W
391 miles from SV Christa
(Click On Photo To Enlarge)

Lunch with Wilma

Before I tell you about the wonderful afternoon we had yesterday let me brief you on our trip here on Friday. Normally we try not to leave on Fridays as it is an old sailors superstition that bad luck will ensue. However, this trip was only 1 mile. So we thought we would be ok. We waited an extra day at Mayreau Island hoping the wind would calm down some so the visibility might be better at the Cays. The main anchorage at the Cays is exposed, with the Horseshoe Reef just along the outside. We could see the masts from our last anchorage and thought it looked crowded. But once we rounded the corner we noticed the anchorage had plenty of room.


We had heard they put in moorings. And since it has just recently turned into a National Marine Park, they are charging even for anchoring. We didn't pick up a mooring and we actually only were charged for one night at $20EC (about $8USD) which I think is well worth it. I think we didn't get charged our second day because Tom got tight with the park Chief. It turns out they both had the same training in Yorktown, Virginia.

As soon as the hook was set we were off the boat and in the dingy to the outer reef were the snorkeling is suppose to be good. We hooked the dingy to a mooring specially for dingies and off we went. With the wind blowing 25 knots, and a current, it made the snorkeling a bit of a challenge. The visibility was still good but the waves were crashing over our heads. After about 30 minutes of viewing unimpressive reef and fish it was back to the dingy. Tom's comment was 'I thought there would be more color to the reef'. I quickly reminded him that we are spoiled seeing as how we have been to the South Pacific, Great Barrier Reef, Thailand, and the Red Sea.

We drifted with the dingy back toward the boat through a turtle reserve where we did spot a turtle, and that is always exciting. Even with the wind and an unimpressive reef I was still having a great time.

I had really been wanting to participate in a Lobster Bar-B-Q that I had read about in our Windward Islands Guide. Our guide written by Chris Doyle has been helpful in describing anchorages, restaurants, and local services. He explains in his guide how, when arriving in any of the Caribbean anchorages, most likely a boat will pull along side to help anchor, sell us bread, take our garbage, sell us t-shirts, or invite us to that Lobster Bar-b-q. I realize we have only been to three anchorages so far. But I think once these entrepreneur see the old 'Piper, they seem to turn away. Granted, we are looking a bit rough around the edges. But how am I going to get this lobster if nobody approaches us?

Tom and I went to explore one of the three islands after our snorkel. There we met Wilma, who not only sells t-shirts, jewelry and soda. But she also offered us a lobster bar-b-q. We quickly said "Yes", and "Can we do it tomorrow afternoon at 2pm?"

We noticed how nice the beach was where Wilma was set up. So we promptly made it back to the boat, picked up the anchor, and moved to our current location off the beach with a little more protection from the wind.

Friday night the wind picked up even more, and a dark, nasty storm rolled through. But on Saturday morning we had clear skies. We enjoyed a lazy morning and gathered up our snorkel gear to circumnavigate our little island. Our guide book suggested a good snorkel spot on the southern tip of the island. So we set off and we were pleasantly surprised at what we saw. We both agreed that the snorkeling here was better than at the outer reef. We saw more fish, fan coral, brain coral, and turtles too.

It was now time for our Lobster! We met Wilma on the beach and she introduced us to Elroy, our cook. Soon we had several plates of food in front of us. We had grilled jacket potatoes with a garlic butter sauce, a huge bowl of veggies, and a large lobster grilled to perfection. I instantly yanked out all the meat and set my shells on the other end of the table.

Lucky for us we were schooled by our friend Steve about the lobster. He said "They bring flies", and he was right about that. But he also said "Once you get the meat out, move the shells and the flies will follow." He was right about that too. Thanks for the great advice Steve!

Well we devoured every last bit of our lunch, and we highly recommend Wilma for anyone else that might be blowing through. We met that guy the author recommends and thanked our lucky stars we met Wilma as he was a bit too much for us.

Miss Wilma lives on Union Island, where we are headed today, 4 miles away. We have plans to meet up with her on Wednesday night at her house for Lambi, another name for Conch. For all those times that we were never adopted, like other cruisers in the South Pacific were, we are making up for it now.

Hope this entry of beautiful clear waters and lobster doesn't make you all to jealous.

One Love and Respect,
Amy and Tom

1 comment:

tiami said...

Glad to see you made it to the Cays.
Josh
Barbados