Salt Whistle Bay is an oasis of calm compared with the exposed waters of Tobago Cays. The sea is flat, the winds are light, and the swell isn’t too bad either. It’s possible to land the dinghy without getting your knickers wet, and the beach is a beautifully coral-free white.
The boat guys who greet you in their colourful boats with equally colourful boat names, are helpful but not pushy. Each wants to sell you a beach barbecue, but that’s understandable – there are limited income opportunities here in the island. As we came into the bay, Jordan, on No Limit, found us a good spot to anchor (although just that little bit too close to a mooring ball so we moved later) so, we arranged dinner with him.
Dinner and drinks are served in the ganja-infused atmosphere of Black Boy and Debbie’s Bar on the beach. We arrived, as agreed, at 1830 for dinner, and a few minutes later who should turn up? Thierry and Michelle. It was a rerun of Tobago Cays but with bigger lobster and stronger rum punch. It was another great night. Black Boy asked if he could use my dinghy to go to his boat, then later to round up some latecomers. How could I refuse? So, our dinghy became the supply and round up vessel for the evening while we got progressively fuller on lobster and fish and fuzzier-headed on rum punch.
Jordan and his lobsters.
The fish is this big!
Another Odyssey boat, Punch Coco, is here in the bay and so are the two Swedish boats, Otilia and Streamline, whom we met in Tenerife. It’s like a Canary Islands mini-reunion.
This is our third day here in the bay and, although there are some downsides, we like it a lot. After we moved, thanks to Maria’s good timing when she dropped the anchor, our Rocna is securely buried in a patch of sand in the middle of all the boats whose owners have stumped up $60EC a night for a mooring ball of questionable quality. In front, to our right, we have the beach bars and to the left the pristine beach fringed with palm trees.
Bars and Beaches
Security is a bit of a concern in the bay. Punch Coco’s dinghy has gone missing. It wasn’t locked, so it’s likely to be an opportunistic theft rather than a planned effort. But whatever it is, it’s a pain in the arse to be without one. The police have said it will likely turn up, perhaps in a few weeks or months, but clearly that isn’t immediately helpful, especially as there’s nowhere here to buy a dinghy. Until that happened I think Maria believed me to be paranoid about security (locking the hatches, the companionway, the lockers, the dinghy, and switching on the alarm.) Not so much now. It isn’t the financial cost of theft, it’s the matter of personal security and the hassle of having to replace things that really concerns me. So I shall continue to lock up and alarm the boat, remove any nickable things from cockpit and lift up the boarding ladder at night. ‘Cos you never know – do you?
The mooring buoys here are more expensive than Tobago Cays, but it isn’t the cost of moorings that puts us off using them, it’s their quality. The one to which Lys des Mers was attached broke at 0900 this morning, setting her adrift and towards the reef. Fortunately, Thierry noticed and was able to recover the situation. As a result of his quick action, it’s the mooring, not Lys des Mers that has sunk to the bottom of the seabed. If they weren’t up on deck, the story could have been very different. So, where possible we will continue to use the anchor. We know the quality, it’s safer and a lot more secure than a bit of rope around a chain attached to a concrete block.
Tonight we are staying on the boat having a quiet night, and avoiding the rum punch (except for a quick sundowner at the beach with our French amis.) Tomorrow is Philippe’s (Punch Coco) 40th birthday, so it would be bad form not to break out the rum punch for that, wouldn’t it?