On Saturday we moved out of the Careenage to anchor in Carlisle Bay, tethered to the seabed in the company of another thirty or so boats.
The water here is a stunning translucent aquamarine. It’s so clear at times that we can see our anchor buried in the sand eight metres below, together with a variety of strange bottom-dwelling creatures probably best given a wide berth. The Caribbean Sea is behind us, and in front is the Barbados Yacht Club beach where we have been enjoying sundowners courtesy of the crew of JaJaPaMi, whose temporary membership of the club entitles them to buy drinks. We didn’t bother with applying for membership as the club is too far away from the Careenage merely to pop by for a quick drink. And as you can’t join on the weekend – we are mildly embarrassed freeloaders.
We have spent most of our days out here basking on the beach and snorkelling. There’s a healthy population of sea life here, including several sea turtles and a flourishing coral environment growing on a wreck near the beach. Many of the sea turtles swim near Lady Jane, mainly seen lumbering around the seabed, but occasionally they pop up for a bit of sunshine. As is typical for the crew of Lady Jane, the cameras are never at the ready to capture this, so the only evidence I have to share is the fuzzy picture of a turtle on the seabed on a not-so-clear-water day.
Clearing out brought a bit of an adventure. I phoned our agent on Saturday to tell him we wanted to leave on Monday and he asked me to meet him at the shallow draft facility, where we initially cleared in, at 1200 in Sunday – a distance of three miles from the anchorage. So on Sunday at 1030, I set off on the dinghy with a full tank of fuel in the outboard motor, expecting it to take me about one hour. Imagine my surprise when I got there in half that time.
Then imagine my horror when the outboard conked out just as I reached the cruise ship terminal.
With a stiff breeze trying to shove me back out of the harbour, this was no time for indecision. I picked up the oars, and with stiff determination and even stiffer buttocks, I rowed the remaining half mile to the customs and immigration offices. After arriving, the outboard then decided it was the right time to spring back into life. This is just as well because the team of officials had decamped and gone to the cruise terminal to deal with the big ships and I had to get back to where the outboard had died on the way in. By this time, another couple of Odyssey sailors had joined the party, so we went together (actually I limped slowly behind as their outboard is five times the power of mine) to the cruise ship terminal, parking our dinghies at the landing stage behind the Aida Diva cruise ship, where our agent met us. Formalities were relatively painless, and clearance was granted for us to leave on Monday. So I returned to Lady Jane with papers in hand, this time with no outboard dramas.
Maria joined me in the dinghy to go back to the Careenage to do some last minute shopping for fresh vegetables. The inner basin was almost empty, only three of the Odyssey boats remained there. Parking our dinghy next to Anemone, we strolled over the bridge and joined the hoards of Christmas shoppers elbow to elbow in Broad Street, in a hunt for veggies and rehydration salts. Mission successful, we walked back over the bridge, clambered back in the dinghy and set off again to Lady Jane – stopping on the way for A quick snorkel on the wreck near the beach.
On Sunday evening, Bill and Moira, whom we first met in Tenerife two months ago, came over to Lady Jane for pre-dinner and farewell drinks. Two occasions, so two drinks, which sent them merrily in their way. Bill and Moira are choosing a different route around the Caribbean to us. Their current plan is to start South and come back up the Windward and Leeward chain of islands, whereas ours is to follow the parties. And on that note, this afternoon we upped anchor and set off towards Mustique.