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Time to catch up. Deb & I got back yesterday from 4 blissful days sailing in the Grenadines. It was probably the most enjoyable experience I have had since we left the US 8+ months ago. More decadent than our overnight at the Pegasus in Kingston. Relaxing, peaceful. Ahhh what a life that could be.

We pulled out on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. Preparations were harried as we cleaned out the fridge and shut it off. Closed the house up tight. We brought enough food to feed an army and managed to stow it with the other ton of food brought by the other two couples. Then we shoved off for Mustique. 83 - Mustique (2).JPG We arrived about 3 hours later. The sea was pretty rough, the winds, light, which made for a very rolling ride. I was uncomfortable but didn't get sick. Likewise for Debbie. But Judy Zerah, who is 1 ½  months pregnant, didn't fair quite as well. Her sickness didn't help me any. But we managed to get to Mustique without too much difficulty. Since I had been there before I didn't feel much like walking around that evening so Deb and I did some swimming and I snorkeled a bit. Dinner took forever to make and cook on the grill and we finally had to cook it in the oven. So much for an outdoor barbecue. Next morning, after wrestling with an overly warm bunk, rains and a few mosquitoes, Deb and I took a casual walk about Mustique. We then shoved off for the Tobago Cays.

The Cays were simply beyond verbal description. 06-83 Sailing - Sunset.JPGAbsolutely beautiful and peaceful. The reefs were many and each offered something different. I spent hours in the water that afternoon. Blue blue waters and searingly white beaches. It was paradisiacal. Idyllic. Just like the stereotypical scenes from a Caribbean cruise book. I brought up conch (ate it too) and the coral was everywhere! Again, it's too beautiful to describe. It was my favorite stop. We didn't do much else but swim though 06-83 Sailing Deb (2).JPGDeb and some of the others visited the nearby islands (easy swimming distance). Dinner produced a passable spaghetti (even if the noodles turned the glue). Next morning was more swimming and snorkeling. The sleeping conditions were much more conducive with a strong steady breeze blowing all night, a sky full of stars, nearly full moon and very calm anchorage. I could use more nights of sleep like that.

Mid-morning we set out for petite St Vincent which turned out to be a fairly decent resort. 06-83 tiny island.JPGEnroute we passed Sandy Island which is the stereotypical deserted desert island. It was about 50 ft across and had one palm tree, one palm leaf umbrella and one lounge chair. Absolutely amazing! But PSV was much more substantial. The whole island is a resort and though this is the off-season, they had a few guests. Petite Martinique, just across a short stretch of water, is in Grenada's waters. So we got to see Grenada. I guess we could have bought a case of evaporated milk for $25 EC. Bootlegging is a popular pastime down there. We pulled out of PSV after a few hours and made a short hop to Union Island. Union was totally unlike my preconception of it. I expected a flat dry island but the reality was a mountainous, lush country. It was beautiful. Granted we only saw a limited part of it but it was surprised by what I saw. We went to shore to gawk at the sharks,06-83 Shark Union Island.JPG and wander around the combination marina and airport. The mosquitoes drove us out and back to the protection of the boat. Dinner went even better that night except for a brief interruption that came when we were driven up on the reef. Apparently the anchor never took a firm bite into the sand and it allowed us to drift into the reef. No damage though and Joe, our captain, got us quickly off and firmly tied to a permit permanent anchorage. We slept peacefully that night even if we did have visions of ending up on some beach in the morning.

Morning took us to Palm Island which is another resort island that I will always remember as having the largest mosquitoes of any island we visited.06-83 Sailing (5).JPG The buildings and grounds were nice enough but the mosquitoes were terrible. I was glad when we shoved off for Bequia. It was a pretty long ride to Bequia but it was uneventful. When we reached Port Elizabeth, Deb and I were visited by Mr Fray, one of Debbie's ex-patients who lives on a boat and does scrimshaw for a living. She was happy to see him so well recovered. Joe our captain, slept on Bequia that night (it's home for him) so Deb and I got our first night of relative privacy in sleep (we slept in the galley area midship with Joe).06-83 Sailing (10).JPG We had another restful night's sleep. Nice swim in the morning and another visit to Mr Fray aboard his boat “Prana” (all mahogany, beautiful).

Yesterday we got home. St Vincent looked more like the resort islands we had visited than we remembered. Somehow we managed to get all the finances organized and turns out it cost us $560 EC per couple which was about $25 US per day per person. It was unbelievable! I will always be thankful to Keith (Dr Harvey) for getting us such a good deal. So ends our story of the “Shawndarie”. So now it's Friday and I'm back at work trying to get motivated to do something. My head is muddled with dreamy thoughts of our Caribbean cruise. The dogs and the next door neighbors kept me awake as I missed the solitude of the ocean and the soothing white noise combination of the wind singing through the rigging and the distant roar of the ocean crashing upon the coral. But there are things to be done and I must get to them!