We were making our way slowly down the Windward Islands towards Grenada, where it was planned that we would leave Island Swift for the hurricane season. The hurricane season goes from the beginning of June to the end of November. Although we are not planning on working this summer, we still needed to go home for important things like peanut butter and family weddings!
|Sunset in the Caribbean|
One morning I awoke early to listen to the weather forecast. We had messages from home, and our plans suddenly changed. Simon's Dad was very ill. We changed our flights and made ready to sail south. At 4.30 the next morning we left St Lucia to sail south to Grenada without delay.
|Island Swift waiting to come out of the water|
|The bottom is not too bad, all that underwater scrubbing helped!|
During the first night at sea, I was on watch. It was very dark with no moon and I could only just make out the lights of St Vincent to starboard. All of a sudden something fell into the sea from the mast! In a panic I shone my torch into the sea. What could it be? With visions of broken rigging and other disastrous calamities I looked. There, in the warm Caribbean sea, was a struggling bird - a Brown Booby. It managed to break free of the sea and catapulted itself into our cockpit and onto my lap! I screamed. Simon, who had been asleep, came charging up the companionway alarmed at my unusual behaviour. I quickly reassured him that all was well, and he went back to bed.
|Sir Robin Knox Johnson's Haven|
|Sir Robin Knox Johnson and his boat Haven|
By day-break we finally started to make headway. Throughout the day we passed all the islands of the Grenadines to starboard. We could see them in the distance, but I did not want to get too close to the lee shore. We arrived off the south coast of Grenada in the middle of the night and hove to for four hours waiting for first light before approaching the land. We dropped the anchor in four fathoms of water in St David's Bay. We had made it.
|Meeting up with friends Jabis and Philip|
We had tea and cake on deck as we watched the boatyard slowly come to life. We finally received messages from England that all was well, which was a huge relief. Then went ashore to make arrangements. We arrived on the Monday and they hauled us out of the water early on the following morning. This was good timing because on Wednesday and Thursday the slipway was in use by Sir Robin Knox Johnson and his boat Haven. Customs and immigration were very relaxed, they only come twice a week, so we did all the paper work after the boat was on dry land (something that some countries would not like very much).
|All strapped down and secure|
Finally Saturday arrived. We had done all we could and we left our beautiful boat. What a wonderful time we have had and lucky, lucky us, we will be coming back in November.
Throughout this mad week we were getting regular updates from home. Simon's Dad was now at home which was good news, but we still desperately wanted to get back in time to say goodbye.
Written by Jojo, May 2015