The Grenadines at Speed

Festina continues her somewhat haphazard course through the Windward islands. Having explored Martinique with Peter, we returned to St Lucia to put him back on his plane and continued south, bypassing St Vincent to windward and coming to rest in Bequia, the first of the Grenadines. The light winds that we experienced with Peter are a thing of the past and we are getting used to anchoring in 25 knots of wind, with gusts of 35 whistling down from the hills to make sure your anchor is well set. Luckily the holding is mostly good in sand, and to date we have been fine.

The passage from Bequia to Tobago Cays was interesting as we got the jib jammed in the pre feed and had to dismantle it all, unpick the seams of the jib and re-sew the sail whilst tumbling along in the open ocean swell. We just had a morning at Tobago Keys as we needed to get to Grenada to prepare for Mike and Louise – and it is astonishing. Coral reefs, sandy atolls, brilliant turquoise and blue water, wonderful snorkelling – it truly is a cruisers paradise and I hope that we can spend a few days there again in the next fortnight.

We wanted to get an idea of the area and managed to visit Mayreu, the Keys, Union Island and Petit St Vincent all in the same day which was crazy and exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure. The best part of an extraordinary day was our final anchorage at Petit St Vincent. This area has 3 or 4 islands in close proximity and the anchorage itself seems exposed to the ocean, but in fact is protected by a large reef. The night was cloudless, and with no moon the stars seemed to merge into the relatively few lights on the little islands (some of them coloured) and little clumps of anchor lights in the various anchorages – none of them strong enough to pollute the darkness but somehow blending seamlessly like so many million fireflys (the little glow-worms  Barney – not the boats!)

For now we are catching up with a few jobs in the Grenadan anchorage known as Prickly Bay and it seems a good time to reflect on the part played by all our friends in our adventure. Most of the blogs are sent by e-mail and so we only get to see the site on line every so often. The comments and messages have been very important to us even though the time lag and the set up mean that it is often difficult to acknowledge them in a timely fashion (tho check the comments as we often reply through these). It is lovely to feel we are sharing this and to get news back – it makes us feel grounded, so thank you, all of you who have written to us.


  1. Jorrit Schrauwers

    Afternoon Phil

    Loving your updates feeling a tad jealeous but it does make me want to get out on the boat again! I have a friend at work who is from Grenada and she recommends Westerhall Bay as being a lovely spot (although she has only seen it from the land side so couldnt tell me if it was a good anchorage!) also I wonder if you had spotted this runs from the 26th Feb to the 2nd March, whilst I am aware you are in cruising mode, the current registered start list looks eminently beatable! Also there is a cruising class so you could win that instead if you wanted!
    Hope this gets to you before the event starts, keep up the posts it really does help brighten up a rather sleety and snowy day here in Hayes!

    See you out on the water soon


    Jorrit (Gambit GBR3800C the other blue boat)

  2. Jorrit Schrauwers

    Your mods seem to have removed the link the ‘this’ I refer to is the south grenada regatta


  3. Good to hear from you Jorrit. i suspect we will give this racing a miss- rumour has it we even have a flag halyard now we are so cruisy!

  4. Phil,

    Hope you are having a great time in Grenada. It was one of our highlights when we we were there in 07. We hauled out our Sigma 38 Steamy Windows at Prickly Bay to redo the bottom. The rotis around the corner on the road to St Georges and the choclate factory were highlights.



  5. A flag halyard!!!! Wow…… how did this happen?

  6. Morning Phil and Lynda

    Great to hear the cruise is still going well. It must be a cruise as you now have a flag halyard…I’m with Bryony on this one, how did that happen!!!

    I have to reply to the Firefly comment. My first Firefly (dinghy) was called Api Api, one of the terms used in Malay to describe Fireflys of the Glow Worm variety, although I believe they are more commonly referred to as Kelip Kelips in Malay. The Hamble will be full of Fireflys and Merlins in just a few weeks as the Warming Pan is drawing near. We’re hoping for some Caribean temperatures as it’s still rather chilly in the UK. Spring must be coming soon!

    Take care


    PS Peter delivered Adverc the Aadvark to my house the other day. It will make its way to Ben tonight.

  7. With rain lashing my office window and a rotten cold it is restoring to read your blog and dream of Prickly Bay. Say hello to Roger Spronk (who appears to run more than the bar at the boatyard nowadays) and his crewmates Brendan and Nigel if you bump into them. Have you called into True Blue? The club/hotel there is memorable to me for its pungent nutmeg shell driveway, good I was told at keeping the creepy crawlies in the undergrowth.

    Oh to be there with you right now with a glass of rum in my hand – happy days – enjoy!


  8. Hi Philip and Linda,

    A bit late, but congratulations for getting across!! It is very nice to read your experiences.
    How incredibly healthy you look both on the St Lucia pictures 🙂
    We have had busy times over here in Holland. We are winning some medalls in the olympics (big national excitement) and in the meantime, our governement collapsed.(but it seems we tend to get use to that happening) We are only a bit afraid of crazy Wilders getting a lot of votes in the new elections. Personally our business is a bit in the lift again, we hope it will keep on going. We wont be able to visit you, unfortunately! But we will keep track of your trip. We hope you will have beautifull encounters the upcoming days!
    Love Jaap and Fre

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