Saturday, March 24, 2007

Thursday 22nd March

Admiralty Bay, Port Elizabeth

13 00.635 N
61 14.405 W

After our night out we were a little reluctant to get up in the morning but we managed somehow and had the boat all ready to leave by 06.50hrs. We notice that Gypsy Palace had their main sail up before leaving their mooring ball so Gerry began untying us from our mooring ball. We began motoring out of the bay, followed by Gypsy Palace and MT Nest, once clear of the bay we turned into wind and hoisted our main sail –reefed of course! That must have been the signal for the rain to start as it poured until we were clear of the peaks. We unfurled part of our jib and motor sailed for the first few miles as the wind was very light. It gradually picked up and we turned off the motor and began sailing. Our course for the day was to take us to the end of St. Lucia, across the St Vincent channel, down the coast of St. Vincent, across the Bequia channel and down part of the coast of Bequia to Admiralty bay where we were going to anchor for the next few days until the forecast high seas died back down. The trip was quite a mixed bag as far as sailing went; we had high (7-8 feet) waves for a while, wind gusts of up to 32 knots but sustained winds of 22 – 26 knots. We had 2 huge rain squalls which we could hardly see a thing through then we had incredibly hot sun which made everything humid and steamy. As soon as we got in the lee of St. Vincent Island the wind died to almost nothing the sea became flat, we didn’t have enough wind to even blow us along at 2 knots! We turned on the motor and furled away the jib, tightened the main up and motored for a while. We tried a couple of times to fly the jib before finally the wind came up again and then we had the jib out fully for a while, then reefed for a while, playing with it all the time to get the most speed out of the boat that we could. Once we reached the end of St. Vincent there were huge gusts of wind coming off the point and we were surfing down waves, reaching the dizzy speed of 10 knots at one point, but averaging 8 knots most of the time. Finally the wind clocked round to just off our nose but we still managed to do a respectable 7 knots heading into it. As we approached the entrance to Admiralty Bay we suddenly heard a strange noise – like an alarm going off, it had both of us looking for the source, we found it pretty quickly – a man in a dinghy was blowing a whistle to attract our attention. This man, Kenmore Henville, was harnessed in a standing position in his dinghy, bouncing through the 6 foot waves taking photos of yachts as they entered the area. He blew a whistle to let you know he was there so you could smile for the photos! After he had taken his shots of our boat he sped off towards the boat that was behind us. We furled our jib away, motored a bit further into the bay and then dropped our main sail. After a short motor we were getting close to the mooring field and decided to drop our anchor, after 2 attempts which we weren’t happy with (felt we would swing too close to the nearby boats if the winds got up) we gave up on the anchoring idea and asked one of the boat boys if there was a mooring ball available that we could take for 3 nights. Shortly after we were safely tied to a mooring ball, negotiating with the boat boy who wanted to buy our original dinghy from us – hopefully it is a done deal. We tidied up, put things away, took down our St. Lucia flag and raised the Q flag, watched Gypsy Palace come into the bay and anchor in very skinny water (they later moved), then it was time to dink over to MT Nest where we were invited to dinner. Terri and Mike had done a terrific job of making salad, lasagna and desert cake. We had a very pleasant evening chatting about our individual trips down to this point. Dale told us that Kenmore would find us in the morning and bring us the proofs of the photos he had taken and we could purchase them if we wanted to. We finally got back into our dink and returned to our boat for the night.
Photos of Orpailleur under sail by Kenmore Henville (Bequia)



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