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March 4, 2012 / Nautical Mom

Saint Vincent March 3

Loyal followers, we are now in St. Vincent.  What an exciting overnight from St. Lucia.  We left Rodney Bay in pitch black at 7pm during a torrential rain storm.  It was a 70-plus mile voyage. It had been blowing over 25 knots all week, and we were feeling stuck, so hearing about a lull Thursday night and Friday we were eager to make ground despite the rain.   We decided to do an overnight because the 20 mile stretch of ocean between St. Lucia to St. Vincent is known to be a bit rough, and the kids and dog could sleep through it.  
It poured steadily for the first two hours of our trip in utter blackness down the coast of St. Lucia.  My only regret about the overnight is that we’d seen the coast by car, but by boat the views (i.e. of the Pitons) are supposedly even more spectacular.  When we reached the bottom of St. Lucia (around midnight) we called the Veaux Forte Lighthouse.  We had visited it earlier in the week and met Allen, one of the keepers who’s worked there 30 years.  He was happy to hear from us, warned us of continued high winds, and wished us a safe voyage south.  It’s nice to hear a friendly voice over the VHF radio in the middle of the darkness, and to know although we feel very alone, there are people watching out for us.
Jason was such a cute trooper for our trip.  As soon as we left, he put on foul weather gear, donned his life jacket, clipped on his harness and went to sleep in the cockpit under a plastic blanket so that he could be “on watch” with us.  Gigi was a little sick and panicky as we departed, and very sad to be leaving her marina friends, but she soon pulled herself together and slept comfortably on the couch to be close to us.
Anyway, I did much of the crossing alone while EJ slept from 2-4 am.  Not much exciting, passed within a few miles of 2 or 3 ships.  The boat sailed well enough with double-reefed main and reefed jib.  The wind was pretty much off our beam and there were 9 foot swells also off our beam.  The swells were slightly uncomfortable because the boat rocked a bit side to side coming down the waves, but nothing eventful.  After I went to bed after my shift, and was awakened at 7:00 with everything flying off the walls as the boat surged side to side.  We stow our stuff, but not as meticulously as other sailors, so now the pots were flying, the storage boxes of clothes fell off the dressers hitting me on the head and all our electronics (pcs etc.) jettisoned across the main salon.
I went upstairs to find EJ battling a monster of a sea.  At the northern tip of St. Vincent the wind whips around the island and the waves turn from gentle rollers to vicious chop.  It was blowing steady above 30 knots and although the waves were not that big, they were close together and very choppy with some breakers.  Of course, it was also raining.  I was proud of him for enduring this alone and letting the rest of us sleep as long as we had.  We completely furled the jib, headed a bit further off the wind and just made ground until finally we were in the lee of St. Vincent.
We arrived Kingstown, the capital at 11 am, hoping to clear Brooke with the vet.  No such luck!  After several phone calls, we learned there was some problem with our application in that we had no permanent address in St. Vincent.  We’d just listed our boat as our home, but that was inadequate.  Of course bureaucracy dictated that we have to redo the entire package and wait until Monday.  Poor puppy is stuck on the boat til then.
We’ve finally had time to do some updates to the blog layout.  Check out Carribean Places and Adventures page.  The kids have also updated content on their pages.
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