The Adventurous Pigeon: Sails to Grenada

Day 70: 9th January 2017 – Day 86: 25th January 2017

To mix things up, I’ve tried a different story telling technique so fingers crossed. Variety is the spice of life afterall. Feel free to leave any comments, your thoughts and feedback are greatly appreciated. Enjoy…. 

Ace, The Helpful Place 

Ace, a hardware store, made Pigeon’s dream come true. She was on the hunt for a sheet of wood 1200mm x 300mm to create a table for Fruit Salid 3. A mission. After finding a large lumbar yard at the back it became apparent that only industrial sized peices were being sold. She headed straight to the Chief and explained her dilemma. “I only need a small table, these peices are huge and expensive! Do you have any off cuts?” He shook his head. Surely this cannot be true, Pigeon thought to herself. She kept bombarding him with animated chatter of her vision and hey presto! “I may be able to find you something around the back…” Wahooooo. The Chief returned with flying colours and Pigeon was over the moon!  

Oiling up Terrance

Darkness had fallen. Pigeon hopped in the tender to go and collect Octoveg, and thier provisions, from a pontoon she was left on earlier. There were strong currents and a howling wind so Pigeon powered up the tender. Through the bridge she motored, her head torch shining the way in the pitch black. Then speeding past hundreds of super yachts… where the hell did I leave her!? Back and forth she went. Everywhere looked the same!! Circling. Focus Pigeon, she thought. Start from one end of the headland and follow it round systematically. Heart rate rising. Panic was beginning to set in but at the same time she couldn’t help but think… “This is bloody typical, I was given one task – Go and pick up Octoveg. And now I can’t even locate the right pontoon!!” Great. 40 minutes later, fuel was running dangerously low, and Pigeon eventually found the missing person. It shook her up. 

A Fishy Tale (10.01.17)

It was a hot and windy Tuesday morning when they set sail from Saint Martin to Saint Kitts. It had been a month aboard Fruit Salid 3 and no fish had been eaten… Dr Salid bumbled around the boat with his tail between his legs promising the earth but producing pittance. “Bbbbthhhhhhhh”… “Bbbbbbthhhhhhhhh” … “Quick, quick, it’s the fishing rod!!” He yelled and jumped to his feet. Unfortunately to the rest of the Salid’s he had become The Boy Who Cried Wolf. No one blinked an eye. Suddenly “BARRACUDA!!!!!! At last!!!” About time too, they all thought secretly.

Bob and Dr Salid. Proud.

After learning how to fillet a fish from Frank the paper version, Pigeon’s skills were tested on the real deal! After a successful filleting, Bob The Barracuda never made it into thier bellies… The dreaded lurgy, Ciguatera, threatened his meat, the meat of reef fish. Sadness flooded the boat as his body was launched overboard.

Saint Kitts, Potato Beach (12.01.17)

“Right, get up! Let’s get cracking! Picnic is ready to roll” Pigeon squealed eagerly. They hopped on the local bus towards the towering volcano of Mount Liaguma, 3792 ft high.

Ready and raring!
And they were off…

Up and up they went with a spring in their step that echoed through the rainforest. The roots tingled with joy in the ground at the sound. En route they passed humans of all shapes and sizes, old and young, fat and thin, who were following the local guides to the summit. The Salid’s flew by cheering on the beings below as they struggled on. Good on them, Pigeon thought. 

At the top, what a feast there was… Wraps, cheese, gurkins, pickled onions, olives, dried apricots, muslebars, apples, left over birthday cake, jelly sweets and ofcourse ginger nuts!
As they headed back to the civilisation at Potato Bay they wandered along the road and spotted Brownies Bar.

It was closed but Suzan who lived next door popped her head out the front door “What d’yo fancy luv?” Suzan was a big momma with few teeth and such vavavoom! Before they knew it she was handing out the local beer Carib. They were flopsed out after thier climb so Suzan stuck out her thumb and they hopped on the school bus home. Dr Salid towered over the tiny children, Pigeon held back her laughter. 

Nature at its Finest (13.01.17:)

After a hearty breakfast of Toad in the Hole… the Australian version, the Salid’s set sail to Antigua.

What an oddity, Pigeon pondered. A circle cut out of bread with an egg in the middle… How bizarre. 

Pigeon helmed the whole way. 50nm. 8 hours. The stars came out and a GIGANTIC yellow moon!! The biggest and yellowest Pigeon had ever seen! As they sailed closer to Antigua the moon was covered by a fluffy balloon cloud. The cloud glowed in the sky with a twinkling yellow lining, like an air balloon, and attached to the bottom of it was the city on Antigua. The city was made up of thousands of lights glowing out! It was beautiful. If a gust of wind came it could blow the city away. 

Pigeonpaintings

Pigeon was already feeling euphoric when she spotted a VERY long bright shooting star which kept on getting bigger and brighter, like a flare illuminating the sky. She could even see the jagged edge of the white burning strip. She gurgled happily inside as she sailed on. Soon she would be reunited with Round. 

As quickly as they arrived they were off.

Barbuda called Fruit Salid in the dead of night to come, promising something magical. Through Turtle Alley they sailed, turtles all over popping up to say Good Day. Then suddenly “Bbbrrrrrrrrthhh”… No one moved, it was the fishing rod again. Dr Salid jumped to his flip flops “Wahoo!!!! Fish for dinner!!!!!” He brought in Willy The Wahoo proudly, “it’s a pointy noised pelagic hunter from the deep.” The Salid’s cooked up a storm that night. 

Wahoo through the eye!
Round knelt down on her bony knee caps to help Dr Salid fillet Willy.

Barbuda is a small island, flat as a pancake, with coconut trees parading the beach lined coast. As they laid the anchor just off Palmetto Point, a sting ray jumped out the bright blue glistening sea. “That must have been at least 0.5m out the water!” Pigeon yelped. The Salid’s leapt in and swam to shore keeping thier eyes pealed. 

They walked along the beach absorbing nature’s beautiful colours – the pinks of the coral, turquoise of the sea and the dark grey skies over head. It was bliss. 

At 8am they set sail south to Guadalupe. “Another squall” Dr Salid informed the sodden crew. It was the 4th that day! 

They were drenched and starting to get the chills. 

“Here comes the Rain Man!” Pigeon announced loudly over the wirling wind. And by gum, the heavens opened. The wild sea fogged over, the sails filled and the pelting rain drops bounced off the white horses surrounding the boat. “WOOHOOOOO” they all cried. It passed as quickly as it came leaving them with the harsh wind cooling thier bodies. 

Gill gear keeping The Salid’s happy

Pigeon headed below deck, stripped and wrapped up warm in a sleeping bag, she was freezing! Whilst darkness fell, Dr Salid and Paulie stayed on deck to conquer the next two squalls. Pigeon popped up with cheese and biscuits and was greeted with open hands. Eventually they arrived at Pigeon Island, Guadalupe at 2300h.

Guadalupe by day

The next few days were big sails. From Guadalupe to Dominica, then a huge overnight sail past Saint Lucia to St. Vicente and The Grenadines. 150nm! Pigeon spotted the Pitons flying high in the sky over Saint Lucia. She learnt a lot from her adventures there.

Boom Boom Pow

Bequia, one of the Grenadines islands, is relatively touristic with a large harbour. One hundred boats were anchored and on mooring buoys relaxing. It is ‘Island Time’ afterall!

Calm before the storm

The Salid’s headed to shore, cafes and shops lined the sea to one end. As they headed away from the glamour, they heard the distant booming of a heavy duty sound system. As in the Pied Piper, the beat was like a calling. Following the sound, ears pricked, along the coast line they skipped. With spirits high in the sky they stumbled across the real deal, a local street shin dig. 

The street was lined both sides with black males pulling shapes. The road itself relatively empty, except for a small number of people moving outrageously to the music.

There were huge speakers to one side of the road with two women stood in front shaking thier hips in time with the boom boom… here it’s how the Caribbean women dance. Each body listening and responding to the beats with thier individual moves. Full concentration on themselves. A lady comes forward with an unusual squat dance in the centre of the road strutting her stuff. A guy arrives and fist pumps 5 guys lining streets then holds his fist to his heart. Over a loud speaker, “Big it up for DJ…” From Penthouse Bar, “Respect, respect.” Pigeon just watched in admiration, soaking it all up. Although she attempted to shake her booty, her dance moves just did not cut the mustard.

All Creatures Great and Small

They sailed on to Mayreau, a short hop away. At 1400 as Pigeon brought up some freshly made guacamole, Round jumped out of her skin. It’s not that exciting, Pigeon thought. “A WHALE!!!!!” Round gasped. “A WHALE!!!” She squealed piercingly this time. The Whale came to the surface 10m off the starboard side and spouted a gallon of water into the air. The Salid’s waved hello back in return and off it swam happily into the distance. 

Mayreau, a place with a soul
22.01.17: As they strolled around Mayreau, Pigeon found her special friends…

The wind blew them next to Tobago Cays. They dived into the sparkling turquoise water. Fish of all sizes, colours and families came over for a little chin wag. As they swam on, more fish appeared. In this zone the Salid’s were like celebrities. All the creatures of the sea ventured over to catch a glimpse. 

As they came to a halt, Dr Salid poked out a wrinkly finger. Pigeon followed the fingers direction with her eye. A high pitched squark burst out her snorkel hole. All three of them held hands, thier breathing quickened. Two Nurse Sharks laid on the sea bed under a rock below them, each 2m long. They looked plump and splodgy with soft jagged fins coming from thier sides. Pigeon’s heart rate went through the roof! 

After ten minutes, a realisation came to her… these sharks are more scared of us than we are of them. They just want to make friends. After that she relaxed and swam down to say hello.
From Tobago Cays, to Petit Tabac, to Palm Island, to Union Island and at last they were within arm’s reach of Grenada.

Two white long tailed doves flew overhead whilst they sailed between Kick and Jenny Rock, and Ronde Island. Pigeon knew from her days crossing the Atlantic that this was a sign. 

Moments later, they caught a Trevally. 

They anchored off Ronda Island with small 5m high craggy cliffs falling near the waters edge. A forest tumbled behind as they enjoyed a fresh fish lunch. Pigeon felt at one here.

For the next two hours of Spinnaker sailing to Grenada, Pigeon had the sensational taste of a successful venture in her mouth.
Cheers!

Pigeon out

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