Chatham Bay

7th to 10th October 2019

Lovely sail round from Clifton – downwind, then wind on the beam. Between us, most of the hull is relatively clean at the moment so we were skipping along at 7-8 knots in 15 knots of breeze which was lovely. Even if Theo had fallen asleep on the coachroof soon after we left Clifton 😊.  And we had cake en route. Lovely chocolate cake, made with oodles of cacao powder picked up in Grenada. Yum.

There are some extensive sandy patches in amongst the rock/seagrass – we anchored just to the North of the exclusive-resort-looking-place. Holding was immediate and very good which is fortunate as the wind funnels down the valley in odd directions with some excessively strong gusts. While we were there the forecast wind for the area was from the East. We swung round a full circle, except for the Western segment where we’d have expected to be – the wind was reversed or swung by the bay consistently.

It’s very nice here indeed. We saw turtles on the way into the anchorage, which always sets a good tone. Lots and lots of fish – once we had been there for 36 hours or so a shoal of small fish took up residence under our boat to hide from predator fish and the birds. This made for excellent viewing for all of the kids. Charlie retrieved a couple of starfish from the bottom for a biology lesson for the kids (the starfish were returned, floating off towards the bay edge after we had disturbed them). Some excellent shells to collect on the beach, particularly urchin shells.

And the people are awesome. Not many of them, as you’d expect given the lack of electricity or running water on this side of the island (one restaurant with a generator, and the small resort excepted). But all friendly – a couple came out by dinghy to sell their restaurants/bars and offer fish/garbage removal etc. Took yeses and nos equally, no pressure at all. When Charlotte, Arthur and Hector had gone for a walk while I was racing Theo along the beach, they got chatting to Desmond who has a few animals the kids were looking at. He gave Arthur and Hector a huge conch shell each, didn’t ask for anything; his fish-filleting knife was broken so we gave him one of ours a day or two later (as well as a cover that doesn’t block enough sun for the kids, but will shade his goats or chickens perfectly well). And nearly everyone else we met stopped for a conversation while we were on the beach, gave us directions and advice when we went for a walk etc. etc.. Just nice people. We’re planning on changing our planned route a little to return for a couple of days in a week or two.

Oh – Arthur has now learnt to imitate the kids he saw a couple of anchorages ago, and can climb the jib on its roller furler. He can comfortably get 4m or so off the deck, which is not nerve-wracking to watch at all, and could probably go quite a bit higher if the mood ever strikes him. He fancies sitting at the top of the mast one day… yay.

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