|Aqua's landing jetty|
|Temptress at anchor, Chatham Bay|
Each time we plan to up anchor and sail to another port even if like now it is just the other side of the island a certain amount of preparation has to be made. Of first importance is the nav (navigation or planning the journey) – any trip has like a good story has three parts; a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning is how to extract Temptress out of her current anchorage – obstacles like rocks and reefs to avoid, where the shallow bits lie, where are neighbouring boats, what state is the sea in and which way is the wind gusting – this fiddly stuff is usually known as pilotage and can only be done with a mark one eyeball after a good read of the chart.
|Silly hat time|
|Temptress is a sea of blue|
|View from the hills above Chatham |
across to Mayreau and Canouan beyond
A run through the boat from front to back is made checking for remaining items that could fall off/down, hatches and portholes are closed, winch handles fetched up to the cockpit. The security bars for the main hatch are handed down and carefully placed on a bunk to be held in place by a leecloth and some cushions; far quicker than trying to bury them in their home at the bottom of a cockpit locker for a short sail. The kettle is filled, two mugs sit ready in a saucepan for our habitual cuppa once underway and the gimbal on the stove is unlocked so these items stay horizontal regardless of the boat’s movements. The instruments are turned on and the prepared route activated. Finally some half an hour or so later Temptress is ready for sea. In an emergency we would simply close the hatches and leave following the reverse of our route in, our safety and that of the boat being more important than that of our belongings scattered about and in fact we are usually quite good about putting stuff back in its place after use or prior to sleeping especially if the weather forecast is not pretty.
|Snorkelling off Clifton, Union Island, SVG|
With a cooling breeze gently blowing from the east Temptress sits comfortably between the reefs in water that is amazing shades of blue as it shelves gently upwards to the reef, and far less crowded than on our previous visit before Easter. Sea so clear that when the sun was higher we could see the rock strewn sandy bottom and a little shoal of tiny fish being chased by a small tuna! Happy Island is off our bow, the occasional light aircraft lands at the airport to our left and once the shops close for the weekend on Saturday lunchtime the small town is devoid of crowds. This is an idyllic place to be, so of course the effort involved for such a short hop was worth it!