Saint Lucia to St Vincent & then Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines
This is from a while ago but I wrote it and really wanted to post it as I want our readers to try and see and feel our experiences with Daisy on the boat.
13 & 14 July 2017
What better way to say goodbye to Saint Lucia than by waking up between the famous and breath taking Pitons towering over us. Admittedly I couldn’t see them at first, as it was still dark. Daisy kindly took it upon her self to replace the 6am alarm with a disgustingly early 4:45am wake up call. It makes me laugh to think the boat was considerately tied onto a mooring buoy to ensure we didn’t wake her when pulling up the anchor (a chain clattering on top of your ceiling is quite an unnerving sound for a little one) but she decided to wake US up instead.
In an ideal world we would have headed straight to the island of Bequia part of St Vincent & the Grenadines, but we had to stop at St Vincent for 1 night to check the dog in as part of the import/export rules of travelling with a pet. It would be at least 26 hours before Scrumpy would be allowed off the boat as he has to be inspected by a vet on arrival to every new non-EU country. With a 50 mile passage taking approx. 10 hours our expected ETA meant the Vets wouldn’t come out that evening so he was given a good walk before departure.
I had high hopes for Bequia, for one reason and another we still hadn’t met any other ‘kid boats’ to socialise with, in fact we hadn’t really met anyone for a while. Plus the weeks of rain had taken their tool on moral and all of this meant we were missing family and friends more than ever. Bequia was going to hopefully bring some company and in turn fun. Don’t get me wrong living on a boat in the Caribbean IS amazing but with very limited funds there’s only so many things you can do with a dog & a baby. The tropical heat also means Daisy can’t really be out all day in the sun. Doing the same thing every day can get a bit boring & being on board all the time can be claustrophobic and isolating. Building relationships and doing things with other cruisers is vital to our sanity now we are parents and our support network is thousands of miles away.
Despite being fully aware of Daisy’s seasickness it had been a while since her last open ocean (between island) passage and therefore Simon and I were feeling positive, but this didn’t last long. Once past the tip of Saint Lucia we were into the Atlantic swell with a sea state of moderate to rough, heading south with 15-20 knots of wind from the East it was a little uncomfortable but not horrendous by any means. However poor little Daisy Bean did not fare well, cry, vomit, sleep, repeat went on for 5 hours until we reached the protected water of the leeward side of St Vincent. Then it was still another 5 hour slog to our destination, Blue Lagoon. Unfortunately it turned out to be Daisy’s WORST sail to date! It was soul destroying and awful feeling so helpless. All I could do was try to console her and keep her as comfortable as possible but the worst part was feeling responsible for making her poorly. It is us that are the ones choosing to take her to sea and the sickness seems to be getting worst not better.
It really drags you down and you start seeing the negative in everything, being stuck in the same place, having to continuously hand wash nappies, running out of fresh water, not having any friends around to socialise with, constantly being hot and sweaty, eating the same food day in day out due the limited provisions on the Caribbean islands, the volume of damp & mould you live with on a boat, the lack of power, struggling to live off a small budget, feeling terrible that my family are missing out on having a relationship with Daisy. All of these thoughts began surrounding me like a black cloud blurring my vision, preventing me from appreciating the positive aspects of our life. I began to question whether I even wanted to do this anymore. After all what’s the point of living on a sail boat and not being able to sail anywhere, we chose to live like this as we wanted to venture out and see the world ….. not give up all the benefits of living on land to live on a boat and never go anywhere!
Relieved to arrive in the calm and tranquil setting of the Blue Lagoon, neither of us had the patience to try and find a good spot to anchor so took the offer of a mooring buoy, Simon bartering with the price to try and make us feel better.
Having been here previously when I was pregnant we knew there was a relatively cheap bar ashore offering food and more importantly beer so a well earned pick me up was in order. Popping into the Customs & Immigration on the way to check in, the local Pilot working out of the marina had told us it was open and still normal working hours as they charge overtime if its late evening or a weekend. This turned out to be total bollocks, so 40 later (nearly 3 days Budget), any money for treats was no longer. Simon scrapped together a handful of pennies to at least share a burger but it wasn’t quite the feast we had planned. With 24 hours ‘grace’ allowance it would have been perfectly legal to sign in to the country during the morning saving us a small fortune.
The following day Scrumpy was inspected by the Government Vet and his Import Permit officially signed off (sigh of relief) then it was a 7mile sail across to Bequia, a small but charismatic island with a relaxed and chilled out vibe to it. You could probably say this about most of the Caribbean but there are a lot of places where cruisers can get hassled quiet a bit to spend money. If you own a boat the assumption is you are rich and have money to burn! But Bequia doesn’t have that pushy kind of pressure going on.
As it’s such a short distance and only an hour to 90minute sail I was hoping Daisy would be able to manage it. Ha there goes that optimism again, but sadly half way across she was sick a couple of times. This time she was not upset and seemed in good spirits, however my spirit was already broken. This is probably what led to Simon and I having an argument on entering the channel of Admiralty Bay. What was it about, clearly nothing important as neither of us can remember but definitely the result of the current mood on board. That night with heavy hearts we talked over our future on the Tudor Rose along with the possibility of giving her up in order to return home (UK) and buy a canal boat. In the morning Simon posted a BOAT FOR SALE advert on Facebook …………….