On Wednesday, with the boat back together and all systems Go, we got ready to set off for Carriacou to take part in the annual regatta ……..not on our boat, but on another cruiser’s boat.

Durita, our Faroese friend, joined us for the sail up to Carriacou. She had flown down from there on an errand of mercy a couple of days before, accompanying a very sick cruiser who had collapsed on his boat with internal bleeding and was barely alive. By the time her patient arrived at the hospital he was in an even worse state, due to the time and stress of traveling. Medical emergencies are not the easiest things to deal with when you live on a boat. First he had to be manhandled from his boat to a dinghy, …… onto a bus acting as an ambulance, ….into the clinic on Carriacou which had no blood transfusion capability, ……back in the ‘ambulance’, …..onto a six seater plane to Grenada, then into another ambulance to the hospital. Thanks to the persistence of Durita, who is a ‘flying’ nurse back home in Norway, Tony, the patient, eventually was given a blood transfusion that no doubt saved his life. It turns out that the hospital initially said they had only two units of blood………it later transpired that there was more blood, but they were saving it for emergencies!! In the meantime the cruising community arranged a ‘blood drive’ and some 20 or more Yotties rolled up their selves and gave an armful. It appears that once it was clear that their stocks would be replaced, the emergency blood was released and Tony could be operated on. It is now two weeks on and Tony is recovering ashore in Woburn……..Durita removed his stitches on Sunday.

Now back to the Carriacou regatta……well almost!

We motored out of our anchorage in Grenada and headed north, only to be rudely interupted by the engine’s hot water alarm and what,at first, looked like low oil pressure.
Out came the sails and on went the thinking caps.
Marcus, who is now intimately acquainted with the ‘Beast Below the Boards’, quickly discovered that the problem lay in a lack of coolant, so with funnel, hose and a gallon of water, we filled the radiator and set off motor/sailing again. This process had to be repeated three times as we beat our way up to Tyrrell Bay and dropped anchor under a full moon. The following day a miscreant hose clamp was detected and replaced, the radiator was drained and new coolant/antifreeze was administered. Since then this patient too has made a full and speedy recovery!!

Carriacou reminds us of the Scillies with its village community feel and low tech approach to life. The regatta was organised around a course whose turning buoys were rocks and small islands……a little local knowledge allows boats to almost touch the rocks!

The Sisters. One of the turning marks, with Stamen in the foreground.

The Sisters. One of the turning marks, with Stamen in the foreground.

The Friday race was a two hander around the island and started in biblical style with a bolt of lightning and thunder and a curtain of rain that made it impossible to see any of the boats.

Luckily we weren’t involved until Sunny Saturday……..we turned up on the day and sailed on Captain Frank’s boat ‘Samahdi’. A good time was had by all and we came 5th out of 10, once the handicap system was applied. The crew were Frank (Capt), Dave (First Mate), Emma, Stamen, Marcus and Me.

Under way and in with a chance!

Under way and in with a chance!

Saturday night saw the Samahdi Crew entertaining the drinkers and diners at The Slipway with piano, recorder, bongos, egg shaker and voices. Another great evening.

There were no races for cruisers on Sunday, but the local workboats had their races, so Stamen and Durita, Dave and Emma and Marcus and I borrowed ‘Scrappy’ from the Flying Buzzard and set sail around the headland towards Hillsborough to watch the races.

All aboard for the skylark!

All aboard for the skylark!

Forget the Famous Five and Secret Seven…….we were the Silly Six. We set of with lashing and lashings of cold beer and sailed on a starboard tack making good speed, but when we looked under the sail we saw it wasn’t in the right direction!! So we buttied up the dinghy we were towing and used the motor to get to shore and to the beach bar and the chicken and chips that were luring us in.

Crossing the workboats' race on the way to lunch.

Crossing the workboats’ race on the way to lunch.

On the way we passed right through the racing fleet, so we did get to see the race after all!!

Sunday Lunch........

Sunday Lunch……..Marcus, Dave, Stamen, Emma and Durita.

.......the view from our table. Can it get any better?

…….the view from our table. Can it get any better?

On Monday we had our second race and had a flying start! We rounded the first and second marks in first place!!

Leaving all in our wake.....

Leaving all in our wake…..until they all overtook us to windward.

Needless to say we dropped back through the fleet as we beat up the windward legs, but we managed to come in 4th after our handicap was applied, which meant we came just outside the prizes in 4th place overall for the weekend.

Captain Frank narrowly missing a prize:(

Captain Frank narrowly missing a prize:(

With the engine behaving itself, we were off back down to St George’s for Carnival weekend. I’m sure we’ll make the trip back up here during the summer. It is truly delightful.

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