This trip by location is just about a dead repeat of trip number one. A 15 day Epic from St Lucia down to Prickly Bay, Grenada. From there we’ll sail a few hundred miles to Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela to take some much needed time off as well as complete a few major projects on Discovery, including a topside freezer, large solar array for some greener charging, which will double as a surfboard rack, possibly a new tender and outboard…it’s a long list.
I’ll cut straight to the chase, and what we’re all interested in here. It’s day 11 of the trip, we’ve kited the last 10 of them. We’ve had so much wind that yesterday we had 20 knots and only Rogier could muster the energy to kite. May is historically one of the worst months for wind in the Caribbean, and while the temps have definitely risen considerably and the hurricane season seems just around the corner, we’ve gotten very lucky.
The first 5 days were light, granted, but that gave us time to practice with our new carbon fibre Aviso surfboards on Canouan, a favorite stop on the first trip, and a new location for us on Mayreau across from Saltwhistle Bay. Bruce, Rogier and Ethan got in a killer 6 mile downwinder from Canouan to Mayreau. It’s so much fun to sail along on Discovery and have the boys ripping by us with huge grins on their faces.
We even got in a kite under the full moon, something I’ve always wanted to do. We had a perfect cloudless evening, solid winds, gorgeous shallow water. Had to do it. Bruce, Rogier, Jody and I all had a go, much to the delight of the other boats moored in the anchorage.
From Saltwhistle we motored just around the corner to the Tobago Cays and had a decent day of kiting out at Petit Tabac, but with the low tides on the full moon it wasn’t ideal. From the Tobago Cays we had to get into position for the best forecast we’ve had all season- 7 straight days of +20 knots. I’d heard through the kiting grapevine that Union had a fantastic flatwater spot called Frigate island.
We spent the night at Clifton, the main anchorage, a calm, reef protected anchorage with a tiny island built on the reef aptly named “Happy Island”. A perfect spot to watch the sunset and enjoy some local rum before the serious kiting would begin. Over the next four days we would run an almost clockwork operation. Wake early and kite at Clifton right in the anchorage. Then we’d sail Discovery a mile downwind behind Frigate island while those inclined would kite along with us and hit a nice left hander that came off the barrier reef. Then we would play all day in shallow water behind a long causeway that was just enough land to make smooth flat water, but not enough to block the winds.
At the end of the day, worn out and sore we’d up anchor and motor back up to Clifton, in prep for another day of the same. Ethan, Rogier and Jody would nail their first forward rolls, I’m working on riding blind and doing forward roll transitions, Bruce is doing some crazy boosts, and Jason the rookie would be riding for the first time. At the end of each day we would briefly consider moving on, but logic thankfully would always reign and staying put would win out.
We finally had to leave not by choice, but by demand. Our ever-problematic dinghy, which we abuse to no end got a short in the negative wire so we regretfully sailed the short distance across to Petit St Martinique to make the repairs. To be honest though, I couldn’t have kited even if I wanted to. My body feels like it’s been used as a punching bag for the last 10 days. With more wind in the forecast through the remainder of the trip, a short rest will be good for all of us.