Chatham Bay, Union Island

We stopped in Chatham to lick our wounds for a couple of days at the end of our stupid loopy run from Hurricane Gonzalo. We basically pulled into the harbor, dropped anchor, and jumped into the water. After climbing out, we ordered delivery, which maybe surprisingly is a thing you can do from a boat sometimes. Barbecue on the beach is out of fashion due to COVID, but the businesses are still there, and they’re happy to bring a feast out to you. (At these prices, they’re very happy to.)

We pretty much filled up and passed out. The next day, our major accomplishment was taking the cat to the beach for a brief walk, which he did not like because he does not like sand. Also, we saw some things from the dinghy ride there, like this cool drawbridge to signify that the fancy restaurant, and its dinghy dock, were closed. Also there were some local boats full of nets, or as Jazz calls them, pre-sea-garbage.

Gonzalo had passed, but continued to affect the weather. So that evening we had a really interesting evening sky, with mist pouring over the mountains and sunset breaking through cracks in the clouds.

The next day, we took a hike up the hill and walked around the western half of the island. The road up from Chatham bay is one of the rougher dirt roads we’ve seen, rivaling the drive up to the coffee plantation in the DR. We were rewarded with sweeping views over our anchorage, and then as we reached the road, views of Richmond and Belmont bays on the north side of the island. All along the road, we met giant tortoises, who did their best to convince us that they were innocent rocks when we approached.

Back at the shore, we met some nice Italian cruisers, and drank beers while we watched our catamarans bouncing and rolling and avoided taking the ride back out to them. Poor Captain. The restaurant staff apparently saved our dinghy from washing ashore while we were gone, and then proceeded to get very, very high and kick our asses at the ring toss game.

The next day, we decided to head back to Bequia to finish fixing our steering and our mainsail. But before we did, we checked on our fuel reserves, and decided we needed to top up for some safety margin. Easy enough: there’s a gas station in Clifton. So we took a brief motor along the coast, still using the emergency tiller.

When we got to Clifton, we discovered that the promised gas station had been burned down several years ago. Instead, we would have to hitch a ride (for $30 US) on the of a burning-hot flat-bed truck to get our cans filled out of a dodgy garage halfway around the island (and much closer to where we’d started, facepalm.) This turned into a half-day ordeal, and we were rewarded with some of the dirtiest fuel we’ve seen so far this trip. But, beggars, choosers, etc., so we carried it back to the boat, passed it through the water separator, and set sail back to Bequia.


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