Tobago Cays, Vacation Mode

We’d visited the Tobago Cays once before, but we were at the end of our supplies and couldn’t stay long. It took a couple of weeks for us to get back, but this time we showed up with enough food and laundry to go the distance. We got a bit of a late start leaving Young Island, so we stopped for an overnight at Little Bay in northwest Canouan. It’s a surprisingly pretty place, a little oasis of flat water with hoards of butterflies. We ended up getting a late start the next morning, too, because when we turned on the engine we found the alternator wasn’t working, and traced it back to a fuse holder that had given up the ghost. Here’s grumpy Andrew putting in the replacement.

It seems that that fuse had been on its way out for a while, because after popping the new one in, the alternator’s output became much more stable than it ever has been, and we took “new regulator” off our shopping list.

So we sailed down, and got the boat put back together, and Jazz decided that if we were going to be on vacation, Captain should have a vacation rental as well. He accepted the offering.

Second order of business: get the toys in the water. And then get in after them. The neighbors kept passing by to welcome us back β€” mostly string rays, but also the occasional manta or curious trunk fish. And lots of turtles, of course, though at this point we’ve mostly stopped even taking pictures of those. We still shout “turtle!” though.

Captain’s views on water are uncomplicated: he is against it. In the beginning, he reacted to any sound of us getting in by zipping inside. He spent his time either napping in the doorway, or staring worriedly at us from a safe distance. Note his excellent posture; this is how he lounges.

The sunsets here were spectacular. Almost nightly we were treated to a slow-motion light show. I’m going to sprinkle these photos in, because even my eyes glaze over looking at more than one or two at a time, but this is a special time of just about every day and you should get to see more than one.

So this was Vacation Mode, and we played vacation games. “Side board ball” was a surprisingly challenging favorite: you stand the wrong way so you’re unstable, and then you have to pass little packets of momentum in the form of a ball back and forth without getting knocked off balance. Also pictured: how close to a split can you get on two boards and get back to standing?

We also took a little time for some body management: we put the gym together, and tried to even out some of those persistent tan lines. Jazz does this “butt browning time” with much more grace, I think.

Sometimes we were still swimming for sunset. Here’s Jazz refusing to come out of “the swimming pool”, and the view from the boat as we put the toys away. Surprising probably nobody, Jazz spent a lot of the time naked, and this picture is no exception, hence only the eyeballs breaking the water.

We also flew the drone a little. This place is just absolutely gorgeous. Note the boats in the background (third picture) β€” we’ll come back to that.

Our friends on Flow arrived after about a week, and came over a couple of times. Despite having never paddle-boarded before, they took to it like pros.

Captain eventually warmed up to the place, and started coming out to join us β€” though he continued to stare with extra-wide eyes whenever we got in the water. Also pictured: Jazz being “reassuring”. He really does tolerate us.

This is also a great place to kite surf, and although I think they’re technically supposed to go somewhere else nearby, it was neat watching them zip through the anchorage. Here’s a guy flying at yet another great sunset.

Captain is… yeah, I’m not going to try to explain this.

When we weren’t lazing in the water, we read a lot of books. Honestly that’s mostly what we spent our time doing. Jazz ripped her way through 11 books on the Kindle and listened to another five. We also drank our way through a case of wine (you may have recognized the building materials for Captain’s vacation home.)

The Pixel camera often does a decent job with panoramas, but it completely falls over when it tries to use water to figure out how to stitch it together. Still, another stunning sunset, and the wider form gives you more of an idea of how vast the sky is.

On calmer days, we went paddle-boarding. When the water is still it looks like you’re floating on a magic carpet, and you can see down into the coral.

We did snorkel the coral a little. Unfortunately, a lot of it is dead, victim of a the storm surges from a couple of hurricanes. There are still some live corals scattered around, and there is some interesting sea life. But ultimately we found the surface more fulfilling.

Captain may have gotten better with water from a distance, but he’s still not super happy about being close to it. He’s much happier to be in, or at least on, the boat.

He also would very much like some of your food, please.

The colors, man, the colors. It’s pretty awesome to be able to watch the sunset while cooking.

We got the sad (for us) news that Flow will be up for sale, and I helped Martin translate his German ad into English. Pictured here: translating is hard and we’re all a little confused.

One thing that makes it slightly easier to stay a long time here is that there are a couple of boats that come around to sell you beach barbecues, or to offer just about any other service, for a fee of course. You might not always get what you ask for, though. One guy promised us a bag of ice cubes, and ended up technically delivering, with a big bag frozen into a solid chunk. Fortunately, we keep several ice picks around, as they’re surprisingly useful for boat tasks.

After a couple of weeks, we got really lucky: all the other boats left, and we found ourselves alone, the only boat in this gorgeous harbor. So naturally, we took the cat for a walk. He’s normally much more enthusiastic about hiking, but he hates sand, and he was still a little salty about landing on the beach by the time we got to the top.

Being all alone also naturally meant that we had to get some drone shots facing the other direction. Compare to the set earlier in the page, or on our previous post about this place, to see the difference.

All good things eventually come to an end. After a while the siren song of our friends in Grenada started to pull at us, and I drugged Jazz and hauled anchor before she woke up we both decided it was time to move on. Goodbye, little slice of paradise!

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