Canouan – a rude awakening.

Written by Jon:

We left Bequia back in late June and time was marching on as we had to be down in Grenada to meet our friend and semi-regular crew Clive who was flying in from Norway early in July.

Leaving Bequia we had a lovely little sail down to Canouan. We dropped the hook along a stretch of coast next to a couple of other yachts and started to make dinner. Just before Teo went off to bed the wind shifted and picked up in strength. It wasn’t a dangerous situation but we we’re too happy with the anchorage so we decided to move along the coast to the bay outside the main town. We’re not too happy anchoring in the dark, especially somewhere new to us, but on the charts it was straightforward and I could see that the navigation lights were working. Anyway, 30 minutes later we were safely anchored near the only other sailing boat in the bay, a catamaran. Then off to sleep.

I woke up early, to the sound of an urgent voice on the VHF radio. The skipper of the catamaran was calling all the other boats in the bay (us) to warn them that they awoke to someone walking around on the back of their boat. The opportunists had swum out to their boat in the early hours of the morning and when they were disturbed by lights coming on they jumped back into the sea and disappeared into the dark. I stayed up on deck with a torch for a while, until the sun came up, and it was clear that there wasn’t anyone around. As it turns out, nothing was stolen from the catamaran and everyone was OK. But, it was a reminder why we leave our VHF on overnight, why we put our washboards in (doors) and lock them, and why I’ve just installed an alarm on the back of the boat.

The places in the world where poverty rubs shoulders with the wealthy, where many of the local people often have so little and their government is corrupt and favours the wealthy at the expense of the poor, you will have crime and these paradise islands are no exception. What makes it particularly sad is that 99% of the locals we meet on a daily basis are friendly, welcoming and generous with their time and smiles – irrespective of how little they have.

We found a private little beach on Canouan with some lovely snorkelling and swimming. We had a great day together enjoying the sea, picnicking and relaxing. We were lucky enough to find a private hotel beach, staffed only my security guards and maintenance staff – it was closed for the season – but they were very welcoming and let us use the beach if we wanted. Rather than stay another night we sailed onto Mayreau and Salt Whistle Bay.

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