Clifton (Union Island), St. Vincent and the Grenadines
After a stressful sunset sail to Union Island, I'm finally in a new country (St. Vincent and the Grenadines).
Sailing into shallow reef laden waters so late in the day was stressing the captain out, and by proximity, his crew. Having lost confidence in his anchor, Bill setup a rotating one-hour anchor watch to monitor for drag—a hell of a way to spend a night. At one point that evening, I told Bill it was my intention to look for a new boat in the morning.
Reminiscent of Andy's departure, I packed my backpack up this morning, and called our over the radio to the cruisers about a crew position. Even though I didn't receive a response over the radio, I still grabbed my pack, said goodbye to the crew, and caught a water taxi with Bill to shore (we had to check in at customs/immigration).
Knowing these islands want you to have an onward plane ticket when you pass through immigration (except when you're on a boat), I stopped for 15 minutes at an Internet cafe to print up a forgery.
I had written Andy (who had already come and gone from the island) an e-mail from Carriacou about the chances of getting a ride in Union. His response wasn't particularly optimistic, instead suggesting I make an attempt at Bequia (an island just south of St. Vincent).
So there I was, pack at my side, contemplating if I should try my chances with the two-dozen boats in Clifton Harbor, or have Bill keep me on the crew manifest and sail north with the Odessa…
Union, I Hardly Knew You
With a local population that's a litter larger than the size of my former high school, there isn't much to Union Island. With facilities mostly catering to expensive charter operations, Clifton feels like the Caribbean version of the Old West—a short, single road, with small stores on each side.
The topography of Union Island is interesting. With well-defined peaks and valleys from a lack of erosion, the island looks very young. A tiny airport/airstrip seems a little out of place here, but really makes me want to learn to fly.
The Adventure Continues
Having made the decision to rejoin the crew of the Odessa (for another three days), I dropped my pack off at the boat and helped gather provisions (for example, we had run out of fresh water). Bill, not wanting to fret about the anchor or another afternoon sail, made the (fantastic) decision to dock at the pier.
I LOVE having the Odessa lashed to the dock; no dingy to worry about, and everyone can come and go as they please—a real delight for $25 USD.
Tomorrow morning we head off to the Tobago Cays, rumored to be one of the highlights of the Caribbean.