South Pacific Voyage 2012-2013


By Kate “Bob” Addison

Picton Castle crew are very much enjoying island life here in Carriacou, our first port of call since Canada. This island is seriously sweet – picture perfect beaches, lush green mountains, delightful people, food, musics, ice cream…

I am sitting writing this at a rum shop (a “rum shop” being an old Royal Navy term and the Island local name for the local pub) looking out over Tyrell Bay on the SW of the island, but don’t be fooled by the name – rum shacks all serve soft drinks too (Ting!), and usually some fried chicken or a fish burger to go with. This is the yachty part of town, just the other side of the peninsula from Paradise Beach which makes up the bottom curve of Hillsborough Bay, where Picton Castle is lying at anchor.

She is looking good now, topsides scrubbed and painted by gangs over the side in the skiff, and the freshly oiled decks glistening gently in the sun.

The off watches have been exploring in the monomoy, our double ended surf rescue boat that can be rowed by up to eight people plus a coxswain or sailed. Yesterday morning Siri took an expedition rowing up to Sandy Island. It’s well named, a little sandy palm-fringed bit of an island just less than a half mile offshore. There was a salt water pool in the middle of the island, washed with clean salt water at every high tide. A barrier of coral protected it from the sea side, and soft, white sand on the Island side. We had a lovely time swimming from the boat, and from the beach. The current and wind were against us on the way back, so Siri played us row-faster tunes to keep us in time and Dkembe was official pep-talker and motivator. Such a lovely expedition! Today Michael took the other watch out rowing – I’m sure they will have plenty of their own stories too.

Last night was a little party for the ship up at Bernard’s place at Windward on the northeast side. There was a big fish broth for us – the men go out bottom fishing and anything they catch goes in the chunky soup, together with potato and plantain and deliciousness. We wandered down to the boatyard at Windward in the early evening to look at the pretty wooden boat being built there. The boatyard is actually the beach, and we are told that the launch day is a great party with food and music, and all welcome. It would be wonderful to stay here until she is launched in the New Year, but the South Pacific is calling, so onward we go, sailing for Grenada in the morning.