Happy St. Patrick's Day, Everyone!
Before I talk about Mustique, I'd like to tell you about the city buses on these Caribbean islands. My example is of St. Vincent, but we've experienced the same in St. Martin, so I'm assuming most islands have the same system.
The city buses are minivans. They are crowded; I've been in a bus with 15 other people. On shopping day, Saturday, add overflowing shopping bags among us. The music is loud - thump! thump! thump!. The riders and drivers are accommodating and patient. The fares, the schedules, the routes are all fluent, not necessarily set. For example, to go to physio sometimes I paid 3 EC (Caribbean dollars) or 2 EC. It depended on what change I was getting back for the 5 EC. Canadian dollar is two ECs. When the traffic is heavy, the driver may decide to change the route to get to the next major stop. It happened to me twice. There are bus stops but if you ask, the driver will stop where you need. There's no schedule, I just stood by the side of the road and lifted my hand when a minivan was coming. I would then ask the driver if he's going where I wanted to go. If not, I waited for the next bus. The most interesting was coming back from the botanical garden by myself. From the garden, I walked down 2 kms to the bus terminal in Kingstown. The bus terminal is a big parking lot full of minivans and people milling, shouting, laughing around them. The buses don't have a signs indicating their final destination (in St. Martin they did). Either you know the driver or you ask around which I did. After three trials, I found my bus. Oh, I almost forgot, the roads have no traffic lights, no stop signs, no name signs. Every driver honks at each other to communicate. Not having a car, it is a good way to travel on the islands. We love it.
Mustique is one of the small islands in the Grenadines. It is considered a private island: only residents of St. Vincents and the Grenadines and residents' visitors are allowed to roam the island freely. Tourists must be escorted by taxi. The reason for this is the famous houses built on it: Mick Jagger, Felix Dennis, Princess Margaret, David Bowie, Paul McCartney. Some villas can be rented for 80,000 USD per week.
Our anchorage in Britania Bay was perfect for us. Our friends, David and Regina, with another couple, Collin and Tina, took one of Barefoot Yacht Charters' catamaran to join us for a couple of days. Swimming and snorkeling were the prime activities as we couldn't hike the trails on the island. On the beach, we bought fresh fruits, vegetables and fish; a baguette and focaccia at the local bakery. Last night we all dressed up for Tacos Tequila Thursday at Basil's, the beach bar.
During the many days we spent with David and Regina, we had long conversations about our sailing journey to this point. David and Regina plan to do a similar trip from Gananoque, Ontario this summer, fall and winter. We discussed our experiences some good some not, equipment they may need, places they shouldn't miss and other information. They were avid listeners. We'll see them again at their place when we drive to Quebec City in May.
We said goodbyes this morning. They sailed back to Bequia (pronounced Bek-way) and we moved on to Canouan for diesel, then to Saline Bay, Mayreau Island. I can finally make my fish dip/spread. A local on a small boat stopped by to sell us fresh red snapper. We promised him a small bowl of fish dip tomorrow. I'm sure he'll show up. If not, it's more for us. LOL! You can find my recipe scrolling down my blogs; the picture is a dip in a bowl with blue background; it's dated July 19, 2021.
We're starting to have some problems with the engine again. The batterie that is used for the windlass (it drains a lot of energy) and engine start is getting old. It's very unsettling when you want to leave but the engine doesn't start. Thanks to Frank's knowledge, he switches the engine starter to other batteries and that works ... most of the time. When this solution doesn't work, the other problem that Frank thinks we're starting to have is with the solenoid. The solenoid is coil of wire that converts electrical energy into mechanical work. As I press the start button, Frank uses a rubber mallet to bang on the solenoid ... and that works! Phew!. Our strategy for now is to finish our trip with these temporary solutions. Worst-case scenario, we bought a spare solenoid in St. Vincent. Once in Grenada, Frank will change the batterie and solenoid for next season.
Tomorrow will be an exciting snorkeling day at Tobago Cays just beside Mayreau. Tobago Cays is an archipelago of five small islands surrounded by reefs. So, we should see beautiful marine life and even swim with turtles. Then, we'll spend a few days on nearby Union Island (banking, laundry, provisioning, etc.).