More of your correspondence
Bryan Thwaites says that a daylight trip from Bequia to St. Lucia in the West Indies is not possible (Letters, May issue). I have made this trip in daylight many times, with just two of us sailing our Beneteau 413, and I feel that people may be misled and tempted to stop in St Vincent, when they need not take that risk. Of course, you have to leave at first light (around 0545) and have breakfast as you motor up the side of St. Vincent, where the wind is blanketed by the hills. But you should be able to reach The Pitons or Marigot well before dark. It’s possible to get all the way to Rodney Bay in daylight but it is usually necessary to motor up the lee of St. Lucia as well as St. Vincent.
DM Watkins, Yacht Dreamfinder Too
Caribbean hassle and noise
I read the letters by Bryan Thwaites and John Quayle (May issue) the day after I had just sailed from Marigot, in St Lucia, to Bequia, leaving at 0900 and arriving at 1630 – so clearly it can be done in daylight! Also we often sleep in hot weather with all the hatches shut as we have fans. The real reason for this is to block out the noise from beach parties that can go on until really late. My view is that piracy here is no worse a problem than walking down a street in a UK city. You wouldn’t avoid Birmingham if there had been a murder there the day before, so why do so here? The thing that grips many of us in the Caribbean is the hassle and noise. Recently, we were going to check into Walilabou Bay for St Vincent customs, but the sight of at least five boat boys all waiting to pounce on us made us decide to keep going. When I asked the boat boy in Dominica why they play ludicrously loud music until dawn and keep all the yachts awake, he shrugged and said: ‘Hey man, that’s how we party here!’ Nowhere is perfect, but the Caribbean is the most fantastic cruising area. I just wish the locals would take ‘no’ for an answer – and turn the volume down!
Larry Jeram-Croft, Yacht Tiger Frightener
Brest or Bust – May 2008
I read the10-day itinerary in your Brittany cruise planner. There is no mention that the only reason Port Launay and Châteaulin are ‘non tidal’ is that they are the other side of a lock. I could see from your article that you had factored in an afternoon tide, but on anything other than that, it is very stressful! We went up to Châteaulin once to escape from a full gale. It was the first day of fête week in the town, and somehow the local worthies got the impression that we had braved a channel gale just to attend. We got the full works – Mayoral reception, our own guide and interpreter, free entry to everything, and a front page story and photo in the local newspaper, Ouest France, calling us ‘brave sons of Cromwell’. I love the place! Sandra, Yacht Moonshine