All Aboard! Our Caribbean Family Vacation

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 8/27/2023 – 9/3/2023

Good morning, friends! Have you seen our latest YouTube video?

Last Sunday, Ray, my parents, and I piled into the dinghy and headed to shore… slowly. Our outboard engine had been acting up for a while now and was struggling to keep up with all four of us aboard. We couldn’t plane, making every trip to shore long and wet. It frequently died when approaching the dinghy dock, forcing me to take a “leap of faith” more often than I’d like. We needed to get it up and running reliably before we left Grenada.

We called the mechanic who helped us last time we broke down, whom locals call “the outboard doctor.” He agreed to miss his morning gospel to help us out. 🙏🏼 He was able to get the engine to stop stalling but wanted us to meet back up on Monday when the shops were open because he needed to replace a couple of parts to fix it completely. So, we spent the rest of the day relaxing and swimming in the mooring field. Despite our outboard troubles, it was all smiles aboard Sabado!

The following day, we reconvened with the mechanic. After a couple of hours and a trip or two to Island Water World, we determined that the amount of money it would cost to order, ship, and import the rest of the parts we’d need, plus the time it would take to get said parts, outweighed the cost of replacing our outboard engine. So, we rode with the mechanic to the Yamaha shop to pick out a new one. We went with a Yamaha Enduro 25HP, a notoriously reliable, powerful engine. Luckily, the shop had one in stock that we were able to purchase on the spot.

The mechanic installed it right then and there and helped us break it in. We took it on a joy ride around the harbor before heading to our favorite lunch spot in St. George’s for a bite to eat. When we arrived, the waitress told us they were dealing with an island-wide power outage. It had gone out just a few minutes ago, so the refrigerated food was fine, but we’d need to pay cash- no problem. After lunch, we walked up to the House of Chocolate to see if we could get some ice cream before it all melted (they have the best chocolate coffee ice cream!). We got a few scoops and ate it in the dark store. 😂 

That evening, we discovered our generator’s raw water pump had failed. Fortunately, we had a spare, so we spent some time cutting out a new gasket and installing the spare. My parents didn’t seem to mind all the boat work; check out my mom- totally in the zone!

Tuesday was my dad’s birthday, so we made banana muffins for breakfast and watched the rain come down. They’ve had quite the dry spell at home in Texas recently, so he was happy to relax and read a book while the rain poured…

That afternoon, we attempted to sail to Ronde Island. Unfortunately, about halfway, we decided to turn around. The sea state was too rough to be enjoyable. We were motoring into 25-30kn winds, and it felt more like riding a mechanical bull than the peaceful Caribbean sailing vacation my parents were hoping for… We pulled into a protected anchorage that evening, thrilled to be still. My mom and I set up a couple of yoga mats on the bow for a quick workout before dinner. A small fishing boat came by and greeted us by shouting, “Wow… You are so white!”😂 We chatted briefly and gave them our leftover muffins. They inhaled them and headed back out to sea. We watched the sunset, grilled some steak, and baked a chocolate cake for the birthday boy!

The following day, we headed out (again). The waves had subsided, but we had no wind, so we motored the whole way. Conditions were perfect for a cup of coffee and a good book in the bean bag chairs while underway, though!

We dropped our anchor and went out for a snorkel. The water was calm and clear.

We swam until our fingers shriveled up, then headed back to the boat. On the way back, we saw a couple of turtles. 🐢

That night, we all sat on the bow and watched the supermoon rise over the mountainous silhouette of the island.

The next morning, we decided to venture up to Carriacou. We hoisted our sails and turned off the engines for a few hours until we reached the mooring field at Sandy Island.

We stopped for an afternoon swim and walked on the stunning white sand beach, then continued to Anse La Roche, where we anchored for the night.

My mom came with me to dive the anchor, and on our swim back, we were stalked by hundreds of blue runners! They were not scared of us at all; we could practically reach out and touch them! Just as we approached Sabado’s swim ladder, three small rays darted by. They had the classic features of manta rays, but I’ve never seen a manta ray that small or moving that fast… Of course, I didn’t have my GoPro with me, so you’ll just have to take my word for it! 😉 We went to shore that night for a beach BBQ to celebrate my parent’s 38th wedding anniversary.

The following day, we had a gorgeous, peaceful sail to Tobago Cays. The trip took us around 2 hours. We used our main and our jib and averaged ~6kn SOG.

We picked up a mooring ball in front of Romeo’s Beach Bar & Grill and took the dinghy in to celebrate the first day of lobster season! 🦞 We ate rice, potatoes, salad, plantains, avocado, rum punch, beer, and piles of grilled lobster. It was all delicious!

After dinner, we made our way back to Sabado. We kept hearing something splashing off our stern in the dark, so we grabbed a headlamp to take a look. Sure enough, we were being circled by squid and stingrays!

My mom and I sat on the sugar scoop and watched them for a while before finally heading to bed. 

Yesterday, we motored over to Salt Whistle Bay. We spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing. It’s a picturesque place!

We left late that afternoon, motored back to Carriacou, and made it to shore in time for dinner at Paradise Beach Club. It was their last night open before a month-long closure for renovations, so the restaurant was packed, and they had live music! We ate, drank, and danced. This morning, we’re preparing for the ~5-hour sail back to Grenada. My parents have a flight to catch, and we’re due for a grocery haul! 

I hope you had a great week. ❤️

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