We hauled anchor from the Cays and headed to Mustique Island. It was a set to be a passage of a few hours and hard on the wind too. For this reason, we went around the reefs of Tobago Cays to sniff out a better angle. We motored out into open sea for three miles or so.
Passing an outlying stretch of reef, Jack pointed out a catamaran anchored in the distance. Completely on its own along the stretch of lonely reef. Parking and swimming there? This was obviously an experienced skipper. Very cool.
We carried on into the waves. There was a bit of north in the wind as we rounded towards Mustique. Around the 80 degree mark. The seas are not huge – yet. Sea swell will come in a month or so with the Christmas Winds.
Right now, there’s still hurricane season mugginess in the air. Heavy squalls appear and sit alongside the sky. Not necessarily moving, just parked on the horizon. And lightning. In the hurricane season, the sky lights up at night, flashing away until dawn – mostly without noise. A ghostly disco.
As we turned to Mustique, a squall appeared in front of us. Sailing from blue skies towards dark clouds – great. The wind was good though – about 15 to 18 knots. Our angle was close-hauled, 50 degrees and closing. 60 degrees and less, your instrument wind needle is in the lit-up section of the dial. You’re sailing into the wind.
We let the genoa out and Quest leant over in the direction of the squall. The new auto-pilot sensor was working very well. George II definitely judders less than our original George. We held very nicely indeed.
We went like this for a couple of hours – until it became apparent that we needed to turn even further into the wind, more like 35 degrees to get to Mustique. The squall in front of us began to look more and more threatening. If it overtook us, we’d get sudden big gusts and crazy rain. With seven miles to go, we bowed out. Brought the genoa in and turned the engine on.
The captain wasn’t much happy with it – I know he’d wanted to sail further. Test the new auto-pilot further, test Quest further. Feel the thrill of the situation. Oh well. He’s got his whole retirement to do that. I wanted to get there without breaking anything. In this sense, we are the classic husband/wife sailing combo. Hopefully we’ll have time to figure it out.
Meanwhile, a rocky outcrop appeared to our starboard side. From our angle, it looked like a huge carving of people hugging.