The horror story is well summed up by those two pictures: Back breaking lifting the anchor manually duty (we have no functioning windlass at that time) and being saved by a mooring ball. Add the darkness of a gusty night, press repeat (for 2 nights and several resets in the night), and you get it!

To follow-up on our broken anchor windlass saga (here and here), it was deemed dead and unworthy of spending more money on (after a lot of work already in Colombia - forgot about it, that there and there) and we sadly had to order another one. A smooth but costly process and by then the new windlass was waiting patiently for us in Saint-Lucia. In the meantime though, still no windlass, which meant retrieving the anchor and chain by hand, a back-breaking job as both crew could attest. The task hasn't been made easy by the very gusty conditions during our time in the Grenadines. Gusty 20-25 knots make it hard to drive the boat in a straight line at low speed without having the bow blown off by the wind. We have been mostly okay in the Grenadines, staying put for a while in Chatham Bay and alternating between mooring and anchoring.

Sadly, on our last anchorage in the Grenadines, Bequia, our anchor had a really hard time holding. We anchored 4 times the first night and when it finally held up on our last attempt, it ended up dragging again an hour later, forcing us to pick up a mooring ball in the dark night. Quite a stress! But we are optimistic people and we gave it another try in another part of the bay in the morning. It held after 2nd attempt. We carefully dove the anchor while loading it with the engine to convince ourselves it held tight. It did. We were convinced and had retrieved all the confidence we always had in our good old anchor.

But we are talking about horror stories here, right?

At night again, a 30-knot gust unhooked us once more. Retrieving the anchor in the dark and gusty night was again very demanding: hard to keep bearing, hard to keep track of where the dragging anchor was, and the hand signal we use to communicate between the person at the bow and the person at the helm were almost impossible to see in the dark night. A nervous breakdown (not facilitated by PMS) and a few attempts later, we were back to the other side of the bay, sneakily picking up the same mooring ball from the night before with the gusts keeping the challenge up! We left early in the morning as we had a long way to go to Saint Lucia. The silver lining was that since we had to maneuver at night, no one came to collect fees for the mooring... Always see the bright side of life!

And a bright side there was. We had come to check out of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. That meant skipping the main island of Saint-Vincent which we really wanted to explore... That's how sailing goes. Reaching Saint Lucia means tracing our steps back upwind and despite having a full week ahead of us before Yalçın's visa appointment (our reason for going back to Saint Lucia), the only decent weather window to make the trip was early in this week, we had to take it. That allowed us to meet our good friends Banu and Simon, aboard the Kraken, once more, meet a dog that melted Marie's heart in the streets of the little town (she almost ended up onboard), get delicious mangos from the nicest rasta street vendor who just picked them up and gave us his heart with them (we did think of you at every mango we ate man!) and hike our favorite walk to catch a beautiful sunset on the anchor. Bye bye Grenadines, except for those anchoring shenanigans, you were very good to us!

February 2o23

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