Dec. 28 Back to Cumberland Bay
We set off early having a sail of 43 miles ahead of us, all of them to windward; once clear of the reef we set the sails and were underway, while Dan prepared a frittata for breakfast. It is always a boisterous sail, but the winds were light, about 20 mph and the weather OK except for the occasional short lived squall.
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Jan at the helm

Robin and I rode out the rain in the saloon; where I come from we say the chicken is the dumbest animal in the barnyard, but even a chicken knows enough to get out of the rain. We made a lunch stop at Petit Bayhaut for some snorkeling, the water was a little stirred up from the rain, but visibility was good along the reef.
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Approaching St. Vincent

Afterwards we motored up the coast and were soon at Cumberland Bay in St. Vincent.
We had heard there was some damage from the Christmas storm, but weren’t prepared for the amount of devastation the flooding had caused in the bay. The stream had grown in width about four times and you could see that the waters had reached as far as Joseph’s bar at the end of the beach. Mama Elma had suffered the worst of it; the flood waters undermined the floor of her small shack, causing half of the floor to give way and washing all of her shoes, clothes and money into the sea. The end of the building is now just hanging over a three foot deep hole. She feels lucky that she didn’t lose her life as she was sleeping right next to where the floor collapsed; it is amazing that someone who had so little to begin with would feel blessed having lost so much, there might be a lesson to be learned from that.
We went ashore and had some drinks at Joseph’s, he had injured his leg in the flood so he left for home in his small boat; a trip that would require him to row several miles along the coast to the village of Rose Bank, no small feat for a man in his 70’s.
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Joseph in heading home in his boat

We finalized the arrangements for our manicou dinner which is planned for tomorrow night; the local hunter will go out into the bush tonight to catch one for us. Chris, the barmaid, showed us pictures of the damage the rains caused in her village; one man was sitting in his house when a tree was swept through the back door, right through the house and out the front door leaving the door in a heap with other storm debris over 100 feet away. It was the first time hail had ever fallen in St. Vincent in recent memory and many people thought the volcano had erupted upon hearing it hit their tin roofs. After our drinks we stopped by Mama Elma’s for a couple more and to express our sympathy. The government has their hands full trying to clear the roads and restoring water to much of the island, so whether they will be able to lend some assistance is in doubt. Back on board we had a quick nightcap before heading off to bed.
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Chris with our fresh ter lobsters (crayfish)

Drink all day at home, your friends worry about you; do it on vacation and they say "what a good time you're having". Save your friends needless worry, travel more!