What do they say about Carriacou? According to Frances Kay, a Carriacou resident, “This is an island with over a hundred rum shops and only one gas station.” Definitely my kind of place!
The sail from Union island south gave us a course line well off the wind toward Hillsborough Bay. Even though the wind was still howling at 20 to 25 knots, we were treated to a very rapid passage with decks dry, flat, and basking in sunlight. We’d read that you need to anchor in Hillsborough Bay to clear in, although the bay is not a comfortable place with winds out of the North anywhere. As we approached and I readied the anchor to drop, I gave the anchor gear a quick once over as I usually do, and my eyes snapped back to what appeared to be a small line of mud or dirt on the big stainless-steel anchor swivel.
The line was a crack, which after examination appeared to be a casting defect. This swivel was not one of those cheap Chinese products, but rather the expensive Suncor brand swivel. Fortunately I discovered the problem prior to deploying the anchor, and that brief action potentially saved losing the anchor or worse. I’d purchased this swivel three years earlier from West Marine, so along with the dinghy fuel tank failure, the eco-air horn failure, and the fuel line failure, I complained to West Marine about the four products but never heard a word back from them.
Some time later, on return to the US, I contacted Suncor Marine Products directly. With nothing but good photos, no receipt, Suncor replaced the product with a new superior design and apologized for the failure. Guess who has earned my respect and who has lost my business.
After clearing Customs and Immigration, we sailed south around the corner of the island to anchor in Tyrrel Bay, well protected from just about all adverse winds. Oh, by the way, the first question the Customs officer asked me was “Where are you anchored?” The second was “You’re sure you are in Hillsborough Bay?” If you try to clear from Tyrrel Bay, and the boys in blue find out, there’s a stiff fine. It’s much easier all the way around to anchor in Hillsborough, complete formalities, and move on. Save yourself the hassle.
For this season’s cruise, we planned Carriacou as just a layover. A quick tour of the harbor and facilities by dinghy, and we’d be moving on. Time was running out with quite a bit yet to accomplish