Dec. 27, Union Island
I tried to make some apple pancakes from scratch, but they turned out chewy and underdone; everyone was polite and complimented them none the less. We set off under headsail to Frigate Island, just off Union Island, where Dan and Em had hoped to get some kite surfing in. The wind in the bay was blowing very hard and since Em is still learning we changed plans and made our way to Clifton. The holding here isn’t the best and you have to be careful taking a mooring ball as some guys will put you on a private one, leaving you embarrassed when the proper owner turns up. The guy that rented us ours had a name on the boat, so we could identify him and was up front to say that the ball was private, but he didn’t expect the boat back today; he told Dan to be nearby around 5:00 and if the owner showed up he would find us another ball.
This was our first stop in any real civilization since Bequia, and it was nice to have a large choice of bars and restaurants to stop in. First order of business was to find a mid-morning snack; I saw a sign advertising rotis at a bakery around the back of a building, so I went to check it out. As soon as I approached the door the wonderful smell of curry told me this was the place. I gathered the rest of the crew and we all headed for the Yummy Stuff Bakery and Café; unfortunately it was still early and the chicken wasn’t finished yet, so the woman told us to come back in a half hour. We wondered around a little more stopping at a local bar for beers and wifi; I was suprised how even the smallest bars and restaurants had free internet. After a while we headed back to the bakery; the rotis still weren’t ready but the patio was shaded, the cool breeze blowing through and the strong wifi signal enticed us to wait. When our lunch arrived our patience was rewarded. The boneless chicken and potato pieces were cooked perfectly, and the fresh roti bread was firm but not chewy; add to that the bargain price of 15 EC with a beer and you can’t go wrong.
We met the others at the Anchorage Yacht Club, where wifi and some more cold beers were the order of the day. Once I finished with my internet, mostly annoying my facebook friends with photos of our Christmas meal, Robin and I went for a walk through the town. The narrow road is lined with shops, bars, restaurants and rooms to rent, it wasn’t overly busy but there were enough people going about their business to make it interesting. We headed back to the yacht where Dan was waiting to give us a ride back to the boat. As sunset approached Dan, Chris and I took the dingy to Happy Island for a rum punch. There were quite a few people at the bar, many having seemingly been there for a while judging by the dancing on the patio.
We hadn’t made any firm dinner plans, other than something simple ashore; I had checked out a small pizza place earlier in the day and saw smoked marlin pizza on the menu so my mind was made up. The others decided to follow suit and we were treated to a variety of freshly made pizzas and free wifi. Mine was very good, the smoked fish tasty but not overpowering the pie; the crust was a bit thin by Buffalo standards, but I guess I am spoiled by growing up in place where almost every corner seems to have a pizza shop. Jan’s friends were on the island and having a few drinks next door, so he stayed behind when we went back to the boat, with arraignments to have Dan pick him up at 11:00. Robin and I had a nightcap of Jack Iron in the cockpit; I added a little bitters water to it to smooth over the taste, a trick I learned from a friend on Grenada. After the past few days out of touch with civilization it was nice to have spent the day in a lively little town.