Location: Mayreau

Today was our last day in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We started the day at Mayreau, where we had been based for the last few days. After giving a farewell salute to Ocean Star as we picked up our anchors, we motored a couple of miles to Union Island to clear out of the country. We anchored Vela just inside the reef, and I went ashore to complete our paperwork. After returning to Vela, we got the boat ready for the short passage to Grenada, only 40 nautical miles away.

We ate dinner at anchor and were just preparing to get underway when a student came into the chart house to tell me that there was a boat approaching. I came up on deck and couldn’t believe my eyes as, for the second time in three days, an out-of-control yacht looked to be on a collision course with Vela. There wasn’t time to launch a dinghy as they were only 20 meters away and approaching fast, so I grabbed a boat hook and managed to push them away. They cleared our stern by inches. A woman had come on deck as they floated past, and we waited for her to start the engine and take control of the boat but then realized she may not be able to. We quickly launched Tia and made an emergency call on the radio as her yacht was floating out to sea and innumerable reefs. Calum, Nick, Anna, and Annika drove over to offer assistance and, with Anna and Annika’s French translations, managed to get the yacht in tow and bring her back to a safe mooring. The woman’s husband later arrived from his dinner onshore, his wife did not know how to start the engine, and the mooring lines had chafed through. Perhaps too exciting an end to the day but a good lesson that anything can happen at sea.

Disbelieving that we had narrowly avoided collision and slightly delayed, we raised our anchor and set sails for Grenada with the full moon to guide our way.