View from MV Laser....
I decided to head over to Carriacou, Grenada the next day as there wasn't much more to see on Union Island. Although Carriacou is part of Grenada, its just across the channel from Union Island. Having spoken to the guys round the dock yesterday, it seemed possible to get a speedboat or something across. the main ferry (MV Jasper) only goes twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, and today was Wednesday. I got up early to get down to the docks and got chatting to Tiger, who was one of the boat owners down there. He said there may be someone going to Carriacou later, or there not, he didn't know....he said I could charter a boat on my own but that it would cost me EC$180 (£45) - mmm, a bit more than I wanted to pay to get there! I was thinking I might have to wait until tomorrow and get the Jasper, so I went to Anchorage to check t'internet and have a drink.
It was standing room only, with skipper upfront!!
On the way back past, Tiger got me and said no-one would be going again unless I got a boat to myself but did point me in the direction of a big sloop on the other side of the docks. It was loading drinks and food and Tiger said it was a Grenadan boat and that maybe I should give it a try. I walked over there and asked if where it was going and they said Carriacou, which was a good start! They don't usually take passengers, but the captain said I could hop on as he was taking a couple of other people. I realised that as I was leaving the country I should think about getting my passport stamped for exit....however, when I spoke to the customs guy at the port, he said the only immigration official was at the airport, so I'd have to go there and I needed the captain of the shop with me!!! Hilarious. So me, Nigel,another girl and the captain went off the airport (a local guy had kindly offered to take us there in his car, although it was only about half a mile - its a small island!). The immigration officials were typically officious and unhelpful and were trying to make it as difficult as possible...lazy &*&*&$$$'s!! Eventually we got stamped out and headed back to the boat. No seats here, just crates of Sprite and Hairouan (the local beer) to sit on. Me and Nigel sat at the back as the crew said it was a good spot. It wasn't long before we regretted that decision as a huge wave soaked us....nice. It was a pretty rough journey and as we were nearing Carriacou island, the captain said he wasn't going to the main port as he didn't want to go through customs with his cargo, so he would 'drop us' off at Windward, on the other side of island - cheers skipper! Lucikly Nigel had his brother on the island and he volunteered to take us over to immigration in Hillsborough. Turns out his brother is the local priest, Reverend Everton Weekes. And what a nice bloke he was too! Before taking us to Hillsborough, he took us to the rectory and his little lady made us juice and a quick snack - superb! Didn't feel a bit strange saying grace and all that, as I'm not really religious, but I felt I should take part as not to offend!!
The Reverend took us through immigration (who were most curious as to how we had arrived on the island - the captain told us not to name his boat, which I think is why he didn't charge us any money!)...we just made something up about a speedboat. The immigration officer smiled knowingly and for a small fee, stamped us in....phew!!