Chatham Bay, Union Island

Feb 23, 2019 - Sea Cloud

Today we woke up navigating toward our next destination, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where we’ll disembark or beach activities such as snorkeling, swimming, walking, and relaxing.

Setting sails with a strong wind near St. Vincent this morning, the Sea Cloud crew and officers started guiding all ropes and settings for the spanker sail for the first time this voyage. It takes a great amount of coordination and force to set this big stabilizer sail located astern of the ship. We took advantage of the wind forces by sailing more than 10.2 knots. What a spectacle of engineering, craftsmanship, and seamanship! Soon after, our historian gave an interesting talk on the Creole languages of the Caribbean.

Our tenders were deployed for a remote landing at isolated Chatham Bay. Upon arrival, we saw many royal terns, brown boobies, pelicans, frigatebirds, and gulls. Once at the beach, we were greeted with a local character named Shark Attack. This is the perfect place to disconnect from the world. We were pleased to see just a few of us sharing a mile-long Caribbean beach.

While snorkeling, we were impressed to see large schools of silvery fish moving in unison as part of what we call a polarized school. We also saw coral, sponges, urchins, and many fish such as eels and filefish. We spotted invertebrates too—spiny lobster and a very large crab.

We reconvened for rum punch at Boll Head’s Sunset Cove, a local bar. We listened to Caribbean music with some ’80s mixed in and sat, expecting the sun to set. But suddenly dark rainclouds came in fast and low, reminding us that this is the open ocean and the character of this place is uncertain. Lucky for us, it lasted only a short period of time. We headed back aboard ship to finish our day with a delightful Caribbean deck dinner and sea shanties sung by the Sea Cloud Shanty Gang.

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About the Author

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Galápagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

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