Line drawing of a trimaran similar to Maya

Any Way the Wind Blows

1st April 1976 - St. Vincent

It is funny how quickly a strange place becomes familiar. I had a really good time in Grenada but this morning I said a sad goodbye to Betty. One of her staff gave me a lift to the airport from where I flew here to St. Vincent. I did not have a fixed address here which made the immigration people even more difficult than usual, They nearly sent me off on the next plane, but finally decided I was probably OK. Betty gave me the phone number of a friend who lives on St. Vincent. I tried to ring but there was no answer. All the banks were shut so I could not change any money. Looks like I might be sleeping out tonight.

2nd April 1976 - Back to normal

What a difference a day makes. The night before I was last sleeping in my own room between laundered sheets in a house with people I knew. Last night I slept out in the open on the ground closer than I thought to a footpath. I was disturbed a couple of times by people walking past, but they didn’t spot me. Breakfast yesterday was cooked for me by a professional cook and served at a table. Today I am sitting on a beach just outside Kingstown eating biscuits and drinking an orange drink. I will head into Kingston in a little while, cash a travellers cheque, then start to explore the island.

3rd April 1976 - Gormenghast

Building that looks like Gormenghast
I went into Kingston yesterday to change some money and to have a look around. The Roman Catholic Cathedral is an amazing looking building. If Mervin Peake’s Gormenghast existed it would look like this. It seems ridiculously out of place on an island of this size. I am staying with a delightful family of ten in a town called Layou. Tomorrow I am going to help them work the plot of land they own in the north of the island.

4th April 1976 - Still failing to climb trees

Jennifer and Victoria
Jennifer and Victoria
It is a bit of a trip to the land we are going to be working on, and someone is giving us a lift. While we were waiting to be picked up Jennifer and Victoria played happily together in the dust of the yard. When we got to the plot of land I set to clearing some of the brush as requested, and then came coconut picking time. More one to one tuition involving the rope circle twisted around the feet. Still a complete inability to climb a palm tree. I gathered up the coconuts thrown down from the trees. Unskilled labour.

5th April 1975 - The Grenadines

I did a bit more exploring today. I went down to the south coast and had another look at the chain of Islands between here and Grenada, The Grenadines. I am not sure who runs what. With a name like The Grenadines I would have expected the Islands to be part of Grenada, but the full name of the country I am now in is ‘St. Vincent and The Grenadines’. That is one I will have to look up. Whoever runs them they look just as glorious from the North as they did from the South.

6th April 1976 - Strike

I got to the airport nice and early this morning ready to fly to Barbados, only to find out that the airline pilots are on strike. They should be back at work tomorrow, so hopefully I will get to Barbados then. That left me the problem of where to stay tonight. I found a telephone box and tried Betty’s friend again. This time she answered straight away and was happy to let me sleep on her sofa. She even came and picked me up from the airport. Apparently she had been expecting to call ever since I arrived, Betty had told her I was coming She has a fairly small modern one bedroom flat, but it is situated on a hillside with fabulous views. Betty had told me something extremely sad about her friend. A few years before she lost both her sons when an inter island ferry sank with massive loss of life.

7th April 1976 - Still strike bound

The strike is still on. This could get awkward. My excursion ticket expires on the 9th, which should be the day I return to Trinidad. I will have to see what happens tomorrow. Trouble is I really can’t do anything because I need to stay near the airport in case the strike ends. Another night on the sofa for me.

< Grenada Barbados >