Helping some local fishermen out rewarded us with much more than money

Helping local fishermen out

On Sunday I left you at Petite Martinique where we had just entered Grenadian water after sailing a whole half mile from Petite St Vincent. In that blog I talked about how smuggling has been apart of the islands fabric of life for centuries. I am not necessarily talking about drugs mind you. It could have been rum, cigarettes, and even diapers. Whatever was profitable at that time. Of course, I thought that was back in the fog of time and today the islands rely solely on tourism. After helping out a local fisherman at sea I found out my assessment might not be completely accurate. ????

Steve and I were sailing downwind the five miles from Petite Martinique to Carriacou so we could check into Grenada when we spotted a local fishing boat that seems to be having issues with their outboard engine. We changed course and offered to help and ended up towing the boat and three guys to Windward on the, you guessed it, windward side of Carriacou. During this time one of the guys, who was super nice, came aboard to help guide us into Windward anchorage (called Watering Bay on my chart). While aboard he told us lots of local stories, but I want to share two of them with you today that deal with two different shipwrecks.

Shipwreck 1The first shipwreck was 20+ years old and out on the protecting barrier reef. This vessel was a freighter owned by one of two brothers that ran it. Like many through out time around here their cargos were a mix of legitimate, not quite legitimate, and illegal good. Apparently, business was good, and the brothers moved the business up to this vessel. But, as is the case sometimes when working with friends and family there was a spat between the brothers and the one that did not own the boat purposely drove it right into the reef. He drove it up so well that tugs could not get it off and that was the end of that vessel’s career.

Shipwreck 2The second shipwreck we passed was 7-8 years old and its story was not quite so dramatic. This one was owned by his cousin, who again used his freighter for ill-gotten profits now and again. One time he was caught trafficking drugs and was arrested. During the time he sat in jail his vessel was anchored out, waiting for its owner to return so it could get back to work. Well that did not happen. Instead a storm came through, broke her free, and ran the vessel aground where it sits today.

This just goes to show you, helping out is a good thing. Getting these fishermen back safely was good enough for me, but to also be rewarded with such colorful and local stories made the hour of our time worth every moment.

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