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We celebrated the Fourth of July at happy hour on the beach in Tobago Cays with Americans, French, and others, probably sixty or so.  People brought their own drinks and an appetizer to share.  Bob looked around for a British boat on which to toss tea bags but none was visible.  An active game of horseshoes with a few firecrackers were reminiscent of an American celebration.

Tobago Cays has the most beautiful reefs we've seen.  Bob went out every day to play in the water.  The place he liked best was a cut through the front of Horseshoe Reef just big enough for dinghies, not big boats.  There were two moorings there to tie your dinghy to and jump into the water.  The current was swift, the blue water deep, and the coral magnificent.  I went out one day with snorkel vest and tether tied to the dinghy so I wouldn't get swept away.   In so many of the places, the coral is broken and worn down by people touching it and anchoring on it, but here it was deep enough to be in excellent condition.

After a week in Tobago Cays, we headed to
Clifton Bay , Union Island.   We had heard a lot about Union, mostly negative, but it was a port of entry and we had to go there to check out of St. Vincent.  We found a spot to anchor in front of a reef then went into town.   One of the things that boaters don't like about this island's arrangement is that you have to go to customs on the waterfront and then walk to the airport to see immigration.  The airport was not far and it was actually a pleasant little walk.   Having completed the formalities, we walked around the little town and bought fresh fruits. 

We had pizza for lunch at the Anchorage Hotel in front of which is a pool of nurse sharks.  We sat beside the pool as we ate lunch, mesmerized alternately by the sharks' graceful languid movement, by their ability to remain motionless in the water as they breathed through their gills, and their speed at attacking food thrown into the water.  After lunch as we were leaving, we saw an employee at the far end of the pool cleaning a container of fish and throwing the guts to the sharks.  After the first toss,  all the sharks gathered at that end of the pool.  You cannot believe how fast the sharks' jaws moved.  It was as if there were an interior vacuum which instantaneously sucked the prey into their mouths.  It reminded me of alligators which seem so awkward and yet move so fast.  They say that nurse sharks won't bother you in the water, but I won't be testing that theory, having observed them up close!

In our walk around town, we found an internet café at the Western Union office for 1/3 the cost of the internet at the waterfront Bougainvilla Hotel.  The guy who works at Western Union was very knowledgeable and helpful.  We hooked up the internet phone, called Earthlink and cancelled our service.  Bob also called his dad who is scheduled to come visit for a few days.

The next morning, we left Union and had a magnificent sail to the island of
Carriacou where Hillsboro is the port of entry for Grenada.  There were several guys on the government dock as we approached with the dinghy.  They wanted to tie the dinghy off but Bob wanted to do it himself.   The most surly dude would not move to let me on the dock.  The customs and immigration people were very nice.  We walked around town and bought bread at Gramma's Bakery then returned to the boat.   When we got back to the dock, the line was pushed way down the post.  One of the guys offered to dive and loosen it but Bob stripped off his shirt and jumped into the water to do it himself.  We headed to Tyrell Bay, a less rolly and less hostile anchorage.

Tyrell Bay sustained considerable damage from Hurricane Lenny last year and has not rebuilt.  The road along the waterfront was damaged and a number of small shops along the beach were totally destroyed.  All the dinghy docks were wiped out.   The Studio is a tiny bar run by a young Italian woman who tired of sailing and rented the place.  Her husband refuses to sell the boat so he is based on the boat and she at the bar.  Their child alternates between them.  The woman installed the boat's old computer at the bar and offers internet service. 

We took the bus from Tyrell Bay into Hillsboro several times to buy bread and fruits.  The road was terribly rutted and actually crossed the center of the local airstrip.  I can imagine the FAA's attitude if some little town wanted to route a two-lane road across the middle of a runway!   

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