All our trips down here have been on the leeward side of the islands. While we could see the Atlantic it was always at a distance. Today we changed that. We had a nice fast 15 mile sail from Blue Lagoon St. Vincent, around the windward side of Bequia, and over to the island of Mustique. Our first tack took us out into the Atlantic on a close reach to get a mile or so east of Bequia. I like to have lots of separation between us and lee shores in general and certainly that one in particular (very heavy surf on very tall and rocky cliffs). We did see a catamaran pass within a few hundred yards of those rocks. It's a good thing they didn't run into trouble as they would have had no time to recover.
Once we were comfortably clear of the headlands we were able to bear off and cruise the rest of the way to Mustique on a beam reach. The swells are definitely larger (2m easily) on that side and not something I'd want to do on that point of sail if they were much bigger or shorter. We passed a number of Brown Boobies sitting about on the water or flying around practicing dodging waves with their amazing low level flight (if there were a sea bird that inspired Jonathan Livingston I think that it would have been a Boobie). The GPS claims that we were averaging right around 6 knots over ground. Definitely our fastest sail to date and it felt great.
The highlight of the trip was when Aidan (8) took the helm for a while. He was reluctant at first but performed very well. The swells were big enough to push us around a bit so it was tricky steering. Even with this against him he kept us on course, moving fast and comfortable. This was his first time sailing with a wheel and he had less tiller confusion than Carla and I tend to get.