A Travellerspoint blog

A Month in Grenada

We've been in Grenada for about 5 weeks now. Originally scooted down here so we could get the boat hauled out and get the bottom scraped and painted. Then we found out it would be a 3 week wait before they could get to us. So we had 3 weeks to kill. What follows is from Penny's facebook posts. I'm way to lazy to try to catch up on the past month, so this is the easiest way, for me, to catch up.

Oct. 22 Tyrell Bay Carriacou to Grenada
We left Hillsborough and went to look at Sandy Island Marine Park. It was O.K. Nothing we wanted to pay a dive master for, though. We'll skip this one. We had a recommendation for a site in Tyrell Bay so we went a few miles further to check that one out. The visibility was not good so I guess we'll dive Carriacou another time. The town Tyrell Bay is pretty sad, no good dinghy dock and the pizza restuarant was out of many ingredients! ( like they couldn't get in a car and drive the few miles to Hillsborough and get some). The bay is full of boats, many of them not occupied. I found Hillsborough to be a much nicer destination.
We had WiFi on the boat but it was $8.00USD for 24 hours.
We left this morning for Grenada...probably the last southbound stop this year. We are sailing and fishing...lost our last rattle-jet lure to a minor seamonster in one of the prettiest areas.....islands between Carriacou and Grenada, kind of similar to Isles des Saintes south of Guadelupe. Our next anchorage will be on the west coast of Grenada by an underwater statuary park.

Oct. 24
The underwater sculpture park was pretty but kind of spooky in a way...a man sitting at a desk on the bottom of the sea and various other tableau's involving humans was kind of haunting..They don't belong there among the corals and fish. We found our marina on the south of Grenada Tuesday afternoon. Dan looked south and said "No more islands".
Nope...not that we can see but Tobago is just over the horizon...
The marina has a culture that we have been missing. We've been several months in solitude with only each other for company. When we first started cruising, we were always surrounded by other people and their boats and stories. We partied alot but when we left the Bahamas, we stopped seeing other cruising boats. The last ones we saw were in Provo in May. We found the cruisers again! All the boats run to Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago for hurricane season. Many owners leave their boats and only cruise during the season, others just stay in the southern latitudes for the summer. Those are the people we partied with tonight.

It was " hamburger night" at the marina and they had a band and a cookout...was it sad to see 30 sexagenarians dancing to old rock and roll? Not nearly as sad as it would be to see them "mall walking". (apologies to all you mall walkers...you wouldn't have liked it, anyway) Dan brought his guitar and I was dancing with the island boy who crews on the boat berthed next to ours.....the hamburgers weren't bad either.

Nov 3 Grenada

Can't believe we've been here a week and a half already. We spent a week in Clarks Court Bay Marina and changed our house batteries. We used the buses to explore the local resources and found out that the soonest we can have our boat hauled out is the 20th so we'll have to work on all the other items on our long list. We took off the broken vents on the side of the boat and found some nice new ones to replace them with and we found our favorite fishing lure again, since we lost our last one on the way to Grenada.

We went on an island tour yesterday...and that was ALL day. We saw a rum factory that makes rum in the crudest way you could imagine starting with a waterwheel drive the press used to the sugarcane. We contrasted it to the rum factory in Martinique and it was like watching the Flintstones vs The Jetsons. It was positively STONEAGE. But it still made 151 proof rum. I wouldn't drink it. Too strong for me but it was comforting to know the "germs" couldn't live in it.

We also saw a cocoa bean processing plant, a nutmeg processing plant, a chocolate factory, a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility and jumped into a waterfall! All the industry was extremely manual. Not automated at all. The farmers brought in their nutmegs and mace in bags which were weighted and they were paid on the spot for their product. Big burlap bags of processed nutmegs were hand-sewn shut. The same was true of the cocoa bean processing facility.

We met up with Vic and Judy Eversfield from Sebastian, Fl. again. We sailed with them back inthe DR and Puerto Rico last spring. They came into the marina from Tobago while we were here so we've had some more people to pal around with.

Pics from the bus trip.

Our driver and naturalist, Cutty.

Roadside spice shack.

Grand Etang monkeys

Water driven rum factory

Nov. 4th - Grenada

After months of a virtual social wasteland we are part of a community again. We have rejoined a cruiser community in Grenada. Today we got up fixed the vents on the boat and then we went to a lobster and fish lunch benefit for a local diver who got the bends. It was at the fisherman's wharf in Woburn right on the other side of the bay from where our boat is anchored. We got lobster and potato salad, macaroni salad and garlic bread for $7.50. It was so good I bought us each a second meal to take home. (and I don't have to cook!) the best part is meeting up with new people and people we have met in other ports all at the same time.

After the lobster lunch we grabbed Dan's guitar and went to Whisper Cove Marina for a jam session. All the muscians from the boats meet there and just play together for the fun of it. Today's session had a special theme since one of the cruisers' sons was graduating high school today...and independant study program from the university of Nebraska. His mom baked cake and put decorations out on all the tables. It was totally unexpected by me but I was thrilled to be part of the event. I'm sure that boy will never forget his experience of the past 2 years, home schooling on a boat and cruising the Caribbean. I know there are quite a few children doing this and they are so lucky to have this experience. I wish I'd had the imagination and opportunity to do it for my son.

Nov. 8
Port Louis Marina
Stayed 2 days in Port Louis Marina to get our holding tanks pumped and flushed and some maintenance on the outboard. Very nice. Enjoyed the pool and showers.

Nov. 11

Left the marina after a few days break. Got some jobs done, had routine maintenance performed on the dinghy outboard, stocked up the pantry, had the laundry done since the washer is out of service for the moment...and more boring stuff that everybody has to do. We met up with 3 other couples and went to dinner at a waterfront German restaurant on St. George's. It was fun conversation but the food was very ordinary.

We went scuba diving today in St.George's Bay. Dan and I scouted a spot from the Heart of Gold and then called Dick and Jane. They dinghied out and tied onto us and then Jane dove with Dan and I while Dick followed us up on the Heart. It was a fairly nice dive, lots of variety in the coral structure but not very many fish.

We moved back to Prickly Bay on the south coast because the anchorage at St. George's was just too "rolly".

Nov. 14th
True Blue Resort does a weekly cooking class.
Our table won 1st for the soup.

Nov. 18th
Another week! We moved to Prickly Bay and have been exploring this end of the island by bus. We found an apartment for our time on the hard. It's walking distance to the boat yard and not far off the bus route. The weather has moderated just a little...enough so that you can wear clothes and not feel like you're suffocating....and that's only if you stay strictly out of the sun. Right now we are at the marina Tiki bar watching a Formula 1 race...the sun moved and I had to give up my spot at the bar because the sun focused in on my ankles and threatened to burn them off.

I just looked around and realized all the people here are over 60. They are French, American, British, Swedish and German. We all live on boats. Some of us are flying home for the holidays and the rest of us are spending Christmas in Bequia. That's going to be a party.

Whoops...some young guys just showed up.

We took a long bus trip last night to the north end of the island to join a Drum Festival.
Gotta say I wouldn't recommend it as a shore excursion. There just isn't a lot of "culture" here. It was just the local people entertaining themselves, drumming and dancing. I wasn't in the mood to get aerobic and there wasn't any decent food. I almost got run over by a tug-of -war.

Nov. 26th - Spice Island Marine Boatyard

Well, we were hauled out on the 20th according to schedule and our boat was bottom- painted and polished. Unfortunately the work on the generator did not go so well. We have to have the generator taken out of the boat and have to get a part shipped in to fix it. (ugh) The part should be here Wednesday or Thursday this week so I have hopes of getting launched by Friday.

In the meantime we are living in an apartment a few blocks from the boatyard. Just our luck, the cable TV has been out for the last 3 days. We ride our bikes everywhere. There is a beach at the end of our street.
Tomorrow we are going for a bus ride up to Grand Etang, the national forest to go tubing on the river...should be quite an adventure...then on the way home we have to go grocery shopping because we only had enough stuff at the apartment for 5 days. We could stay at the boatyard but it would be really uncomfortable with no a/c and the engine compartment open and all the stuff from the cockpit in the cabins.

Nov 28th

We are still poor, land-locked sailors. We took that bus ride yesterday up the mountain to the Grand Etang Preserve and beyond to the Balthazar River. We went "tubing". The road was well paved but narrow and steep with no guard rails....and the bus was completely full which means we were packed in like sardines without the oil. We got there...which was the middle of nowhere and found a series of rough wood sheds...one of which said "toilet" near the edge of a lovely clear stream.

Some people in a car showed up and told us we were in the right place but they had to call the guides. We went and had a beer at the tavern across the highway and a little while later a young man came and got us away from our checkers game.

We were the only riders. We put on our bathing suits in the changing sheds and were each issued a tube, a life vest and a helmet.

We walked a little way to the river and away we went! The current was strong and there was almost continuous rapids, cascades, and hydraulics. Dan fell out of his tube at one point but we had a "blast". It was over much too quick. I don't know what was beyond the "take - out" point but I wouldn't mind finding out some time. We got to ride back to the sheds in a DUMP TRUCK. They have sold this attraction to the cruise ship companies but I can't imagine 20 or 30 people on that same stretch of river. It was really fun because we were the only ones and we were going real fast. We played around in the river for a while after we got to the sheds but then we had to get going because we still wanted to go grocery shopping on the way home.

As we were standing by the roadside waiting for the next #6 bus it began to rain. (that's why they call it a rain forest) It had been a cool and delightful day so far and we ducked under the shelter of an abandoned roadside bar I was thinking that ten years ago I would never have imagined I'd be standing in a Grenadian rainforest waiting for a bus.
In due course the bus appeared and I rode the front seat down the mountain...I guess the girl next to me must have noticed the white knuckles and told me I could put on the seat belt! Actually I was smiling all day. It was like a real life theme park.

The bus terminal is right next door to the fish market where you can buy today's catch. After looking over all the fish, we settled on a a couple pounds of marlin steak. The lady selling that fish took out a razor sharp machette and whacked off a 2 lb. Chunk and skinned it for us...$7.50 US it was more than enough for 2 dinners for 2 and really delicious fish.

We bought some vegetables from one street vendor and DVD's from another then bused our way back to the boatyard to pick up our bikes and come back to the apartment.

Street scenes, St Georges....

Today we went to the dentist and had our teeth cleaned....and we STILL don't have our generator part however the truck we hired came and lifted the generator out of the boat. This left a huge nasty oily gaping hole in our HOME that Dan and I had to clean out.....and the fun never stops.

Nov. 30

Happy Birthday to Dan!

Thursday has come and gone and we still have no oil pan...however the generator has had a facelift...new paint job and all tidied up. We are still land locked.

Yesterday afternoon we biked over hill and dale to get to the Secret Harbor Marina. One of the cruisers gave a lecture and slide presentation about the Southern Route to Panama via Venezuela and Columbia. There were probably 50 - 60 people there in an open air restuarant, all from the boats anchored around the south of Grenada. Some of the people were smoking and the people directly in front of us got absolutely rabid about that. The route to Panama didn't look so daunting but you're pretty isolated most of the way there. There are no big coastal cities. We did find out that it costs altogether, about $1800 for a yacht our size to transit the canal. It was a great presentation that lasted 2 hours...until well after dark so we had to hire a taxi to take us and our bikes back to the apartment. I still think we'd be better off to take the northern route past Cuba because we are much more interested in Mexico and Belize right now.

Dec. 1 Life in Grenada
Happy Birthday to my son, John. He's in Germany now. Another globe trotting Saggitarian, although his globtrotting is strictly business. He's 45 today. I'm so proud of him.

We didn't get the oil pan on Thursday as expected and we started bugging the distributor by phone. (I knew that cell phone was a good idea) With nothing to do, we jumped on the bikes again, ran over to the boat to get our snorkeling gear and rode over another "mountain" by the airport to get to Aquarium beach. We stopped at the very nice beach restaurant there and drowned our sorrows in a rum punch and a hamburger. During lunch the distributor called back. She apparently was getting the run around from Kohler. She'd get back to us.

The water at the beach was very nice and clear but the snorkeling was not up to our standard. We swam for about an hour and then laid on the beach and visited with some tourists from NewYork. We had to leave and get some groceries before we went home because we only stocked the apartment until Thursday. After we got home, we got an email from the distributor. Apparently our oil pan had never been shipped....sorry...."we'll drop the expedite fee". NO SHIT when it's costing us over $100 a day to be on the hard. So now we're looking at Tuesday before we get the part. In the meantime I went ahead and rented the apartment for a month, suspecting this was going to be the case.

While Dan and I were sitting at De Big Fish, the restuarant by the boat yard, we were watching cruisers coming and going in their dinghies. We were both thinking the same thing...how much we miss being on the water and wondering how do you ever STOP being a cruiser.

Posted by Heart of Gold 13:17

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