Left Grande Anse, Martinique about 8am. Wind is about 15-20 knots and we are cruising at 8 knots. We are headed south. We will decide later whether to stop at Grenada or go on to Trinidad.
Dolphins are playing in the bow waves around 8:30. This time there is a little one in the group, only about 2 feet long and very cute.
Around 9am we put a reef in the main. We haven't had to do this much, so we should practice today. The average boat speed just short of 8 knots, but the ride is smoother. - DWH
The rest of the passage consists of about a half dozen weather cycles. It blows really nicely and we sail at about 8 knots. Then a storm cell brings heavy rain and strong winds, and we reduce sail. Then it clears and becomes calm. A little while later it all starts again.
We arrived in Prickly Bay, Grenada about 3:30pm. We survey the damage. On this passage we managed to break more than we fixed. We lost the topping lift. It chafed through where the American flag was attached. The flag was attached with wire ties. It's probably been wearing slowly over several years. The net on the front of the boat tore loose from the starboard hull. We didn't like the design of how it attaches, so now I guess we get a chance to make it better. This will be a lot of work though. We also have a very bad creaking noise coming from the outhaul. It sounded bad enough that I was afraid it might go at any time, so I made the clew of the main fast to the boom with another line to relieve some of the strain and as a backup.
We are all pretty tired, so we called it a day early. -DWH
Went to clear customs. The customs officer got a little pissed at us when I told him that we arrived late yesterday afternoon. The customs office is officially open from 8-5 Monday to Friday, so we didn't come in yesterday. As it turns out, the official is usually in the office everyday and just charges "overtime" if you clear outside of the posted hours. He thought we didn't come in yesterday because we wanted to avoid paying him his overtime. Oh well, he charged us the overtime anyway.
Jo and Laurie took off to explore St. Georges (the capital of Grenada). Stacy and I were lazy and spent the rest of the day reading and laying around the boat. -DWH
Jo and Laurie checked out Grande Anse. This is a small beach side community between Prickly Bay and St. Georges. This is also the location of the medical school. When the military hard-liners took over and killed prime minister Maurice Bishop in 1983, the U.S. used the fact that American students at the school were in danger as part of it's reason for leading the invasion of the island. As far as we can tell the invasion was for the most part welcomed by the general public.
Stacy and I headed to St. Georges. Among other things we found the Peace Corp house. We stopped by and introduced ourselves. We also found the nutmeg coop. Grenada produces 1/3 of the worlds nutmeg. -DWH
All four of us headed to St. Georges. We went to the book store, looked at some local batik (very expensive, priced as fine art, not as material), checked out Fort. St. George (and saw the bullet holes from where Bishop and some of his followers were shot) and bought some supplies.
It has been raining a lot. This means that we get to take frequent fresh water showers, either in the rain or using water we collect. -DWH
Worked on the boat when it was not raining. -DWH
Worked on the boat. Bought materials for a bosons chair. Went out for Chinese and then beer in Grande Anse. -DWH
Worked on the boat. We are making progress on a number of projects. Finished the day by listening to some of the music Bob and Karen Turnquist gave us. We have 16 CDs labeled with only initials. We know what several of them are (Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, etc), but there are others that we have no clue on. It's fun to try to figure out though. (Anyone know of a woman with the initials "DS" who sang with BB King?)
Things we have accomplished on the boat:
1. Stacy completed a bosuns chair.
2. We fixed the topping lift (two trips up the mast in the bosuns chair).
3. We fixed the outhaul.
4. We have the net reattached to the starboard hull. It is solid, but not faired and painted. We are going to redo it all the way around and then make it look pretty.
5. Jo painted the cockpit floor with nonskid paint. It really makes a huge difference. This is a big safety improvement.
6. Jo and Laurie mounted a couple hand holds on the stern of the starboard hull.
7. Stacy made new tethers for each of us.
Things we are still working on:
1. Finish the net attachment. This will be going on for a couple weeks.
2. Paint more nonskid.
3. Add more hand holds to the stern
4. Refinish the wood in the saloon.
5. Reinforce the anchor rode locker hatch.
6. Refinish the port bathroom. This is another long term project.
Our plan is to get as much as possible done this week and then maybe have a party with the Peace Corp volunteers next weekend.
In addition to all our boat work, Stacy is writing a short story. It's coming along nicely. -DWH
Working on the boat. Stacy has decided to work on the sail cover. It needs some patches and is also not designed for a full roach sail (cover gets too narrow at the end). -DWH
Worked on the boat. Sail cover is looking good. We even have a ladybug on each side. Stacy and I went to the beach and out for dinner in Grande Anse. -DWH
Worked on the boat when it's not raining. Jo has set up a good water collection system, so while the rain interrupts our work, it least replenishes our fresh water supply. -DWH
Worked on the boat. Met Richard, Bean, and David from England at happy hour. -DWH
Worked on the boat during the day.
Visited with Richard, Bean, and David on their boat. What an inspiration! They are young (25-31), but very mature and interesting. They showed us photos from Antarctica. Most excellent! Now they are headed back to England to sell the boat and go on with life. When we asked Bean what she was going to do when she got back, she said that she was going to look for another boat heading for Antarctica. -DWH
Working on the boat to get ready for tomorrow's party. Went to town to buy supplies. Had Richard, Bean and David over for a cocktail. Then went to the bar. -DWH
Party with the Peace Corp! We invited all of the Grenada volunteers for a day of sailing, swimming, beer drinking, and burger eating. We sailed over to Hog Island. It was good to sail again. After swimming, sunbathing, and lunch we sailed back to Prickly Bay. One of the volunteers, Matti J, spent the night. It was great talking with him. He is the sole teacher at a one room school on the other side of the island. He gave us a great lesson on the recent history of Grenada. -DWH
Worked around the boat. Went to town later. Almost everything is closed, which is nice for walking. -DWH
It's Whit Monday ( a holiday). Everything is closed. Worked around the boat. I'm running wires for the outside speakers. In the process I find where someone ran the wire for the left inside speaker through the bilge rather than through the conduit with the other wires. I ripped it out, found the splices in this wire (splices in the bilge, not a good idea) and spend and entire afternoon getting the wire rerun through the conduit. -DWH
Took buses to Grand Etang National Forest. Hiked to Seven Sisters Falls. It was very nice - nobody else there when we arrived, good swimming, and very pretty. We also did some diving. Nobody had the courage until a local guy named Lenny did a couple demos for us, but then we had great fun overcoming our fear.
After the falls we hiked to the road and caught a ride in the back of a pickup truck. When it's not raining, the back of a truck is the best ride through the rain forest.
Met a South African guy at happy hour. He just arrived on "Tequila". What a name for a boat. He assured us that he has some good stuff on board, and that we will have to stop by for a few sometime. -DWH
Finished wiring outside stereo speakers. Walked to Grande Anse to buy bread and BBQ chicken from a street vendor. Then back to the boat for dinner in the cockpit with music. -DWH
Today I'm working on the boat log. I've been so involved in boat projects that I haven't kept up with it, so now it's a big effort.
While I'm at it, I should take the time to better describe where we are. Prickly bay is on the south shore of Grenada. This is a very expensive neighborhood. The houses around this bay are all very expensive. There is also a boatyard with a restaurant and bar. This is where we tie up the dingy when we go to town, where we drink beer, and where Laurie plays pool. It is a good place to meet other boaters. There are about 50 boats here.
There are a couple of taxi drivers that hang out at the boatyard and when we leave to head to town we are almost always asked if we need a taxi. This is expensive, $20EC ($8US) to Grande Anse and $30EC to St. George. Instead we walk out the driveway to the small road that leads towards Grande Anse. It's a pleasant walk of a little over a mile to the edge of Grand Anse. Along the way we pass a pasture with a couple horses, some nice houses, the US Embassy, and the occasional cow tied up along the road. There are usually people walking on the road and a fair number of cars, many of then expensive and driven by the people who live in the fancy houses. These people often stop and give us rides.
Once we get to the edge of Grande Anse, we can catch a bus further into Grande Anse or all the way to St. Georges. The buses are actually minibuses, usually have music playing, are very cheap $1EC (about 40 cents US), and come by every couple minutes. It is about 3 miles from Grande Anse to St. George. It is usually an exciting ride with people packed in as tightly as possible, lots of quick starts and stops, and some fairly aggressive driving.
St. Georges is usually referred to simply as "town". I believe that there are about 100,000 people on the island and maybe 1/3 live in St. Georges. This is where the bulk of the stores are and is also a working port. There is usually a cargo ship and a small fleet of long line fishing boats. It is a little rough compared to Prickly Bay. I'm not sure if there is a significant crime problem, or if Grenada is using the police force to cut unemployment, but there are cops everywhere. There are also lots of taxi drivers and it is hard to walk more than 50 feet without someone wanting to know where we are going and offering a special deal on a taxi ride. It's sometimes annoying, but that's the price of being a tourist.
I wish I could write more about the rest of the island, but with the exception of our trip to Grande Etang, we haven't seen it. The Peace Corp volunteers explained that it is very different. The island in general is pretty poor, nothing like the Prickly Bay area or even like what we've seen in St. Georges. We would very much like to explore the island more and we might get a chance this weekend. One of the volunteers, Patrice, is having a big party on the north side of the island tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the trip up there as well as the party. She also offered to show us around a little on Saturday. More to follow. -DWH
Met Liz and Dara in St Georges. We caught a bus up to Sauteurs on the north of the island to party at Petrice's. When we arrived we first went to Katie and Vickies' (other volunteers) house for dinner and few cocktails. Then we headed down to Patrice's. She also had food and plenty of cocktails plus a DJ playing music. We danced until about 1:30. Jo and Laurie crashed in the house while Stacy and I slept on the beach. It was a most excellent party. -DWH
Woke up and helped clean up. Then we went touring. Patrice has two visiting friends, Ja'Nita and Mercedes, who are volunteers in Ecuador. Patrice had planned a day a sight seeing and invited us along. First we went to the "slave pen". Though long abandoned, this gave us some idea of what conditions were like for the slaves. Then we went to Grenville where we had lunch. After lunch Jo and Laurie headed back to Ladybug while Stacy and I continued to the Mt Carmel Waterfall with the others. There we met Kendrick Ruffin, a guide and friend of Patrice's. He gave us a great tour and was especially good at pointing out all the different plants along the path.........bananas, mangos, papaya, avocados, cashews, nutmeg, almonds, bread fruit, and cinnamon just to name a few. After the waterfalls, we split up with Stacy and I heading back to Ladybug and the others continuing their tour.
It was a very enjoyable day. We saw more of Grenada and also learned a lot about Ecuador from Ja'Nita and Mercedes.
When we got back to the boat yard, we caught a ride out to Ladybug with Dan and Karen from Houston. They started cruising on "Honeymoon" in November on 1998. Soon after they left they found out that Karen was pregnant. Unfortunately I do not remember their baby's name, but she was very cute, and Dan and Karen say that she has adapted nicely to life at sea. -DWH
Jo and Laurie went to a BBQ on Hog Island with the people from the boatyard. It sounds like it was a fine time except for a dog fight that erupted into a human fight. You would think that dogs would know better.
Stacy and I worked on the boat (I worked on the chain locker hatch and fixed a problem with the outboard, Stacy made a courtesy flag for Trinidad and Tobago and fixed our "Q" flag) and made calls home for father's day.
One cool thing that happened this morning that I almost forgot. I took Jo and Laurie in to catch there ride to Hog Island. As I was rowing the inflatable back to Ladybug I noticed two rays following me just under the surface. They were the color of sand and about two feet wide. They followed me for maybe a hundred feet. Finally I stopped rowing and bent down to get a better look at them. One rose right to the surface and we made eye contact for a few seconds, then they swam away. -DWH
Working on the boat. Jo and Laurie are scrubbing the bottom and I'm working on the chain locker hatch.
We had a fantastic dinner. Kevin, the cook at the boatyard restrauant, also has his own small place. Jo and Laurie arranged for him to make a special meal for us. He made us Calaloo and Crab soup and "hot oil down", both local dishes that are not typically available at restaurants. -DWH
I finished the chain locker hatch, and Stacy worked on her story. Jo and Laurie went to town to take photos of Kevins place for the web site. They picked up Chinese, and we had a feast in the cockpit. -DWH
Stacy and I went to town to spend the last of our Eastern Caribbean dollars on groceries. We then filled the water tanks, cleared immigration and customs, and said good-bye to friends we have made. At 3:30pm we headed out of Prickly Bay bound for Trinidad. -DWH