Still In Grenada

ONE YEAR AGO

Dec. 2009. Anchored with "Reach" off Pig Beach, Big Majors Spot, Exumas, Bahamas

STILL IN GRENADA

We are still in Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada.  With the exception of a couple coats of Cetol on the eyebrow (wood above the ports) I have finished painting the forward house. 

We are now waiting for some things we ordered to come in by ship from Miami.  Yes, it takes longer, but it is much, much cheaper than FedX or similar shippers.  But with sailing time and the holidays coming up, our stuff will probably not clear customs until after Christmas.  Included in the shipment are some materials we need to make a new dodger and bimini.  The old dodger is beyond reasonable repair and our bimini was just makeshift.  We need these in good shape to protect us from wind, rain, and especially sun.  I’m hoping to have these done in less than two weeks.

It’s winter here.  Temperatures at night are getting down into the seventies.  Sometimes we consider adding a little warm water when we take showers.  Of course we could be back in the states.  To remind us what we are missing, my mother sent us this picture.

Cleveland Lighthouse Dec.16, 2010

I write a lot about things I do on the boat, but I don’t mention what Jackie does.  So what does Jackie do while I work on the boat?  Lots of things.  Besides being chief cook and bottle washer, she cleans and oils the teak inside the boat, is the social chairman and takes care of much of the administrative stuff of life.  Shes has also been helping in a tutoring program. For about five hours every Saturday morning, Jackie joins about eleven other cruisers who take a taxi to Mt. Airy, about 30 minutes north of here to tutor local students from 4-17 in a reading and math program.  Jackie has been working with three twelve year old boys for the past month or so.  The program is both fun and rewarding.  Unfortunately, it ends at Christmas, and doesn’t start up again until June.  

Jackie prepares to sand the cockpit table on a hot day

Jackie cleans the waterline

 

HURRICANE SEASON ENDS

Hurricane season ends in November and that causes a lot of activity here.  Cruisers who have been here for the season are heading out to points north or west.  Chartering season has started and folks who stored their boats on land during hurricane season are now launching them.  We are seeing lots of friends leave and we are meeting new people as they arrive.  Some people who are heading north plan to return for next hurricane season and others are heading home.  It will be interesting to see where we all are next June.

IB and Rebecca head west on their Tayana "Passport." They kept their boat around the corner from us in Galesville, but we didn't meet them until we got to Grenada.

Close friends. Boats in this Bay seem to have minds of their own.

THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving is not a traditional Grenadian holiday.  No Pilgrims I guess.  But a few of the local establishments hosted some sort of Thanksgiving dinner.  We went around to Clarks Court Marina.  The owner supplied turkey and everyone brought a dish to share.

Thanksgiving dinner

The the event was well attended and the food was great.  There were a significant number of cruisers from other countries who showed up for the fun.

CRICKET

Through the summer there has been a series of cricket matches between the two bays on either side of us.  Cricket is a pretty popular sport in much of the Caribbean due largely to the influence of early English settlers.  I went to a couple and got drafted onto the Prickley Bay team.  I had never played before, but luckily a lot of baseball skills transfer.  They tried to organize a game recently, but most of the regular players were gone so we just practiced.  It was a lot of fun.  Notice the improvised wickets.

Waiting to smack one.

WALKING

Jackie and, to a lesser extent I, do a bit of walking for exercise.  There is a “road” through the woods to the east that ends at Hog Island.  It’s typically quiet and little used.  The only downside is that it gets a bit muddy after it rains.  There is a nice neighborhood to the west between here and Prickley Bay which is a nice place to walk when the path through the woods is muddy.

The path to Hog Island is long enough that only recently have we walked all the way to the Hog Island bridge. 

Approaching the Hog Island bridge by water.

The road and bridge were constructed so a hotel or resort could be built on the island, but at some point the government stopped the development.  The road and bridge are closed to vehicular traffic, but we see tire tracks in the mud so there is an entrance somewhere.  We went through the hole in the fence and ventured out onto the bridge. Next time we may explore Hog Island – it’s supposed to have some great views.

The Hog Island Bridge is closed.

Cuban gunboats left from the early '80s

We see a lot of different flowers and a few interesting trees. There is a lime tree that we walk past and also a calabash tree.  The calabash nut gets quite big.  Locals use the nut shell to make bowls, lamps, and other decorative items.

A local lime tree that has born fruit all fall and winter

Calabash grow to between softball and volleyball size and are used for bowls and other decorative items

BIRDS

We are not seeing much in the way of exotic birds here.  Around the water we get Tropic Birds, a few  different herons, and an occassional kingfisher.  We are starting to see osprey, so they are migrating down from the north.  On land we see a lot of mockingbirds and a couple types of dove.  There are cattle egrets and a couple types of small birds that we haven’t identified yet.

A tropic bird soars over the bay

An interesting little bird we have yet to identify

FISH

We don’t seem to have as many fish under the boat as we used to, but we regularly see needle fish.

A needlefish swims around the boat

FIELD TRIP

One of the cruisers in our anchorage organized a trip to Victoria, a town on the west side of the island, for their monthly street festival.  They close a street and set up stands where they sell island food.  The ride took us up the west coast as the sun set – it was a great view.  We stopped at two rum shops along the way.  One was a convenient place to rendezvous with a bus from another bay. The second is owned by a friend or relative of one of the bus drivers.

Rum shop on the coast

The festival was fun.  There were a lot of food stands.  They had similar menus, but but some had unique items.  Some menu items needed deciphering, like mannish waters – goat head soup. I got really brave and tried the possum (the Grenadian name escapes me).  It was prepared like a stew and was good except that like many things it was cooked “bone in” so I spent a lot of time gnawing on skeletal parts to get the meat off.

Mugging for the camera between eating local dishes

LOTS of food vendors

One of the most favorite booths was Clarks Court Rum.  They were gving out little cups of rum samples and they didn’t seem to care of much or how often you sampled. 

(left) Jackie selects a rum sample. (right) She looks pleased with her choices

Some families cruise with their kids and Brendan and Beth from Kamaloha are typical of the great kids on boats.  They found some local kids whose yard bordered the street where the vendors were set up.

The Kamaloha kids make friends with the locals.

MORE FOOD

We eat reasonably well here.  It’s an easy bus ride downtown to the fish market and the local guys come around selling lobster.  YUM!

Grilling fresh fish and lobster for dinner

MT. HARTMAN BAY

We have really enjoyed Mt. Hartman Bay.  It is a beautiful place full of fun people.

Typical view to the north as the rising sun starts to light the hills

At one time or another we have had boats here from the US (continental and Puerto Rico), Canada, England, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, and South Africa.

The view to the west after the rain

 At least two boats in the above picture crossed the Atlantic Ocean to get here.

OK, enough for now.  Have a great Christmas!

Next: Christmas and New Years

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One Response to “Still In Grenada”

  1. Mike and Claire Says:

    Keep living the dream. We are so happy you are taking the time to do what you want to do. Nice of you all to tutor too.

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