7 FEBRUARY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRENADA! 37 years of independence.

 We are still in Grenada tied to the dock at Secret Harbour and plugged into shore power.  It sure is decadent.  We don’t have to watch the batteries and seldom need to get in the dinghy to go places.  We could never have sewn the dodger at anchor – it would have been impossible to layout the material on the boat.  One day we will actually go on the anchor again.  Who knows, we might even leave Grenada. 


We have had quite an influx of boats at the dock.  A couple good size sailboats came in recently and a very large private motor yacht tied up just down the dock from us.  The marina owner is developing a nearby island as an exclusive resort and he keeps his sailboat, fishing boat, and day cruiser there.  He recently had trouble with the dock so he brought the three boats here.  The fishing boat and day cruiser are nice, but the big sailboat is a 170+ foot ketch.  It dwarfs anything else in the marina. 

Two pictures stitched together - Compass Rose is second from the left


It took ten days – about twice what I estimated – to make the new dodger.  It took a lot of time to stretch the material over the bows to mark it for cutting and seams.  It took even longer to sew it.

Much of the layout and cutting work was done on the dock.  It was very windy and despite constant vigilance, a big part of the dodger blew off the dock and into the water, but I was able to retrieve it.  We started doing some of the work next to a very large yacht so it would shield us from the wind.

Jackie holds down the dodger while I layout the material

We finally finished the basic project and it came out quite well.  I can only assume that I inherited some of my mother’s talent for sewing and needlework.  There are only some small details we need to work out and then implement when we take the dodger off to sew the zipper on for the new bimini we are about to make.

The dodger is done.


The Grenada Museum hosts free exhibitions each friday night.  We got together with some friends for an event that featured a group of drummers called Inner Circle.  They were great.  The drums are traditional ones made by stretching a hide over a hollow piece of wood.  They can get a wide range of sounds from a drum by beating on various areas of the head.

Fancy three-headed drum.

The Inner Circle drum group. The little girl gave a short narration

We went back the next friday.  There was a man who played pans – steel drums.  There was also a woman who recited poetry, and played guitar and sang.  Finally, three of the drummers from Inner Circle played.

Three drummers from Inner Circle


We spent an afternoon at the Grenada Yacht Club watching the boats return from the second day of the Grenada Billfish Tournament.  Boats that caught fish fly flags representing each fish, so spectators can see who did well as the boats return.

A boat returns flying many fish flags


The day's catch: Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna

Some boats caught blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish.  They are encouraged to catch and release to help preserve these species.  Before they release they take digital pictures of the fish and bring their cameras to the weigh station to get credit for the catch.


One of the taxi drivers that we have gotton to know invited us to join him for a trip to Grenville, a large town on the east side of the island.  He had to run a personal errand there and thought we might like to go along for the ride.  He stopped at a couple spots along the way including the Westerhall Rum facility.  The distillary burned some years ago when one of the metal fermentation pots ruptured and the alcohol poured down on the cooking fire.  They now purchase spirits from off-island and blend and age them to produce their rum.  The grounds were quite nice and we got to see the remains of the old distillary.

One of the two old waterwheels used to crush sugarcane

Westerhall Distillary grounds

We wandered around Grenville while our friend ran his errand.  We asked for directions to the fish market and evenually found a street that ran to the shore.  All down one side of the street were vendors with fish in baskets and buckets.  We bought a fish and had them clean it for us.

We thought this was the fish market

Cleaning our fish

As they were cleaning the fish we looked around and behind us was a nice, new fish market.  Evidently some of the fishermen can make more selling fish on the street than through the fish market.

The REAL fish market

Gill's. Specializes in cleaning fish, not spelling.



Port Louis Marina in St. George hosts a four day regatta.  Most of the races start off Grand Anse Beach and some go around to the south side of the island. The two faster classes sailed all the way around the island one day.  Jackie and I walked around the docks the night before the race and I found a ride for the race on La Vida, a Moorings 515 charter boat.  This boat is privatly owned, but operated by a charter company.  A couple of the co-owners and a few friends had the boat for the races and were looking for crew so I signed on. 

They offered to let me sail the boat for a couple races and I managed to crosss the finish in second and fifth, but corrected to fifth and seventh. 

The boat is pretty big and heavy and does not have a whisker pole, so we really struggled on downwind legs and in light air.  The races that were on the south side of the island got us into strong wind and waves and we were able to power through while the smaller boats struggled a bit more.  Unfortunatly we had to give time to all of the other boats in the class except the other Moorings 515, so we had to beat boats by a lot to remain ahead in the standings after they applied the handicap.  Still I had a great time.

Tacking duel - "La Vida" chases "My Mistress"


Passing "My Mistress" to take the lead

Helming "La Vida"

Life on the rail

L to R Eric, Renee, Jarad, Aaron, Gary, and Mark

Renee posted the pictures and some video she took on La Vida here:

Jackie came out and raced on the last day with some people she met on the bus to the Mt. Airey reading program.  She raced on Kinabalu, a beautiful new Elan Impression 434.  They had the slowest rating in their class, so everyone owed them time.  They finished the series in the middle of their fleet.  Pretty good for a boat that crossed the Atlantic earlier this year.  Jackie was on board for a race that went to the south end of the island and back.  Their fleet started before ours, so we weren’t surprised to see them heading back towards the start while we were still approaching the turning mark.  They passed us again later towards the end of the race because their fleet sailed a longer course.

Kinabalu heading for the Prickley Point mark

The "Kinabalu" crew


An interesting bird Jackie spotted alongside the road

Grenadian Dove watches the races from Prickley Point

A cashew plant

Heard on the Radio

First a little geography.  Most of the cruisers in Grenada are located in St. Georges, Prickley Bay, Mount Hartman Bay, Hog Island, and Clarks Court Bay.  Every once in a while someone will ask for a radio check and people typically respond with their location and the quality of the transmission.  That way the person asking for the check gets feedback on how far they can reach and how well they are understood.

     First Voice:  Can I have a radio check please?

     Second Voice:  Scratchy in Prickley.

     Third Voice:  Itchy in Mt. Hartman.  

NEXT: Workboat races and sewing the bimini

5 Responses to “Dockadent”

  1. Barry S/V Crew Rest Says:

    Eric and Jackie,

    The Dickerson Owners Association is truly impressed with the Bristol condition you are maintaing aboard Rosey. The coachtop paint job is a thing of envy — not to mention fabricating a new bimini.

    By the way, snow forecast for Thursday in Hampton Roads (again). “Read you 5 by 5 from Old Point Comfort”.

  2. Dale Says:

    If you miss racing, you should return soon! LOL We moving Bump to EYC for the next season and hope to be competative. Lots of expensive work being done on Bump this winter! I’ll be missing you on foredeck! Say “Hi” to Jackie for me!

  3. Kathleen and Roland Says:

    Hi Eric & Jackie, the dodger looks great. Nice work! Glad you’re having a good time in Grenada. It’s been a while since we caught up with you via email, etc. Loud and clear in Fort Pierce! LOL

  4. colleen Says:

    Jackie–Did I remember to wish you happy b’day last month? Can’t believe i keep missing your calls!!!! Thanks for not giving up! Is there any way to call you?I don’t have a consistent schedule–never here on Monday/Tuesdays. Best chances are midday on other days. How much longer are you in Granada? I still can’t believe you are doing this!!

  5. Mrs Harris Says:

    I think your mystery bird is a roadrunner. (BeepBeep)

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