Archive for December, 2012

Back in Grenada

December 1, 2012

posted from Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada

It’s hard to believe that we have been back in Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada, for almost two months.  It was a big change from Peru. For example, everyone here speaks English. OK, OK, so it’s a British or Irish or South African or Texan or Caribbean Island version of English.  Or it’s spoken with a French or German or Scandinavian or Italian or Icelandic accent.  We still understand it.  Or at least most of it.  At least the exchange rate from the US dollar to the Eastern Caribbean dollar is about the same as the Peruvian Sol, so we don’t have to adjust our monetary thinking.  It’s warm and humid here – the Peruvian jungle was similar, but the rest of the country was dry and either hot or cold – and high enough to be short on oxygen.

We spent about seven months here two years ago, and then a month here at the beginning of this summer, so we know the place pretty well, but it took a while for us to catch up on all the new people who came here this year.  Now that we are getting back in the groove the hurricane season is over and lots of people are leaving.  Jackie will visit the states for a couple weeks and then return about a week into December. Then if the boat projects are done and the weather cooperates, we may head up island – or we may stay for the holidays.

Jackie joins the ladies for morning water aerobics

Wakeoarding – a new sport in the anchorage – only seemed to last one day

Travel Fun

Our return to Grenada was like a comedy of errors.  Jackie had originally planned to return to the US, but changed her mind.  She was not able to get on the same flight I was on, but we would arrive in Grenada within an hour of each other.  Then a couple days before my flight, the company I booked through sent me an email that LIAT no longer stops in Grenada.  The solution was to fly from Trinidad to St. Lucia, stay overnight at my expense, and take the LIAT flight from St. Lucia the next morning.  St. Lucia is expensive so I asked the company for alternatives.  They gave me the option to stay in Trinidad and fly to Grenada the next morning on Caribbean Airlines.  This was a less expensive option, but in either case Jackie would arrive in Grenada a day before me.  She did what any sensible person would do and booked a room on the beach in Grenada.

Little Rosie

We left Compass Rose on a mooring owned by George of Survival Anchorage.  He checked the boat daily and opened her up once a week, so there was very little mold growing inside. 

George helps a neighbor get ready to drop the mooring

But leaving systems idle isn’t good for them and a couple days after we returned the starter quit working.  When we first got to Grenada I found a broken hose clamp on the engine and the dripping sea water caused corrosion inside the starter.  Luckily we have a spare and I was able to get the starter repaired pretty cheaply.  We also found that the bottom paint hadn’t been very effective and we had barnacles and interesting weed growing on the bottom of the boat.

Our propellor hosts its own little ecosystem

We also found that we had new close friends.  Mike, Christie, and Shane anchored near us while we were gone.  They didn’t realize we were on a mooring and when the wind shifted they got really close.  They watched the boats as they wandered around near each other but they never got close enough that they felt they had to move.  Not to long before they left, the wind and tide conspired to swing the boats close enough that I was able to reach out and touch their flag as they swung by.

Moonshine just off our bow, but not quite close enough for us to use their grill

Shane is nineteen and just finished his home schooling.  He is a regular at the Sunday jam session at Whisper Cove Marina, so his parents held his graduation party there.

Shane, the graduate (far left) and some of his fellow cruiser kids


As a result of a conversation between Ginny at Clarkes Court Marina and Ellen of Boldly Go, a regatta for junior sailors was organized.  A friend mentioned us to Ellen and we got volunteered to help out.  Jackie raised and lowered flags on the committee boat to start the races while I patrolled the course as a safety boat.  There were three classes of boats – Optimists, Mosquitos (similar to an Optimist), and Lasers.  The kids all seemed to have a great time and there was some really good racing.  The three Lasers started the last race tied in points, so the race winner would with the class.  The finish was very close.

The start of an Optimist class race

Just one of the many big smiles we saw that day


Halloween came to Grenada.  The first sign was the fleet of dinghies full of kids in costumes trick-or-treating around the anchorage.  After handing out goodies we went to shore and caught the shuttle to Da Big Fish for their Haloween dinner.  The food was good, the costumes fun, and the music was good as always.

Trick-or-treat by dinghy

Dave and Linda from Wayward Wind, and no, he’s not wearing a Ted Turner mask


The common thing among most events we attend is music.  There is a wealth of talent in the crusing community as well as among the Grenadians.  As mentioned, the music was good at the Halloween dinner with Baracuda and Gilfey teaming up for most of the evening.  We have seen these two play separately many times, but I think this is the first time we have seen them play together.  I’m sure there are people who will argue that these are two of the top three guitarists in Grenada.

(L) Baracuda, (R) Gilfie

Baracuda is Italian and sings rock with a slight accent.  He has a broad repertoire, but he really shines when he tosses in some soulfull Italian in the middle of a Bob Marley tune.  Or he can roll into Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore”.  It actually works better than you would expect.  He often plays just over the hill at the Tiki Bar and his warm up act is a local pan band.  He recently played at Secret Harbour, the marina here in Mt. Hartman Bay, and drew a big crowd.

Jackie and Babbie (of Compechano) dancing to Baracuda

Some of our neighbors in the anchorage

Gilfey is an Icelander who rocks.  He usually plays with Jomo, a local singer.  His play list is eclectic and amazing.  We listened to him one night when someone requested a song he had heard him do previously by a particular artist, so he started the set with Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a brick” and “Locomotive breath”.  He has some favorites that he almost always plays, but a good portion of his performances are things you have never heard him do before.

One of the big surprises is Tony on the vessel Ragin’ Cajun.  He plays fiddle and mandolin.  He has been showing up at most of the jam sessions and has started sitting in with Gilfey for some of his gigs.  Watching and listening while he plays the fiddle is awesome.  He plays a mean “Hotel California” and seems to be able to pick up any tune, but he really shines when he launches into a real fiddle tune.  And when he’s not sawing at the fiddle he picking at his mandolin. 

A few of the best nights out have been at local events.  The first was a jam and poetry session at the museum in St. George’s.  There were a few poets, but the real show was the combination of cruisers and locals that came together to put out an amazing sound.  Various musicians and singers would roll in and out of the group, but the music just got better.

Cruisers and locals jammin' at the museum

Cruisers and locals jammin’ at the museum

Donald Best is a local violinist and singer who is only the second Grenadian to be accepted to a prestigious music school in Boston.  He has been raising money for tuition by performing around the island.  A group of us went to a performance at the Spice Basket where a whole raft of local talent took turns putting on an incredible show.  With only a couple exceptions, these performers don’t do gigs at the local cruiser hangouts, so this is the only time we would get to see them and it was a real treat.

Another night we took a bus to Tivoli, a town north of Grenville to see what was thought to be a drum concert.  As it turned out it was a local event that happens every couple of weeks.  It started after hurrican Ivan came through and devastated the island.  With no electricity, the people got together and held drum dances to keep their dance and drum heritage alive.  They have added in games for the kids and the whole event is like a big block party set to the beat of local drums.

Dancing to the drums

Dancing to the drums

Let the limbo begin

Let the limbo begin

Finally, I have to mention Rogers Beach Bar on Hog Island.  Sunday afternoon is like a picnic on the beach – often with a local band – and it is unique because it is attended by locals and cruisers.  But tuesday evening has become jam session. We just saw Ray on guitar, Tony on fiddle and mandolin, another fellow on acoustic guitar, and a fourth guy on bongos and five gallon plastic diesel jug.

So it almost doesn’t matter what day it is, you can usually find one of these guys or groups rocking out.

It Seems Like Only Yesterday…

It’s hard to belive, but Jackie, Little Rosie, and I have just started our fourth year of cruising.



Life is good