Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grenada and a little slice of Trinidad

Our time in Grenada was short and quick. but while there we met many cool people and like Columbus found two other ships for the crossing to the New to Us World. We entered the waters of Grenada and took some needed sleep in the closest harbor we could find, Grand Mal, on the western coast. Another boat had the same idea and even though we didn't meet them we met up with them later down the coast. After gathering the winks and counting the sheep on the hillside, we pulled anchor and sailed down to Prickly Bay to check into the country. Check in was convenient but time consuming...but the cool drinks were in sight and we were patient. Next on our agenda was meeting people so we could get local information and find traveling buddies for the trip to Trinidad. So off to Happy Hour we trotted where we met a Brit that had been in the area for over 17 years--much was shared and we learned of many great future stops. No traveling contacts were made the first night but we did hear on the net about another Happy Hour on Tuesday. Tuesday we took the bus into St George's and went to the local market for spices, the fort for pictures, and the waterfront for lunch. Tuesday night we met our Brit buddy and we met Steve from England. He builds canal boats and spends his summers there and winters in Grenada. Still no travel buddies.
Wednesday morning on the net we found our travel buddies. Bodacious and Smidge were ready to go! It was decided that we would leave from Hog Island so we moved over there--what a beautiful place surrounded by big, unmarked reefs. We had a meeting with the two boats and another couple, Chuck and Barbara, who had the experience of doing this crossing. The three boats traveling were all newbies, with more questions and concerns than knowledge so Chuck and Barbara were a great source of information and soothed the concerns some of us were feeling. Wednesday night was hamburger night so off we went. Along the way we stopped off and listened to the music at the dinghy raft up. The band was on a raft tied to a ship and the dinghies tied to the raft and each other. The music was so good but the stomachs were growling and dinner was the goal. The dinghy was untied and off to Clarkes Court Bay we headed. Over a beer we met a young couple who sail for 6-8 months and then go back to San Francisco and work for 4-6 months. They joined us and the party grew bigger. The people we hadn't met at the earlier anchorage were there and we introduced ourselves to each other. They too were headed to Trinidad but wanted to just let us know they would be out there behind us. Thursday came and it was roti lunch time in Woburn. Yes, we do eat and drink our way through each day as it seems. The roti hut was built around a huge tree and was next to Nimrod's Rum Shack--no we didn't stop for a sample this time as the white rum is reported to be HIGH octane. Once again we met our anchoring buddies as they were enjoying the roti lunch as well. After lunch we did our check out and prepared the boats for the night passage.
The passage between Grenada and Trinidad has a history of being uneventful and problem free as well as pirate attack potential. The most recent attacks have been on the Trinidad oil rigs and we decided to travel to the east of those by 3-10 miles. No pirates, no problems, and great sailing with luminescence aplenty. It was 17-20 knts of wind and 5-6 foot seas. The sun rose and were were in sight of land.
Trinidad has been a stop where we have seen little but accomplished a lot. The boat is being put to bed--put on the hard is the right term--and we have been cleanings, disassembling, storing, and summer proofing the interior and the exterior. The best part of this experience has been the little airconditioner Dave bought. Mike and Gloria on Respite (in Bocas del Toro) spoiled us with their cool salon last fall! We have walked from the boat yard to the boat shops, bank, repair shops, bank, parts shops and bank again. That's the sight seeing so far. We met up again with our anchor buddies and exchanged names and met for dinner. Ellen is from San Francisco and Houston, Rick is from Scotland. She is in the banking world and he taught survival skills in Anartic--that's where they met. His two sons arrived and we had them over for a quick refreshment before they headed out to Tobago...
Oh, to be able to be on the water again, seeing the sights, smelling the fresh air, and kicking back and relaxing...reality check WORK CALLS! In three days we will be on a jet for the states. Once back in the states we will travel for the months of June, July, and part of August before hitting Oregon. Looking forward to touching base with old and new friends along the way.