08/08/2009, Grenada's National Stadium
PANORAMA...Second Day of a 5 day Event called "SpiceMas"! Panarama, a spectacular display of talent and contest by the Steel Pan Bands of Grenada. A whole new meaning for us! If you've ever seen steel bands playing during Saturday markets, lawn concerts or the like, you haven't seen anything! There were 13 bands mind blowingly huge! There were as many as 80 musicians and twice or thrice that in pieces of magical instruments for each contestant. We were flown away to another time and place by these orchestras of such magnitude our jaws were hung to the max all night long. It was really hard to pick a winner...glad we were not the judges.
A wee intermission so to speak was needed to remove each bands artists and equipment in an actual caravan on and off stage. There were solo sax players, dancers, singers and poets to delight us 'til the next band wheeled their way onto the stage.. What a beautifully choreographed extravaganza! Band after band brought us this annual Carnival's test of the best called PANARAMA! All of us who attended agreed that band three was the best. Hard to call that really with the talent oozing from that stadium that night.
There's three more days of "SpiceMas" before the actual parade on Tuesday the 11th. Everybody in our group bought costumes for the BIG parade on the last day, except us! I wanted to dash to the start of the parade and capture the entire spectacle for posterity. If I was in the parade I could only document what was in front or behind us! Then Olga and Don's camera died! It was old too, but NOOOOOO, not now!
Lucy said that I can borrow her beautiful Nikon SLR and shoot the costume parade on that day!
You know I'll keep you posted, hehe.
Dudley and Bec
08/04/2009, Dragon Bay, West Coast Grenada, North of PLM!
Nellie and Phil Kellet surprised us by inviting us for an overnighter on their big, really big to us, 56' Tiana. They are newbies at this Cruising lifestyle, but not to being great hosts. They both worked really hard to give us our own cabin and 'onsuite' (head or lew), set up all the dive gear for three of us which is huge and then cooked and entertained us for two days.
Thanks again Nellie and Phil. We love you two! Moondancer is a blast to sail too...I got to take the helm all day and she is an awesome boat. Lots of partying, eating, relaxing and exploring a new Bay with our Miami buddies...we deserve it.
A lot more fun than grinding or rebuilding a boat right?
Dudley and Bec
08/03/2009, Windward Coast, Grenville
The island is gearing up for "CARNIVAL" and we found out from our favorite island guide, Raymond Pilgrim, that towns all around the island have their own celebrations showing off Grenadian traditions. Dudley and I were counted in and ready to see more of the island so Raymond came by and scooped a bunch of us up for a peek at the windward shore. Grenville is our destination today and we should get there in time for the last day of their festivities.
Raymond, a Grenadian, kept driving around, looking around and asking these locals about the wild party we'd been hearing about and when it will start. Turns out the music, dancing, parades, food and drink won't be starting until 8 or 9p tonight. Bummer. We sure do know how to switch gears, so we strolled around the seaside fishing village, met some fishermen, shop owners and had fun shooting the architecture, the natives and the Emancipation signs everywhere. This was their day to celebrate freedom from slavery, not freedom, they were celebrating today too. We unanimously decided to take off and check out the center of the island for some mountains, lakes, and monkeys. Grenville was just too far way to come back later that night because these island people like to start late and finish when the sun comes up! 9pm is cruiser's midnight, so we ducked out. Chuckle chuckle. The biggest Carnival celebration is right here in St. George's so we are going to save ourselves for that big, five day bash beginning at the end of the week.
We headed west, back across the island to the Big Lake, Grand Etang in the Big Grand Etang Forest Preserve. He's a good guide and tapped right into our desires. This lake is in the caldera of an extinct volcano and boasts five distinct sub-climatic communities. Stunning! As we drove thru the forest we were amazed that it was just a forest and not a rain forest for all the verdant wildlife and flora surrounding us. We girls, attitude, not age, Marilyn, Lucy and I checked out the hiking trails, of which there are many, for an energetic, athletic adventure in the future . Today it was simply enough to enjoy the serenity and beauty of this huge lake and surrounding mountains. At it's crest can be seen the Elfin Woodland, stunted by persistent strong winds that form minature forests. The scale is enormous when you are standing at the base of what was a volcano and imagine that anything is miniature.
We were surprised, but not prepared with fruit or banana, to see the Mona Monkey, who are plentiful and very cute. These little guys have been here for so long that they are considered indigenous, yet they arrived from Northern Africa during the early slave trade. Wish we had some nuts or bananas because those cute little monkeys were giving great poses to the people who arrived with goodies.
Raymond took us home after only a half day tour, but don't think it was sad. We traveled thru some of the most beautiful countryside observed so far. He showed us where he grew up, spectacular really...got some great shots of the lee coast where we are staying...and we're still drooling.
Thank you Raymond. We love serendipitous excursions! Better than the work we were planning to do on Altair today.
Dudley and Bec
We've been on the island of Grenada for 23 days! We've been searching everywhere for a 110v fan for the months of work we have on the good ship Altair! It's always hot at a marina. I mean we really scoured every hardware store, marine store and electrical shop, within bus distance and even returned repeatly, with promises of fans arriving daily! There were extension cords for 120 in and 120 out, but all 240 appliances. Everywhere! Now what? Make up a cord from 240 to 120? Do we still need a transformer? Order the fan from theStates?
Lucy and Richard, our neighbors on S/V Marie Galante II, just came back from the Carenage and found a 120v fan! We had been to A & A Hardware already, but they just got two in! Big squat and bigger on LEGS! Finally, three weeks later, thank you both, we have a really huge fan. They are cool too!
We got BIG SQUAT. At last! Yes, it's gigantic. It's loud, but surprisingly calm in it's similarity to a jet plane idling really far away. Yet we are in the shade and cool! Just have to turn the music up a bit. Dudley loves rock and roll!
A lot of adjusting to do. It's HUGE. We've found a way to keep in under the table and the air starts blasting out to the end of the top. It's really powerful, so that air hits us, not the things on the table, the cushions and still cools the entire cabin. It's doesn't blow at the table making everything fly! We just can't close the table to get forward in Altair easier with this monster under there!
Now we're not JUST a pair of hunchbacks, we're really COOL hunchbacks!
The things we do in the name of travel...for a year a half on a small sailboat...at a dock...
I know what Dudley is doing! When we get back to that tiny townhouse it's gonna seem a mega mansion. After stooping, crawling, bending in positions I never thought possible on Altair, our townhouse is gonna be huge. To get into the pantry, dig way back in the locker behind the head for a roll of t-paper, oh, and a roll of paper towels...hah, you need to be a gymnist. If you need something from the pantry, you hang into it at the waist and and hope you don't fall in.
Everybody should do this at least once in their life! A whole new perspective of "what you can do with what you've got". Who knew I'd be happy to get a fan.
Life is good.
And we're waaaaay cool!
Dudley and Bec
07/31/2009, Right here alongside the dock at PLM
The reason we are at ANOTHER marina, is because hurricane season here in Grenada has to be a work place! This marina is a work in progress, therefore, providing a beautiful place to work on Altair is an appropriate place for us! There's a refreshing pool to chill in after the 'work', so we plan to join all our other buddies doing the same.
The remainder of July had us meeting with sailmakers to repair our small jib and price some sunbrella. We got a virus or a very bad problem when loading IE8 on our laptop and got that fixed, thanks to Danielle and Roger on Chocobo! (They have their boat on the the hard in Curacao while backpacking thru Peru and Boliva, very cool, eh?). We had to order a ton of sunbrella and tools from the States for my projects at a small fortune. Then we started with removing the old Ideal windlass, chain, rode, the washdown connector, and hawse pipe in preparation for the fiberglass work to seal all those old holes.
We do know how to mix work with pleasure and managed many get togethers with Scott, Derrick, Richard and Lucie, Mitae and Larry, Pepe and Big Bear, Marilyn and Kent, Wendy and Doug, Carrie and Malcom, Nellie and Phil, and Becky and Tofer and their gang, and all the marina people who are always ready to make us comfortable.
This is where it's all going to happen! I've requested one of the picnic tables be brought here alongside Altair for my sewing needs...nice big, shady and airy workstation! Wish me luck! I first tried to wiggle my way into one of these beautiful little cottages that don't seem to be fully occupied yet but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
August should be very busy!
07/24/2009, Port Louis Marina
I guess you've noticed by now that we've decided to stay here at Port Louis Marina! It's very nice as you can see from the photo album entitled "Port Louis/Camper Nicholson Posh Digs. The boat hasn't moved on the tracking map, even though we've sure been moving around on this super Spice Island called Grenada!
This particular night was hosted by our marina and Danny Donelan, the sales and marketing co-ordinator extraordinaire! He decided to kick it up a notch and give it a theme..."the 80's"... along with introducing the costumes available for Carnival! If you didn't want to join in with the nuts dressing for the 80's ( just in case you weren't old enough to remember it first hand or too old and can't remember, hehe) then you could wear all white and be models for the various customes available for carnival!
As you can see, Lucy, Richard, Dudley and I participated to the max, spending all week searching for colored hair spray, huge earrings, bangle bracelets, glitter and blue eyeshadow! The guys were champs in playing along and just for the record Dudley and I won first place! Lucie and Richard won second place, but truth be known, we were the only ones who dressed up so winning wasn't a challenge now was it? Do we have to tell you that we had fun? The costumes for Carnival are really gorgeous!
Check out the album under "80's Bash and Carnival Models".
Dudley and Bec