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Sailing Centime
Heidi Love & Dennis Jud
The Spice island 2
Heidi/partly sunny
06/04/2012, Grand Etang national Forest, Grenada

Honeymoon Falls

The Spice Island
Heidi/party sunny
06/03/2012, Prickly Bay, Granada

It was one of those - 'I feel like I'm in a National Geographic Movie' days. We drove into the Grand Etang National Rainforest in Granada. Our first excitement was seeing wild Mona monkeys. They came in quite close, first swinging loudly through the trees then climbing precariously on outer branches for their treats.

Then the ultimate excitement: hiking to Honeymoon Falls and Seven Sisters Falls and swimming under huge waterfalls. First we walked down a dirt road past trees of nutmeg, cinnamon, passion fruit and guava; pineapple and banana plants; Lemongrass and Shandon Beni (a cilantro substitute). Grenada is called "The Spice Island" for it's abundance of tropical spices. In fact they are the second largest producer of nutmeg in the world (Indonesia is number one.) The aromas were wonderful as we walked this farm road.

Soon we turned off the road turned onto a narrow path and hike for about an hour through the rainforest. Eventually we came to a river where we had to take off our shoes and continue barefoot, or risk submerging our footware. It was interesting climbing up steep rocks, past cascading tributaries to get to the main falls - and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Then as we turned a corner, a beautiful scene unfolded before us - a dramatic falls cascading to an inviting pool, with jungle and stark rock on all sides. It was fantastic. I stripped to my bathing suit and swam right under the falls. Amazing!

06/10/2012 | Heinz and Erika
We have seen all these places from St. Martin down to here and we loved , as you did.
Yes we shall be back in Grenada coming fall and then sail west. Looking forward to meet you somewhere.
06/11/2012 | Heidi Love
Thanks for visiting our blog. We hope to see you in Grenada next fall! Please let us know when you arrive.
Now Prickly Bay
Dennis / Very pleasant day
06/01/2012, Prickly Bay, Granada

Cruiser's Mecca.....

We made it!
Heidi/cloudy
06/01/2012, St. Davids, Grenada

After 3300 nautical miles and nine months - we arrive in Grenada - our first year destination! We're so excited to be here. It's been an amazing journey for which we're grateful.
The sail down from Carriacou was the best in several weeks. We decided to sail the windward side (most of our sails are in the lee of the islands as the wind coming across the Atlantic from Africa can be quite strong). For the first two thirds of the trip we had steady winds of about 15 - 18 knots and we sailed on a close reach averaging 6.5 to 7.5 knots and a few times we reached 8.1. This is a fast speed for Centime as her hull speed is 7.8. The sun was out and we sailed past islands and then along Grenada's east coast - quite petty. Towards the end the wind diminished and the waves became confused, coming from different angles, yet we were so excited to be here that it was still pleasant. Just as we arrived, anchored and opened all of the portholes, the sky broke loose and it poured. The rain however didn't stop the merriment and we went below and popped champagne in celebration of our nine month journey.
Congratulations Centime - You are a great sailing vessel!

06/01/2012 | Jon Perruzzi
Congratulations! Enjoy the stay!
Paradise
Heidi/perfect sunshine and breeze
05/26/2012, Tobago Cays

We've found paradise!  I know it sounds cliche, and my writer friends would all groan, however it's simply true.  The Tobago Cays in the Grenadine Islands (north of Grenada) consist of a multitude of lush, green, uninhabited islands, each with its pristine, palm fringed, white sand beaches, situated in the bluest of Caribbean waters.  As you look across the water in every direction, you see a myriad of shades of this perfect bluest blue, aqua and turquoise, the colors dependant on the depth and makeup of the reef or sand below it.   Interrupting this perfect blue are small tan specs which upon closer examination are the heads of green turtles (which by the way are vegetarian and thirve on the sea grasses here) some with shells as large as five feet.  I like to think that this place is so peaceful because of all the vegetarians (at least that's what I thought before I saw the sharks. :) )

To get here we had to sail between islands with a navigable channel as narrow as about 150 feet.  The depth of the channel on the chart is eight feet, which when Centime isn't loaded down with water, provisions  and fuel means that there are two feet left between us and the bottom.  It was so incredibly beautiful sailing through the channel that I got out my camera to create a video; it was so tricky to maneuver that I wasn't able to turn the camera on.

The Cays and it's water are all part of a protected national park.  It is as beautiful below the water as it is above.  Under the surface you can swim with dozens of turtles and watch them munching on the grass, floating under and over one another, lazily drifting along.  You can study the patterns on their shells and heads which I found fascinating.  We also found ourselves floating among schools of literally thousands of small clear fish so close to the surface that they reflected the bright sunlight, sparkling like diamonds. 

At the end of our turtle swimming adventure I went to check to see if our anchor was secure in the sand.  I held my breath as I saw a four foot long, majestic Spotted Eagle Ray.  She was slowly and gracefully gliding at a depth of about eight to ten feet.  Dennis and I were close enough to see the beautiful patterns of her spots, but far enough away as to not disturb all of her beauty as we watched her glide by.

The people we're meeting are wonderful too. Walter with his deep voice and broad smile, sells banana bread that his wife makes and he calls "the world's best." Perry was just a wonderful dive leader and in listening to him talk I suspect he is also an amazing cook. Sydney who was so charming and helpful I had to buy two t-shirts rather than one. Romeo sold us the "freshest grouper," made sure we knew his Mother's recipe for spicy, coconut fish sauce, and returned the next day to make sure we prepared it properly and it was totally delicious. And even the park ranger provided good tidbits on what to see and where to snokle. And, each local vendor has a colorful handmade and painted boat with names like "Free Spirit" and "Fabulous."

Today we dove in a place called Mayreau Gardens and it was the best dive of my life.  The corals were so colorful: oranges, reds and lime green; giant brain corals and soft corals: sea plumes and deadmans fingers.  There were sponges of bright yellow and lavender.  There were spectacular bright blue tunicates which look a bit like sponges, shaped like a handful of slender champagne glasses, clustered together and measuring perhaps a foot or two across each colony. 

The fish on our dive were equally colorful and even more plentiful, hundreds of different species and tens of thousands of individuals.  One of my favorite was a large school of more then a hundred blue wrasses each measuring six to 10 inches and swimming all around us (see photo above).  We also saw three nurse sharks, one about 6 or 7 feet long, an Eagle ray and two Southern Stingrays.  One stingray measuring about four feet long and three across was grazing in the sand below us and it appeared like he was trying to bury his head in the sand.  I read that stingrays pick out invertebrates and small fish from the sand.  To watch him was the perfect end to a fabulous dive.

If you've ever earmarked a book "A thousand places to see before you die" as I have, or watched the movie "Bucket List" and started your own list, then be sure to include the Tobago Cays as part of your own voyaging.  Come here on a sleek, classic sailboat or a very seaworthy kayak and discover all that you can above and below her waters.  

It will be hard for me to leave this place. I know for certain however, as I watch the sun set over the islands, that we will return to this place I will call, paradise.

Photos c/o Michel from Nyctea - Thanks Michel!

Paradise 2
05/25/2012, Tobago Cays

story above

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