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Sailing Centime
Heidi Love & Dennis Jud
On the Sea Again
Heidi
11/15/2012, Flamingo Bay, Grenada

It's amazing to be sailing once more.  Repairs in check, weather outlook favorable, we're starting chapter two of our sailing dream.  We left Prickly Bay, Grenada, around noon, raised our sails and smiled with excitement as we headed up the coast.  We had a perfect sail - a beam reach much of the way.  

Over the summer we had made some changes to our rig.  First we changed the staysail (small, forward, middle sail) from a hanked on sail (clipped temporarily on a wire stay and rigged onto a heavy on-deck boom ) to a roller-furled sail.  We can now raise the sail and adjust her size quite easily from our cockpit.  We moved the main halyard (the line that allows us to raise our large mainsail), from the mast on deck, to the cockpit.  And we added an electric winch to make her easier to raise.  This new rig is much easier, lighter and safer to handle.  And now that we've tried her out for the first time -- We love it!  For most of our sailing now Dennis won't have to go forward on the deck with me sometimes anxious at the wheel contemplating how I would handle a Dennis overboard.  This new setup is awesome!  We can now more easily sail single handed, just one person, if we had to or wanted to, and with the two of us it is much safer and easier.

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be underway again.  While Grenada is a beautiful, lush island, and her people are very friendly and gracious, Centime was meant to be sailing and not sitting on the hard (on land) or at a dock.  Yesterday, our first sail of the season, we had 15 knots of easterly wind filling Centime's sails as she glided along a sun-sparkled sea at a steady 5 1/2 to 6 knots.  

We stopped at Flamingo Bay halfway up the western side of Grenada.  It's a lovely bay surrounded by palm trees and hills with a few small homes dotting the landscape.  We were tempted to keep going as the sailing was so much fun, however there was not that much daylight left and the Bay was calling us.  This bay and adjacent bays are in a marine protection zone.  Two rangers motored out to greet us and direct us to a mooring.  Once settled we welcomed them aboard and had a lovely chat about the marine park and life in Grenada.  They told us the best snorkeling places which we later sampled.  

We were the sole boat in this lovely, peaceful area. We had drinks on deck, talked about life and watched a magnificent sunset. After dinner Dennis got out our hammock.  The boat gently rocked the hammock while we in turn laid back and gazed at a splendid sky filled with stars.  A perfect end to a perfect day.  And we, are on the sea again!

Cuban Gunships
Heidi
11/11/2012, Hog Island, Grenada

This week we had a lovely anchorage off Hog Island is the South of Grenada. This scenic area of lush green palm-studded islands, sandy beaches and calm seas, also holds reminders of a more turbulent past. You may recall that in 1983 the then Head of State, Maurice Bishop, was dreaming of making Grenada into a socialist state, courting Fidel Castro and throwing anyone who disagreed with him into jail. This was the cause of great alarm for the OECS - Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the American Government and Bishop's second in command - Bernard Cohen. Cohen organized a coup and threw Bishop in jail. A large number of Grenadians sprung Bishop from jail and in the process Bishop was executed. In the meantime, America organized a so-called "rescue mission" to supposedly rescue American and foreign Medical students in St George, while Cuban gunships gathered on this southern shore.

Today Grenada is an independent, democratic state. The people, while relatively poor in a material sense, seem well informed, hard working and very friendly. The government appears to have its many problems. (This summer the opposition tried to vote through a no confidence vote for the current leadership.) And interestingly, Bishop is held up by many as a hero while are Americans are heartily welcomed. Grenada receives massive support from Hugo Chavez while also courting capital investors, i.e a new hundred million dollar Sandals resort.

Sitting at this very peaceful anchorage on this picture perfect day, Havana, Caracas and Washington seem so far away, yet in some ways not so far at all. There is a saying here however that "in Grenada the sun will always shine." We see it in the faces and spirit of her people everyday.

Cuban Gunships #2
Heidi
11/11/2012, Hog Island, Grenada

(story above)

Back in St. David's Bay
Great wx
11/08/2012, Grenada Marine

We are back at Grenada Marine for, hopefully, a quick follow up on some electronics. We hope to be out of here this afternoon or tomorrow morning and then to Prickly Bay. We'll meet up with some friends there and then, hopefully on Monday, weather/wind permitting, we will start our journey up island. If we get our Badboy wifi fixed, we will be able to keep up with the blog easily.

Cheers
Dennis

Spiney Lobster
Dennis - Still squally, but mostly nice
11/07/2012, Hog Island

We cooked our first fresh Caribbean Spiny Lobster recently. A couple of local fishermen came by the boat the other day offering them up. Heidi bought a 3 pounder ... quite large, indeed, although dealing with them is a bit of a different process than in Maine. And, while they don't have any claws, like Maine lobsters, they have huge tails filled with meat! Their antennae are supposed to be pretty meaty at the base, and I learned also that almost every part of the body is edible, as well, except the lungs and eyeballs. The tomale is always a risk (I loved it in Maine, but passed here ... for now).

Apparently, the best way to cook them is grilling, but of course, that means one has to kill it first. In Maine, I always just threw them into boiling water, but here I had to do what I always avoided in Maine ... stab it in the head, right behind the eyes, and cut down between the eyes, cleaving its head in two. This is supposed to instantly kill it. Well, you've all heard of the "chicken with his head cut off," right? While the lobster didn't crawl all over the galley workspace, it did start to walk away. I was aghast! I thought he was supposed to be dead now! Heidi quickly informed me that it's probably just residual nerve reflexes and he really is dead. She then admitted that was the only way she could actually deal with what she was witnessing. I agreed.

I then promptly pulled off his tail, as instructed by an expat working on our teak at the time, so as not to contaminate the tail meat with the black liquid that would surely flow from his body, and cut it in half for grilling. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture of the intact lobster before I did all that damage, so for picture viewing, parental guidance is advised, but the tails do look quite yummy!

Back to Heidi's proclamation that the movement was indeed nerve reflexes. I proved that one correct. Right before I basted the tails with butter and set them grilling, I had cut off the two large antennae to cook (hence their absence in the photo) and get the meat from the base area. I stood in shock as the two four-inch pieces of antenna (they were originally about 16" long to the tips) set on the grill, each slowly twitching on the grates as if they were dancing together. Wow! But the tails were delicious! Next time, we'll be a little more organized about the entire process.

Cheers
Dennis

11/13/2012 | Jon Perruzzi
Maybe if you thought the lobster was an engineer it wouldn't be as horrifying. Ha Ha.....
Pretty interesting story.
Regrouping
Dennis / A tad squally but generally nice wx
10/26/2012, Clark's Court Bay

Well, we have FINALLY departed Grenada Marine ( Oct, 19th). We got many needed projects and upgrades accomplished both in our absence and upon our return. The best of these includes some significant improvements to our rigging. These will afford us much better and safer sail handling without having to leave the cockpit, like raising and lowering the main sail, setting reefs in the main and deploying and dousing the staysail as well as the genoa. This will be a real plus whenever the winds whip up into reefing territory, especially at night.

Also, we are finding that we really like Grenada. Last spring we got our first glimpse, and it's just getting better. While the economy is very poor, the people seem quite industrious and are very friendly. We feel totally safe here, and the natural beauty of the island is incredible! Further, we are finding the cruising community also very friendly, and we continue to discover many new and fun happenings.

While we were completing projects on Centime, we stayed for almost two weeks at the La Sagesse Hotel and Nature Center, one bay to the east of the yard. It was wonderful to "come home" in the afternoons, have a nice cool-down swim in the ocean, a shower, G&T and a nice dinner.

When it got to the point where we couldn't justify staying at the hotel any longer, we moved onto the boat, still on the hard. This was tough with no breeze, plenty of mosquitoes, no head and "ok" showers at the yard. But then we finally splashed on the 15th ... ahhhh, floating again! Except for a few surprises, all was well, and finally got underway. We spent a few days at one of our favorite marinas, Le Phare Bleu, and are now comfortably docked at a new-to-us but very nice marina, Clark's Court Bay, finalizing a few minor projects.

The other good news is that I am beginning to let go of the perceived "urgency" of things. One simply needs to let go ... slow down ... not worry. There are no really important schedules here. We really can go where we want, when we want ... or not. I am starting to get it ... Island Time!

The attached picture is of some local races last evening ... very fun!

10/28/2012 | Magnus Murphy (sv Losloper)
Hi Centime! It would be great if you guys could write something of your upgrades on the Shearwater facebook group page! I'm sure all of us there will find it most interesting. Especially since we did a major refit in Grenada Marine on Losloper and have very mixed feelings about how that all turned out.
Magnus
10/29/2012 | Jon Perruzzi
Glad to hear that you're back in the ocean. Not very pleasant sailing weather up here in Maine for the next couple of days with Hurricane Sandy moving up the coast. Suppose to make landfall in New Jersey today and then sort of sit and spin for the next 3-4 days in the Mid-Atlantic/New England states.

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