08 July 2013 | Port Louis Marina Grenada
Bert - Partly Cloudy 12 kn East Trade Wind
We arrived June 26, 2013 in Grenada and have a very nice spot in Port Louis Marina. This marina is more than a marina; it is a resort with very beautiful facilities, a swimming pool, and access to a secluded little beach with a beautiful view of the harbor entrance, shops and restaurants. All kinds of service facilities are on the premises of the marina and you can find any type of yacht maintenance people. The marina and resort is located in a natural lagoon adjacent to Grenada’s capital St. George’s. The marina has been designed and built to withstand hurricanes up to category 2. The lagoon is formed from a sunken crater lake and surrounded except for the entrance by steep cliffs on with St. George is build. On the high cliffs are three forts that made the harbor one of the best protected against invading enemies. On the hill west of the marina a nice development is built with very nice lots for custom homes and townhomes. Marina slips are also for sale, so this development is ready for anybody who wants to have his/her yacht or boat on a beautiful island in the Caribbean. There is a road along the lagoon with all kinds of shops including a super market and a marine store where we get everything we need using our bikes. Restaurants are everywhere and most of them are not very expensive and the food is excellent. The supermarket has everything you need including a good choice of fresh produce.
We have used our time since we arrived more on boat cleaning and small repairs rather than enjoying the island. And of course after being on our way for 7 months is was time that we gave Island Girl some tender loving care. At the same time we prepared the boat for hurricane season as we will leave the boat in the marina when we fly to the USA for 3 weeks in August. We took the sails down, removed the Hoyt staysail boom and repaired the holes in the deck where the boom was. Water had penetrated the deck and that is a dangerous thing for an older boat like Island Girl. After one of the service people here in the marina waxed the deck and the hull we now have to make the big decision to fix the varnish ourselves or sub-contract it out. If we do it ourselves we need to do that during the early morning hours as it becomes quite hot later in the day. Yes the average daytime temperature is in the mid to high eighties but most of the time the trade winds give a nice cool breeze. Until now the nights are very nice and we sleep very well.
On the 4th of July we went to St. George’s and walked around this nice historic city. The city is divided by a ridge and the roads over the ridge are pretty steep. A tunnel was built in 1895 to join the two halves of the city and is called Sendall Tunnel; a sign at the entrance says that it can only be used by women. Many of the historic buildings are restored and in use by both governmental agencies and private companies. In the afternoon we had a potluck party in the swimming pool and most of the American Cruisers participated and brought different kinds of food which made it very nice combinations. Eating swimming and listening to stories about this and past cruising seasons was a very nice way to celebrate the birthday of our country, however, without fireworks.
To our big surprise on Friday Rula Bula owned by our friend Bryan sailing with him Scott and Barbara came back after a sail to the Grenadines. We had a nice visit with them and they invited us to join them on a hike to the Concord Falls. This is a three-level waterfall, where the higher up you hike, the more beautiful it is. The lowest cascade is easily accessible from the road. The second level is announced as thirty-minute hike that offers lush sites and a 40 ft. waterfall with a great swimming hole. The third level is another 2 hour hike and we decided not to do this. Bryan, who has visited the site many times and knows the tour guides very well organized that one of the most knowledgeable tour guides went with us. This guide knows the area very well and has a lot of knowledge about the plants and fruits you see in this area. So during the hike we ate all kinds of fruits and spent a lot of time to look around and admire the beautiful landscape. During the hike you cross the creek many times and during one of the crossings I slipped and hurt my leg, but could continue the trip. After the hike Bryan took us further with the car to see Grenada and made a circle over this beautiful island. The roads are not bad, but have many hairpin bends due to the many hills and mountains you pass. The view from the road over the island and the sea are breathtaking. We visited many interesting places like the Grand Etang Lake and the National Forest Reserve. We are happy that over the next month we have time to visit all these places. One of the most interesting places we visited was Belmont Estate, a 300 year old, working plantation. This working estate links the present to the past and gives you a nice opportunity to see centuries’ old practice of producing cocoa and some of the Caribbean’s best chocolate.
We see daily how the cruisers community is using Grenada as a good location to store their boats on land, marinas or just on mooring buoys for the hurricane season. Most people are leaving and flying back home, so in our case the marina gets filled daily with more boats, but less people. We have been asked by two boats to keep an eye on them while the owners are back in Europe. Tonight (07/08/13) the first Atlantic tropical storm will pass north of us in the St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Martinique area, a location we visited some weeks ago. We will fly back to the US in August to visit the children and get our medical checkup.
For the remainder of the hurricane season we hope to have a chance to spend more time to visit the beautiful places on this island and keep reporting to you in our blog.