Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday we headed back up the mountain with our friends here, then visited Fort Frederick, up on a hill overlooking the town of St. Georges. An excellent defensive position, so much so that the fort was never challenged until it was decommissioned in the mid 1800's. After a fajita dinner, we hugged goodbye and wished our friends good travels, until we meet again.
And today the engine is fixed! All it takes is FedEx and a good mechanic. Mike came this afternoon and in two hours had the engine off its blocks, the housing removed, the new seal installed and everything put back together. Turns out the leftover 5200 sealant from the engine that should NOT have been in there in the first place, worked its way into and against the seal and compromised it so it leaked. Problem solved.
Sunday, December 12th, 2010
Well - it's been quite a week here in Grenada. Our engine part is still in transit from the UK, so we found a few other things to occupy our time here.
Wednesday December, 8th - Denise, Frank & Patrick picked us up early and we were planning to go hiking at the 7 sisters waterfalls, which are a series of waterfalls that tumble into each other. We made a few 'wrong turns' such as they are and went up the coast so we ended up taking a rum and chocolate tour instead. Again I tell you this is a beautiful island and with the exception of some steep inclines, and the complete lack of road signs, fairly easy to drive. We stopped at the Belmont Estate and watched a little of the chocolate production, and bought some chocolate then found the rum distillery again and took another great tour of the facility. We found the bakery and stopped for some wonderful hot, melty cheese bread since we didn't have any lunch then finally made it back to the marina for a quick dinner.
Thursday, December 9th -on Thursday we made arrangements to go over to St. David's and help Ocean Jedi shut down their engines, etc. We got both engines and both generators flushed, got the stainless polished, helped hoist the dingy back into the locked and loaded position and misc other tasks. For lunch Patrick made some amazing Chicken with motzarella cheese and sun dried tomatoes and later in the afternoon we all jumped in the sea for a swim (some were scuba diving) and a kayak. I have been thinking about getting a kayak for a while, but this was my first Kayak ride and I LOVED IT!. A kayak is definitely on our list of things to have. After the swim, we all came back to Regenero and Patrick grilled up some Lo Mitro that they picked up in Venezuela (or Tenderloin for us US types!) YUM what a feast.
Friday, December 10th - On Friday we headed to a small town north of here for their Fish Friday. It is a mini 'Taste" festival with food vendors selling their specialties and music pumped out of speakers at HIGH decibels. We sampled Fish cakes, grilled snapper, Lambi (conch) cakes, fried breadfruit and plantains, skewered tuna, sailfish, and more. The only thing we missed was the coconut shrimp...the main draw for all of us to go, but that vendor wasn't there..oh well, maybe next trip. It rained a bit on us but we all just pulled on our rain jackets and ponchos and just kept on going. At one of the tables we sat with some medical students who were from the states who had just finished their finals and were celebrating with grilled lobster. They were fun to talk to for a few minutes.
Saturday was a brilliant day. We headed out all five of us and went up to the Grand Etang nature Reserve up in the rainforest, carrying a bunch of bananas as our friends on Hanco told us the monkeys will come and eat right out of your hand. Well they weren't kidding. Within minutes of our arrival a monkey came running along the fence and very politely accepted out gift offerings. Patrick had stuffed a banana in my pocket to free up his hands to take pictures and in the excitement I forgot...well the little critter saw it and just reached out, climbed up on my arm and helped himself right to it. A pretty amazing experience! After the food was gone, so was the monkey - so we took off to see the Grand Etang Lake, and then headed a little further on to the hiking area.
We grabbed a tour guide for the trek and they provided walking sticks which turned out to be a godsend. The hike goes down a road thru the old plantation, which people now live on and farm for themselves. Then it goes down thru a mucky (due to the rain) rocky, boulder and bamboo strewn path that at times seems near vertical. The hike was strenuous, but very manageable ...although long legs helped a lot! 30-40 minutes later we arrived at the lower two of the 7 pools. We hiked thru a smaller stream and came up on a small ridge which overlooked the two pools and the boulder strewn river flowing out of them. Our guide, Cliffon, clambered up a little further to the base of the third pool and then amazingly executed a backwards dive/jump off the 30 foot fall. Once in the water, he swam out and then did a rock to rock jump and sprang off into the lower pool. None of our group was willing to take either of those risks - but we stripped to our suits and clambered into the pool for a refreshing swim. These are elevated mountain streams, so the water was cool (not quite brisk) but certainly not bathwater. It felt great!
On our hike back out it was ALL UPHILL...which was work, but actually a little easier on the knees. We passed a group of college students heading up to the falls, and they asked if we jumped all seven..of course we said, Yes! There is a small open air bar where the path meets the road, and thankfully it had plenty of shady bamboo benches for us all to rest on.
After rinsing the mud off our feet off as best we could back at the car, Denise made us all a quick sandwich and we drove back down the mountain to the marina, where we jumped in the pool!
For dinner Patrick roasted potatoes and onions in foil packets and roasted garlic and grilled rib-eye steaks they brought from the freezer cleanout. We had another amazing dinner courtesy of Patrick the grill master.
Today - we have dinner plans, and may go up the mountain again to visit our friend, the monkey, or check out the forts. We have burgers and dogs planned for dinner and a german chocolate cake sitting in the ice box to share.
To those I usually celebrate this day with...I wish you were here too to share this wonderful place!
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Well our part is still in transit, so we are enjoying Grenada while we wait. Which is Not a bad thing in the least. We love this island, and there is lots to see and do here. Saturday afternoon, we were visiting with a really nice South African couple (and their two cute boys!) who currently have a catamaran, and are perhaps looking at a larger one, Lagoon or Leopard...so they came aboard to have a look at our girl. We were having a nice visit and tour when to my surprise Ocean Jedi hails us on the radio. Ocean Jedi was supposedly enroute from Margarita, Venezuela to St. Martin. However, do some serious weather issues and some mechanical issues they diverted to Grenada. While this was a little disappointing to them, it was good news for us and we made plans to see them on Sunday.
Sunday we met up and took a driving tour of St. Georges then went to a fabulous restaurant with a view of Grand Anse, a long stretch of beach south of St. George near the airport. After, we went to hear Doc Adams play at a beach bar about a mile from here. It was a great, fun afternoon, and we had a blast.
Monday we did some work on the boat, and then took a taxi over to St. David's to check out the yard there. As it turns out Ocean Jedi determined they needed to haul out Monday as well, so we said we would meet up down there. Our Taxi driver, Patrick took us on a mini tour on the way out to an early subdivision on a far southern peninsula and we ended up seeing them at sea headed east toward the yard.
Once down in St. David's they picked us up in the dingy and we spent the afternoon visiting while waiting on the haulout crew. Haulout and launch are two very stressful times for boaters so having extra, experienced, hands is always appreciated. You need to put your vessel into a concrete well, which no matter how many times they tell you is wide enough....doesn't ever look it. Also, their boat is 58 feet long...BIG. It was late in the day when they were ready for us. As we were powering over to the haulout well we see the dock hands making a circle with their hand over their heads...the universal signal for .... turn around. Crap, that means we have to back it in - really glad we are here to help.
After a stressful, but uneventful docking...we are in the well, and the dockhands take it from there. Ocean Jedi is settled into the slings and lifted out of the water. Once out of the water we all head to the bar to sit and decompress while the vessel was inspected, power-washed, and then driven over and settled on her bottom for the stay on the hard. Another very good and fun day!
Friday, December 03, 2010
Tuesday we took a tour of Grenada. We were able to drive nearly the entire island in a day, stopping at a Nutmeg processing plant, Concord Waterfalls, a rum plantation that is still operated by waterwheel and uses all its original equipment. We saw the Grand Etang Lake, which is a dormant volcano and effectively provides all the islands water. The island is hilly and beautiful, with cashew, banana, papaya, mango, and nutmeg trees as well as all kinds of plants including sorrel, aloe, callalou (which is like spinach, and makes a wonderful soup) cinnamon, and many more that I cannot currently remember. It is a beautiful island, with lots to see and do. We still have to see the capuchin monkeys that live up in the rainforest, but plenty of time for that.
Wednesday we took the maxitaxi into St. Georges and wandered around with the cruise ship tourists. It was fun, but we had to keep telling the vendors...'no, we are not from the ship' since they wanted to take us to the beach, to the waterfalls, on an island tour, to the fort, to the duty free shop, etc.
Thursday we took the bus down to the spice island marina to check out its facilities then spent the rest of the day by the pool. The past few days have been beautiful, warm and sunny, with only a light shower overnight ... almost like a switch has been flipped and the rainy season is over... HOWEVER, looks like this weekend is going to be stormy again...so we'll see.
We are happily sitting tight (only a little anxious to move) waiting on our engine parts and the mechanic to repair the port engine. Shouldn't be much longer, and the entertainment value here is pretty great. In addition to the pool, there are lots of boats coming and going; big boats, small boats, charter boats (really fun to watch....unless they have a captain) cruise ships and freighters. We have met some really great people, who we can catch up to when we head north. There is also a tiny beach where we go sometimes to check out the anchorage, and watch the bigger boats coming and going.
We are missing you all at home, especially this month as there are lots of things going on, surgery and recovery, therapy, house closings, moving out of state, and unexpected grieving. You all know who you are and know we are with you in spirit and Prayer.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Hello to all
We are sitting tight here in Grenada waiting on an engine repair that should be done shortly. The rainy season is still upon us, and it started raining Thursday evening and rained straight thru for about 36 hours. Everyone here says this is unusual weather and it should stop soon...we'll see.
Last Saturday we went down to Prickly Bay to hear a blues band called Doc Adams, they were great and we rocked and rolled until 8:30!. We have discovered that Cruisers evenings start between 5 - 6:30 and are over by 9pm... which is fine for us, because I certainly cannot stay up any later anyway!
In the meantime, we are in a lovely spot and having a ball with terrific people. Our Anchor chain gets delivered today, so we will be rerunning our primary anchor line (again) later today and cleaning out the locker, moving the current secondary back to the stern so we have a stern anchor ready to deploy, and a primary and secondary in the anchor locker forward. Depending on the weather, we'll see what else gets accomplished today.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Well friends, for those of you who might have felt sorry for us away from home this thanksgiving, we wanted you to know how we celebrated our day. There was a pot luck Thanksgiving celebration at da big fish restaurant in Prickly bay. We brought our own dishes & silver ware and a dish to share and someone donated the turkey and ham. The restaurant set long tables for us and their bar supplied any beverages we wished to drink. People came and sat and just like at home, we squeezed in extra places and chairs for unexpected guests. We visited with those we knew and made new friends too. The food table bowed under the weight of covered dishes, hot & cold, salads and veggies, potatoes and stuffing that came with people in their dingies. The dingy dock was 2 and 3 deep, and many had to climb into others dingies to get to the shore. It was a wonderful, congenial afternoon, and after eating our fill of wonderful dinner, the main course was swept away, and the desserts set out. Pumpkin pie, blueberry muffins, drop cookies, brownies, spice cake, blackberry cobbler, to name just a few of the delights.
After we had all we could possibly handle we wandered over to the Chandlery next door to see what toys we needed, then took the bus back to the marina. The party started around 1pm, and we were back around 4pm. Then we changed and went immediately to the pool to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine.
While we miss family and friends back home, all in all this was a very special Thanksgiving!