01 May 2010 | Grenada, WI Clarkes Cove Bay
Hello Everyone! I am so sorry we have not osted for a long time. We were trying to post thru sailmail and after a few weeks we got all our blog entries kicked back. Couldn't really diagnose what the problem was so I'll just bring everyone up to date now. We had a slow crossing with light winds and with just the 3 of us, we were conservative on sail setting, ie no spinnacher at night in case of squall, etc. our fuel and water tank gauges didn't work at all so we were not sure how much fuel we were burning when under power. It makes for a nervous time. We worked our way NW to the port of Cayenne, French Guiana. The tour book promised that you could tie up at the town dock and there would be good French wine, cheese, bread, etc. So imagine how we felt when we navigated up the river 6 miles, through tropical jungle to find a small marina with about 20 boats (many of which are never going to leave again!) at the edge of a muddy field. There was a container ship loading facility there and there were river dredges working all around but absolutely nothing else! Since we really needed fuel, I started asking around about the fuel dock. I kept getting shrugged shoulders and responses like "I don't think they have fuel here." Well, that is not that answer I was looking for so I kept going! We had 10 jerry cans that hold 23 liters each and I found out there was a Texaco station about 4 km away. We got out the cans and I hailed down some unsuspecting, very kind and nice fellow in a pickup truck and asked him to PLEASE take us to the gas station. He did and we had one round of diesel done. When we got back to the marina with our first load I noticed 2 fellows scurrying to their car with suitcases. Since Jeff needed to get to the airport to confirm his flight, I asked if he could get a ride. No problem! So Jeff went off and about 1 1/2 hr later arrived with a rental car! YEAH!!! We loaded the now emptied cans into the little car and Jeff drove back to the gas station. After filling the cans, he discovered that his credit card company had put a freeze on his account and he had no way to pay for the diesel! He ended up leaving his passport at the station and came back to the marina. In the meantime, I asked the guys on the boat we were tied up to if they had Euros we could buy and they did so we were able to retrieve Jeff's passport. We went into Cayenne so that we could change to Euros and pay back our neighbors as well as restock the boat for the final leg. The city itself is very central american feeling with very old buildings. The people are a mixture of African blacks, beautiful browns and caucasians all speaking French of course. Finally back to the boat with food and diesel tank full as well as 9 extra cans tucked away. Jeff left us the next morning for his flight and Tim & I got ready for the final push to Grenada - about 775 miles. We rested the next day and tried to leave the 2nd day but it was too squally and the ocean was kicking up pretty good so we tucked back up the river and waited it out another day. Rainy season there is 100% humidity and about 85 degrees. Nothing dries and I began to wonder if we would get sucked into the jungle like some of the boats there and just never get out! Silly huh? Anyway, we left the following morning in much calmer conditions and turned NW to finish the trip. The wind kicked up to 25-30 which wasn't so bad except the seas were slamming up against the beam of the boat and we went clunking along under jib. As the 3-4 remaining days went by, the wind got steadier and the seas calmed so it wasn't that bad. We were getting pretty tired with just the 2 of us spelling each other 3 on/3 off. The final passage was through the Galleon Straight, a passage between Trinidad and Tobago. This is quite near the coast of Venezuela and there are oil platforms, etc. all over the place as well as many tankers hanging out waiting to get loaded. Tim navigated through the Straight all night - I caught a few winks here and there - and once through the straight at about 12 am he hit the starter on the other engine and powered up both engined to 2000 rpm. We powered over to Grenada all night and arrived at Clarkes Cove Marina about 11 am. They were very helpful getting us into our berth and hooked up to water, electricity, etc. We went by taxi to Prickly Bay - a few miles along the coast to the immigration/customs office to check in. Then to the bank to change money and then to the grocery store.
Finally we are settled, getting ready to fly to Seattle/Spokane for Emma's graduation on May 9th. It'll be good to see everyone there - I've been looking forward to it for the whole trip. We don't know what our plans are yet from here on as we are awaiting word from our insurance company regarding restrictions on the location of the boat during hurricane season (June - Nov). Once we have word, we will make up our minds. Thanks for following us..I'll post pictures soon.