10/17/2012, Clarke's Court Bay Marina
Gary and I have volunteered for the reading program in Mt. Aries. It is a Saturday program for children.
We work with them to read. If they are young we read to them. If they are older they read to us and we help them with the words. Then they can play educational games. We feel this is a way we can give back to the people of Grenada. We are really enjoying the country.
On Friday, I was able to try Oil Down. It was very good. It is a Grenadian dish made with breadfruit, Callaloo (like spinach but better tasting), green bananas, dumplings, saffron, and coconut milk. It is made in a big pot and cooked for a long time.
Since we are in a marina, it is easier to go to events at night. Tuesday is movie night. Wednesday is build your own burger night. Thursday is Kariokee night. No I have not sung karakoe. Saturday is pot luck.
10/11/2012, Clarke's Court Bay, Genada
written by Margi - posted by Gary
Margi is on the boat with Windy as I am in S Fla for 2 weeks. I needed to renew my driver's license in person, wanted to vote without worrying that the mail would not get it back in time & pick up a few items for the boat in addition. This was from Monday, October 8th.
We had Canadian Thanksgiving today. There was turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Then there were all kinds of delicious side dishes and desserts. I made blueberry muffins. The first batch burned on the bottom so I made them muffin tops.
The second batch was alright. When I left there were 2 muffins left so someone ate them. While were were eating they played the all time favorite Thanksgiving song Alice's Restaurant. I met many people. There were Canadians as well as Americans. A Canadian said that their harvest time is earlier in the year because winter comes sooner in the north. They do not have Black Friday either.
09/22/2012, Mt Hartman Bay, Grenada
Margi brought back a prop for our 5 hp dinghy motor and after a bit of work by me, we had a dinghy that would plane! We could now scoot around the harbor & other spots rather than plod our way thru the water.
Today (Saturday), I volunteered for a Saturday Reading Class. I took a bus with 8 other volunteers to a community center/bar-restaurant. I ended up taking turns reading from a book with 2 kids (boy & girl) who were around 10 yr old. Then we played with scrabble tiles to spell words. Great fun, photos later.
While I was gone, Margi wanted to do the laundry. So she let me off & took the dinghy solo for the first time. She ended up going back & forth several times. The photo was taken by our friends on SeaUs (Ryan & Olivia) as Margi sped by on one of her trips.
09/18/2012, Hartman Bay, Grenada
It's probably time for a blog update as Margi is getting back to the boat tomorrow after being gone for a month. So I'm finding out what this cruising life all about when you're not rushing to get somewhere with a deadline looming. Conversely, there's not as much to write about since we're not moving regularly.
I'm chilling out mosly. There is a cruiser's net on the VHF radio every day (except Sunday). I get up (usually) for the net, which usually goes till 8 or a bit after. I then go back to sleep for an hour or two. I feed Windy during the net so she doesn't bother me to be fed later. After getting up a 2nd time & making breakfast, I take Windy in for a walk. The morning walk is usually brief - 10 min - as it's already getting hot & sticky. Our afternoon walk, we leave about 5:30 or 6, is longer - 30 min or more. And there are HILLS!During the day is reading or playing on the computer. The laptops get charged during the day as the solar cells produce an abundaance of power. I have gone thru an amazing number of books (sci fi, fantasy, mystery, action). It's nice to kick back and read a good story!
There are various things that need general maintenance. These get done as I feel like during the day. I've also gone out snorkeling with Ryan & Olivia (from SeaaUs). Got a few conch last weekend for Olivia to make some delicious conch salad. I've found that I can free dive to below 20' without a problem too! When I started this trip, 10' was extremely difficult.
And then there are shopping trips. From this anchorage (they are all different) there are taxis on Tuesday & Friday that go to a shopping mall (hardware & IGA grocery mainly) or the 2 major marine supply stores. This costs only 10EC (about $4 US). So the last 2 Tuesdays I have gone shopping (being out of eggs & bread & cheese).
I added some pics to all the gallery areas. This one is the moon over Prickley Bay just after sunset.
09/06/2012, Hartman Bay, Grenada
Life is different now than it has been for the past 6 months, when it always seemed we were rushing to get someplace further along the islands - always pushing to get south before any storms came through. Now that Inspiration is at her (temporary) destination there's no more needing to push on to the next island. So life has taken a bit more of a relaxed feeling.
I still take Windy to shore in the morning & evening. Our morning walks are short because it's too hot to go far. Our evening walks are longer as it's so much more comfortable. I had thought that the temps were about as they are in S Fla - 95 +/- every day. It turns out the highs never reach 90! But between the humidity & sun beating down, it certainly seems MUCH hotter. Unless you sit in the shade & don't move (preferably with the constant wind blowing on you). Conversely, the night lows get to around 70 & occasionally it gets almost chilly at night with the breeze blowing into the cabin.
I have made a couple more trips into St Georges - stopping at a grocery along the way. It's great entertainment just to take the bus into town! I did subscribe to a wifi service ($40/month) to get internet access. Unfortunately it is not 100% reliable & goes out on occasion. I've also set myself some tasks - little things that need to be done (yesterday it was wash the dishes). As the sun tends to beat down into the cockpit in the afternoon (also making the salon a bit uncomfortable), I rigged up a tarp from the edge of the bimini top to outside the cockpit and then hanging down (over a line tied between the 2 backstays) to knock out a huge amount of the heat that was coming into the boat.
Finally, I moved as well - to the next bay over. Prickly Bay had some advantages, but it was rolly with lots of traffic and there were friends in the bay to the east (Hartman Bay). So yesterday just after noon I hauled anchor & headed out. I took the boat almost 3 miles offshore into deep water & pumped out the holding tank first. As an aside, while the waters look clear & clean I know some of them just flush their waste overboard at anchor. I then brought the boat into Hartman Bay, found a good spot & dropped anchor.
The bottom of the bay is all mud. Anchors tend not to hold as well in mud as they do in sand. I think the mud tends to act as a thick liquid rather than a solid. I was anchored for about an hour when I realized I was dragging. I brought the anchor back up, moved the boat & dropped anchor again. I then put out an extra amount of line to help in digging into the bottom. That seemed to work well - until about 8pm when suddenly there's a spotlight shining into the boat. I come out on deck to investigate and find I'm 5' from another boat. While my anchor was holding, all the line I had out had me swinging into them. While I had 200' out (50' of chgain, the rest line), they had 150' of chain - so they tended not to move as much as me. After spending an hour re-adjusting the anchor line & watching the results, I finally decided I needed to re-anchor. This NOT an easy thing to do in a crowded anchorage in the dark! I found a large open area, dropped anchor & put out alot of line again. Less then 30 min later it was apparent I was dragging again. So up anchor, re-position & drop anchor once more. This one held! But as I wasn't trusting it, the night was spent fitfully sleeping as I constantly was waking up & re-checking my position. It does appear that everything is good & I haven't moved since.
There is a free fishing seminar this afternoon ($4 taxi ride) and then a lobster broil afterwards. September 1 was the opening of lobster season here. The lobstermen will have their catch there & each person selects their lobster ($6/lb). They are then cooked up right there. Sounds like fun.
Oh yeah, I shaved my beard - it was getting too hot. That's my new look above.
Shopping in St Georges
Clint & Reina from Karma invited me to go into St Georges with them - just to show me around so I knew what was where (although we only saw a small part of the whole town. First, we took the dinghy into da Big Fish dinghy dock and then walked the 2 blocks to where the buses run. Although sometimes you can get lucky and find one running past the restaurant.
The buses cost $2.50 EC (slightly less than $1 US). They are mini-vans with 3 seats up front and 4 rows of bench seats in the back. All but the last row have a fold-up "jump seat" so you can get 4 people in each row. The van has a 4-speed manual transmission with the shifter coming out of the dashboard. They only really have 2 speeds - stop & full speed! And the horns are probably the most used piece of eqipment after the accelerator and brakes (& sometimes more than the brakes). So the 30 min ride into town is sheer entertainment all the way.
We get into the bus terminal & disembark. It's almost lunch time so we head to a TINY hole-in-the-wall (literally) restaurant. You go down an alley and 1/2-way along, there it is - a wide spot between the buildings. A fish roti (like a corn tortilla roll-up) with a small covered fabricsalad & a beer was $20 EC (a bit under $8)! And it was delicious. The women who owns/runs it is named Evelyn - she sometimes has her son (maybe 10) JJ help set & clear tables.
After lunch, we walk down through the Produce Market. This is a huge open-air area filled with small tables shaded by large umbrellas or swathes of variously colored clothes or tarps. And everyone wants you to look at *their* produce of course. The variety of friuts & vegtables was amazing. While there I had 1 lady slice open the top of a green coconut - with a opening about the size of a quarter into the nut. I got a straw to drink the milk (there was a lot of it too). When I was finished, she opened it into sections & scrapped out the thin layer of coconut meat from the inside. Good stuff!
Next to and almost part of the produce market is the Spice Market. This is a totally covered area - about 50 yds by 80 yds square. Again, FILLED with tables and shelves - most having about the same selections. Grenada is known as "The Spice Island" and it shows here. There were all sorts of fresh spices to choose from, which I did on a follow-up trip.
In a bit of a side-light, Clint needed to see a dermatologist while we were in town. After getting directions, we headed up this steep hill to find her. There in front of us was a building with a computer repair shop on the ground floor. On the 2nd floor was a large block letter sign: Medical Building. There were a set of smaller signs - like small placards - hanging from the front of the building. In the middle was one for a neurosurgon with the note that they did brain surgery. I immediately thought this was probably NOT the place I'd pick if I needed that! The sign is in the gallery of people & places.
To end up our trip, we headed to the Fish Market (the picture at the top). This is a large building that has (again) lots of small "booths." Each area has the typical fresh fish on ice display like in any fish place in the US. Except here, each fisherman brings in his own caught fish to sell. If you buy a whole fish, there are people who will clean it for $2 EC ($.75). There were tuna steaks, snapper, dolphin (mai-mai), kingfish and lots I didn't recognize. For reference, the yellow-tail snapper cost $7.50 EC ($3/lb) for a 2 lb fish.