15 March 2013 | Port Louis Marina, St. George, Grenada
We had heard that Grenada was a good place to go for boat work, provisioning and other needed supplies. I don't think we were quite prepared for how good it would be. We did anticipate good provisioning so Mark and I made a list of all sorts of meals that we wanted to cook while in Grenada. I personally was dreaming of real diet coke (the only diet soda Brazil had was Coke Zero) and had not had a real diet coke since getting some in Mauritius. Coke Light is just not the same, trust me on this.
Marie (s/v Dreamcatcher) and I took a trip to the Spiceland Mall in order to visit the grocery store there. The grocery store turned out to be an IGA and it was stocked with glorious American products. In addition to getting the items needed to cook the meals on our fantasy meal list, I also purchased crazy things like Cheetos and Pop Tarts, for no other reason than I could purchase them. And yes, once again, I am flush with Bisquick. One of the first meals we had was a huge plate of nachos with refried beans, Kraft Mexican cheese and all of the toppings. I was able to get real Breakstone sour cream, guacamole and salsa for dipping. Three dips for the nachos, unbelievable.
Marie and I made a spectacle of ourselves shopping at the grocery store. We would hold things up and yell to each other what we found. People looked at us like we were crazy and there is no doubt we felt like we were hallucinating but the grocery store really did have all of the items we had missed for the past year. The most comical thing happened when I had grabbed a Chobani yogurt to show Marie. As I turned back to get some more, two young men were taking all of the Chobani yogurt and putting it in their cart. I asked them if they were going to take it all, clearly with a look of great distress on my face. They asked me if I wanted some, apologized and explained that the store rarely got the yogurt and you had to buy it up whenever it was available. Now, this was something I completely understood. We were always told if you see something you really like or need, stock up because you may not see it again for a long, long time.
Another joy of Grenada is the fast internet. You can rent a box (much like a cable box) from the marina and Mark magically plugged it into our laptop on the boat. Phil from s/v Anastasia then helped Mark network it to our IPAD. Suddenly, we had internet on the boat on all of our devices. The first time I started using it for email I got frustrated because it wasn't working. In fact, it was working just so quickly I didn't possibly think the emails could have gotten sent that instantly. Mark had to open the sent items folder just to prove to me that yes indeed my emails were sent. Say goodbye to the endless hourglass.
We also were able to get three television stations by using the same box we got for our internet access. For the first time in over a year, we were able to see some news from the United States. Unfortunately, we tuned into HLN at the height of the Jodi Arias trial and the coverage was almost 24 hours per day. We did get bits of news here and there which was enough to make us feel like maybe the news isn't all it's cracked up to be and maybe we didn't miss it all that much. Mark did inform me that for less than a dollar a day, we could get another box which would give us about fifty television stations, including things like HBO, basically full cable with all the bells and whistles. I told him that unless he wanted me to do nothing for the next four days except watch television; I didn't think it would be a good idea. We decided against it, as tempting as it was.
After about four days in the marina getting the boat restocked and back in shape, we left for Tobago Cays which was only a day sail away. This is another joy - island hopping. We actually left Grenada as Tobago Cays is part of the Grenadines. The Cays is a group of four small uninhabited islands and well known for their beauty. We picked it because it sounded like the perfect place to relax for a week before flying back to the States.
We spent the next six days in Tobago Cays doing, well, nothing. A major focus of our time there was eating all of the food that I bought at the grocery store. I thoroughly enjoyed cooking some old favorites and Mark was ecstatic to have some beautiful steaks. There is a turtle reserve there and we were able to swim with the turtles. We took some dinghy rides but mostly stayed on the boat. We caught up on sleep which was delightful. We tried to do very few chores on the boat but we did scrub the bottom of the boat. I was again stung by something and had bites on my stomach. Mark was untouched.
At this point I really would have to make up stories about what else happened in Tobago Cays. It was relaxing but some would argue boring - not us. We thoroughly enjoyed doing nothing, having no agenda, and nothing to get done. Not that there weren't things we could have been getting done, we just made a conscious decision not to do them. I think we finally felt like we could relax for a bit and it was heaven.
There was one moment of excitement though. At two am one morning, Janet just happened to wake up and look outside just in time to see a sail boat drifting quickly towards us. The winds were blowing over 20 knots and this boat's anchor was dragging. Luckily it missed us by 15 feet but came within only a couple of feet from hitting s/v Dreamcatcher anchored just behind us. The couple aboard the sail boat finally gained control of the boat just before running into a reef but not before hitting another sailboat along the way. We felt lucky and the experience served as a reminder that we are back in the Caribbean with crowded anchorages and that coastal cruising can be more risky than ocean crossings.
We returned to the marina three days before flying out to the States. We arranged for some work to be done on the boat while we are away - the teak is being redone and the mainsail repaired. I had a long afternoon in the spa at the marina getting my hair and nails done. We anxiously prepared to see family at the wedding in Tampa. Nothing could begin to explain the joy we felt boarding the plane knowing that our loved ones were going to greet us in Tampa.