Magic's Adventure

21 April 2009 | Georgetown
17 April 2009 | Mayaguana
11 November 2008 | St Croix
07 November 2008 | St Croix
22 October 2008 | St Croix
21 September 2008 | St Croix
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
14 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
07 September 2008 | Scotland Bay, Trinidad
21 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
09 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 June 2008 | Bequia
05 June 2008 | Bequia
02 June 2008 | Bequia
28 May 2008 | Bequia
27 May 2008 | Bequia
26 May 2008 | Bequia
25 May 2008 | Guadaloupe


21 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
We pulled into 'the lagoon' in St. Georges Harbor shortly after 12 noon on Friday, June 20th. We had made an early start from Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou with Daniell Storey, Sojourn and Blue Water Cat. The weather had been unsettled for several days and although squalls had been forecast for today we had hoped to reach our destination before they arrived. We were out of luck. Just before 7am a squall containing 24kts of wind hit us and visibility was reduced to less than a couple of hundred yards. Dave was soaked, again. Dave on Daniell Storey called us on the VHF. He could see a blip on his radar that looked as if it was heading towards us. We turned on our radar and peered into the gloom, but could see nothing. A short while late another sailing boat appeared out of the rain on our port side. Although not too close to us, we were not able to see him until the last minute and it's this type of surprise that is always unwelcome in fog or heavy rain.

The lagoon is aptly, and inappropriately named at the same time. It is a piece of water almost totally surrounded by land and as a result is calm in almost all weathers. On the other hand rather than being a beautiful clear blue, as its name would imply, the water in the lagoon is a murky brown and totally unsuitable for swimming. There are many beautiful anchorages in Grenada but we chose the lagoon because of the unsettled weather we mentioned earlier. We felt that Magic would be safest here. And she was safe, the only downside was the heat. The lack of wind in this sheltered spot kept the boat very hot and we spent quite a bit of time ashore trying to make the best of any breeze and the cooling effects of the many rain showers. In total we spent nine days anchored in the lagoon. But we did see some of Grenada in the process.

St Georges is the capital of Grenada. It has a beautiful waterfront and a wealth of history, but aside from this it is not dissimilar to other capitals in the Caribbean. It has a mall area specifically dedicated to the cruise ships that visit the island during the season, it has banks and cell-phone stores and, of course, the main government buildings are located here. Although the duty-free cruise ship mall was very useful to us when it came to topping up on the rum, the biggest attraction St. Georges held for us was the fresh markets. There is a fresh produce market which also houses the spice market, and a fish market. All are colorful, noisy, bustling and an experience to visit. The fish market was a particular favorite. Although there is not a huge selection of fish, everything is very fresh and the ladies selling the goods are very knowledgeable and only too willing to offer advice. We bought fish at the market more than once while we were in St. Georges, our most memorable being two beautiful yellowfin tuna steaks freshly cut from a fish that must have weighed close to 200lbs.

The fresh produce market also held a fascination, supplying mainly locally grown Caribbean fruit and vegetables. Mangoes were in season while we were in Grenada and we were spoilt by the variety of different types each of which had a distinctive texture and flavor. Our favorites were the 'July's', named, we suspect, because they tend to be in season around July. These have a beautifully sweet flavor and little to no fiber. We enjoyed them with our breakfast almost every day.

Grenada is known as the 'Spice Island' and walking around the spice market you can easily see why. The variety of herbs, spices and seasonings and sauces is quite something. Again, all the stallholders are more than willing to explain the uses of each item, whether it was a seasoning for cooking or an ingredient in a natural remedy. We treated ourselves to some of Grenada's famous nutmeg, some vanilla and a few hot sauces although some of the remedies we were offered we politely declined.

As we mentioned earlier, we were in Grenada during some quite unsettled weather which, apart from keeping us in 'the lagoon' for Magic's safety also made us reluctant to wander too far away from the boat. So when we had a couple of days that were forecast to be sunny and dry we finally ventured away from St. Georges. We took a local bus to the Grand Etang National Park which is located about 8 miles from the capital. It is more than 2,000 ft above sea level and has extremely diverse vegetation ranging from rainforest to elfin woodland to cloud forest. The park also has a group of Mona monkeys inhabiting the forest. Although indigenous to western Africa, these monkeys were transported to Grenada on slave ships during the 18th century and have thrived here ever since. They are used to being fed by visitors and often when a tourist bus shows up they will appear on the fences surrounding the park center waiting for their banana treat. We saw no sign of the monkeys when our bus stopped at the park entrance, so instead we hiked to another of the parks' attractions, the crater lake.

The park has many hiking trails, and one of the easier ones takes you to the Grand Etang Lake. The lake fills the crater of one of the islands extinct volcanoes and is a prime spots for viewing some of Grenada's more colorful birds. Unfortunately, although the forecast had been for good weather, the skies had clouded over when we reached the lake so there wasn't much birdlife to be seen, but the area itself is beautiful and was well worth the effort.

Next we decided to hike to the Seven Sisters Falls, a series of waterfalls, which get higher and progressively more difficult to access. It was a long walk down the road to the start of the falls trail, but we managed to get there with the rain still holding off. The trail took us through private farm land, so we were careful to keep to the path. A little way down the trail we actually met with the farmer who was tending his nutmeg trees and was happy to stop and speak with us. Grenada lost over 80% of its nutmeg trees during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and they are only now just starting to recover. The farmer gave us samples of his nutmegs surrounded by the red, almost plastic-like mace and told us of the difficulties that had been faced by those who had lost their trees. It was a sad reminder of how devastating Mother Nature can be. We chatted for a few moments and then continued on with our hike.

As the trail meandered through the rainforest the trails became much wetter and muddier. We slid down hills and clambered over tree roots and finally found ourselves at the base of the Seven Sisters. Here we found two of the falls. The others were higher up the trail, but due to the conditions we decided not to venture further. We had brought a picnic lunch with us so found a spot to sit and enjoy our meal. Some of our group went for a quick swim in the pool to cool off. And then the heavens opened. We found some old corrugated tin roofing and held it over our heads to give some shelter but it appeared that the rain was going to continue for a little while yet. The trail on the way down had been slippery and we were concerned that, after more rainfall, it would be even more treacherous on the way back up. Reluctantly we all decided that we better make tracks, rain or no rain, and headed back up the trail.

Luckily the trail seemed no worse and we were back at the trail head still reasonably dry and in good time. Now we just had to figure out a way back to St. Georges. Dave was on the case. A taxi had just pulled up at the trail head with some tourists who wanted to hike the falls. Although the driver did not have the time to takes us all the way back, he would be able to take us to the nearest 'major' town, Grenville, and from there we would easily be able to pick up a bus to take us back to St. Georges. We were able to pick up a ride from Grenville, and had the whole bus to ourselves. So that when we saw the Mona monkeys on our way back through the park we were able to ask the driver to stop so that we could take a look. Dave still had a banana left and struck up quite a rapport with one particular animal so much so that we wondered if we would have to prevent the monkey getting back on the bus with us. But once his banana had gone the attraction had too and our Mona friend disappeared back into the forest.

We got back to the boats just after 5pm. It had been a long and tiring day, but we had seen quite a lot and were not unhappy with our trip. We had not as yet managed our island tour, but that was going to have to wait until our next trip to Grenada. Meanwhile we still had one more treat in store for this visit. An international cricket match!

We had heard a few days before about the one-day test between the West Indies and Australia that was being played in St. Georges the following week. Cricket is a very popular sport in Grenada and we weren't sure about the availability of tickets, but a trip to the stadium resulted in the purchase of some good seats so on Friday 27th June we were off to the cricket. Dave is a big fan but had not been to a match for many years. We had several of our American cruising friends who had expressed interest in seeing a match and we felt that a one-day international would be a good introduction for them. By definition, the time constraints of a one-day test usually mean a more exciting game as both teams are willing to take greater risks to earn runs and tactics are put to one side.

It was going to be a long day so we planned on a picnic lunch and Dave, Jimmy (Blue Water Cat) and Tom (Sjourn) took the bus to the local brewery to buy cases of beer. The only problem on the horizon was, yet again, the weather. It was not impossible that the match would be rained off, but we were optimistic and Friday dawned bright and sunny. Dave & I had tickets along with Dave & Michelle (Daniell Storey), Jimmy & Donna (Blue Water Cat), and Tom (Sojourn). The match was due to start at 9.30am so we had arranged for a taxi to pick us up at 9am. Sure enough, when we found our seats they were good and gave us an excellent view of the play. Both teams came onto the pitch, Australia won the toss and opted to bat. Within the first 15 minutes the Ozzies lost two wickets; the start of the match looked promising. They then started to get their act together and began to score some runs. As the match approached the lunchtime break however, the play seemed to stagnate and we could see why the game of cricket has occasionally been likened to the excitement of watching paint dry. Our American contingent had been involved in the match, asking questions and cheering when the West Indies fielded well, but a little boredom was starting to creep into all our expressions. Australia had used their 50 overs just before 1pm and we all welcomed the respite called 'lunch'.

After lunch the West Indies came out to bat. They too lost several wickets in the opening overs and after a while their performance too became definitely lackluster. At 4pm the heavens opened and 'rain stopped play'. It looked certain that, given their performance up to now, the home team had little chance of beating the Australians. We took the decision to leave and head back to the boats. We had enjoyed the day but had hoped for more action on the field. We were enjoying a drink in a local bar that evening and spoke with some other cruisers who had also been at the match. Apparently after the rain stopped the West Indies came back onto the field with a renewed sense of purpose and started hitting runs. Although they weren't able to match the Australian score they did come close. We had missed what was probably the best play of the day. C'est la vie!!

The following Sunday we finally pulled out of the lagoon and headed to the south east coast of Grenada so that we could stage our departure for Trinidad. We had originally intended to anchor off of Hog Island but the wind was, as usual, right on the nose and so instead we bailed out at Prickly Bay. On this side of the island we were able to attend the famous 'burger night' at Clarkes Court Bay Marina which also gave us the opportunity to take a look at the marina we had Magic booked into for the time we would be back in the UK later in October.

At 4.30pm on Monday we hauled anchor along with Matsu, Offline, Kiva and Sweet Dreams. The forecast was good for our run to Trinidad.
Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Make/Model: Baba 40
Hailing Port: Ipswich
Crew: David & Donna Glessing