Intrepid Travels

Vessel Name: Intrepid Elk
Vessel Make/Model: Outremer catamaran 51
Hailing Port: Fremantle
Crew: Robert and Revle Elks
16 May 2017
06 October 2016
30 September 2016
22 September 2016
18 September 2016
17 September 2016
14 September 2016
13 September 2016
12 September 2016
10 September 2016
04 September 2016
01 September 2016
31 August 2016
30 August 2016
27 August 2016
24 August 2016
23 August 2016
21 August 2016
19 August 2016
Recent Blog Posts
16 May 2017

Cherbourg encore

We are reunited with Intrepid Elk after a winter/summer separation and it is good to be home again. IE has had a facelift and her shiny white hulls are dazzling once more. She has a beautiful new bimini (shade cover) over the helm seat, which Robert designed and which was fabricated in Portsmouth and [...]

06 October 2016

IE preparation for winter

Our sailing days for this year are over and we are once again busy getting IE ready for a winter in the northern hemisphere. This year, she will be in the water for most of the time, with a short interlude on land in a large painting shed, where she will have her hulls painted. In order to get her into [...]

30 September 2016

Cherbourg, France

It was an inky black moonless night as we slipped out of the river and across the sand bar with fishing vessel Emma Louise behind us. Revle was on the bowsprit with a spotlight looking for hazards ahead. I was at the helm, peering at our chartplotter and concentrating on following our inward track. [...]

22 September 2016

Plymouth

We made a motoring passage of 35 miles to Plymouth Sound, then battled against strong currents up the Tamar River to an anchorage at West Mud where we spent a peaceful night. Plymouth has been a major naval base for centuries and we had some close encounters with modern navy ships in the harbour. We [...]

18 September 2016

Falmouth

Our passage to Falmouth took us past The Lizard, a projecting headland with a ferocious tidal race. We passed a little too close and got caught in the race which was too bumpy for comfort. Approaching the Falmouth harbour, we had the excitement of crossing our track from June 2015 when we made landfall [...]

17 September 2016

Newlyn

We left the Isles of Scilly early in the morning to catch a light northerly wind to Land's End and the fishing port of Newlyn, just south of Penzance. We couldn't believe our luck, having another gentle passage through one of the most treacherous and notorious waterways in northern Europe. We galloped [...]

Island tour

12 February 2015
Pete, our guide, arrived ahead of time in his shiny green van and I had an opportunity to chat with him before the others arrived. He is a quiet, unassuming Grenadian who started his working life as a mechanic, became a bus driver and saved enough money to buy his own van and set up a small business as a driver and guide. For the next 7 hours, he took the six of us up, across and down the island, along steep, narrow and windy roads. Unfortunately, a cruise ship had docked in the capital and so the first two stops were overrun with large cruising customers, which took away some of their charm. At Annandale falls (a very beautiful waterfall and natural pool) we were treated (for a fee) to a display of jumping by a group of muscular young Grenadians dressed in the island colours of red, green and yellow. We moved on to 'Grand Etang', a large natural lake in a volcanic crater, which serves as a reservoir providing a third of the island's water needs, and which has a spectacular view right across the north of the island. Pete got the message that we would prefer to avoid the tourist hot spots and we set off towards Grenville, the second town of the island, situated on the east (Atlantic) coast. As we approached, we found ourselves in the middle of a large march past of the local high school, each 'house' dressed in house colours, with drum majorettes and very colourful uniforms. All of us piled out of the van and walked along the streets to better feel the atmosphere. The midday heat was intense and we were all soon sweating buckets, but the big crowds of spectators seemed unaware of the oppressive conditions! Next stop was the nutmeg cooperative, where we spent a fascinating hour. Until Hurricane Ivan in 2004 destroyed 90% of the island's nutmeg trees, Grenada produced 33% of the world's nutmeg. Production is now approaching this figure again after an enormous amount of work in planting and tending new trees, but it will be at least 5 years before production returns to the pre-Ivan figures. The nutmeg is grown by several hundred farmers, many with just a few trees, and is brought to the cooperative in hessian sacks where it is visually sorted and weighed, and the farmer is then paid cash for the product. A significant proportion of the processing of the nuts is still done manually (mainly by women) and it is an interesting process, resulting in very high quality nutmeg and mace, which is exported all over the world for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It is the nutmeg that gives Grenada the nickname of the Spice Island.
Our last two stops were the River Antoine rum distillery, complete with a wonderful working water wheel built in England in the late 1880s, and the Belmont chocolate factory, where cocoa is grown and processed. Although we just tasted a few of the delights of the island, we felt that the day had given us a wonderful overview of the richness and beauty of this small island nation.
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