Our 2 hour trip turned into a 6 hour hike, through farm land, jungle and river…
Carnival in Grenada – 2 days/nights plus full of color music, dancing, drinking and fun! Ron was involved in all the festivities – look for him in the pictures! Marie is back stateside for the moment, working and enjoying the land of plenty after so many months at sea!
We have been here going on 3 weeks now – at our new home in Port Louis Marina, St. George’s, Grenada. Grenada is also known as the “Island of Spice” due to the production of nutmeg and mace crops of which Grenada is one of the world’s largest exporters. It is 133 square miles with an estimated population of 110,000. Its capital is St. George’s. Grenada is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Port Louis Marina is a fabulous home. It is a first class marina in the heart of the city, within easy walking (or local bus ride) distance of the market and the hustle and bustle of the city. It has many docks that accommodate boats/yachts from all over the world. We are located on ‘J’ dock – the only one with the correct power for US and Canadian boats, so all of our direct neighbors are Canadians or US. We spend many afternoons by the beautiful pool at the marina with our friends, or shopping in the markets or taking care of the jobs needing done around the boat.
Below are pictures taken in Port Louis Marina upon our arrival. Ron is enjoying a rum punch during the daily happy hour. You can see various pictures of the marina, including the beautiful pool and some of the landscaping including banana trees. The last picture is on the way to the private beach at Port Louis Marina. Molly Bloom is docked on “J” dock shown in the 5th picture below.
We have been on at least one whole island tour – seeing the sites at the Grenada Chocolate Factory, one of the local rum factories, the nutmeg factory, and one of the many waterfalls in the rainforest. We have attended ‘Fish Friday’ in Gouyave (pronounced guave….like suave) the fishing capital of Grenada, the Mango festival in St. George’s, local Hashes (running in the rainforest), volleyball and bbq on the beaches, prepared for Carnival (coming up in August), eaten much of the local fare. Below you will see pictures of a cocoa pod on the tree, followed by a cocoa pod opened up and a nutmeg open and on the tree. Inside the nutmeg is the nutmeg ‘nut’ surrounded by the red ‘mace’. It is sometimes known as ‘The lady in the boat, with the red petticoat”. The nutmegs open all by themselves on the tree when ripe. The mace is removed from the nutmeg, dried and then sold separately as it is it’s own spice. AS for the cocoa – you wouldn’t believe how they get the cocoa nut clean when it comes out of the pod – or – at least how they USED to! The picture of the gentleman with the cocoa pod is ‘Patrick’ or ‘Shademan’ as he is known and was our guide for the tour. He is also available to take us wherever we would like to go anytime. A great friend to the cruisers
The other picture is of the national dish “oildown”. It looks pretty much like it does in this picture, and rather than go into more detail I have included a link to the official Grenada website and oildown recipe: http://www.gov.gd/articles/grenada_oil_down.html
Below I have included some recent pictures.
Top Left: Adonis, one of the best spice necklace vendors/makers on the island – she is famous too as she is included by name in a book called Spice Island written by a sailing Canadian woman named Ann Vanderhoof (great book).
Next is a guy on our mast! Actually – that’s RON up there – checking out the non working anchor light – still doesn’t work, but we know now it’s NOT the bulb.
Next pictures are all from yesterday – preview of the upcoming carnival – a BIG celebration (and loud) 2nd Monday in August! Wow – what costumes!
Here are more pictures from the island and our tour. I will do my best to explain:
Row 1: (l-r) downtown st. george’s, grande anse beach
Row 2: (l-r) St. George’s, papaya tree
Row 3: (l-r) concord waterfalls, cocoa plant
Row 4 & 5 (l-r) papaya plant, local cow, concord waterfalls, waterfalls
row 6: Gouyave village during Fishermans Birthday celebration
Row 7 & 8: (l-r) nutmeg processing plant
Row 9 (l-r): Ron and Sharon (neighbor and friend) enjoy lunch overlooking the water at the very TOP of Grenada AND our transportation around the island – Patrick “Shademan’s” taxi
Row 10 (l-r): Leapers Hill (very interesting place – read the sign)
Row 11 – a local pineapple
Ron 473 537 9738
Marie 473 537 9737
We can receive FREE incoming calls (free for us to receive – check your international calling plan for cost for you to call us though) and very cheap texts……
So, keep in touch, make note of the numbers and we’ll look forward to telling you all about Grenada – there will be a new blog with many new pictures in the next day or so – too busy making rum punches right now
When we left Florida, our goal was to make it to Grenada before too far into the hurricane season……today that dream and goal became REALITY. We are now here….in St. George’s Grenada.
Since we only arrived late this afternoon and did not even check in with customs yet (they were closed), I can’t say much…..BUT …. we made it in time to come to the marina we had booked – Port Louis St. George’s Grenada and can tell you that we made an excellent choice.
Mundane things, like showers, take on a whole new meaning when living on a boat…..they are like gold….and private showers with HOT water are like platinum! This marina is first class – private showers, beautiful waterfront pool, downtown St. George’s location, private beach, great restaurant with happy hour…… and beautiful surroundings.
when daylight comes again, I will take some pictures and post them….but until then…….we arrived……2000 miles of deep water under our belts…..yippee, hurray, yahoo!!!!!!
Union Island is volcanic in origin, with steep mountain ridges. It is 5 km long by 2.5 km wide and we arrived here in Clifton Harbor on June 21, 2011 after leaving Bequia and sailing in 8 –10ft. seas, south to our destination.
We had thought of stopping in Tobago Cays on the way down but the weather, wind and waves were not cooperating on this trip. Now that we are here, it will be an easy sail back this way from Grenada and we’ll be sure to make another trip to see the sites and especially snorkel the Cays.
One of the highlights and reasons we particularly wanted to make a stop here is to visit Janti’s Happy Island. It is a small man made island out of conch/lambi shells. Janti was helping to clean up the town and decided to build himself an island out of used conch/lambi shells – so he did and opened it up to the public as a great bar and bbq place called Happy Island.
The pictures below are, happy island from afar and close up, followed by our taxi driver/boat boy Angelo and happy island owner – Janti, and Ron and Angelo working on cleaning and pounding Lambi (conch).
We arrived knowing that the weather was only going to get worse for us in the next few days – with squalls and winds up to 40knts – pretty gusty. We had made arrangements to stay at a dock at the Anchorage Yacht Club, where dockage is free as long as you eat in their restaurant. That’s easy since the restaurant is reported to be very good!
We anchored for a few hours off Happy Island, and watched the kite surfers fly by us. We were anchored right up against a reef and the winds whipped directly at our bow. Checking the weather again, we decided to head to the safety of a dock a day early and start celebrating Ron’s birthday.
We were met at the dock by Angelo/Des – who is the local expert and water taxi driver extraordinaire! He helped us anchor the boat, brought fresh Conch/Lambi, brought us to Happy Island, enjoyed dinner with us at the Anchorage Y.C. and then brought us to a local dance club in the evening. All of this involved RUM by the way and Ron was happy to sleep in the morning of his birthday and wear off all the rum libations of the night before.
You will see pictures of Happy Island, Angelo(blue Shirt), Janti (owner of Happy Island – green shirt), Capt. Jack Sparrow, and our new friends from Paris – Olivier and Judith, as well as town pictures of union, the Anchorage Yacht Club bar and restaurant, a local goat to add to our animal collection and of course the friendly nurse sharks.
Sunday June 19th 2011, We are writing this from Elizabeth Harbor in Bequia in the Grenadines. Bequia (pronounced Beck quay) is a beautiful island just south of St. Vincent. St. Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Petite Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, the Tobago Cays, Union, Petit St. Vincent, Palm Island and others make up the northern part of the Grenadine islands – the southern part includes Grenada.
As we arrived in Bequia, we were greeted by a boat boy – though it was more like a man on a hollowed out jet ski with an attached outboard – asking if he could help us find a mooring. The boat boy ‘vendor’ is common in the southern islands – sometimes much more organized than other times. Prior to our arrival in Bequia, we thought to call a marina and book a slip, so we didn’t need help attaching to a mooring ball.
When we saw the ‘marina’ and I use that term loosely – we decided to go for a mooring ball instead. We probably stay at a marina more than most other serious cruisers, but it sometimes makes checking into a new country a little easier, and it’s hard to deny the convenience of warm showers, internet, well taken care of bathrooms, pool (sometimes), restaurants on site, sometimes even grocery and other stores, electricity (allowing ease of A/C on board) and if we are really lucky and it’s a very nice marina – we even have cable TV. Costs of marinas vary – usually the least expensive is $1US per foot per night – the most we have spent is $2.50 per foot per night. We are 37 feet (though sometimes we have to pay 1.5 times since we are wider than a usual boat). So, for less than $40 a night we can tie to a dock, enjoy the amenities and see the town that way. In this case the $1/ft./night included a dock – with electricity – and that’s about it. We were expecting some tough weather and weren’t sure the dock could survive…….no bathrooms, no showers, no cable tv….etc.
We decided on a mooring in front of Frangipangi – a famous hotel and bar/restaurant in Elizabeth Harbor. We were helped by Di Di on her boat – she was in charge of 3 moorings and we were happy to have a safe and friendly place to anchor Molly Bloom. Prices for a mooring range from $15 – $25 US a night – we are getting the lower range here. So maybe you can see that for the difference between $25 and $37 having a marina is sometimes worth the extra expense to us.
We tied up just in time as a storm came barreling through the anchorage just minutes after we were safety tied up…… after a good night’s sleep, and calling the local laundry boat to pick up ours, we had a wonderful chance to visit the town. The pictures you will see below are taken on our walk this morning…..oh and Yes, there is a boat here that will p/u and deliver laundry, deliver ice, water, fuel etc..we had a wonderful trip into town.
Bequia is a delightful village of prettily colored houses on the hillside and wonderful flowers and trees. I included the picture of the bank, just so you would know where we were/are and I’m not making it up
Wow……yellow coconuts, beautiful flowers (wish we knew what they all were), notice the ‘Gingerbread’ finish to many of the buildings and the gorgeous colors. The tree you see Ron reaching for, and the one full of green fruit is a breadfruit tree. You will recognize the coconut tree – even though yellow, and I have no idea what the flower is that is pink and squiggly – if you know, please tell me. You will see Molly Bloom in many of the pictures and also our newest addition to the animals of our trip – wild, walking the streets, roosters!
Tomorrow is the beginning of Bequia Carnival – and they start with J’ouvert – wake up, steel drum bands at 4:30 am! Guess we better get our sleep to be ready for tomorrow!!!!
We have arrived at Virgin Gorda, BVI and are currently docked at Virgin Gorda Yacht Club, Spanish Town, BVI. We are enjoying A/C in the cabin! Yeah! (we don’t normally run A/C without being attached to electricity at dock, as it requires use of the generator to power it). We are also enjoying this absolutely breathtaking marina – with grocery store, ship’s chandlery, restaurant, showers, laundry, boutiques, beach bar……what a treat! Everyone here is so nice and friendly and helpful
We are docked on the ‘catamaran’ dock and had quite a few neighbors last night – ALL of them were bareboat charters! It would be nice to meet up with some others like us, who are not just on the boat for a week or so – but I’m sure we will meet up with them along the way.
We made our way here through Sopers Hole, Tortola and Peter’s Island, BVI and are next on our way to St. Marteen in the Netherlands Antilles.Until later – please DO note our new caribbean phone number that works here and everywhere in the carribean. It is my cell and I carry it with me, so please give us a call – it provides FREE incoming calls (though, unfortunately that means you might have to pay long distance charges)….I’m working on another solution but for now – this is it!