Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Life on the Hook in Oh So Sweet Grenada!

Double rainbow over Mt Harman Bay!

Mt Hartman Bay from the walk to Prickly Bay
Wahoo to right of the tower
It's getting close to two months since we dropped anchor in Mt Hartman Bay, Grenada, on June 22nd. This is the longest time we've spent in one place since we moved aboard. In 2012, our first long stay was on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala, at least it felt long but was only 3 weeks (August 8th to August 29th). We ran from a hurricane threat in Belize and then flew into an actual hurricane, Issac, in New Orleans. In 2013. We stayed in Belize from 12/10/13 to 2/23/14 but we moved around in Belize a lot San Pedro, Belize City, Placencia, many cays and back around again. So being in one spot - an entirely new feeling!
South Coast Grenada - we're that anchor in Mt Hartman Bay

Like all new places it took awhile to get oriented, especially as Grenada is so spread out. We are actually NOT within easy walking distance to any large grocery stores or even an ATM. There is a small market in Woburn that we can reach by dinghy. The harbours are at sea level, the island is hilly, so all walks give us a good cardio workout as we go up and down the terrain. Here on the South coast there are 12 bays and most boats are anchored or moored in 6 of them. We can dinghy to all but the most populous, Prickly Bay. Prickly is a 15 minute hilly walk so that works too.  

My Turn as Net Controller
The cruisers call it Camp Grenada for a reason. Every morning we are all tuned to channel 66 on our VHF radios for the "Cruisers' Net". Each morning a different cruiser is Net Controller telling us where Yoga, Tai chi and Grenada Chain dominoes will be held, the marinas vie for our business by offering tasty lunch and dinner specials, 1/2 price pizza and movie nights. The wonderful bus drivers arrange shopping buses from the marinas to take us to banks, ship chandleries, grocery stores, hardware stores and fruit markets for the low price of 10EC per person, less than $3US. The inter-prising ones like "Shademan and Paul's Best Red Cab take us to learn how Pan Bands put on carnival or up to the Northern beaches to help with the turtle hatching or, for those hearty cruisers, each
Saturday is Hashing - you know, the Drinking Club with a running problem (in New Orleans we just call it the Red Dress Run). 

On the net, cruisers plan social activities, exchange helpful info on boat parts and services, buy and sell their "Treasures from the Bilge". During the day the VHF crackles with cruisers calling each other to make plans or get help. Occasionally just to give general info and, most importantly, there's always a Shout Out if a boat starts to drift.

The "Oil Down" - Grenada's National Dish
Land crabs, chicken, callaloo and other veggies plus dumplins cooked in an iron pot with coconut milk

We've met and have happily been adopted by Devon, who has a van to take us places but who also arranges to fill our propane tanks and do boat chores. Should we have to leave Grenada he will arrange mooring and watch out for our boat as he's doing right now for our friends on Caribbean Dream. Wonderful man that he is Devon drops off mangoes and avocados from his own farm, just 'cause!
Here he's cooking an Oil Down for "his cruisers" under the trees on Calabash beach.

Another day he took us to Grenada Rum Distilleries. One of which still makes rum using a water wheel and hand throws the cane stalks. 

         Older boiling kettles were so much more picturesque - but eventually it will still be Rum!

See the arm - See the canes!
River Antoine Distillery dates to 1785

Rum is the oldest of the distilled spirits - the oldest rum distillery, Mount Gay, is on Barbados and dates to 1703
And of course, Roy bought some - Blend 37, a 40 year old rum!!

Besides rum there was a visit to Belmont Estate where they grow nutmeg and cocoa, the two leading exports from the spice island of Grenada. Belmont Estate has been growing spices for 207 years and here I am ringing the bell that called the hands to work. We were also giving a lesson in "dancing" the cocoa beans.

Fellow NOLA cruisers from SV Lagniappe at the dinghy drift
But dinghies remain our main mode of transportation and fun. There was a dinghy drift the night of the blue moon and a dinghy concert last Saturday. For both of these cruisers tie their dinghies together and pass around food and adult beverages. Plus we enjoy many dinghy trips to Whisper Cove and La Phare Bleu marinas for lunch. Sunday afternoon is a good time to visit Hog Island - who doesn't want to visit a beach bar! 
Dinghys and more dinghies at the concert.

We've taken the Grenada bus into the capital city of St. George's where there's a tunnel that connects the Carenage (In the 18th Century ships were "careened", pulled over onto their sides, so the bottoms could be cleaned and repaired) to the rest of the city. There's also a huge fruit and vegetable market as well as a meat markets and a fish market. Traveling by bus in Grenada is quite and experience. We dinghy over to an adjoining bay and the small town of Woburn, climb the hill and wait for the #2 bus. Like elsewhere in the Caribbean on the bus everyone is friendly, says hello and you better understand that bus drivers fit 14 into 10 passenger buses.

Walking through the tunnel

And of course we've had Grenada carnival with its wonderful costumes and parades!

Amazing that we got any work done, but Roy has installed the new jib furler that Lindy brought and cleaned the bottom of the boat. It gets much much dirtier the further South we travel plus there seems to be some issue with the bottom paint. We're not alone in noticing that it isn't holding up. I've done my normal amount of bread baking, cooking and cleaning (a woman't work is never done - well except when I'm reading, swimming or sunning). But we've even managed to stain, oil and wax the interior of Wahoo.
Roy under Wahoo scrubbing away!

Who wouldn't be having a great time here in Spicy sweet Grenada when mangoes are EVERYWHERE!! 

Grenada's favorite mango is Ceylon!
My Mango Basket is Overflowing!!!

Sipping Rum Recipe

40 year old rum
Rock glass
Ice (optional)