Our last stops with Delphinus have been in the country of Grenada; the island of Carriacou and the main island of Grenada. The weather has grown increasingly more hot and humid the further south we go and shade and cool breezes are becoming more important.
We dropped anchor in Tyrrel Bay on the southwestern coast of Carriacou. It’s a popular spot with cruisers so we had a lot of other boats for company. There were plenty of restaurants and businesses along the waterfront and we enjoyed our days of walking through and sampling local beers and food. Dinner one night at the Slipway Restaurant and lunch at the Lazy Turtle another day.
Since there was much more to see than we could easily access from the bay we booked a taxi tour to see more of the island. We got a thorough tour and background on the island’s history and culture from “Linky.” The views from the high points of the Carriacou were outstanding. The island’s only hospital sits atop one of its highest points.
The island also enjoys a long tradition of boat building by hand which started with Scottish settlers in the 1800s and is still carried on today. This boat was on a small beach just off the road. When a boat is ready to launch the whole community comes out to help and celebrate!
After several days of enjoying the warm welcome of Carriacou we pulled up anchor and headed for the main island of Grenada. On the way there we caught a tuna which provided a couple of delicious meals.
There are lots of places to explore on Grenada and we made it to most of them. We spent one night in Dragon Bay on the western coast. From there Pete snorkeled on an underwater sculpture park designed by Jason DesCaires Taylor. Sorry, but we didn’t get pictures. You can see some of his work here.
As we moved further south down the coast of Grenada and we stopped in St. George’s, which is a bustling commercial port with large ships, local fishing vessels and lots of other cruisers. We enjoyed a visit to the Grenada museum which traced the history of the island from prehistoric times through modern history, including the US invasion in 1983.
I was very excited to find a shop, Art Fabrik, which makes hand dyed batiks. Of course I had to purchase a several pieces and am looking forward to getting them home to figure out what to do with them.
Our next stop is Prickly Bay which is a nice protected cove on the southern coast of Grenada. It is a very popular place with cruisers as the local businesses provide easy access to anything we may need. Every morning at 0730 on VHF Channel 68 there is a “Cruiser’s Net.” The net begins with a weather report for the day, a chance for new arrivals to announce themselves and those leaving to say goodbye. Next the local businesses announce their activities, meal specials and land excursions, which are many. We came to feel like we in an adult summer camp with all the fun choices available.
There were almost daily lunch and dinner specials at the local restaurants. One of the best values was lunch at Whisper Cove Marina for $27EC (about $10USD) including a beer. Prickly Bay Marina hosted activities each evening of the week, including trivia night, movie night, BINGO, and local musical entertainment. It was here that we got to know Skip and Betsy on s/v Ducks in a Row and their dog Drake.
We came to know a bus driver, Shade Man, who caters to the cruising community by providing several different types of regular trips including:
- Weekly trips to the north side of the island to see the giant leatherback turtles come up on the beach and lay their eggs
- Transportation to the weekly Hash (more about this later)
- Shopping trips which includes planned stops at the bank, hardware store, marine supply store and grocery store.
If you’ve never heard of a hash or Hash House Harriers you can read more about it here. The group here on Grenada hosts one each Saturday which is widely attended by locals, students from St. George’s Medical school and cruisers. They bill themselves as “drinkers with a running problem.” It is a walk/run through the countryside on a marked trail followed by an apres-hash party with food and cold beer. The locations/trail changes each week. Our first hash was billed as an easy one suitable for any fitness level. I’m not sure who decided that (probably a marathon runner) because I couldn’t even get half way up the first hill before turning back to home base. Pete finished and had such a good time he went again the next week. It’s a great way to see the countryside in different parts of the island. Plus Shade Man makes a stop at a rum shot on the way back.
Another of the activities organized for cruisers was an “oil down” prepared and served on a local beach. Oil down is considered the national dish of Grenada and traces its roots to the days of plantations and slavery. Today it is served at most family gatherings on holidays and special celebrations. It is made up of breadfruit, pumpkin, saltfish, chicken or pork, callaloo and dumplings – all simmered in coconut milk. It was delicious and very filling.
After anchoring (and playing) in Prickly Bay and Whisper Cove for a couple of weeks it was time to start the process of decommissioning Delphinus. We moved into La Phare Bleu Marina. It was a nice treat to be in a marina after so many months at anchor. We spent our days there cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. We’re told that if you don’t thoroughly clean everything and wipe it down with a vinegar/water solution, it will be covered in mold when we get back. At the end of each day we rewarded ourselves with happy hour and a dip in the marina’s pool. We enjoyed getting to know Bruce and Colleen on s/v Serenity as well as John and Nina on s/v Sunkist and sharing stories of our sailing adventures.
Alas, it is finally time to haul Delphinus out of the water to be stored “on the hard” until next fall at Grenada Marine. We are staying at La Sagesse, a small boutique hotel on a beautiful beach. The heat of working in the boat yard has gotten to me, so Pete has been handling the remaining tasks by himself while I relax and try to stay cool at the hotel – no air conditioning, but nice breezes most of the time.
We will leave Grenada on Sunday, May 15 with plans to return sometime in November to continue exploring the Caribbean. There are several places we look forward to visiting again and some we missed along the way.
Stay tuned for our next update in the fall!