Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Double Entendre, Play on Words, Gag Names

The names people bestow upon their boats. Some like to play on words, others use the name as a statement about the owner, while others share their "rule to live by". Take Bristol Rose, a rose by any other name...... rose of the sea, built in Bristol, Rhode Island. We inherited her name and wouldn't think of changing it.

Devine Peace

Names like Downtime, No Rush and Live Now make a statement that requires little explanation. There's more than a little humour and perhaps some resignation to the owner's fate in some of the boat names we've encountered on our travels.
The owner's prerogative, duly exercised!

Obviously, the owner is a teenager or a two year old!
Abiding Love - has a certain ring to it.

Fishing boats, water taxis and racing boats in the islands are especially entertaining: No Complain, Trust no Friend, Who Say So. We can only wonder about the experiences leading the owner to make such a statement, so boldly displayed for all to see.

Jah Blessing and JUN-KA-LEAD

Sea Fox and Men of Respect

One of the most memorable boat names for us is Sunspot Baby. We often heard the name on the radio but never did get to meet the owner. The name just has a ring to it. It reminds Robert (and even he does not know why!) of the Aussie band, INXS. Now there's a great name if ever there was one!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Something Fishy in Gouyave

The small town of Gouyave, on the west coast of Grenada, has a huge appetite for fish, music and party.

The Market Building in Gouyave

Local guy getting into the party spirit.

This guy is definitely not from these parts! That MAMBO Loud Shirt says it all.

Ray and Genna didn't miss the bus to hang with the locals.

Every Friday, from 4:00pm to 1:00am, Gouyave puts on the best street fare. It's the Gouyave Fish Fry, all prepared in small street stalls - Tacos, Kebabs, Lasagna, springs rolls all made with fish and of course, fish and chips, grilled fish, fried fish and fish cakes. We even spotted Lambi (Chonch) Pizza, stuffed land crabs and boneless flying fish, fried breadfruit, plantains, Rum, Fruit juices and nutmeg ice cream.

D Fish Bowl serves snapper cooked in foil over hot coals

Fish Tacos, and next to them, stuffed land crabs wrapped in plastic.
Gouyave has earned the title of the town that does not sleep. These Caribbean fishermen are a tough act. Fish all day, party all night.
The hypnotic, rhythmic beat of the drums brings out the dancers
The clothes and the beat are distinctly African in origin.
Man with a Conch Horn

A head in the crowd. Where's Robert?

Some buildings in Gouyave hint at a much grander past.

Tired cruisers line up against the sea wall for the bus home

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Moon Hole in the Caribbean

Forty years ago today Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. It seems appropriate that we share some photos of one of the most amazing man-made and out of this world communities we would never expect to find in the Caribbean. Oh, I can vouch for the authenticity of these images.

Moonhole, Bequia

The rocky cliffs present a real challenge for landing. Most people arrive by road.

At the same time as Neil Armstrong was making momentous history landing on the moon, Thomas Johnston was creating a monument of sorts, to the challenges of living side by side with the relentless sea. He had sold his advertising business in New York city and purchased land on the northern tip of the island of Bequia in the beautiful Grenadines. Here he built a unique community. Forty years later we visited the site known as Moonhole.
When we visited, some locals were preparing a cook out of freshly caught fish.

The Moonhole buildings are built of concrete and local stone. No wells or electricity, rain water is collected as it flows from the roof. Windows are large and mostly open to the breeze. A few have plexiglass panels.

With the sea lapping at its footings and rocks falling from above, this building has been abandoned.

Some of the buildings perch atop the cliffs.

The views from Moonhole are spectacular.

Today many of the buildings are desserted, some are still inhabited and others can be rented for a truely unique vacation.

Bequia has a history of boat building and whaling. Just around the corner in Friendship Bay is the whaling station at Semplers Cay. The people of Bequia are granted permission to take up to 4 whales per year. Some years they don't take any.

Whale bone verandah rails, seen on a walk around the island.

Jack's Bar at Tony Gibbons Beach, Admiralty Bay, Bequia.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Put a smile on your face

Rivers Royale Rum 75% alc/vol or 152 proof! This rum will put a smile on your face as well set your hair on fire. We took in a tour of the distillery that has been making fire water and fine rums since 1785. From what we saw nothing much has changed in the 200 years Rivers have been making rum on the north coast of Grenada.

As noted by the Grenada Explorer "...your credulity is stretched to bursting point as you sample the product. Words fail most people, partly as they fight to describe the impact of a factory that refused to be dragged into the nineteenth century, partly because the vocal chords are rendered incapable for a while by the 75% potion."

We too are lost for words, check out the video

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Keeping a Watch on Storms

Update: The Weather Buereau is now calling this tropical wave Invest 97. Still on track to pass north of us.

Update: Weather forecasters give this a low probability of developing into a tropical storm. However it does serve as a reminder to us to be vigilant.

Seems we have at least 3 tropical waves coming our way at any given time these days. When they pass by we get rain and wind followed by pleasent weather. These tropical waves have the potential to form into some very nasty hurricanes.

The tropical wave shown above is the strongest so far this season. We will be keeping a watch on it.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Seen in "Grenada at a Glance"

Tropical Smarts:
"Coconuts do fall off trees so avoid sitting under ripe ones."

Sea Urchin Spines: "If broken under the skin, these spines will dissolve in time. To remove protruding ones, apply soft candle wax, let it harden, then pull out. Some people recommend urinating on the wound to relieve the pain!"

We are wondering, depending of the location of the offending spines, would it be polite to ask a friend to help out with the urinating?

Friday, 10 July 2009

The Concrete Never Sets on Cruising Plans.

Cruising plans. Always fluid, rarely set in concrete. We live and sail to a general plan with an eye always on the weather for safety. Weather, friends and more experienced travellers have some influence but as our mate Randy says, ultimately, “Every Captain has to row his own boat”. Our general plan includes ample room for adjustment.

Bel Air Plantation Resort at St. David's, Grenada
Winter cruising to Grenada and soon, Trinidad, brings us to decision-making about where to haul out for the summer. It’s time for boat maintenance, trips back home to see Owen and Elliot and attend Elliot’s graduation in the States, and to Australia to settle Daisie in with her uncle and aunt in Murwillumbah.

Too hot for walking, "I think I'll just stretch out in the shade and cool my tummy".

Having chosen St. David’s on the south coast of Grenada as our “landing spot” in the country, we’re happy to report it has indeed been a great place to ride out the recent tropical waves. Plus we've caught up with a few friends while hanging out here. Despite some roll, we’ve experienced very little wind when surrounding areas saw 40 knots. In fact the lack of wind in this harbour has boats sitting at anchor facing every direction. During the devastating Hurricane Ivan of 2004, boats in St. David’s fared much better than elsewhere. Oh, WIFI is great here!

Michael and Barbara, Astarte

We've also caught up with a few friends while hanging out here. Melanie and Joe of Spectra motored south from Union Island with us. We found Diana and Gerald of Whiskers here on the hard when we arrived. After following his blog for about 18 months, (there's a link to his blog under "Favorite Cruising Blogs") we finally met Christian Allaire of Christa. Christa is hauled out and on the hard here for the summer. Marion and Theo of Double Dutch and Claudio and Bonita of Ti Anica anchored a couple of days after us, Karen and Matt of Where II arrived the day before yesterday and Helen and Steve of Dignity arrived yesterday and moved on today to pick up chain in St. Georges. I think this will be a recurring theme as we and others move from one anchorage to another in Grenada over the next couple of weeks.

St. George's, Grenada

There’s always a down side and in St. David’s it is the distance from the supermarkets and the customs office for check-in. You’d think that a phone call to the main customs office confirming check-in could be done in St. David’s would be golden but we found we needed to take the bus in to St. George’s. Nevermind the bother, it turned out to be a painless operation and a great opportunity to explore.

Celebrating the 4th of July with Michael and Barbara of Astarte. Rotis - Caribbean fast food, perfect for lunch; Mauby - a beverage best saved for the local palate; Stay-up - one can only imagine but at $6EC it could be a bargain!

A bus ride in Grenada is a wonderful experience if you enjoy getting up close and personal with strangers. Ignoring the heat and humidity, 19 sweaty bodies are squeezed into the passenger van (capacity 15), for the 40 minute rollercoaster ride through the countryside. Friends Michael and Barbara, Astarte, tell us their record is 21 passengers. Let the record stand; we have no interest in beating that one.

Bus-riding experiences give a hint to the gentle nature of the people of Grenada. Perhaps a little more reserved and genteel than those of surrounding countries, we’ve found people to be helpful and friendly; another reason to love Grenada.

"Think of Me 001". We love the imaginative and fun names bestowed upon their beloved boats by fishermen of the Caribbean.
We only wish our insurance company would love Grenada as much! They want us in Trinidad in the case of a tropical storm. During the next couple of weeks we’d like to explore more of Grenada. With a watchful eye on the weather, we can make it to Trinidad overnight if we need to. In any case, we will be in Trinidad from early August.
Our friends Melanie and Joe, Spectra, left for Trinidad early yesterday. We've enjoyed many good times and shared many cruising challenges with them. We expect to catch up with them in Trinidad again once we all return to cruise the next season.

Bristol Rose is booked into a slip in Trinidad for the end August and will be hauled out early November. Surprisingly, the rates to keep BR on the hard in Trinidad are quite expensive compared with Maryland rates. All those stories about great deals in Trinidad seem to have passed their expiry date. She’ll be hauled out for the period when we must leave her as well as the time needed to get bottom paint done.

Land crabs caught in the marina by the local lads.

Check our calendar at the end of the page, as well as our Float Plan (link on the right -hand column) for details of our summer plan - the concrete is still wet.