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.

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