Friday, February 26, 2010

Our First Real Taste of the Caribbean

Arrived in Grenada, anchored in Prickly Bay, and after the inevitable customs and immigration check-in we took our dinghies over and lunched appropriately at Da Big Fish. ‘Da’ is often used to replace ‘The’ in Caribbean ‘patois’ and seems to make things big and important. Macsen is picking up some of the local vocabulary and uses it often to describe motoring about in the dingy, one of his favourite activities. Several times a day we witness him rushing outside, jumping up and down and pointing frantically at the Spikkel´s outboard and pronouncing ´Da Motor´ with almost desperate enthusiasm. Once on board the Spikkel, he grasps the tiller, stands tall and again pronounces ´Da Motor´ with great clarity and aplomb.

Prickly Bay was very busy so we sailed the next day just a few nautical miles through some tricky reefs to Hog Island, an almost deserted island with a wooden shack named Roger’s (ramshackle) bar that is apparently sometimes open from 1800-2000 and sells beer. Just next to the bar we found a large rusty barbeque and Seb and Jeroen gathered enough wood for us to cook up a good feast. We hoped for some fishy treats for the grill the next day so we set the crab trap and spent the evening fishing from the boat. Sadly nothing bit and the only inhabitant of the crab pot the next morning was a very disgruntled but beautiful moray eel. We released it carefully and it glided back into the deep.

True Blue Bay was our next anchorage, also a short sail away. From here we rented a car and toured the twisty roads of the main island of Grenada. Grenada is of volcanic origin and is very mountainous and has rich soil. Stopping first at the Annandale Waterfall, a lovely botanical garden complete with a 10 meter waterfall, we enjoyed a swim in the natural pool (ahhh, a fresh water shower). Grenville was the most interesting stop on our itinerary. They were celebrating the 37th anniversary of the independence of Grenada and the streets were full of people in the country´s vivid national colours of green, red and yellow. The market was also in full swing and strongly and surprisingly reminiscent of the market in Georgetown, The Gambia. The island is famed for its spices (particularly nutmeg) and the smells were terrific. Our trip concluded with dinner in a beachfront cafĂ© near the capital St. George´s. Grenada is a lovely island with a very sad recent history of devastating hurricanes (2004 and 2005, destroying 90% of the houses on the island). You notice this in the state of the buildings and nature and in the determination of the people to rebuild.

True Blue was also the site of our last ladies´ and boy´s nights with the Mjolners for a while. We did ourselves proud with the boys coming back to the boat in the wee hours of the morning and the following night, ladies night, ending with a surreptitious nighttime slide down the waterslide in the pool. Wooohooo! Our last days in Grenada were spent exploring the adjacent islands of Petit St. Vincent (illicitly as it actually belongs to St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Petit Martinique and Carriacou. Lovely snorkeling, swimming, castle building, frolicking on the beach and generally eating and drinking, laughing and enjoying ourselves a great deal.

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