Cruising life on the hook…

Friday lunchtime we arrived in Prickly Bay and mooched around looking for a good spot to anchor. Bit deep here behind the reef in the middle of the bay – around 30ft – so we’ll need to put out a lot of anchor chain….. First spot didn’t get a good set, so picked up and tried again – great set second time. Hurrah!!!  Looking around we were amazed by all the huge houses surrounding this anchorage with their manicured gardens running down to the shoreline.

After sorting ourselves out we went ashore later in the afternoon to the Prickly Bay marina and caught up on the internet. While we were there Belinda and her daughter Jean came by – they wanted to sample happy hour drinks and the steel band that was playing later. So we stayed with them for a while and enjoyed the music. We went back on board Morphie around 7pm for dinner and an early night.

Saturday morning we took off in the dinghy to explore. Visited the Big Fish restaurant and enjoyed their great dinghy dock, had a look at a resting Grenadian coast guard boat, and of course this was all in close proximity to Budget Marine…. So inevitably we got some more stuff in the chandlery – all essential, honest!!! Then we dinked around to the nice beach at the top of the bay – and this is where the posh Calabash hotel has their beach bar. We are allowed to use the beach, buy drinks / food, but not use their beach chairs…. Fair enough – will be back another day to enjoy the facilities. Right now we have loads of boat jobs waiting…

The rest of the day we worked really hard on boat jobs and had a quiet night on board.

Sunday morning we had promised Belinda and Jean – who are Australian – that we would pop by their catamaran, Free Spirit, to see if we could help them understand any of the systems. Jean is just visiting her mum Belinda who is living on board awaiting her husband’s arrival. But she knows nothing about sail boats so wants a few hints and tips – well, we know nothing about catamarans but there must be some common ground here. Surprisingly there was quite a lot and we helped her with re-furling her genoa; bilge pumping; shower systems and general battery maintenance…. She was very grateful and we arranged to meet up later to go to the Sunday jam at Whisper Cove.

Courtesy bus turned up and we met with some more cruisers – as well as catching up with Chris and Linda again from Troubadour – and really enjoyed the jam session again, although I realised that in my last blog I called the old guy Harry and his real name is Jerry… Oops!!!  More people attended this week – both watchers and performers – and good time was definitely had by all.   I am definitely turning into a Chris groupie!!!   Oh yes, almost forgot, got some great steaks from the resident butcher as well….

Monday morning and more boat jobs looming…. Jean is going home to Australia later this week so we have arranged for them to come to us for sundowners at 5pm as neither of them has been on a sailing monohull before!!!  Amazing…. We worked like stink and managed to get everything straight for their arrival…. Lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as they looked around Morphie – always nice when people admire her – combined with a few more technical questions from Belinda. Feels great to be of some practical help!!! During the evening – fuelled by rum punch – they asked if I knew anything about sushi as they had found loads of specialist ingredients on board Free Spirit. Well I know that I like to eat it and roughly how it is made!! Belinda admits to not being very culinary minded – and I fancied the challenge – so they promised to drop the stuff over to me in the morning and invited us on board for sundowners on Tuesday afternoon to eat the results… No pressure then eh??? We had a lovely evening on board.

Tuesday morning we were up early – Jean came by with the ingredients – and we carried on with boat jobs. Later in the morning I started on the sushi preparation – finding some mahi mahi and prawns in the freezer to go with the vegetables – and spent the next few hours playing around with sticky rice!!!! Couldn’t work out how to smooth it out on the seaweed sheets without ending up with a sticky mess until I realised that a wet spoon was the answer…. All done and in the fridge to chill – and time for a relax and a swim before heading over to visit them.

Well – I have to say I was pretty pleased and impressed with the results of my first sushi attempt – and the others agreed with me. They tasted pretty good too!!!! But you don’t have to take my word for it – check out the photos…. Back on board around 8pm – having said our final farewells to Jean – and early to bed.

This morning (Wednesday) we were up early again – headed off to the bank for more drinking vouchers – and then did a bit of essential shopping before coming back on board to get on with boat chores again. Loads to do right now – and we have decided to get things done sooner rather than later so that we can enjoy the carnival here in Grenada in the middle of August. Later on we are heading into Prickly Bay marina for happy hour but I can guarantee we won’t be stopping for the bingo, which is tonight’s scheduled entertainment!!!  We have a curry night on board planned instead…..

Bye for now



Back on the hook….

In the afternoon we all piled into the minibus down to Whisper Cove where the Sunday jam is held. Apparently this week it was a poor turnout…  Oh well, never mind, they obviously didn’t know we were coming to watch and listen!!!

Basically a number of musicians come along with their instruments – as well as a couple of singers – and they all sit round a table and take it in turns to take the floor. Sometimes it is a solo affair and more often it is a collaborative one when others join in…. The only exception is 80 year old Harry who sings unaccompanied each time – his favourites are show tunes – and this may be because he is a bit deaf and, although he has a really good voice, he doesn’t really hold a tempo or even stay true to the original!!!!   Anyway…. it is all a bit of fun….and we really enjoyed ourselves. An added bonus was that at Whisper Cove they have a butchers shop selling their own organically produced meat – so I was able to pick up some really nice cuts for the freezer. About 7pm we travelled on the courtesy bus back to the marina and had an early night. Really good time and something we plan to do again whilst we are here in Grenada.

Monday morning and we headed off on the local bus to wander around St Georges. We managed to pick up some t-shirts and a local SIM card for Richard’s phone as we are going to be in this area for a while now…. really reasonable pay-as-you go for around £4 with a bundle of free texts / talk-time included!!  Bargain…. In the afternoon as we were walking down J dock we were told about the Full Moon Party the cruisers were planning for the picnic area behind the pool later in the afternoon. So having done a few boat jobs – and had a quiet time on board chilling – we headed out to this event. Maurice (from Motivator) had made up some posters to advertise it – and you can see for yourself his sense of humour with the initials of the organising committee!!!  We went suitably garbed with Richard in his full moon t-shirt – right event, wrong venue – and I just had to go out in my new Carib shirt from Carriacou….

Had a really nice time – and it was funny when it started to rain – as all the cruisers headed off under the splendid palm to stay dry while the food table got allocated the only umbrella around!  Had a nice time chatting to new and old faces and admired the beautiful moon when it rose…. Back on board and so to bed.

Tuesday we spent most of the morning and into the afternoon getting Morphie ready to go back to sea, as we are heading out of the marina on Wednesday. Filled up the water tanks, charged everything we could lay our hands on whilst we have shore power, and generally tidied up. Went to the pool for happy hour and had a nice time there with a large crowd of people – including ShaSha’s guest Alice who is over for a holiday. In the evening we were tempted out to have dinner in the marina with Jim, Sharon and Alice. They were a bit frustrated that Alice’s luggage had gone missing on the flights down so they were going to have to stick around the marina until it turned up – so curtailed what they may be able to show her…. Oh well….nothing much they can do. We had a really good evening.

Wednesday morning we went and settled our huge bill for water and electricity – came to a grand total of £30 for two weeks – amazingly cheap!!!  Very happy with that!!! Made the most of the unlimited water in the shower block and we were ready to go….. Went and said our goodbyes to a few people and organised to purchase the transformer that we had been using. Very happy with that extra bit of kit!  Anyway, we backed out the slip easily and I drove Morphie round the corner whilst Richard tidied up ropes and fenders. Leaving via the main harbour channel we had to slow down as we were following a large tanker… We escaped from him as he turned away and we looked for a good anchoring spot, although the swirls and currants he created made the steering unresponsive at times and I felt like I was driving on snow!! Very strange feeling indeed…..

Really excited about being back on anchor again – we get so much more privacy on board and being able to jump into the beautiful water on a whim is really important to me…. Anchored up – cleaned the water line, the fenders and soaked the mooring lines from all the gunk of the dirty marina water – and headed to the beach. ShaSha were there…. and we had another great bobbing afternoon. Final farewells said this time – as they are heading northbound on Thursday – and we had a quiet night on board. A bit rolly at times during the night… but nothing too terrible.

Thursday morning we had a lie in…. Lovely!!!  Then we freshened up by jumping in off the back. Oh how I’ve missed this… Had a lazy morning on board and went ashore about 2pm for a couple of hours bobbing and catching up on the internet at the local beach bar. The beach was rammed with kids having fun – they have the same school holidays as we do in the UK – and it was fun to watch them, although they got a bit boisterous at times chucking each other in off the dock!!  We also chatted to a nurse who was there with her eight year-old grandson – who was digging his way to Australia last time we checked!! Had a really chilled time and we headed back to Morphie just in time for the lovely sunset. We are definitely back in holiday mood….

This morning we picked up our anchor and motor sailed down to Prickly Bay on the south coast of Grenada…. Looking forward to exploring this area….

Bye for now




Liming in Grenada

Tuesday morning we got up late… although we did listen (from our bed) to the cruisers net which starts at 7.30 am.  Nothing was mentioned of particular interest to us so probably won’t bother that much in future – definitely not something I’m planning to set the alarm clock for!!!  We did a few pink and blue jobs down below and continued to compile lists of things we need to get sorted out…  It was also a rainy and grey day. But in the afternoon we rallied ourselves and headed off to the marina pool for a dip. We then had a quiet night on board.

Wednesday we had made arrangements to go to Grand Anse beach with Jim and Sharon from ShaSha…. Luckily the sun had returned and the skies were blue. Hurrah!!! They picked us up by dinghy and we motored out of the marina and around the corner through the anchorage. This is probably Grenada’s best beach with gorgeous sand and sparkling clear water against the lovely backdrop of palm trees and flowers. Had a really nice bobbing time, including lunch at the local beach bar, and came back on board around 4pm. And that was it for the day!  Lovely time had by all…..

Thursday more boat jobs and we also organised a hire car for Friday…. In the afternoon we went to the pool to cool off and bumped into Nick and Pam from Knot Yet who told us that there was going to be a TexMex ‘pot luck’ party that evening on J dock. So we quickly went back to Morphie – via a dinghy stop at the local supermarket for a few essential items like jalapenos – and I made Mexican tortillas to take with us. This is our first cruisers ‘pot luck’ party where everyone takes a dish, their own plate / knife and fork, and brings their own drinks – and we really weren’t sure what to expect. When we arrived shortly after 7 pm the party was in full flow and there were about 40 people there – with loads and loads of different Mexican dishes. We tucked in and enjoyed catching up with old cruising faces and meeting some new ones.   The cruising community here in Grenada is huge and pretty much everyone knows everyone else – all a bit daunting to newbies like ourselves!   Back onboard about 10pm and we’re tidying up and I ask Richard where the knives and forks have gone????  Oh dear… he dumped them along with our rubbish in the bin! Good job I took plastic plates…   A good excuse to get some new cutlery next season???

Friday and we have a car organised for 9am – and our pimped up “rent a wreck” arrived just after. Doing the paperwork and we are driven to the police station to get a temporary driving permit for Richard. Oh dear….. we are only carrying our plastic credit-card sized photo driving licences – and the Grenada police want to see the paper part of the licence too. What!!!!????!!!! That’s tucked away at home and has never been asked for – EVER – by anybody else throughout the island chain. Getting frustrated and after some backwards and forwards we eventually get issued with a permit. But talk about hassle…. Grrrrrr…..  Glad it’s valid for 3 months so we don’t have to go through that again before we leave to fly home at the end of August. Not a great start to the day to be honest.

Finally we are on our way – so we head off first to visit Grenada Marine. This is where Morphie will be hauled out and living on the hard for a while so we wanted to check it all out – and to confirm the date with them. We were pleased with the security at the gate, the local restaurant / bar, and the space between boats which is plenty big enough for us to do the work we’ve planned like renew Morphie’s anti-fouling – using a product that actually repels growth this time!!!  We also came across two Island Packets we had spent time with this season – Blue Pearl and Cutter Loose – so we gave them a pat. We also noticed Zero to Cruising as we drove away from the yard.

Whilst at the marina office we confirmed our haul out date of 19 August – so then headed off round the corner to Sagesse Point where there is a hotel which had been recommended to us. Really convenient location and nice large rooms but no (working!) air conditioning in the one they had available for our dates. As we are going to be working on Morphie in the dirty and dusty environment of the marina during the heat of the day I really did want a cool room to return to. So didn’t commit and decided to have a look elsewhere, although we did get offered a special deal on the price. So we headed off to La Phare Bleu marina which has a boutique hotel attached. Not such a convenient location but the one-bedroom apartments are huge with air conditioning, TV, wifi, surround-sound, sitting room, a fully equipped kitchenette, huge bed, swimming pool and I’m sold.

Please pretty please Richard????  The only fly in the ointment was the published list price of US $200 a night….  Asked whether there were any special deals going for August and the English manager agreed a price of US $120 a night if we stayed for a week. Job done – so excited – paid the deposit and we’re sorted.  I really didn’t fancy staying onboard on the hard – climbing up and down ladders to go to the loo in the middle of the night was my main concern!!! Richard was also happy to go with this as our end of trip treat. Hurrah…..

Moving on we visited some of the other anchorages that we are planning to visit when we leave Port Louis. Really liked Prickly Bay and its facilities and had a soda there to check it all out.

Then we headed off to Mount Hartman Bay and followed the signs down to Secret Harbour. This was a trip down memory lane for us – we stayed in this hotel in the late 90s before and after a sailing holiday with Moorings, who were based here at that time. Oh dear…. the hotel has been virtually abandoned and has fallen into disrepair. What a shame – in such a beautiful setting too. Oh well, never mind, our memories of this place remain pretty special!!!

We were also surprised to see that the private residence that we had nicknamed the ‘mushroom house’ had been extended and was no longer the almost invisible house built into the side of the cliff complete with grass roof…. apparently this has now been turned into a hotel too…

Moving on from memory lane we visited more chandleries and hardware stores – this is getting expensive, particularly the spare macerator pump!  Most popular purchase was the new toilet seat… Amazing how easily pleased we are getting…. Back on board via the bar for happy hour sundowners, enjoyed the sunset, and another early night.

Saturday I turned a bit girlie and headed off to the spa for a long overdue haircut and a neck and back massage. Completely restorative and thoroughly enjoyed it – Richard enjoying the peace and quiet on board without me!!!!  Rest of the day was spent cleaning and polishing along with food preparation as tonight we are hosting ShaSha for dinner on board – and we have a hard act to follow after Jim’s spectacular roast lamb last week. Managed to prepare a three course meal which we ate down below in the saloon – which was a first – and, thankfully, they appeared to really enjoy the food! Phew…that’s a relief!!!! Very late night and so to bed…. Really good evening.

It’s Sunday now and we’ve just had breakfast…and are taking it easy., recovering from the excesses of the night before.  This afternoon we are heading off to Whisper Cove for the Sunday “jam session” with Chris and Linda from Troubadour – never been before and don’t really know what to expect, but looking forward to it.

Bye for now


Chores and tours in Grenada

Thursday afternoon hot and bothered we went to the pool and found out that this is where the cruisers congregate for happy hour!   Met loads of old faces like Jim and Sharon from ShaSha and Pollie and Maurice from Motivator along with some new ones too – including Nick and Pam from Knot Yet who have offered to lend us a transformer they had on board so that we could plug into shore power (as 110 volt is not available on our dock). Lovely time had by all…..

Friday morning we headed round to see Nick and Pam and had the official handing over of the transformer…. Then it was shopping time and we headed off on the local bus to the supermarket and the hardware stores as we have a huge list of products we need to purchase to ‘winterise’ Morphie when we leave her on the hard here in Grenada at the end of August. Quiet night on board.

Saturday morning up bright and early and Martin (our taxi driver) – looking like Ronald McDonald in his garish yellow outfit – picked us up and we headed off to True Blue to collect Carolyn and Ron. We first went to St George’s to visit the spice market – something Carolyn was really keen to see. Well – it was interesting – but definitely not the assault on the senses that she had been led to believe by a recent UK press article!!  Spices purchased and we drove through the busy streets and admiring Carenage, the harbour and the sights of this capital city.

Moving on we went to the Arrandale Water Falls and were met by a travelling minstrel who made up songs and names for us …. all really flattering, but of course that is what you do when you want a tip!!! The falls were nothing special really but enjoyed the show of the local lads who jump into the shallow water to entertain the public.

Heading across the island we visited the botanical gardens where Martin showed his significant knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the spices, flora and fauna of the island. Really interesting time…. Then we had a quick pit stop at Mark’s bar where we enjoyed some cold caribs while Ron and Richard enjoyed rum tasters…. with them both buying a small bottle of Mark’s spiced rum to take away with them. Lovely place…. with a great bar sign too.

We then moved on and driving along steep roads and hair pin bends entered the Grand Etang National Park and looked out for monkeys but didn’t see any – but enjoyed the views of the rainforest as we drove into the volcanic crater to admire the lake… The viewing platform was taken over by a family – with the young woman doing yoga on a mat in the middle. They were not impressed that we turned up and invaded their space – er…. hello – this is a public platform not a private one!    Oh well….. didn’t detract from the beauty of the place and we enjoyed watching the huge koi carp moving under the water.

We then drove down to Grenville for lunch and ate a hearty meal in a local restaurant called Good Food – yes, seriously! Not a place we would have chosen but it was good wholesome grub although the plastic covered seats were a bit uncomfortable in the heat of the day! After lunch we drove up the Atlantic coast – continuing to enjoy the lush vegetation and beautiful scenery – to see the old airport which is where the Americans invaded Grenada and saw the remnants of the Cuban and the Russian aircraft. Oh yes – did I tell you – that Ron and Martin talked cricket so we visited pretty much every cricket ground in the country during our tour!

Driving back down the Atlantic side we travelled through many villages and towns. There are huge contrasts here in Grenada – from very large substantial brick-built properties through to shanty shacks with no amenities and people bathing and doing their washing in the river. Very poor and very rich co-exist side by side…. along with remnants of destroyed properties from the devastating hurricane that came through here many years ago.   We particularly enjoyed the lush landscape and the continuous display of flowers everywhere. Last stop a view across a spectacular beach on the southern side of the island and then we started back towards True Blue. Great day – really informative – although all of us were flagging with the heat by this stage…. Dropped Carolyn and Ron off and we returned to the marina.

After a restorative shower we headed back out again to True Blue where we had our final farewell dinner with Carolyn and Ron. We had a lovely meal at the Dodgy Dock restaurant and enjoyed their company for the last time this trip. Carolyn and Ron have been great boat guests – we have seen some beautiful sights – and have had many laughs along the way. They have also been very generous to us by bringing us gifts from home and treating us to dinner a couple of times. Saying goodbye was difficult and I was pretty tearful on the way back to the marina….

Sunday morning and back to boat chores…. and compiling lists…. and finally getting some blog published. Hurrah!  Sunday night we went aboard ShaSha for a wonderful roast lamb dinner. Lovely time had by all.

Monday and we ploughed into boat jobs … I scrubbed topsides, cleaned the wood, and then scrubbed away all the rust and polished the stainless…. Richard was down below in the bilges compiling more spares lists…. and then came out and scrubbed down Morphie’s hull. Phew – hot bothered and shattered! Went to the bar for happy hour; visited cruisers in the pool and said hi to Linda and Chris from Troubadour who are home from their visit home; and had a quiet night on board having enjoyed a spectacular sunset here at Port Louis.

Bye for now



Friends reunited – part four

Sunday (7 July) we left Mayreau – saying a fond farewells to Saltwhistle Bay – and had a great reach down to Clifton, Union Island, our destination for today. Into the Anchorage Hotel for lunch and I hoped to get the blog published – to no avail as the connection was way too slow – and just spent the time chilling. Well, actually, it was more like steaming!!!! Really really hot today with very high humidity and all of us were feeling it….  Back on board and after a while we headed over to Happy Island to say goodbye to Jonti. Bobbing off of his island in the cool water as the sun went slightly lower in the sky was completely restorative! Phew…. Back on board for dinner and so to bed.

Monday we were planning on going to visit Petit St Vincent for the day and to have a special dinner there as Carolyn had had a birthday just prior to arriving in Grenada. However, on Sunday the makings of a tropical storm had turned into a ‘named’ storm called Chantal. Although forecast to pass 100 miles north of us it was potentially going to bring some rough conditions – so we sadly decided to abort going to PSV and decided to move back to Carriacou into Tyrrel Bay which is more protected. But of course to do this we have to check out of St Vincent and the Grenadines in Clifton. Oh ho…Customs office shut! Apparently it is a Bank Holiday – shut for Carnival – so Richard and I went off to the airport to do the proceedings, leaving Carolyn and Ron to wander the town and get our fresh bread, fruit and veg. Having paid overtime fees – again! – we headed off out. The sky was grey and the seas were a bit lumpy – but, even so, we had a great sail with Captain Ron again honing his helming skills.

Into Hillsborough to check into Granada waters – got tied onto the dodgy dock – and went into clear immigration. Queue of four boats ahead of us and one of them hadn’t cleared out correctly from SVG so we all had to stand in line and listen to the tirade from the immigration man. He gave the guy in front of us a hard time too…. so while I was waiting I double-checked everything and was relieved to find that I passed the test with flying colours! And I didn’t get charged either – although all the others had to pay. No rhyme or reason really but hey, who’s complaining…. Over to customs and the port authority – paid the fees – and finally we are legal once more. Wandered Hillsborough and brought some more tee-shirts then back on board, hoisted the new flag and got ready to move again.

Motored around the corner to Tyrrell Bay and found a nice anchoring spot. Sorted ourselves out and went ashore to check the latest weather info. Looking rough for Tuesday with winds and rain forecast so have decided to stay put here another day and head down to Grenada on Wednesday – which was our original plan anyway. Had a nice afternoon chilling ashore and then back on board for dinner and to bed.

Tuesday morning we all woke early but didn’t bother to get up as it was raining and we are staying put here today. Had a lazy morning and went ashore at lunchtime to the Lambi Queen for some food that we had pre-arranged with the owner. Had some really really cold Carib – lovely! – and then was surprised to find that the internet connection was good enough to publish some of the blog. Great news….. After a few hours we wandered down the road to the Twilight Bar where we could sit in our own private cabana over the beach and Carolyn could have a decent glass of wine. Very very chilled today…

Back on board for a snack dinner and enjoyed the peace and quiet – grateful that Chantal has passed by as a non-event – when suddenly in the dark we hear a horn being sounded. This is a common signal and usually means that someone is dragging. Oh dear…looking ahead towards the beach…we spot that a catamaran has collided with a large motor trawler. Clearly tangled up as it took some time to get them apart and the catamaran moved off to re-anchor. We were willing to offer international rescue assistance but the radio was quiet – we were monitoring it just in case – and dink was already hoisted up on his davits ready for the passage to Grenada tomorrow. Oh well – excitement over – we all turned in relatively early.

Wednesday morning up bright and early and we headed out just after 8.00 am for the run down to Port Louis Marina in St George’s. Conditions were perfect – 15-20 knot winds on a reach, although the seas were a little lumpy. We made really great progress with speeds above 7 knots and then the seas grew and changed direction – then they absolutely bubbled like a Jacuzzi with white caps and large breaking seas – then they went flat and then they grew again. So confused it was hard to know what would happen next – and quite testing conditions for our novice crew! But they took it in their stride and totally enjoyed the run south.

Arriving outside St George’s and we can’t get the marina to answer the radio, we think they were at lunch!   Finally they answered – after we had Ron driving us around in circles for a while – and we went into the marina into an alongside slip nice and gently. Tied up and after booking ourselves in for a week we all trooped off to the showers for a long luxurious soak in unlimited water…. absolute bliss!!!!….. and then ashore for happy hour and a really great dinner wearing our crew shirts in the marina restaurant.  Struggling to stay awake after a few bottles of wine, some good food, and loads of fresh air – we retired to bed around 10pm. It was so hot that Richard and I slept in the cockpit….

Thursday morning up and showered in unlimited fresh water again… boy I feel really clean!!!… and we had breakfast together on board. After that Carolyn and Ron said their farewells to Morphie and headed off to their hotel where they are going to really enjoy that Jacuzzi, air conditioning, and a (large) bed that doesn’t move!    We had had an absolutely amazing trip with perfect sailing conditions and weather for most of the time. Shame we missed out on Petit St Vincent – but hey tropical storms have to be taken seriously!  Really sad that they have left us again but it’s only until Saturday when we are all going on an island tour.  Time for us to get on with boat jobs like laundry and gas refills…..

Bye for now



Friends reunited – part three

Friday (5 July) we sailed to the Tobago Cays – and Ron and Carolyn were thrilled by the sight of the different colours of the sea. There is no way of describing this place and the photos really do not do it justice. Suffice to say they were amazed with the beauty that surrounded them. After anchoring safely in the most beautiful turquoise water we went off in the dink to view the horseshoe reef and climbed to the top of Baradel island to see across the anchorage.. Stunning!

Then, to top it all, we snorkelled in the turtle sanctuary area off of Baradel Island and saw numerous turtles swimming, eating and just generally liming around. Richard even had four tuna follow him around too….   Felt very blessed to be able to swim with these gorgeous creatures – and to get so close to so many with them taking no notice of us whatsoever as they went about their business.    Fantastic!!!!   As the sun went down we were enjoying the sounds of the sea crashing on the reef and then the guy on the German boat next to us started playing a clarinet – very very badly. He had already entertained us by preening naked on the back of his catamaran…. So to block it out we played some chilled out music as we enjoyed watching the sun go down and another starry starry night.

In the morning (Saturday) we enjoyed a lovely swim in the crystal clear water and then sailed around the corner – with Captain Ron on the helm – into Saltwhistle Bay, Mayreau. This is another jewel in the crown – a stunning half-moon crescent beach rimmed with palms. Carolyn injected some money into the local economy by buying a pretty new beach wrap – and then we went bobbing off the beach using our floatie chairs and had a couple of cold ones in the Saltwhistle Bay hotel. Had a fantastic chilling out time and then, suddenly, like a mass invasion three large local motor boats came in and they all spilled out along the beach and into the sea. They were dancing and having fun for a couple of hours – and then, as quickly as they had arrived, they were gone and it was all silent again! Back on board for sundowners and an early supper – and we actually stayed up really late until about 10 pm.

Wonderful time had by all….    Part four to follow.  Bye for now


Friends reunited – part two

Wednesday (3 July) morning we were on the move again – just around the coast to Hillsborough to check out of Grenada. Enjoyed going through the cut alongside Sandy Island -with dink enjoying being dragged for a change rather than lifted – we spotted another big ship wrecked on the beach.

In Hillsborough we anchored easily and went ashore with all our paperwork. Got into the immigration office first – oops….shutting for lunch!  So we got the forms to fill in and wandered the town. Found a local bar overlooking the bay and had a couple of beers whilst filling them in. All completed we wandered the town and ended up shopping for some t-shirts and I got a new rucksack at last! Back to the immigration office and there are four people waiting in line – but, thankfully, the guy returned and dealt with me first. He even gave me forms for when we return – nice man! Off to the customs and port authority office and we are now legally checked out. So back on board and off we go again – destination this time is Clifton, Union Island, to check into St Vincent and the Grenadines.

We sailed across – it wasn’t very far – in very light winds watching squalls of rain around us, and occasionally we got wet but nothing major. Arrived into Clifton and got to the customs office. By the time I’ve filled in the forms it has gone 4 pm – so we get charged overtime!   And, of course, they don’t have any change….. but luckily we managed to scrape it together. Then we were told to go to the airport for immigration as the guy has left for the day. Damn…. so annoying.   But Richard became our hero when he went off to do that for us all while we sat in the Anchorage hotel with a cold one!   All legal – back on board, changed the courtesy flag, and headed off to see Jonti on Happy Island.  We had planned to eat dinner here too, but unfortunately his cook has left to go to Carnival – we thought that maybe she has left permanently??   Anyway, had a happy time there watching the local kite surfers enjoy themselves; looking across the channel towards Palm Island;  loved the sight of the Windjammer sailing past;  and the sun going down.   After a chilled few hours and a quick change we headed off into town for dinner at the Bougainville restaurant. Great food – but the waitress was really miserable and surly – which was a shame. Back on board for a couple of pontoonies up on the deck where we marvelled at the beautiful starry starry night – have rarely seen a more beautiful sky or as many stars. Amazing!  And so to bed.

Thursday morning we went ashore for a quick shopping expedition and an internet fix – unfortunately the signal was just too weak to get the blog published…. Grrrrrrr….. jAnd we got badly bitten by no-see-ums whilst trying!   Having provisioned up with fresh fruit and salad we departed from Clifton towards our next destination on Union Island, Chatham Bay. Had a bit of a lumpy start but as we headed around the corner of the island we had absolutely perfect sailing conditions with a beam reach and a comfortable sea – so Captain Ron tried his hand at the helm and did brilliantly, whilst Richard just enjoyed the ride…..

Arriving in Chatham we were greeted by Tony and Tim from Bollheads who were out in their boat drumming up business. Then Vanessa from Shark Attack came by and tried to entice us into her bar with offers of cheap drinks and good food….. But she was flogging a dead horse really as we had already seen Tony in Clifton that morning and told him we were going to come by. First we popped into Aqua for a couple of cold ones to enjoy the top-end surroundings – even though the infinity pool was still filthy – and then went down the beach, dragged dink up onto the sand, and visited Bollheads. Had a great few hours catching up, set Tony and Shauna to work knocking up some appetizers for us, and then went bobbing. Divonty a local lad was playing in the surf and was really interested in Ron’s camera – his eyes nearly popping out of his head when he saw Ron dunk it in the sea!   Explaining that it was waterproof he wanted to use it – so we let him loose and he got some great results and showed some real natural talent!!!!   We thoroughly enjoyed the bobbing and then went back inside to eat the most amazing fish cakes I have ever tried in my life!!!   Fantastic. Shortly after we settled our bill – to find the fish cakes were on the house – what really great people…. Going back to dink and Divonty was there showing Ron what he had written in the sand for us – and that was before he knew that we were going to give him a photographer’s tip.  What an absolutely smashing kid…..

Back on board for dinner, music, singing, laughing and generally having a great time. And so to bed – very late – having had such a very special day together.

Part three to come.  Bye for now


Friends reunited – part one

Sunday (30 June) we finished our boat jobs and left the marina behind. The weather was still a bit iffy and we had spells of torrential rain with big seas. Bashing into the sea along the south coast of Grenada wasn’t much fun either – and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw a small plane bearing down on us just at the point we were crossing the bottom of the runway!

Luckily as we approached True Blue Bay the sun came out and we were able to see the reefs that surround this area. We settled in, sent a text message to say “Welcome to Grenada” for when Carolyn and Ron landed, and waited to hear from them. Well – remember the time when my phone wouldn’t send texts??? They had the same problem…. So annoying…. Eventually we managed to hook up and we quickly went ashore for the reunion. This was third time lucky for them to join us as the previous two trips had been cancelled due to health issues – so incredibly happy to see them both fit and well and actually here with us, I can’t quite believe it!!! Had a lovely dinner at their resort and left them to their air-conditioned luxury and Jacuzzi bath – me….jealous???….absolutely!

Monday morning – after one of the worst rolly nights we have ever had – we dinked ashore to collect Carolyn and Ron as they are spending 10 days on board with us. The docks are horrible here – and trying to get off them, into dink, and then onto Morphie with everything rolling around wasn’t great. We quickly left the bay behind and punched through the waves, past the airport (without a plane landing this time!) and then started our sail up along the coast of Grenada. Our destination was Dragon’s Bay and we got there safely and tied up to a mooring ball in the marine park. Richard decided it was not too far to actually just snorkel from the boat to our destination – which was a surprise for Carolyn and Ron. This is actually an underwater sculpture park and the expressions on their faces when seeing the spooky rings of children come into view through the murky water for the first time was quite something! We snorkelled around for a while enjoying the friendly fish, the beautiful huge parrots and the sculptures… although not sure about the dead bodies littering the ground in places! Ron has a waterproof camera so this time I’ve got photos! Enjoy….

Getting back to Morphie was tough – we must have swum about a mile today – and we were all pretty exhausted!! We had dinner on board – with Richard being master Mahi Mahi griller tonight – and enjoyed a few drinks before turning in pretty early. Great first day.

Tuesday morning up really early – had a swim off the back and a light breakfast – as we are heading north today to Carriacou. This is a beat into the wind and will take us quite a while under sail. The forecast actually got it right with beautiful flat seas and blue skies – unfortunately we had no wind whatsoever. But a great day for a passage anyway…. We enjoyed the sights of the coast of Grenada as we motored north and marvelled at the visibility we had as we looked back. And then – out of nowhere – a pod of dolphins turned up to entertain us briefly. Amazing… wow what a start to this trip!

Anchored safely in Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, we went ashore and wandered the main road visiting a couple of hostelries along the way. Carolyn and Ron got their first taste of conch (or lambi as they call it here) but unfortunately the fritters weren’t up to much. But who can complain when the scenery is as beautiful as this? Back on board and we didn’t end up cooking dinner – just had some snacks – and again retired pretty early.

Part 2 to follow!   Bye for now