Back to reality….

Having got the blog published on Saturday morning we went back to Morphie and got ourselves ready for another beach afternoon – having said farewell to Arndt (Zanshin) who was heading over to the USVIs. We dinghied around the point, pulled dink up the beach, and went into the Soggy Dollar bar.

Liming in White Bay

Of course, we were planning to visit other places too…. but we were enjoying liming, bobbing, socialising, people watching and plain old chilling so much that we didn’t end up moving on. We met some really nice people and had a great afternoon. Mic was in a devilishly – or should I say horny??? – mood and might even have missed his ferry because he was too interested in a certain lady wearing not much more than a thong!!!!

Liming in White Bay 2 Mic was feeling horny

We had a great time, as always, said our sad farewells to everyone – and dinghied back around the headland admiring the stunning cloud formations.

Beautiful sky

For the evening we went into Corsairs for a great dinner – and enjoyed a few laughs with Vinny, Debbie and JR when they caught their breath between serving customers. The place was rammed and people just kept on coming…. including one group of nine whom without any reservations wanted to be seated immediately and were not prepared to wait. They got seated quite quickly but the service wasn’t fast enough – so they left! I think it was probably for the best as they had been quite rude and I think Vinny might just have told them what he thought if they had stayed LOL.

Corsairs staff having fun Having fun with Vinny

Relaxing at the bar after dinner we also met up with the Californian couple that we had spent some time bobbing with earlier in the day. In the restaurant there was a large table of Sicilians being quite noisy and then suddenly they started singing…… serenading the staff…. and then one largish guy stood up and wowed us with his opera! Not what you expect to happen in Corsairs – what an amazing day!

Sicilian opera singer

Sunday morning and we were up early getting the boat ready to depart on Monday. And I was cooking lunch for the gang at Corsairs as promised – this time it was a shepherd’s pie. So at around 1pm we headed in and served it up for us all. Went down well – everyone enjoying their taste of English comfort food – and certainly the plates were cleared pretty quickly. We had a couple of beers and then said our farewells. Vinny is remodelling Corsairs for next season so wants us to head back to see it if we can in the future – never say never!!!!

Sunday lunch

Having left Corsairs we wandered down the sand main street to the Police Station to do our customs clearance in preparation for leaving Monday morning.

Main road, Great Harbour, Jost van Dyke Great Harbour 1 Customs house Great Harbour

Well – the immigration guy was there but the customs lady had gone walkabout…. So we waited – and then more boat captains came in and were starting to kick up a stink. They were asking questions and being quite difficult….and aggressive. We refused to get involved and just quietly walked up to the desk to await her return and to make sure we remained first in the queue. Eventually she came back – in an absolutely foul mood! – so we quickly completed our paperwork, paid our $5 fee, and left them all to it……

Back to Morphie we lifted dink and had a quiet afternoon and evening on board, enjoying our final BVI sunset.

Sunset in Great Harbour

Monday we slipped away quietly – saddened at having to leave having had such a great time – but it is time to get back to reality!

Goodbye JVD

We hoisted our sails and had a spectacular 90 degrees reach across the channel bearing 210 degrees on the compass – which, incidentally, is the proposed bearing for our run to Bonaire. That made us smile….. We rounded Carvel Rock and we were able to continue sailing up alongside St John.

Carvel rock

We both really enjoyed ourselves. We picked up a mooring ball and dinked round to Cruz Bay to clear into the US Virgin Islands. This was friendly, very quick and no money exchanged hands. Result!  We then went to pick up our parcel – was all very efficient and they only charged us $3 for the one-off service. Amazing… We had a quick lunch – completely forgetting about the size of US food portions – so eventually surrendered and resorted to taking a doggy bag back to Morphie as we were so full!!!!

Waterfront Cruz Bay, St John

Back on board – and Arndt was still not on board Zanshin so we missed saying farewell to him sadly – and slipped towards our next destination Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas. As we headed towards Current Hole – which is a cut between Great St James Island and the mainland – we realised there was a large ferry bearing down on us from behind. Then he gave us two loud horn blasts – which actually means in sailing speak that he is going to be turning to port – but continued straight at us at speed. So we had no choice but to turn 90 degrees to starboard to avoid getting run down. As we were turning he passed us closely and we had to hang on as Morphie rode the serious wake…. Richard gave the captain the finger while all the tourists on the top deck were taking photos of us and waving. Hmmmmmm….. The most annoying thing about all this was that ferries actually go through another cut – not the one we were heading for – so this ferry ended up turning starboard straight across our bow once he had passed us so we had to cope with his wake for a second time. Phew….. Why he didn’t just pass our stern to starboard in the first place is beyond me. Richard was pretty calm – although annoyed – whilst I found it all a bit stressful as I was on the helm at the time.

Arriving into Charlotte Amalie we saw that we had one cruise ship in town already – and we anchored out in the bay enjoying the sights of our new huge neighbour and the superyachts in the marina. Once we had got ourselves settled in we went into the marina to get access to the internet primarily to check the weather forecast and pick up e-mails. We were expecting an e-mail from a weather forecaster who supplies this service to cruisers…. but unfortunately it hadn’t arrived.

Huge neighbour

IGY marina

Was fun to wander the marina – with its top end stores like Gucci, Louis Vitton, Bvlgari to name just a few, some little huts selling tourist tat on cruise-ship days, and the landscaping with flowers and trees everywhere. We eventually ended up in the Fat Turtle for a couple of happy hour beers before we headed back to Morphie for a quiet night on board enjoying our first St Thomas sunset.

Flowers and trees everywhere 2

Tourist stuff for sale

view looking out from the marina Yacht Haven Grande shops Our new local

Flowers and trees everywhere 1Sunset in St Thomas

Tuesday morning and we were up very early. Richard installed the new SSB earthing system we had purchased while I sorted out the laundry and compiled a shopping list for items that we need for the passage meals…..

New grounding system for the SSB

We also spotted that our fridge and freezer were not behaving themselves – again…. Hopefully it is not a sign of things to come. Oh yes, and the SSB problems are not fully resolved. Grrrrrr……

Later in the morning we headed to the Coffee Shop for internet – and picked up the e-mail. The weather window we had identified ourselves remained a good one for the run down but there was a wave coming through Bonaire which meant we would have to arrive by sunset Saturday latest. If we average five knots – allowing for strong / weak / no wind at times – then we have to leave early Wednesday morning to make this possible. We are now in a dilemma – we want to get going but we still do not have a working SSB and we may have refrigeration problems to boot. Bearing in mind this is Tuesday lunchtime now…. We haven’t got our meals done and need to get an expert to look at the SSB.  If we stick with our original Wednesday midnight departure we could be looking at a forecast of 33 knots of breeze and biggish seas for the last 12-24 hours of the passage. Hmmmm…..  We decide that this puts us under too much pressure and it is prudent to wait for another window. If we had got this e-mail Monday afternoon as planned we might just have been able to do it…. Oh well…. looks like we are going to be here for a little while after all. Really disappointed but these things happen….

But we want to be ready when the weather co-operates – so we go back briefly to Morphie, collected the laundry and took ourselves off to the self-service launderette. Not the most exciting of things to do on a hot and steamy afternoon – but at least they had a TV and fans!

Wash day again.....

Task completed, we headed back and dropped our laundry off at a complimentary baggage check place in the marina!!!!  Then we had a couple of happy hour drinks in the Fat Turtle before returning to Morphie, having been reunited with our laundry, for another quiet evening on board.

Goodnight Morphie

Wednesday morning and we are up early – and we have an SSB guy coming at 10.00 am. He turned up on time….but he couldn’t fix the radio. It appears ‘locked’ in that some of the buttons do not work so you can’t tune through different frequencies on different modes – so we couldn’t even listen to the local radio station which gives out local strong signals to check our receiver. So we are restricted to pre-programmed frequencies but we could live with that – but he couldn’t get the reception clear enough to hear anything. His view is that this is an ICOM factory problem not something a user can fix. Damn….. looks like we’ll have to do without it for now then!   But at least we know that it isn’t something I’ve done – as the official certified long-range radio user on board…. Pleased about that because I had been starting to doubt myself.

In the afternoon after a quick lunch we headed off to the large Pueblo supermarket which is within walking distance. It’s a bit run down – and not exactly upmarket – but we managed to get pretty much everything that we needed. Back on board – all shopping stowed – and we go back out for a while. I got my hair cut in a very up-market spa in the marina – with complimentary mimosas whilst I was being tended to – and Richard was at the coffee shop surfing the net. We met up again for happy hour in the Fat Turtle before going back to Morphie for the evening. St Thomas is not the safest place we have stayed so we are not really planning evenings out unless it is within the marina complex but enjoy going ashore for a couple of hours to relax after doing boat jobs the rest of the time…..

Goodnight St Thomas

Thursday morning and it’s clear that the fridge and freezer are playing up again…. Groan….. They are draining huge amounts out of our batteries and are struggling to maintain, or even reach, their programmed temperatures. Oh dear… so we head off ashore again to try and organise a refrigeration company to come out to us. We have an old Nokia phone that we put a Grenadian pay as you go chip in to use while we are out here – but, of course, this phone won’t work here in the US Virgins as they use a different frequency. This is getting tedious.

We send an e-mail instead and decide to go and buy a local phone – Kmart is the best place so off we wander. We managed to get one with credit for only $40 so wasn’t too bad and got some other things we had been after for a while too – so was a pretty useful trip. Back on board we head off in dink to find Antilles Gas which is round in Crumb Bay – about 20 minutes away. So we putter along enjoying the sights of the waterfront of St Thomas…. and as we come round Crown Bay we realise that there is a huge cruiseship in there today, one that holds more than 5,000 people!!!! And we need to go round it. Wow – didn’t ever expect to see one of these up close and personal.

Charlotte Amalie Up close and personal with a cruise ship

Arriving in Crumb Bay and we realised that we were in the ship graveyard with remnants of hulls just sticking up through the water. So we puttered through pretty carefully. We found the propane plant and got our gas bottle filled up – and felt the heat from the huge power station as we went past.

Boat graveyard 1

Boat graveyard 2 Power station

Arriving back on board and we chilled for a little while – before heading back into the marina realising that a huge cruise ship was following us in!  So we picked up our pace and got away from the channel quickly. We made it into the Fat Turtle for the opening match of the FIFA 2014 World Cup – I guess this is our silver lining to the cloud of having to delay our departure south!!! We enjoyed the Brazil –v- Croatia match, although thought that the referee drawing a line on the grass with an aerosol can for players to stand behind was a bit over the top!!!! After the match we came across loads of locals doing a Zumba class in the square in the marina – was like a flash mob. Great fun! Back on board safely for another quiet night.

Trying not to get mown down! Exercise class in the square Goodnight St Thomas 2

This morning – Friday – and we are up very early. So early we saw the huge full moon before it went to bed – and the sun as it rose in the sky. Beautiful until the peace of the morning was shattered by another cruise ship turning up.

Huge full moon Sun coming up

Anchor buddy

We are onboard awaiting the refrigeration man to resolve our issues. I am feeling quite anxious as I have a lot of good quality meat in the freezer that I don’t want to thaw and I’m already cooking up meals for our passage to go in there too so don’t want all that effort to go to waste. In the meantime, I’m blogging while Richard is keeping himself busy with domestic jobs and has just dropped me off to get this published as we have heard that he won’t be with us until later on today now…..

The weather guru is going to revisit the passage plan on Monday – but thinks it it unlikely we will get another window next week….. so could be here for a little while longer, probably watching football!!!  Will keep you posted.

Bye for now.


Goodbye Grenada, it’s been a blast!

New Year’s Day we just recovered, slept, read, ate and listened to the incessant rain pounding onto the boat….

Thursday and we are up early as we need to go to the other end of town. We need to replace our sanitation hose and Island Water World don’t have any in stock – so on the local bus we go. A long hot walk from where the bus dropped us and we end up at Budget Marine – mission accomplished. Then we walked back along the Maurice Bishop Highway, the only dual carriageway on the island, to Ace Hardware for more storage boxes. We then waved down another bus and went back to the marina. The weather was holding up nicely so we decided to take the afternoon off and go to Grande Anse beach for some bobbing and relaxing time.

Maurice Bishop Highway

As we dinked around the corner we realised that a huge German cruiseship was in town – and when we got to our normal jetty we were told where to park by water taxi people. Well, this was a new experience. Dink secured we head off to Coconuts and were accosted by people trying to sell us beach chairs for the day. Wow – loads of people on our beach – whatever next!

German cruise ship

Anyone for a sunbed

Very busy!

We wandered off to the other end of the beach and realised that the cruise ship passengers didn’t walk too far as it was pretty empty there…. But no facilities – so we headed back to the bar and just people watched for a while.

They don't venture far

So we went into the sea bobbing and I played around with the waterproof camera – Richard really doesn’t bob with two beers, one of them belongs to me!  Enjoyed people watching some more and were amazed by how many people could get squeezed into one boat at a time as the hordes came and went every 10 minutes or so…. Interesting afternoon but it was time to go back to the marina for another quiet night on board. Made it back in time before the heavens opened, again….

Double handed bobbing!


Bit full!

Friday and it is another shopping day – the ship brings imported goods into Grenada on a Thursday – so this is the best day to go to the supermarket. Ah….my last chance to shop in a supermarket that is well stocked for a while….so I actually enjoyed it! Yes, I know I’m sad.

Last chance to visit a supermarket

Mission accomplished – huge shop done – and we got a cab back to the marina. Offloaded all the stuff and then Richard stuck his head down the hole again to replace the hose whilst I did some laundry in preparation for our departure. Jobs done and time to get tidied up as we are going out to dinner with Tom and Kerry (Dragon’s Toy) at Sails to celebrate his birthday. We had a lovely evening.

Sails restaurant

Tom and Kerry

Saturday was supposed to be our departure date… but the weather window had closed and the forecast was pretty brisk! – so we decided to stay until Monday instead. So off we go to visit St Georges for the last time – and dinked round through the commercial harbour alongside this huge container ship. They are pretty large up close!

Big container ship in today

It is really good that they have now allocated a part of the harbour wall for dinghies in the Carenage… so secured dink and headed into town. Walking through the historic part of town – we admired the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Agency office, which would have meant something to us in a previous life!

New dinghy dock

The beautiful Carenage waterfront

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

And then we walked through the Sendall Tunnel, which is 350 feet long, 9 feet high and connects the east and west side of town. It was opened in 1894 by the British in honour of Grenada’s Governor Sir Walter Sendall and is considered an engineering milestone for the 19th century. To walk through it is an experience as it is still open to traffic too – one way thankfully – but you have to bend your head into the curve if a minibus / taxi comes through!

The Sendall Tunnel

Through the other side we wander around and get some local fresh produce in the market. Phew really hot today – glad I’m wearing baggy cotton clothing!  Had a great time – with a stop for a couple of really tasty smoothies while we were out – and made it back to the marina – via our short cut under the dock where we lay down in the dinghy to get through! – dodging a few more showers on the way. We cleaned up and spent happy hour in the bar and enjoyed watching Bliss, a very sleek superyacht, come into the dock. An early night followed.

St Georges

St Georges 2

Shopping for fresh produce

Fresh veg market

Short cut

Sleek superyacht

Sunday the weather remained changeable – and we just really tidied the boat and got Morphie ready to go to sea. We were invited on board Fru Valle by Dorte and Rene (our Danish neighbours) for sundowners and to say farewell. So spent a couple of hours with them… and then had an early night. Really nice people.

Monday up bright and early – got the meters read and paid the bill for the power / water that we had used – and with sandwiches and flasks of coffee in hand – we headed out around 10ish. Saying goodbye to St Georges behind us we motored between two cruise ships who are in today. After we had cleared them and the shipping channel we got our sails up and headed north.

Goodbye St Georges

Goodbye St Georges 2

Club med are in town

One of the Costa ships

The wind was forecast to have a south element in it – er wrong!  It was supposed to be between 15-20 knots – er wrong!   And the squalls were all around.


Squalls around

But hey – 23-25 knots close hauled is fine by us although the seas were a bit lumpy at times – and the huge squall of very heavy rain at 37 knots was something we would have preferred to do without – but nothing could detract from the big grins as we were back out there again.

Morphie riding the wavesSteaming along

With the sea state, strong currents and wind direction we had to tack a bit as we really wanted to sail the whole way – so actually covered 40 miles rather than 30, but still got into Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, and anchored safely before dark with more weather coming through as the sun started to set.

More weather as sun starts to setSettling into a quiet night in the cockpit – well apart from the howling of the wind of course – and we spotted a number of boats coming in behind us. One – a large catamaran – tried to pick up a mooring ball at least six times before they abandoned that and went looking to anchor. They were heading straight at the reef so was a bit concerned and not sure if they touched bottom or not but we did hear their engines straining…. eventually a couple of local guys came out to offer them assistance and got them secured onto a mooring ball. Phew….bet that cost them!   We couldn’t help unfortunately because dink was up on his davits and the outboard was on the rail so not in a position this time….

It’s now Tuesday morning and we are just enjoying being on anchor…. Bye for now



Time to reflect….

We started our first cruising season at the end of November 2012 and were immediately frustrated by the fit-out work not having being completed when we arrived in St Thomas – everyone being on island time – but were particularly annoyed as we had given six months’ notice prior to our arrival in the islands. And that’s without mentioning the stuff that wasn’t done properly the first time round and had to be rectified…..

While we were waiting on crucial parts to be delivered – we pottered around and visited Tortola, Norman Island, Virgin Gorda, Jost van Dyke, Marina Cay, Anegada, St John, Peter Island and Cooper Island, sometimes just going the long way round to reintroduce ourselves to Morphie and get used to sailing her again. We enjoyed a fantastic Christmas (thanks in particular to the Corsairs gang!) and celebrated New Year’s Eve in Cane Garden Bay – before we returned for our third and final time into Red Hook, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands and finally slipped for our new adventure on 5 January 2013.

We then did our final spin through the British Virgin Islands to say goodbye to all the friends we had made over the years as well as waiting for an appropriate weather window – and putting the frustrations behind us we finally slipped for St Martin on 18 January 2013.  We had a tough overnight trip but were pleased with the way we – and Morphie – stood up to it….

We visited the following islands and I’ve asterisked our favourites:

  • St Martin* – great food, great supermarkets, lovely scenery and fantastic French pastries for breakfast.
  • Saint Maarten – Dutch side and more commercial
  • Anguilla* – sleepy, welcoming people and up-market resorts
  • St Bartholomew (St Barts) – expensive and full of huge superyachts
  • St Eustatius* (Statia) – sleepy, welcoming people and an amazing volcano
  • St Kitts – fantastic history, annoying customs practices, some dodgy areas
  • Nevis* – beautiful black sand beaches, friendly beach bars but difficult to beach dink
  • Antigua – loads of history and great marina
  • Barbuda – pink beach and amazing frigate bird sanctuary
  • Guadeloupe – bad weather meant we didn’t really explore much
  • Iles de Saintes* – beautiful islands and French food
  • Dominica* – stunning rainforest, volcanos, waterfalls, rivers, rum shops, fantastic diving and friendly people but poor for provisioning
  • Martinique – great beaches and historic capital but average food and poor service
  • St Lucia* – great choice of restaurants, best Chinese ever, amazing to anchor under the Pitons and, of course, holiday with mum.
  • Bequia* – sleepy, great beach, friendly people, fantastic varnish work by Winfield
  • Mustique* – part of British history, shame it was a bit quiet when we were there
  • Canouan – good anchorage, nice beach and hotel, cheap beer in the supermarket, but theft from a boat behind us.
  • Tobago Cays* – the jewel in the crown.  Turtles galore.
  • Mayreau* – Saltwhistle Bay fantastic picturesque beach but didn’t like the vibe of the village or Saline Bay anchorage
  • Union Island* – Chatham Bay amazing and friendly but boat boys annoying in Clifton and boat stolen whilst we were there
  • Happy Island* – Jonti’s little paradise
  • Petit St Vincent* – beautiful anchorage with pale blue water and great beach bar
  • Carriacou* – sleepy, friendly, welcoming island and great t-shirt shopping.
  • Grenada* – amazing marinas, rolly anchorages, fantastic beach, lovely hotel, big supermarkets, chandleries and Morphie’s home for the worst of the hurricane season.

In total – excluding duplicate visits to islands in the US and British Virgin Islands at the start of our trip and when we returned north for the Smith family holiday – we sailed to 34 islands and visited 56 anchorages…..covering 1251 miles.   What an adventure!

Reflecting on our experiences we had the following highs:

  • Meeting some great cruiser couples / families and forging lasting friendships
  • Meeting cruisers who are young at heart if not in years
  • Dolphins!
  • Turtles!
  • Fantastic bobbing in wonderful clear blue sea
  • Great food – particularly in French St Martin, Anguilla, St Lucia, Union Island and Grenada
  • Seeing a seahorse and two frogfish on a single dive in Bequia
  • Pristine and uncrowded dive sights – particularly in Statia and Dominica
  • Navigating to and from different islands / anchorages
  • Visiting so many wonderful islands – different cultures, fantastic history, friendly people, amazing sightseeing
  • Beautiful beaches…
  • Swimming under waterfalls
  • Driving through rainforests / volcanos
  • Mechanical failures that we could fix ourselves
  • Eating fresh fruit as it falls from trees when out walking
  • The full moon / the sunrise / the sunset / sailing (particularly at night) / isolated anchorages and living on board
  • Carnival!

And then there were the lows:

  • Frustrating delay in starting our cruising life
  • Island Yacht staff not turning up for our leaving party
  • Trying to keep up with the dirty laundry
  • Cruisers who think that our common lifestyle makes us good friends on first meeting
  • Cruisers who are young in years but old in habits (er…I mean boring!)
  • Provisioning in some islands, particularly for good quality meat
  • Receiving bad news from home and not being able to do anything about it
  • Emotional response to news from home – even the good news!
  • Some unfriendly / shady locals
  • No whales!
  • Bureaucracy of moving between islands and overtime fees
  • Mechanical failures that we couldn’t fix ourselves
  • Leaving Morphie on the hard on her own

So the burning question is did the cruising life suit us?   YES!     Would we do it again?  YES!   Did the lows ever outweigh the highs?  NEVER…     A fantastic adventure and we are very excited about doing it all again…. although not sure of our route yet for next season.   We leave home on 26 November arriving in Grenada on 27 November to continue our cruising life.   So that’s it folks….   Please return to view the blog at the end of November.   And to round it all off, I’ll leave you with a snapshot of the last amazing nine months.  Enjoy!



Final days in Grenada

Wednesday headed off early to the boatyard…. It was a squally day with rain showers coming through frequently and of course this was the day I was trying to get the rugs dry….and they kept getting rained on!!!!   Without the canvas we also got rain coming in down below through the companionway – so with that shut down it was a bit like working in a sauna…..  Anyway around 3pm – having achieved quite a lot with bagging and packing up stuff – we called it a day and went back to our air conditioned apartment and watched TV!!!

Thursday and we are finally getting there….. Never did we dream that laying up Morphie for a few months would be so much work!  We have been flat out for over a week now….. but we also recognise that as we haven’t done this before we have probably gone way over the top…. Will be interesting to see what strategies worked and what didn’t when we get back. We called it a day early afternoon and went back to the marina to enjoy happy hour in the pool along with the crew of moodyfinn – Chris, Jaana and their beautiful kids James, Charlie and Alice. Went back to our apartment for dinner and then down to their boat for a chat – now that they had got the kids to bed.. Great evening – ended up a bit of a late night! – really fun people.

Friday and off out early again and we spent most of the day washing everything down with water and vinegar – which is supposed to help prevent mould in this humid environment – and went back to the marina pretty early as we had made arrangements to go out in the evening. Friday night we got a cab down to Mount Hartman bay to pick up Chris and Linda and then went round to the Dodgy Dock restaurant at the True Blue resort. It was Mexican night – with a great live band and professional dancers showing their amazing skills. Fun time had by all and Chris and Linda even enjoyed a dance…. unlike us both who were quite happy to just watch!


Saturday and we are up early determined that this will be it at the boatyard – so we packed our suitcases, vacuum packed down the clothes we were planning to leave behind, and headed over to Morphie. Went via Island Water World to pick up some pre-ordered spares – spare toilet and water pump this time – and then did a quick drive to the airport so that we knew how to get there on Monday morning.  Arrived at the boatyard – thankfully hurricane cradle is now complete – and went through our checklists. All done…time to say goodbye. Well that was it – I’m blubbing like a baby and really don’t want to leave Morphie…. Incredibly mixed emotions – I really want to see my friends and family – but also want to continue with the adventure…. We are only going home for three months – this is ridiculous – get a grip woman!

Drove away sadly and I managed to get it together by the time we arrived back at the marina. Decided to treat ourselves to lunch in the restaurant and were surprised to bump into Chris and Linda who had dinked round for lunch!  Anyway…..lunch turned into an afternoon session in the pool….joined by others from the marina….and onto the veranda of our room for a few more hours. What a great end to the day and cheered me up no end!

Sunday morning and we headed to the pool quite early – and then got a lift round to Hog Island where we spent the afternoon listening to the live reggae band whilst bobbing in the warm water with Chris, Jaana and the kids…. Lovely.

Then we headed back to the pool and bobbed with mum and dad as well as played with the kids…. Richard even played monsters…..   And I joined in with them doing backward somersaults in the water…  Unfortunately the pool wasn’t quite deep enough and I ended up scraping my face along the bottom…. So surfaced a bit bloody and had a very very sore nose. This is going to look great!!!   Mmmmmmm… Oh well – damage done – time to say farewell to the family. Hope to catch up with them again at some point in the future.

Monday fly day and we have a tiring trip ahead as, to keep the costs down, we have used our air miles so are heading the long way round home – Grenada to Miami to Houston to London!!!  Anyway we had a very very early start – enjoyed the sight of the sun coming up over the bay as we left – and headed off to the airport. Checked in and security cleared we settled down to breakfast….

The plane took off on time – with me getting upset at leaving Morphie behind again!!! – and we enjoyed the beautiful sights of the Turks and Caicos islands and the Bahamas below us through the clouds.

Landed on time – and did the usual five mile walk round the houses to get to the immigration desks. Big sign up warning people that federal cuts had impacted upon staffing levels so waiting times had increased! Oh great – and we have a connection in three hours. Well it was the usual nightmare – why do we always get put into a line behind a range of people that the immigration people decide need to be investigated a bit more thoroughly than most???!!! Grrrrrrr…….. Anyway we finally got through to the baggage claim area after almost two hours and legged it through customs / rechecking the bags / and onto the gate where our plane is leaving from. We managed to get there with half an hour to spare so quickly grabbed a Chinese takeout and found a table … PS spot the red nose!!!!

Took off again on time and had an uneventual trip to Houston – found the little weird underground electric train to change terminals and had a couple of cold beers at the Texas restaurant while waiting for our London connection. Took off on time and nine hours later we landed in London. Home again…. and it was sunny!

Not planning to blog whilst I’m at home – but do plan an overview of this trip, along with the highs and the lows – which I’ll get done soon…. So this is just another ‘bye for now’….



Laying up….

Wednesday we picked up our anchor off of Grand Anse beach and headed round to Le Phare Bleau marina, on the south coast of Grenada, where we are booked in. We had a really uncomfortable trip with 20 knot winds on the nose and five foot seas….and couldn’t sail it either!  We barely made three knots under engine and were pleased to get in the area of the bay where the marina is situated – bad news was that the sea state meant we couldn’t tell where the reefs where even though it was at noon with the sun high in the sky!   Never mind – we picked our way in gingerly and found the markers on this dog legged entry – and were assisted into our alongside slip by the dockmaster and his assistant. Great line handlers – good slip – and we were very happy to find ourselves with fast internet on board!   Once we were set we started work with gusto and the first job was to remove dink from the davits and get cleaning – as well as removing the outboard onto the rail. We then treated ourselves to cheap beer at happy hour – very happy at about a £1 a bottle! We came back on board to have dinner and an early night….. Productive day but very tiring and also a bit emotionally charged – the start of the hard work marks the final days of our first cruising season. Can’t quite believe we have been out almost nine months…..

Thursday we started dismantling stuff and sorting out jobs we need to do…. There is so much – but the main tasks today were polishing and protecting dink’s hyperlon tubes; to fresh water flush the outboard motor; take some canvass off, clean and re-waterproof it as well as starting to clean the external stainless steel. Oh yes we took the main and staysail off too – flaking and bagging them on the dock. We left the genoa to be done when we get to the boatyard just in case of an engine failure on the way…… The unforeseen downside to removing the main at this stage was that the furler foil inside the mast bangs around without a sail….and drove us crazy. Luckily it couldn’t be heard far from the boat – we did walk the docks to check! – so we just had to put up with it…. Happy Hour in the bar – cheap beer again – and we loved the fact that Captain Jack Sparrow visited for Happy Argggghhhhh in his sunken ship!!!!

Friday – more stainless to be done; we also thoroughly cleaned and waxed the topsides; removed more canvass / washed it / rewaterproofed it; and lifted dink up onto the coachroof where he will live whilst on the hard. Also “pickled” the watermaker for storage…. And done some other stuff too…. Wow this is hard physical work – and we were hoping to link up with a local chap to help us with the heavy stuff – but although we left messages he didn’t turn up… Oh well… This evening Happy Hour was on the Vastra Banken – the historic lightship that is a formal restaurant (in high season) and has a cruisers lounge and houses the marina’s toilet and shower block… Amazing place…. Enjoyed a lovely sunset tonight….

Saturday – more of the same… and took ourselves off to the beautiful pool for a few hours into happy hour…. Back on board for an early night. We are sleeping really well with all this physical activity!

Sunday and it was time to start on the interior – we were lucky enough to be invited to Hog Island by Larry off of Slipstream V but sadly declined. But we’ll definitely take him up on his offer next week when all work will be finished!!!! Quiet exhausted night on board and early to bed.

Monday and it was time to go round to Grenada Marine for haul out. Amazing kindness from the owners of Le Phare Bleu who gave us access to our booked apartment very early in the morning so we were able to move all our clothes and remaining food stocks in before we left….. Did a very tight turn onto the fuel dock – very successful, well done Richard!!!! – and then we were on our way. Was another rough trip (and our last this season…. boo hoo…..) with rain at times – but it was only a few miles away…. Worked our way into the bay and picked up a mooring ball…. Took a final crew photo while we waited around to be called to the lift dock….

At this point they told us we have to go stern too – no-one told us that!   Not happy – the wind was blowing hard and we had frequent rain squalls coming through. Anyway…..we made it into the slip…. but unfortunately the wind caught us out and Morphie’s bow was swept towards to the concrete dock…and even with Richard’s impressive speed of reactions….we touched the dock on her rail…..   Only cosmetic damage sustained on the wood but both of us were really upset….. Nine months out and we manage to scratch the boat on our last manoeuvre??!!?? Damn…….. Anyway – we had to put it behind us quickly – because suddenly Morphie is being lined up with strops and lifted out of the water; jet washed, and then motored around to her final spot. Stressful and worrying times!

We had paid for a hurricane cradle and they lowered her into it. Few more legs to be completed and some props in place as a temporary measure….. Not happy but it will be done before we leave!!! We think it is just a matter of keeping on their case!!!!  We got tied down anyway so very secure….. Also went to visit Glen and Pam’s boat Blue Pearl – took some photos for them – and gave her a pat.

Back to Le Phare Bleu by taxi and enjoyed the open-air veranda, air-conditioned bedroom with huge bed, unlimited water in the showers and the kitchen – complete with huge American style fridge – to cool our remaining libations!

Tuesday we picked up our hire car for the week – a Rav4 – and took off for the boatyard. Up the ladder onto Morphie and removed the genoa….  All three sails were then delivered to the loft for cleaning and storage whilst we are away. Oh wow…. the list keeps growing…. and so damn hot down below with all hatches closed because of rain today….. Richard thinks it could be a good weight loss plan – and we could both do with losing some!

Wednesday more of the same planned…. Phew… Watch this space!

Bye for now



Carnival fun….

Friday, as planned, we did our provisioning at Foodland … along with a trip into Island Water World for more stuff – cleaning products this time. Coming back through the channel we followed a ship leaving harbour – they are really huge when you are in a dinghy – so we were pretty careful not to get too close to get swamped by his wake!! Coming through the anchorage we were amazed by how many boats were still coming in…. pretty busy now as everyone is arriving from far and wide for Carnival.

Back on board we unpacked and were grateful that we were back before it rained cats and dogs. There was a great rainbow during the afternoon too – although struggled to get a good photo as the camera is playing up pretty bad now with focus and zoom problems. Think it is time to replace it – but hope it will see us through, as the selection here isn’t a good as at home. Following a stunning sunset we had a quiet night on board. Well I say quiet – it wasn’t all that, as the thumping sounds from the Soca buses came through loud and clear!

Saturday morning we listened to the cruisers net and found out that two boats immediately in front of us in the anchorage had been boarded during the night. Hmmmm…… Kudos to Mark the net controller who had immediately launched a floating ‘neighbourhood watch’ and, as a result, some boats were going to patrol the shoreline throughout the night during Carnival…   We had a lazy day on board in the rain – and were going a little stir crazy – so decided to go to the national stadium in the evening to watch Promenade, the steel pan band competition. The stadium had a couple of stands open with some concessions – cheap beer but decidedly ropey chicken! The atmosphere in the stands was a bit muted but when we went into the standing area below the stage it was much more fun – even though we had to run for cover a few times to escape the downpours!!! These bands have up to 100 people in them and the age range was from 7 to 80 – amazing energy and great sounds…. It was also a massive logistical effort to move the drums and performers on and off the stage – so by the time we left at 11.30 pm we had only watched five bands perform along with a troupe of African drummers and dancers. There were some comedians talking between acts – but we really couldn’t understand them enough to work out if they were funny!!! Had to really leg it to the cab for the return trip and got absolutely soaked – Martin, our taxi driver, thankfully brought some bin bags so we could sit on them and not wreck his upholstery! Back to the marina – still raining – so had another drink before we chanced heading back out in the dinghy to the anchorage.

Sunday and the rain continued…. We dinked into the marina – met Jim and Sharon – and got the courtesy bus to Whisper Cove for the Sunday jam. Was a great afternoon – and luckily under cover as the rain was relentless along with 35 knots of wind in the squalls.

One boat in the anchorage was dragging into the mangroves so there was an effort underway to help them – then there was a call from Mt Hartman Bay that Troubadour was dragging. I will never forget the look on both Chris and Linda’s faces when they heard that come through on the radio – but they were able to get back and sort it out. Phew – no harm done thankfully. Had a lovely afternoon listening to all the performers – with the addition of a fiddle player and an accordion this week – good time had by all. Especially Sharon who showed off her barefoot shuffle skills along to an Irish jig played on the fiddle – think Riverdance without shoes! Back on board and we sat on the coach roof of Morphie listening to the sounds from shore until we gave in and retired to bed early.

Monday morning and the alarm wakes us at 4.00 am. Are we mad??!!??   No – just want to go to J’Ouvert!    This starts at 5 am – and the main event is that the jab jabs come out to play and parade. They are mainly men (although not exclusively) – covered in dirty oil – portraying devils, dragging chains around, not wearing much, and who jab you when they come by…. We think there is some slavery simulation here too although not mentioned in any of the SpiceMas adverts we’ve seen.   Anyway throwaway clothes and shoes were necessary – I was armed with my £2 flip flops – as the roads (and spectators) get absolutely covered in oil, paint and coloured baby powder!!!! As well as oily jab jabs there are also coloured men – so we saw blue, pink, orange, green, silver and purple men – and loads of girls wearing very very little!  Much to Richard’s delight…   Anything in the way got covered in something – and the funniest sight was one of the oily jab jabs pushing a commode…. what a time for the camera to fail again!  Everyone was gyrating to the beat of the boom boxes and, when the lorries come by, you feel like your whole body is vibrating too from your feet through your head. So significant I reckon it would restart a pacemaker!!!!   We had a great time – got jabbed a number of times with paint as well as oil – and came back on board about 8.30 am having drunk and partied a bit. Phew…. washed up and back to bed for a couple of hours.

Noon and we met up with Jim and Sharon for Pageant Mas. This is the traditional parade of fancy costumes – so we took up residence in a bar alongside the road and had some local food and watched the activities. There were loads of “short knees” who represent each village – and parade singing, dancing and spraying baby powder around – then there were wild Indians and calypso dancers following the incredibly loud music from the lorries. Great to see so many kids involved too…. During the afternoon we were joined by John and Georgina as well. Of course, this being island time, the parade didn’t start until 3pm rather than the advertised 1pm – but hey, who cares…. Fun time had by all – especially Jim and Richard who managed close ups with a number of the scantily clad young women – although Jim did look a bit surprised when one of them proceeded to throw herself to the floor in front of him…  Check out the last photo!!!!

Tired and emotional we all went ashore to the marina for dinner and decided to call it a day – said sad farewells to Jim and Sharon as we have had so much fun with them but they are heading back to the States so this really is it this time….    In the evening there was another (adult!) parade which Richard and I watched from the foredeck of Morphie with a glass of wine in hand in the end.    Amazing sight to see literally miles of people parading with lights… and, of course, the music was still very audible in the anchorage….

Tuesday was a quiet day relaxing (recovering?) on board and we didn’t even get dink down off his davits.   What a nice way to spend the day for a change….

Today – Wednesday – work starts!  We had a miserable trip in big seas on the nose round to La Phare Bleu marina to tie up and start dismantling and winterising Morphie.   So far dink has had a makeover….. and we are shattered.  Early night me thinks.

Bye for now



Relaxing before Carnival….

Tuesday we did some more boat jobs and another visit to Budget Marine.  It’s a good job that we get all goods 30% off (duty free) as we still need more – although they are spare parts mainly so will only have to be replaced when we actually use them… Seriously we do need this stuff but it is amazing how much we come away with every time that we didn’t know we couldn’t live without!!   Whilst out and about we bumped into John from Shamal – and they are moving the boat to Prickly Bay in the afternoon – so we arranged to meet for sundowners later.

We headed back on board, having stored all our purchases, and decided to head out on dink to explore.    Really enjoyed looking at the really pretty waterfront and we pulled dink up the beach at the Calabash – oh dear, left it too late, the hotel has closed now for the season.   Grrrr….  Never mind, the dive shop sells beer so we had a couple and enjoyed our surroundings.   The anchorage is stunning today – really calm and clear water.

Went ashore for happy hour with John and Georgina – really nice to catch up with them again.   They are heading down to Trinidad to haul out in a week or so, so really good timing!    Had a good evening – listened to the start of the trivia quiz and were pleased we weren’t playing for real as the questions were really hard!   Back on board for dinner and to bed….

Wednesday morning up bright and early and caught the sunrise…. Spectacular!

Got ourselves ready to go back out to sea as we are moving back up to anchor near St Georges and Grand Anse beach in readiness for Carnival…    Felt bad though because Chris and Linda on Troubodour were heading south today – we keep passing like ships in the night!!   Never mind, will catch up with them at the jam on Sunday.  Met Jim and Sharon from Sha Sha for a bobbing session and enjoyed watching a really special sunset.   Early to bed.

Thursday we were really looking forward to going to the dinghy concert at the  Carenage – one of the first Carnival events.    Unfortunately the concert was cancelled because someone failed to get the permission of the Port Authority.   Bad mistake!!!! In the meantime the anchorage is filling up – with some way too close for comfort – and we end up surrounded by South Africans flying the British Ensign…   How does that work??   Disappointed by the cancellation we arranged to meet Jim and Sharon in the marina pool….and we had a fresh water bob….between rain showers.   On the dinghy ride through we saw Necker Belle, Richard Branson’s huge catamaran, tied up to one of the superyacht docks – but apparently he wasn’t on board…

We went back to Morphie to check all OK and we were pleased that one boat had moved.   And we had done a 180 degree turn but appeared to be holding.   Wind really really flukey and gusty in the rain squalls….but we have loads of chain out, so we are not moving anywhere!

Back to Sha Sha for dinner and had a lovely chicken meal followed by Red Velvet cake.   Thanks both – fun hosts and Jim is a great cook!

This morning – Friday – more boat jobs and shopping later.   As it is carnival weekend all shops will be closed from lunchtime Saturday through to Wednesday, so we must get some fresh stuff in.    Time is running out real fast now – we haul out on 19 August and fly out on the 26th.    So before we get heavily into winterising the boat we are determined to have a party time at Carnival – really looking forward to it!!!

Bye for now


Weekends are for having fun!

OK so we did go to happy hour on Wednesday at Prickly Bay marina and were absolutely gobsmacked by the huge amount of locals there – they ship them in by the bus load.   Really?   Oh yes, very serious stuff…. The bingo winnings are more than a day’s pay for many of them….and we got into conversation with the net controller Mark so ended up watching the first couple of games.   Bet the prize of a pig and a chicken – alive and walked on stage – were never on offer at Corals!!    Really funny….

We also got into conversation with an English guy who was sitting on his own and it turns out that he used to own The Dog House at Swanick Marina where a boat that we sailed on used to be berthed!   He has been in Prickly Bay, living onboard, for five and a half years now.  He then began to tell us all his woes because he has been hospitalised down here a couple of times and got a hernia through lifting 5 gallon water jugs.   He then turned to Richard and said “you should be careful as you are getting on a bit!!!”    As you can imagine this coming from an old duffer in his seventies went down pretty well …..!!!!   Anyway, making our exit we went back on board and had a very tasty curry if I say so myself…….

Thursday was a quiet day and night on board just working through boat jobs.    Friday we worked hard all day and came ashore for a pizza dinner….  We went for the pizza as this is the only dinner they can’t screw up!!   We have dined here twice before and were disappointed on both occasions.    We were surprised to see a bunch of cruisers from Port Louis over here – they had come over for a birthday, so nice to catch up with them again.

Saturday dawned and we decided that weekends are for fun not jobs!    We got off the boat and taxied over to La Phare Bleu where a dinghy concert was scheduled.    Walking up the dock I was impressed by an individual floating cabana with a hammock  – definitely fancy giving that a go when we are guests here later in the month…

At the dinghy concert they have a big tug boat hitched up to a barge and dinghies from far and wide join up into a raft to enjoy the music – today by the Wizards.   Some cruisers bring their own drinks and food, whilst those of us on the barge buy from the bar….and some get bottles relayed across the top of the crowd to their dinghy….   Fantastic time had by all

After a great afternoon we watched the sun go down over the marina – nice!

We headed back to shore and our taxi driver was already waiting – took us back to Da Big Fish, where dink was waiting.   Decided to have dinner at the restaurant and were delighted that they had a live band too, Gylfi and Domo.  So really enjoyed listening to them while we had a really good meal.

Sunday morning we decided to head to Rogers beach bar on Hog Island…. So got a cab round to the rum shack in Lower Woburn.   We had spent a very pleasant afternoon here many moons ago – but sadly it was no longer as welcoming….     Anyway, got a local boat boy to take us out through the anchorage to the bar.   Very very busy on a slim beach – not quite the Soggy Dollar – but we still had a good time.   Particularly enjoyed the local food on offer…..

Time to head back and our boy, Lions Paw, was resting in a hammock – after knocking back a few and a couple of spliffs!   He was pretty funny and could well have been a model for Captain Jack Sparrow with all the same mannerisms…..

Back on board for a quiet night.    This morning, Monday, is Emancipation Day here in Grenada – celebrating the end of slavery by the UK – so a public holiday.   We are relaxing, blogging, and doing Internet stuff today.   Richard is investigating all the tasks we have to do for winterising Morphie.

Bye for now




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