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



Shopping and socialising in Grenada

After a leisurely (grey and damp) start on Wednesday we motored the three miles along the coast and entered the channel into St George’s. This channel is well buoyed but all ships use it – so did a quick check around to make sure no bigguns were out there waiting to follow us in!   As we entered the channel we radioed the marina to find out which dock they had allocated to us – on Channel 14 – and two guys start chatting over the VHF. Mmmmm…. Richard definitely not impressed and told them to switch as this was a marina working channel but they just carried on. Eventually – after venting his spleen with some working class language in the cockpit (not on the radio – that would contravene radio regs!) – we got the slip information and went on in. Unfortunately the marina could not offer us 110 volt on the dock so we are using our normal solar / wind and occasional engine / generator use to keep our batteries topped up.

Having been to the office and settled up for a four night stay – we had a wander around the marina, including a walk up to the top of a little tower to take some photos of Morphie nestling against the dock, and then had a really nice late lunch in the restaurant. We organised for our laundry to be done and for our propane gas bottle to be filled. Having achieved a few things – but recognising that we need to write lists to make sure we get everything done – we headed over to have some late sundowners with pad in hand. We were surprised to see Jim and Mandy from Sha Sha as we thought they were heading to the south coast of Granada – but some boat problems forced them in. We also went and said hi to Chris who is home alone on Troubadour whilst Linda is away visiting family.

Thursday we got up early and jumped in a cab to take us to the large IGA supermarket for the main provisioning trip for our friends’ holiday. The taxi driver was a bit of a speed freak jumping on his brakes real hard every now and again – but he did wait for almost two hours for us whilst shopping. And yes, Grenada lived up to its oasis status for food shopping, although I did get a bit concerned about the chances of our eggs getting back on board in one piece!!!! The fun part starts then – where on earth do we put it all????? We are also keen to give Morphie a well-deserved spruce up above and below the water line, as we are growing our own dive site again. Literally bumped into some divers who had just finished someone else’s boat and asked a price. Pleasantly surprised we engaged them to dive and clean Morphie’s bottom. We also got a quote from another local guy for washing, cleaning, waxing the hull, the topsides and all the stainless….. Happy with that we set him to work too. Things are really starting to come together now.

Had a late lunch / early supper in the restaurant – and went to bed early aided by a couple of glasses of wine. Whilst we were in the bar a young lad called Nathan decided to adopt us – and spent about an hour with us, whilst his Dad(?) sat and drank at the bar. Nathan was starting to be a bit of a pest but we didn’t want to tell him to go away – he is only 7 after all – and he started to complain he was really hot. I had a glass of ice which had melted away so we let him drink that. Within seconds his Dad was over – grabbed the glass away from him, and fixed me with a steely glare whilst saying – loudly – NO!  I explained it was only water but Nathan got dragged away and I was made to feel like some potential child molester. Fair enough – you can’t be too careful – but he wasn’t interested that Nathan had spent over an hour with us prior to this….. Finished up and went back on board for another early night – feeling a bit miffed by what had transpired…. Oh well….

Friday and we were up early again. We needed to get some more bath towels and a couple of pillowcases – and we’d also like to pick up a waterproof camera; a prescription mask for me; a new fin strap for Richard; a new canvas bag; maybe some clothes; and a few other odds and sods…. We had asked advice on where best to go – so headed off on the local bus to the Spiceland Mall with high expectations. Stopped first to get some drinking vouchers out of the ATM and we were accosted by our first beggar of the day. I think the bank should move these guys on – being hassled whilst waiting in the queue is no fun. We eventually got away from him – and others that pestered us as we walked along – and entered the Mall. Well – this is not oasis after all – we got absolutely nothing! So back on the local bus and into the capital city – first stop the Hubbard’s department store. Hurrah – we got something!

We then enjoyed wandering along the really pretty waterfront admiring the well-preserved old buildings of Carenage. Then walked through an ancient 7ft high tunnel built by the British back in the day when this was an amazing feat of engineering…. This very narrow tunnel links Carenage with the rest of the city and it is shared with one-way traffic and pedestrians. Felt a bit risky at times with cars coming too close….and stepping around locals who do like to stop and natter in the most inopportune places!

In the city it got much busier and we found another Mall – leading to the cruise ship dock. But nothing we wanted to buy. Oh dear… We wandered around – taking in the sights – and visited numerous local shops but we couldn’t find anything we wanted. Deciding not to go back through the tunnel Richard dragged me up some really steep steps to the top of the hill where we saw the mammoth restoration programme that faces them to repair the dilapidated church. Over the hill – admired the views – and then went back down the other side. These steep steps were even worse as they were uneven slabs placed into mud with some awkward angles.

Got down safely – phew! – and back to the waterfront where we spent some time watching the local fisherman prepare their catch for sale to the public… although Richard wasn’t so impressed by the football team that one of them supported! It was fun and slightly nostalgic to see old red telephone boxes on the town dock too. We then took off – by bus again – to the chandlery where we were surprised to run into BJ & Cathy (Evenstar) and John and Georgina (Shamal) – who we had last met at Union Island and Bequia respectively. They are both anchored down in the Prickly Bay area so we will probably catch up with them after our friends have departed. And – yes – we managed to buy some stuff!    Shame we couldn’t get the underwater camera though….. definitely something for the future.   But a great sigh of relief that we managed most things on the list in the end.   Hurrah….

Coming back to the marina we stopped by the local store to pick up our beer / soda / water / coke delivery – and pushing the trolley along we recognise Mike and Rebecca from Zero to Cruising, a couple we follow via their blog and have an on-line relationship with, but have never actually met. Dirk – our dock neighbour on Evening Ebb – then came along and he knows them both too!  Small world – and slightly embarrassing to be caught with such large supplies of beer (luckily they didn’t see the wine we got the day before!!!) – anyway we arranged to meet up for happy hour later and went back on board for a tough couple of hours trying to find more storage room. Had a really enjoyable happy hour – and wish Mike and Rebecca luck in their new venture – glad that we had the opportunity to meet them at last. We later had dinner with the Sha Sha gang… and were (very) late to bed!

This morning – Saturday – we have been out to get the fresh produce and bread as our friends fly in tomorrow…. Really excited to see them both and although today is a bit rainy the outlook is looking very favourable. Hurrah!!!!   We are back on board now and have plans to go bobbing in the marina pool later this afternoon. Richard has just been over to talk to Dirk’s next door neighbours – the boat is called Imagine from Falmouth and he was convinced he knows the people on board. So he goes up to say hi and it turns out that they share mutual friends and he has met them before in the Solent when sailing……..  Really small world!

Out of here tomorrow, Sunday, to go south to True Blue bay to await Carolyn and Ron’s arrival  – and we’ll then be heading north up to the Tobago Cays where internet isn’t so readily accessible, so will post again when I can.

Bye for now



We’ve made it to Grenada…

Sunday morning we had a lazy start and around noon we went ashore to explore Tyrrel Bay. This anchorage is really pretty bordered by a sweeping beach. The town itself has a single road – the High Street? – with a variety of local supermarkets, bars, rum shops, restaurants etc. But it is really very sleepy and quiet as pretty much everything is shut down for the weekend. We enjoyed the walk though having a look at the goats and cows tethered in gardens; watching the kids honing their back-flipping skills off one of the small docks; and the always impressive canopy of the Flamboyant trees.

In the afternoon we got together with Sha Sha and dinked round the corner from the anchorage enjoying the views of the beautiful rocky coastline dotted with dead ships! Wonder whether these are hurricane victims from years gone by? Anyway….the water was so sparkling clear and beautiful….we rafted up the dinghies together, anchored them carefully, and then all jumped into the water for a unique experience. After cooling off we all climbed back on board – which was really simple when using the stainless steel steps on Sha Sha’s pimped up ride, who is called Jim Jim!   Returning to Morphie we picked up speed and left them behind….of course, as dink has not been pimped with steering wheels and seats….we can go much faster even though we have a significantly smaller outboard. Such fun!   In the evening we got together on Morphie for sundowners and enjoyed the first sight of the supermoon. Great time had by all and late to bed!

On Monday morning the girls got together on Morphie while Jim and Richard did important land jobs and ended up talking boats on board Sha Sha. In the afternoon Richard and I had a quiet snoozy time on board before we all reconvened together for dinner at our own private cabana overlooking the ocean at the Twilight restaurant. It was simple and basic fare – with not great service to be honest – but we had a fun party night with singing, chatting, drinking and story telling, not necessarily in that order! We loved the sunset over the anchorage and the spectacular moon lighting our journeys home.

Tuesday we got up early, prepared Morphie for sea, and headed away from Carriacou towards our final destination this season, Grenada. We holidayed here in the early 2000s – including sailing to the Tobago Cays and back – but, even so, we were really excited to be arriving here in our own boat which, back then, we could only have dreamed of….   And, sadly, although the sea was beautiful and flat, the sun was out and the sky was blue, there wasn’t much wind!   So we ended up motor sailing using the opportunity to make water whilst underway. We also had the music blaring – which we don’t do very often underway – and did some cockpit dancing!   We were thrilled to pass Diamond Rock; we carefully avoided the marine exclusion zone around Kick ‘em Jenny, an underwater active volcano; enjoyed our first glimpses of the mountainous island of Grenada; got overtaken by a pretty 100ft yacht also motor sailing and – after a six hour passage – pulled into Dragon’s Bay. Really pretty place tucked in behind a headland and we went snorkelling. Saw some huge colourful parrot and trigger fish; a free-swimming moray eel; and loads of little uns swimming in and out of the rocks and under ledges. Not great coral but an interesting snorkel anyway.

We then moved round into Grand Mal and anchored for the night – meeting up with Sha Sha who had also travelled south today – and went to visit them for a couple of drinks before heading off to the Sunset View restaurant for potentially our last night together for a while as we need to get ourselves – and Morphie – ready for our friends who are joining us on Sunday for a holiday.

Had a great meal and headed back to Morphie exactly at the moment the heavens opened so got soaked!  It continued to rain most of the night.

This morning, Wednesday, after a lazy start, we motored around the corner the two miles to St George’s – the capital of Grenada – and have taken a slip in the fancy Port Louis marina for a few days.   Being alongside will make it so much easier for our shopping expeditions and getting it all back on board – we need to provision up as well as trying to source some spare parts that we haven’t tracked down yet.    I’m particularly looking forward to a large supermarket experience again – never thought I would ever say that!!!    Over the months we have built Grenada up to be our ‘oasis’ destination – as we’ll be able to get anything here.   I’ll let you know if it lives up to our expectations!

Bye for now


Leaving the Grenadines…

Wednesday and the weather started to improve. Still cloudy and grey with limited visibility but at least the rain has stopped. Hurrah!!!!! Having a lazy morning on board and, to our surprise, Sha Sha sails into the anchorage. We met Jim and Sharon in Anegada back in December at the start of our trip – and although we have kept in touch via e-mail – we haven’t seen them since! So lots of waving going on – and we organised to meet up at Happy Island later in the afternoon for a reunion. We also got to meet Mandy, their daughter who is having a holiday on board, and to catch up on the gossip – including the fact that Jim and Sharon tied the knot in Cane Garden Bay in February!   Fantastic news…so happy for them both. Oh yes, we also marvelled at the latest small plane to come down into the local airport behind the trees and across the anchorage…. looks like a terrifying challenge for the pilot!!!

At Happy Island we all ended up joining up with two couples from the UK who were holidaying on their large catamaran. Later on we went ashore for dinner together – although Jim bailed as he was tired and had had enough rum already. This was the sensible thing to do!!!   Unfortunately it was clear that one of the English women had peaked way too early (it was only 7pm!) – as she spent the whole time in the restaurant with her head resting on her arms, ignoring the food placed in front of her, and then suddenly stumbled away to puke over the top of the wall onto the path below!!!! We were embarrassed – this was a pretty nice place – and really didn’t know what to do – so we just ignored her letting her friends sort her out… and quickly called it a night and escaped back to the sanity of Morphie, and it was still only 9 pm.

Thursday and the weather was significantly better – although still a bit cloudy. We spent the morning doing boat jobs and watching some naughty goings on by a boat boy who picked up a floating kite surfer’s board and secreted it in his boat, even though the owner was going up and down in his dinghy looking for it. So on the way back to Happy Island in the afternoon we stopped by their boat to let them know where it was – and they had already sussed it out and got it back! Good – didn’t want to be a grass – but that was so blatant it was unbelievable. At Happy Island we met up with the gang and had a bobbing time for the whole soggy afternoon. Jonti was in a really good mood too and put on loads of music – so there was some aqua dancing going on too! Fantastic time had by all…

Friday we awoke to sparkling blue sunshine – at last! We went ashore to pick up some fresh bread and to check out of customs and immigration for Saturday, as we plan to spend the night at Petit St Vincent which is still part of St Vincent and the Grenadines. We had our last soda waters in the Anchorage Hotel; enjoyed the view across the bay in the sun; and had our final look at the crabs in the pool. 

We said goodbye to our friends, who were also moving on today, and sailed away from Clifton towards PSV having our final look at Happy Island. Not very far to go but PSV is tucked away behind a reef across the way from Petit Martinique, so careful navigation was required! Approaching PSV we were stunned by how beautiful a tropical paradise it really was. The sea is an amazing colour and Morphie enjoyed being the only boat in the bay! 

Once we were set we took off in dink to explore Mopion – a desert island – but we failed to see how you could get ashore as the reef was dangerously shallow and we (er…actually…it was me!) was nervous about grounding the prop or even holing the tubes…. so we had a quick look and turned back. Later in the afternoon we went ashore to PSV – as the original and current owners were sailors, they welcome yachties to this luxury private island – we visited Goatie’s beach bar and enjoyed the splendid surroundings as well as the most spectacular sunset.

Saturday we picked up our anchor and sailed out alongside the reef and around the top of Carriacou – our next destination, which is part of Grenada. Pulled into Hillsborough to do customs and immigration and wandered the town for a little while – deadly quiet for a Saturday afternoon. It appears all the shops are shut up for the weekend, although we did find a supermarket open and topped up on some exceptionally cheap wine and beer! And it wasn’t rubbish either – the wine is a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc that we often buy at home.    Hillsborough’s dinghy dock was horrendous – a concrete slab under a huge commercial dock – with metal steps going up which were cracked down the middle, sloped backwards, and the handrail was so dangerously loose it was tied up with rope! We thankfully made it safely back on board without any mishap – phew…..

We then picked up anchor again to sail around to Tyrrel Bay where we knew Sha Sha had settled in, as well as Suzie on Spirited Lady who we had last seen in Chatham Bay.  As we were only going around the corner – literally – we decided to drag dink behind us rather than put him back up on the davits. We were also going to go through the relatively shallow cut through the marine park alongside Sandy Island. We were making pretty good way downwind with just the genoa out and spotted a catamaran motoring behind – but he appeared to be keeping a respectable distance. Anyway, as we are just about to harden up to port to clear the headland he starts to speed up to overtake us. Richard shouts out to him – we are turning to port and overtaking vessel should keep clear – but to no avail as the guy ignores him and overtakes us on our port (windward) side so we had to hold our course until he was clear of us. Grrrrrr….

Arriving into Tyrrel Bay we were surprised by how many boats were here (including the French Canadians again!). Finally found a spot to anchor and made contact with Sha Sha. Suzie had already told us there was a party at Lambi Shack this evening at 6pm so we made arrangements to meet up there. We spent the next few hours cleaning Morphie and getting salt off her woodwork and stainless. Had a great night at Lambi Shack – beers are half the price than on Union – and as it was Connie’s 75th birthday there was free food all round too!!! What a fantastic welcome to this place. Great time had by all and back on board around 9pm.

This morning (Sunday) we are just lazing – plan to explore later – and will probably sail on down to Grenada on Tuesday.

Bye for now


Still in Union – waiting on weather

Sunday morning we awoke to a beautiful sunny day with strong winds. Thankfully the engine battery remains fully charged and the house batteries are in good order too. We started the engine easily and are now convinced that this problem is, thankfully, behind us although we will obviously monitor it more closely than we had done before!

We went ashore to the Anchorage Hotel to use their internet and caught up with all the weather forecasts for the next few days – we regularly monitor both NOAA and the StormCarib hurricane sites amongst others as we are officially in the season now. Our original plan had been to move out of here on Monday across to the private island of Petit St Vincent as we wanted to go check out the beach (which is public) as well as the tiny desert island of Mopion (which is only 0.5m above sea level). The snorkelling here is supposed to be really good as the islands are surrounded by reefs – but we need flattish seas for this really. Well – we found out that there is a tropical wave coming through on Monday / Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday – so we are going to hang out in Union for a little while longer as this wave will bring big seas, strong winds and lots of rain.  But the good news is that once it has passed through the forecast is much better…. Hurrah….

In the afternoon back on board and Charlie comes by with our laundry. We had been persuaded by him to give his service a try, so we had put in five towels and a set of sheets.   Big mistake!  Not only did he try to rip us off on price – although we stood firm on that and refused to give him extra – it wasn’t even a good job. The sheets had dirt and rust marks from being hung out to dry, and the dye had run in the towels. We had been waiting for this to come back as we had quite a bit more to do.   Damn.   So, instead, we ended up spending the afternoon with Richard on washing duty, with me rinsing and hanging out. Felt quite jealous of the guys zipping around in front of us on their kite surfers having fun, but chores must be done first!  But we did sit and gaze at them a few times as well as enjoying the colours of the water on the reef….

About 5pm we headed over to Happy Island to chew the fat with Jonti. Told him about our laundry experience and his view is that all the boat boys are ‘hustlers’ and even though they have been told to work co-operatively with each other and fix prices, they do not understand that people will not return if they have a bad experience. But as Clifton is a port of entry / exit into St Vincent and the Grenadines many people don’t actually have a choice about coming here.  Jonti also thought that the increased crime rate of late was because it was coming up to carnival time and people were desperate to go to St Vincent but didn’t have the cash.  Interesting take on the current situation from an educated local entrepreneur. 

Later on we were joined by Ann and Bill who are cruising on their trawler and were amazed to see that they had a depth gauge on their splendid dinghy!  Had a really nice chat with them, watched the sun go down, and returned back on board for a quiet night.

Monday morning we awoke to the start of the weather – no rain yet but significant wind and large seas. A skiff came by and a guy from Sail Grenadines told us that the yacht behind us had been stolen over the weekend!  Unfortunately all we could tell him was that it had not been there on Sunday – but couldn’t help. Felt terrible on two fronts – for the owners of the vessel and also for the people who had been booked to come on a sailing holiday. Shaking off the bad news – and making sure Morphie was securely tied and locked up with no means of starting her engine – we went ashore to do some provisioning for when we leave.

Clifton has three small supermarkets and not one had everything we wanted – so had to visit all of them and still came back without basic things like washing-up liquid! Whilst shopping, we bumped into Shauna from Bollheads who was actually with Tony when he got robbed and we were really shocked to hear that it was actually two masked men with a gun and he had no option but to hand over his day’s takings. She also told us that a boat had been broken into and raided over there too – this is starting to feel like bandit country!   Wandered around town for a while, enjoyed seeing the sharks in the shark pool, and headed back on board.

In the evening we went ashore – making sure Morphie was alarmed as well as locked. We had dinner at the Anchorage Hotel with Bill and Ann and had a really nice time. As we were enjoying after-dinner drinks the heavens opened and we had a thunderstorm. Sat it out and, when the rain had eased a bit, we headed back on board and were pretty soggy by the time we had lifted dink back on her davits.

During the night the wind howled and the rain was torrential – so much so that we didn’t get out of bed until almost 10.00 am today (Tuesday). We are having a lazy time onboard and are planning to go ashore to get latest internet updates.  When we get the latest weather info – and it has been pretty accurate up to now – we’ll plan for the next few days. We are actually ahead of schedule as we have friends joining us in Grenada at the end of June and, if we wanted to, we could get there in a day or two as it is only 40 miles as the crow flies. However, we really want to continue our very slow meander down there so that we can check all the best places to take them when they come onboard for a sailing holiday with us. So will keep you posted.

Bye for now