We have been here a couple of weeks and are loving the “Spice Isle” – it is truly a beautiful island and Grenadians the most friendly, helpful people we have met on our journey. The weather is very consistent – 30C during the day, 25C at night with showers throughout both. Grenada had a very wet dry season this year and as a result it very lush and tropical looking. As we enter the rainy summer season we are hoping for an unusually dry one. The rains don’t last long – just sprinkles or downpours on an off which are quite refreshing. The sky is often overcast so picture taking can’t capture the true beauty of the surroundings.
After getting organized and grounded in the capital for a few days we hit the high seas and made the journey to the southern tip of the island. Unlike many of the islands where the best anchorages are in sheltered bays on the leeward side, Grenada’s bays are on the southern end of the island. To reach them you have to beat straight east into the wind and waves…. but the distances are short so it isn’t too bad. We decided to hop along and check out all the bays so we can decide where we want to return to lay anchor for a month or two later.
Our first stop was the lovely and small True Blue Bay, which lived up to its name of being a little rolly. As this also coincided with Glen’s birthday on our second night for Glen’s b’day present we splurged on a hotel room with air conditioning, no bugs and no rocking and rolling – it was a real treat! We lounged by the pool, went to the ‘manager’s cocktail party’ and had a great day/night ashore. It was the first time off “Amoray” and felt a bit odd and returning the next day – it felt like we had been away from home longer than the a day.
Our next stop was Prickly Bay. This bay is much larger (deeper and wider) but surprisingly less rolly than True Blue (most times that is). We set anchor and did some exploring. A storm blew through the next day and by evening the southern swell had built resulting in, you guessed it, a rolly night! Oh well, we sort of get used to it – except for the challenges of getting supper ready.
Next up, a lovely anchorage tucked behind Hog Island, which is where we are still as I write this. It is really sheltered and calm and as a result, quite popular. Many of the boats are tucked away and anchored for the summer with masts off and multiple anchors out. The holding is in mud so it took us a few attempts to get the anchor set and settled where we wanted. From this anchorage it is easy access by dinghy to two other bays so it is a super location.
We have had a chance to connect with some other cruisers and that has been fabulous. The famous “Cruisers Net” on VHF every morning at 7:30am is a great place to get information and hear of all the events and activities of the day. I had to get out my Daytimer yesterday in order to keep track of all the happenings. We’ve been to a cooking class, a local school, high inland in the mountains, to volunteer in their reading program, a late afternoon run through a very muddy tropical rainforest with the Grenada Hash House Harriers, stopped in at a potluck and are off to a beach bbq this afternoon so there is never a dull moment.
As I look around at the boats next to us in the anchorage there are so many countries represented… Australia, US, Switzerland, Ireland, France, South Africa, Germany, England, British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, many fellow Canadians and many countries whose flags I have not come to recognize yet. A mixture of all types of folks: young, old, families, couples, soloists all on a similar journey. A few are new like us, most have “sold up and sailed” years ago, and some we heard referred to as “snow chickens” (those who winter on a boat and return to summer at home)…regardless the thread that joins us all is an amazing consideration to ponder. What is it that draws us to wander, journey, explore, push our limits, and meet new people? Faces, hands and boats all tell a story of travel and adventure. I listen in awe at those brave folk who do the Atlantic and other long crossings… our neighbor was over helping us with some repairs yesterday. His story is he left Germany 2 years ago and his wife is still at home working. She meets up with him for a few months twice a year or so once he is based somewhere. He just arrived in Grenada after an 18 day solo passage from the Azores and Canary Islands. Then there is the Aussie couple who left home 12 years ago and have just arrived (via Brazil) after spending the past 2 years in Africa. Their last passage was 29 days with their 2 Jack Russell’s aboard. And as I was writing this, a Canadian has just stopped in to say hello – he left Montreal in 2010. He returned home last summer for a couple of months and is doing so again at the beginning of June to contemplate life … deciding if he will sell up everything and do this full time.
So as I prepare to make a quick trip home I again reflect on the richness of this journey and how blessed we are to be able to take a stab at this lifestyle. I am anxious to spend time with mom and family and know that after a short while I will be equally anxious to return home to “Amoray”. We are still undecided as to what and where we will spend the summer… today we heard of the first (and very early) tropical storm off the Carolinas, which makes us a little nervous. Our most recent plans are now to hang out in Grenada until after “Carnival” in mid August ( I can’t wait as I have heard such amazing stories about this event). At that point we think we will head to Trinidad in order to get further south during the highest hurricane risk month of September and then check out Tobago for some awesome diving in October, returning to Grenada in November once weather patterns settle and finally home to Canada for a month. That being said, our plans seem to change with the winds … we will see how the ‘season’ shapes up – everyone is a little mystified at the weather patterns lately as they don’t seem to be following the norm. We have explored the local haul out facility and if need be, we think we should be able to get her on the hard in a hurry if a storm crops up.
So after 4 months of sailing south we are looking forward to spending some island time just ‘liming’ and exploring the wondrous beauty of Grenada.