Caribbean Adventures Part TWO!

The build up to Carnival week was a lot of excitement both for the upcoming events but weather watching as well.  NOAA upped its prediction of named storms by 6 for the year and the first storm came early in the season!  So after the excitement of preparing for Tropical Storm Ernesto and watching with relief its passage north, we were ready to party!  What a week of fun and craziness – Carnival lived up to its reputation and hype.  Needless to say by the end of it we were quite happy to have some peace and quiet return to the marina.

WARNING – this post is rather lengthy !

There were many events leading up to the actual event.  I (and occasionally Glen) took part in a number of `Carnival Fitness’ classes offered by two of the local gyms.  It was quite hilarious seeing `who didn`t belong` as we learned to whine and `move ur mass’.  It was a great workout though and lots of laughs trying to get my hips to move even close to what it should really look like.  See if you can find Glen in the “red T-shirt” class and me in the “purple T-Shirt” class!

one of these folks just doesn’t belong….

Glen gets his groove on

The Hash was no exception to the pre-carnival atmosphere as we celebrated `Kirianival“ (a combination carnival and Kirani James` celebration of his incredible gold medal run and Grenada’s first ever Olympic medal).  Dressed in Grenada colors and gold we ran the streets of the Grand Anse area waving flags and medals.

the “golden group” from Port Louis heads out to the Kiranival Hash (before the mud picture)

Several competitive events took place at the stadium (Calypso, Steel Band etc) during the week.   But, the big day was Monday … our alarms were set for 4:30am.  After a quick coffee we were out mingling on the street for the JÒuvert Parade.  It was quite eerie before sunrise with streets packed with the oily Jab Jabs and locals in crazy getups and loud, loud music!

oily jab-jab

it was less eerie as the sun rose

parades of people in costumes and paint – following the DJ trucks

many use paint instead of oil

other odd costumes – this Yeti like figure was sitting in the dark at the side of the road

From the Grenada Carnival Website:

  • Jab-Jabs:  Blackened with stale molasses, tar, grease, creosote or mud, and wearing little more than their horned helmets, these masqueraders in previous times set out to terrify onlookers with their grotesque appearance and repulsive dances.
  • In modern times, the traditional Jab-Molassi have mutated into other creatures of colour, with Blue, Yellow and Green Devils joining in the early morning parade. These colourful devils are much more playful in character, wanting only to dab a bit of their body paint onto unsuspecting bystanders, as they dance through the streets to the rhythms of the accompanying drums, steel bands and calypsos from huge DJ trucks.

surprisingly – fun for all ages – a dad and son enjoy the moment

our gang before most of the paint

We had a great morning and the rain held off.  It was fantastic being in Port Louis Marina and close to all the action.  Glen was even able to dinghy back to the boat for early morning refreshments.  The parade seemed endless with more outrageous outfits at every bend… what a blast.  We made it back home around 10am and laid low until 3pm.  Then it was back to the streets (and blazing heat) for the Pretty Mas parade.  This involves the competition of the local groups from each Parish (community) – with elaborate (small) costumes and (large) headpieces, dancing and moving to the SOCA music.  Groups stopped to perform for the judges and this provided a great opportunity to see the costumes and dancers up close.  What is truly amazing is the participation rate on the island in all the events – not sure who was left at home as the streets were packed – and all ages – young and old danced and celebrated in style.

the little ones all dressed up – stole our hearts!

incredibly elaborate costumes – that is a LOT of glitter and sparkles!

with large headpieces and small costumes the color and spectacle was amazing

Again, it was back to the boat for a rest and supper before heading off with our glowing accessories (Mohawks, necklaces, light sabres, beer mugs and bracelets) at 7pm.  We made our way to the staging area and then grouped up with the other 1000 revellers of the “Carbib“ group to begin our parade to the Caranege.  I will confess after the long day many of us bailed as we processed by the marina and hit the sack.  What a day!!

an LED extravaganza on the streets (and we were just one of several ‘bands’ of a 1000)

several of our pals from Port Louis

Tuesday was a repeat of Monday` afternoon`s parade with additional judging.  A large group of us decided to chill out in the shade at one of the local restaurants with a view down to the street.  With so many costumes and people we were still seeing things we had missed Monday.  It is also noteworthy to mention that several local cruisers took full part in the events and joined the Pretty Mas parade with full (small) costumes… what a great opportunity to really live carnival atmosphere.

After carnival we were happy to leave the marina and head out to anchor in the south bays.  The peace, quiet, breeze and independence is something we had missed after being so long in the marina.  We dove into the local community and have done several events and activities in our new location.  Every day we are witness or recipients to incredible acts of kindness and community minded goodness… we are truly blessed to be a part of this.

And now, we must pull anchor and head to the `work yard`  for a few days – I am not looking forward to that – however it is all for a great purpose.  We are having a stainless arch build – this attaches to the stern and will provide davits (a method to suspend our dinghy) and a platform for our solar panels (which are on order).  Yahoo – this will allow us to keep our batteries topped up (our fridge cold) all without having to run our engine while we are at anchor.  It has been a long time in coming but we didn`t want to rush the decision until we had lived on the boat awhile to see what really best met our needs.  We are hoping it will be a quick and painless final fabrication and installation process and we can be back home in the bay (Mt Hartman) by Wednesday. “

Oh before closing this entry I can’t not mention the incredible Hash run last week…  If you are unsure of what “hashing” is check out the website www.grenadahash.com.  Hashing started in Kuala Lumpur in 1938 and has a long and storied history which has led to local chapters/kennels worldwide.   Essentially every week a group of 200-400 crazy folk (yes, just from Grenada) meet in some remote location on the island where a trail has been set by the hares.  After a general gathering the masses set out to run, walk, crawl and this past week ‘swim’,  their way through mud, bush and more mud for anywhere from 45 – 90 minutes!  Sound like fun?  It is actually a blast and the run is followed by local food, (loud music) and Carib beer (3 for $10 EC – about $4).  Well, the past week we were far north on the island with the trail taking us off the beaten path through a gorge and a series of about 6 rapids/pools.  Some were touted as chest deep – well maybe for my pal Lynn at 6’+ – for me  I was a swimming!

not just rivers but lovely hillsides (mountains it seems like)

one of several rapids into a pool

that isn’t my head – I think I actually went under

Hashing can best be summed up by this quote:

“Hashing is a state of mind – a friendship of kindred spirits joined together for the sole purpose of reliving their  childhood or fraternity days, releasing the tensions of everyday life, and generally, acting a fool amongst others who will not judge you or measure you by anything more than your sense of humor.”  Stray Dog

As it has been quite a while since our last update I will close this one now and add another very shortly – because we have been sooo busy!   Ha ha!  Also, I will only add a smattering of photos – I have albums posted for each of the carnival events on our facebook page if you are intrigued – Dalynn N Glen Kearney

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