After a great first haul out experience in Carriacou we made our way south to Camp Grenada. It always feels like a homecoming seeing old friends on boats and on shore. We settled again in at our favorite hangout, Secret Harbor, which obviously isn’t so secret anymore with 60+ boats floating in the bay. Routines were re-established with shopping buses, yoga, hashes, hikes, volleyball, dinghy concerts, birthday parties, drumming lessons, broken toes and the endless list of boat chores.
Our buddies Doug & Wendy (sv Nahanni River) returned from their adventures in Spain. And though we have been chatting, sharing and keeping in touch we realized we hadn’t seen them in over 8 months so we had lots of hugs, laughs and stories. Dave & Alex (sv Banyan) had family aboard, Michelle and Mark. It was so much fun getting to know them a little and seeing the family love and adventures happening aboard Banyan.
And then another first for us…. Regatta racing! We had planned on a trip to Carriacou to take part in the social events and watch the racing fun. At volleyball one day Dave says, “we are heading up to the regatta to race and we need crew, are you in?” My immediate reply of course was, “No, are you crazy?”. After a short pause and reflection I realized that this would be a fabulous opportunity to face my growing seasickness and heeling fears head on, and replied boldy “OK! We are in!”. gulp. A quick provisioning stop in St. Georges followed by light seas and winds, we finally arrived in Tyrrel Bay. At the first night’s excellent potluck we caught up with friends, Sue & Malcom (sv Kool Kat) and now with Team Banyan complete we got right into the regatta spirit.
The first day’s race was a two-handed around the island so we ‘dinghyed’ out to the start line to cheer on Dave & Alex. The Team Banyan cheer team decided to have a meander over to Off the Hook for perhaps a swim and lunch before heading back out to the finish line. As we arrived we were able to watch some of the race boats at the north of the island sailing into the black squalls that had blanketed out Union Island. We sent out good vibes to Banyan, opted out of a swim, tried to find lunch but were too early, so Glen opted in for a haircut. This also provided time for lunch to be readied. We had quite the excitement at Sunset Beach Bar as we watched a police raid on an arriving boat… a little hair raising and over so fast, we still couldn’t believe what we had seen. After a quick hustle back to Tyrrel we made it just in time to see Team Banyan puff across the finish line. A brilliant race and first place finish for them meant the pressure was on as the rest of us joined in for the remaining two days of racing.
Day 2 was lining up to be a ‘lively’ day including a bumpy bit on the windward side. With butterflies and adrenalin flowing Dave prepped us and ran us through some practice before the start. And then, OMG! What a start it was… I was sure there was a collision or two in the making as Dave jostled, danced and tic tacked around the start line. With a bit of ‘getting even’ we were pushed off the start by a fellow competitor with a grudge and this is when I think I yelped and gasped a little. After the nerve racking start we fell into a rhythm and despite a few errors with the traveller and main sheet, Dave’s patience and expert manoeuvering and tactics had us in an exhilarating race to the finish (through the squall). WOW!!!
Day 3 was lots of fun with a bit of everything – lighter winds, downwind sails and gusties. We fell behind a little at the start but were able to catch and pass our ‘competitors’ as we rounded into Tyrrel on the first leg. Short tacks for the Jack 0 Dan mark saw our lead widen and we crossed the line 20 minutes ahead of the next in our class. And then due to some mysterious forces that be (handicap) and island politics, we ended the Day’s Race with a very respectable 2nd place finish.
The wind up party at the SlipWay Restaurant was a hoot. We still don’t understand the logic behind the altered race results but were proud of our accomplishments.
And now, Carnival here we come! We will head back to Grenada tomorrow to get ready for next weekend’s Carnival activities. The first year in Grenada we went “all in” and took part in everything. Last year our trip back to Canada began the day before Carnival’s start. This year we will be selective in the fun to be had! Nevertheless, the Carnival atmosphere is contagious and I am sure we will be swept along for some great memories.
And once recovered from Carnival it will only be a few short weeks to get Amoray prepped and tucked away for its alone time as we head home to Canada. We are excited and looking forward to seeing family friends and of most importance, our niece’s wedding in September!