Grenada:  June 3-July 1, 2008

Click on the above thumbnail for a map during this time period

Tyrell Bay Reunion Party

While in Tyrell Bay, Cariacou, we hosted a "reunion" party on Tusen Takk II, with old friends from Receta, Seaman's Elixir, Asseance, and Magus, and new friends from Durban Dancer and Leap of Faith.

John, Yani, and Heather

Don, Lynn and Ann

Steve and Bob



Barb and Linda (FFL)

Curtiss and Charlie DuRand Visit

We left Tyrell Bay early morning on June 6, and arrived at Prickly Bay, Grenada before noon.  On June 7 an old high school chum (Curtiss) and his son (Charlie) arrived for a week's visit aboard.   We met them at the Grenada airport some time after 9:30 PM, took them by taxi back to Prickly Bay, and gave them what was probably their first-ever dinghy ride (out to our boat).   After a rolly night, during which the boys' constitutions were reinforced with substantial amounts of Dramamine,  we moved over to one of our favorite (and quiet and un-rolly) anchorages:  Hog Island. 

From there, we showed Curtiss and Charlie our little corner of Grenada, and our little corner of cruising existence.   Sailor's showers and the importance of energy consumption were discussed.   A half-day expedition to the market, via a more-than-fully-packed max-taxi was undertaken, all to buy a loaf of bread!  (But in fact, we visited the open market and came back with much additional produce.)   A walk through the Mt. Hartman Grenada Dove Reserve -- or what used to be the reserve for the endemic and critically-endangered species before the current administration of Grenada consented to sell almost all of it to resort developers; a walk through a prosperous neighborhood near Prickly Bay; an expedition via dinghy to nearby Le Phar Bleu, where we ordered lunch and then played in the pool while waiting for the meal to be prepared; an all-day tour of Grenada, during which Barb stayed back at the boat and I accompanied the boys -- see photos below.   Barb flew back to the States to see her daughter and grandkids on June 12.  After she left, the three of us had a delicious dinner at Whisper Cove, run by a French couple who serve American hamburgers for lunch and elegant French meals for dinner.   Also after Barb left, we scheduled a repeat venture into St. George so that Curtiss and Charlie could find gifts for Martha (Curtiss' wife) and Simone (Charlie's twin sister). 

It was fun to get caught up with an old friend -- whom I had not seen since around 1962.  And we hope that Charlie found his Caribbean experience a suitable reward for his recent graduation from high school.

Island Tour

Tour leader Cutty explains about a plant

The group samples cocoa beans

Curtiss at Annandale Falls

Curtiss ...

... observes ...

... a jump by the local "pro" jumpers

Bob and Lynne (Leap of Faith)

Can never resist photographing these guys

Charlie meets the monkeys at Grand Etang

Listening to the guide at a nutmeg processing plant

Nutmegs in a drying tray

Sacked nutmegs

River Antoine rummery has been in existence since 1785

Smokestack at the rummery

This waterwheel powers the cane squeezer/press

The hand-loaded intake to the press

Gears that transfer power from the waterwheel to the press

The bagasse (cane stock residue) is just dumped onto this platform...

...where it is swept into this railcar and taken out and dumped

Coming back for another load

Squeezings go into the first copper kettle, are heated/reduced, and then trasfered by hand to the next kettle, etc.

Distilling pot

Un-aged rum is stored in an underground vat until Customs are paid. Then transfered to 50 gal barrels, from which the rum is scooped ...

...with pitchers and poured into Igloo coolers, which are used to fill bottles by hand.

Two bottlers keep this guy busy using his machine to put screw caps on the bottles

Curtiss after tasting the strong -- not for export -- 90% alcohol end product

A volcanic lake in an ancient crater

Group enjoying lunch

The group seen from the other end

Curtiss and Charlie explore the beach ...

... and play a game of "catch-the-coconut"

Other Events

Curtiss and Charlie enjoyed playing pool at Clark's Court Bay Marina

While waiting for lunch at Le Phar Bleu, they enjoyed another kind of pool ...

...and took turns being the underdog

Hog Island Happenings

One of the casualties of the development of the Hog Island area -- in addition to the lose of critical habitat for the endangered Grenada Dove -- will likely be the eviction of Roger from his little rum shack on Hog Island.   Yes, he is a squatter.   But he has been there for many years.   Cruisers gather there nightly for a "sundowner".   Locals and cruisers arrive every Sunday for the afternoon barbeque.  Will he be evicted?   Will he be required to "upgrade" the facility, including perhaps the addition of toilet facilities?   Will he be permitted to stay, just as he is, as an authentic and time-tested institution?   Only time will tell.   Someday, we may be sad to say that we knew Hog Island before it went to hell.   For now, we can only appreciate this marvelous place and hope that it can stay this way a little longer.

Roger's Rum Shack, on a corner of Hog Island

Two nearly-identical PDQ catamarans arrive at Hog Island: Seaman's Elixir and Leap of Faith

Birthday party on the beach for Wendy on Mustang Sally and John on Sea Witch

A Grounding on a Reef

After Curtiss and Charlie had left, and before Barb returned from Savannah, late one afternoon I heard a "mayday" broadcast on the VHF radio.  Turned out the distressed vessel was aground on a reef just outside of Hog Island.   So I jumped in my dinghy and raced out, along with many others from the anchorage, to see if I could be of assistance.   What I found was a gorgeous 70' or 80' sailing vessel that had misjudged or gotten careless or distracted while lowering sails or something, and had run aground on one of the reefs that on the one hand make the entrance to Hog Island a little twisty, and on the other hand do such an admirable job of protecting the anchorage from rollers.

Our little dinghies were far too insubstantial to pull off such a large vessel, but we all circled about anyway, just in case the vessel began to be torn apart by the waves that were violently striking it and the reef.   A larger inflatable -- with an inboard motor! -- took the end of a long long line and began trying to pull the sailboat off.   It looked hopeless, and the Grenada Coast Guard was contacted via VHF.   They promised to be there shortly.   As they say in the Caribbean, "just now" -- which means anytime between exactly now and several hours later.   In this case, it was about 45 minutes later, after the boat had been pulled off by a combination of 1) having the waves tip it dangerously to its side (thereby reducing the contact of the keel), 2) being grindingly, agonizingly, painfully pushed over the reef to a slightly deeper spot, and 3) the efforts of the heavy pulling dinghy.

But their troubles were not over.  Their rudder had been damaged, and they had no steering.   Some reports say their propeller also got tangled in the long tow line after they got free, and so they lost power.   In any case, they subsequently anchored out in large waves beyond the entrance to the anchorage, where the Coast Guard finally joined them and ultimately towed them to Prickly Bay.   See photos below -- taken from back at Tusen Takk II after my return -- of the vessel as it sat anchored awaiting assistance from the Coast Guard, and then being towed toward Prickly Bay.

At anchor after from being freed from reefs (not visible -- off to the left)

The Grenada Coast Guard towing the disabled vessel toward the shelter of Prickly Bay.

Seven Sisters Waterfall Trip

Barb writes:  One morning we joined Ann and John on Livin the Dream for a trip to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls.  Of course that entailed a dinghy ride to a marina, a hike to a main road, a bus ride into the main city of St. Georges and another bus ride across the island to the road leading to the waterfalls.  We paid a small fee to the family whose land we would be hiking through to get to the falls and then had to decide if we wanted to take a guide with us or go it alone.  We had heard differing opinions from other cruisers on that subject, but decided to take a very charming guide named Dave.  It didn't take us long to realize that we made the right choice.  The path took us to the first two falls (numbers one and two), where we were mighty impressed with number two.  Then a side trip up to number seven.  Then back down to falls one and two, and then up a very steep path past falls one through six.   Why past them?   Well, it soon turned out that we would be jumping and diving our way down through those six falls.  We made it through them all and would never have attempted any of them without Dave.  At some of the falls we were instructed to jump in and land on our back since the water was shallow there.  At another fall we had to stand on our left foot and then take a long step out to the side of the cliff to push ourselves off with our right foot so we could dive way out where it was deep enough.  Do you get the picture?  The second-to-last fall (number two) was the tallest at 42 feet high.  Initially we all (except John) proclaimed that there was no way in hell we were going to jump 42 feet down.  If it were just jumping down 42 feet it wouldn't be a problem, but you have to leap far out so you don't hit the rocks below.  Eventually we one by one -- with some long hesitations -- made the leap.  Chuck did his from a little lower down, but did it non-the-less.  We didn't have a camera along for most of the trip, so the only photos we got were of the number seven and falls one and two.

Chuck writes:  The "problem" with 42 feet, for me, was not the need to jump out a bit.   It was the 42 feet itself, pure and simple.   Much higher than I have ever  before jumped from.  So was the 30 feet that I crawled down to, and now that I have survived that height I might be able to handle 42 "next time".   But for that, dear readers, you will have to stay tuned for further adventures of  "Chuck and Barb go cruising."

To get to fall #7 you have to go barefoot across many slippery rocks as well as balance yourself across a log

Beautiful fall #7

Fall #2 - Ann, John and Barb have already done their 42' jump, and Chuck is getting in place for his jump

Chuck is almost ready

He jumps

Dave is doing a couple of flips on his way down

Ann is getting into position to jump on the last fall - #1

On fall # 1 Chuck is doing a cannonball jump (since it is relatively shallow)