Grenada: Nov. 28 - Dec. 7, 2009

Our trip up from Trinidad on Nov. 28 was uneventful and fast; we had favorable currents and fairly flew up the 90 nautical miles, even though the trusty John Deere was chugging along at a very modest 1750 rpm.  We had planned on an early-morning (4 am!) departure along with Receta, but as we were scuttling our lines, we got a phone call:  a last minute check just as they were about to pull out of their slip had revealed a leak in an elbow of Receta's exhaust muffler.  So we made the trip by ourselves.  As usual, the seas on the north side of Boca passage were more than a little lumpy.  Directly on the nose, so we resembled a hobby horse for a bit there, the discomfort of which was somewhat enhanced by unpredictability:  it was still pitch dark.  But the lumps soon smoothed out, the sun soon came up, and we settled into an extremely pleasant cruise, during much of which, Barb snoozed.  Arrived at Prickly Bay too late to check in, but took care of that formality first thing the next morning, and then made the 4-mile trip around to Hog Island, where we found Arctic Tern out on the fringes of a fairly packed bay.  Receta made some emergency repairs on Saturday, waited a day for better weather on Sunday, and then came up in the company of three other sailboats.  Since Receta moved over to Hog Island we've subsequently had a flurry of round-robin socializing with them and the "Terns". 

In fact, the socializing began even before Receta arrived, since the 29th was Barb's birthday.  Just as soon as we were settled into the Hog Island anchorage I began pursuing the long-standing tradition (begun two years ago :-) ) of making a German chocolate cake for the birthday girl.  The cake was easy, being constructed from a store-bought mix, and so requiring only the addition of three eggs and a bit of water and a bit of vegetable oil.  The only complication being that two 9-inch cake pans will not quite fit in the oven at the same time, and so they have to be baked sequentially rather than simultaneously.  The traditional frosting was not so simple, since it had to be made from scratch.  The ingredients included three egg yolks, a cup of evaporated milk -- which we didn't have and so I substituted a can of thick "creme de leche", which we had purchased in Venezuela -- and a stick of butter, as well as a cup of sugar.  And because we didn't have enough pecan pieces, I ended up crushing and also adding some walnuts and almonds.  I stress the ingredients because Barb and I have recently been following a mostly-vegan diet.  Barb has been especially faithful.  For those of you unfamiliar with the word "vegan", it denotes a person who not only does not eat meat and fish, but also eschews dairy products and eggs.  We got involved not out of moral or ethical concerns, but because the diet seemed to promise benefits in terms of health.  Indeed, we have each dropped at least 20 points off our cholesterol, and Barb may soon have to buy a new wardrobe to match her newly slimmed-down self.  So, the birthday cake represented a big-time departure from our new "normal" diet.  The Terns offered to provide the birthday dinner, which, since they are also relatively new converts, was strictly vegan and delicious.  But then came the cake, served with a generous scoop of yogurt (dairy product!) "ice cream".  Barb loved the cake.  Raved about the cake.   Had a second piece as soon as we had waved goodbye to the Terns.  And then, in the middle of the night, began suffering from, shall we say, digestive problems?  Problems which lingered for days!  One wonders if the German cake tradition will survive.


I have written before about the hiking on this island.  Lots of twisty roads up and down and along ridges.  But better, lots of people paths and goat paths that are challenging and interesting.  Not paths created for tourist hikers, mind you, but paths created by local people because they would rather take a short route rather than a circuitous paved route.  Steve (Receta) has had his nose buried in a project, but the rest of the crew from the trio of boats has been departing at 6:30 am (the better to enjoy cool temperatures) and going for long hikes in the area.  On Dec. 6, on a day that looked so threatening for rain that we chose a route that was (uncharacteristically) almost entirely on roads, we rendezvoused with David and Kathy (Listalite) at Whisper Cove, and visited the area immediately north of Le Phare Bleu.  David and Kathy have a grant to perform a seabird census in the Eastern Caribbean.  They purchased an ancient wooden sailboat and outfitted her to support their travels and surveying, so they are interesting hiking companions.  Here are a few pictures taken on that (rainy) hike:

Down a dirt road from a ridge to a saddle

Devi, David, Ann & Kathy (Barb behid Kathy)

Sometimes the sun shone ...

... and sometimes it didn't! This cloudburst caught us just after this pic. We ducked into a rum shack at the invitation of the rasta-proprieter.