Grenada: July 24-Aug 10, 2009

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


For those of you who imagine that "living the dream" by cruising the Caribbean entails nothing but a series of pleasant "sundowner" cocktail hours, punctuated by opportunities to experience the wonder of a green flash; nothing but massive amounts of leisure time spent with raised feet and book in lap; nothing but stimulating hikes through dramatic and awe-inspiring landscapes; nothing but cool and clear waters for swimming, snorkeling and diving; nothing but fascinating forays on adventurous local transportation into local markets filled with wonderful sights, sounds and scents and heartwarming interactions with vendors; for those of you with such impressions, here is a confession:  cruising does indeed involve everything I have mentioned (and other positives).  But another confession:  "nothing but" is where my description falls short.  An therein lies an opportunity for readers of this modest blog to experience a bit of schadenfreude.

Boating in the Caribbean is a humid experience.  Mold and mildew are a constant threat.  In the past we had successfully dealt with the problem by strategically placing in our closets and storage spaces containers of "Damp-Rid", a product that absorbs and retains moisture from the surrounding air.  But then we had a couple of ugly spills of the water/desiccant mixture, and were repelled by the slimy mess the spill created.  So we stopped using Damp-Rid.

And then we began to notice the odor of mildew in one of our closets.  Didn't find anything at first, but after a week or so we stopped looking in Barb's closet and looked closer in my adjoining space.  Found, to our horror, that many of my shirts were splattered with an ugly orange mildew.  (I wear mostly T-shirts stored in a different space; hence the delay).  A frustrating and irritating occurrence escalated into full-scale disaster when we discovered that the mildew had also gotten inside the imperfectly-sealed garment bag that was supposed to protect my ridiculously-expensive Tusen Takk II shirt.  Yes, the shirt we had commissioned in Iles des Saintes.  The shirt with the hand-painted scene of Tusen Takk II on the high seas.  The shirt that I had commissioned on a mad, indulgent whim.  The shirt that ended up costing, by the time the painting and the shirt itself were purchased, something in the vicinity of $300 (US).  The shirt that seemed so fine and special that it had never been worn.  (Click here for the original account of our 2007 visit to Iles des Saintes).

We got the mildew out of the shirt.  And we were able to rescue almost all of the other shirts as well.  But all told, it took eight large loads to launder all of the clothes in our three closets.  For days we had shirts and dresses hanging everywhere:  on clotheslines outside and from handrails inside.  We had cruisers dinghying over to ask if we had gone into the laundry business.

And yes, we now have containers of Damp-Rid back in the closets and storage areas.

Chuck's $300 shirt

Another burger night

Barb took her "little" camera in to the 5 Aug. Burger Night at Clarke's Court.  Here are a few of her pics:

Michelle (Daniell Storey)

Heather (Asseance) and Dianne (Jabulani)

Cynthia and Mike (Minx)

Britt and Terry (Sea Otter)

"Oasis" at Clarke's Court Bay Marina at night (photo by Chuck)

Water Color Lessons

Terry (Sea Otter) has been giving lessons on water color at Clarke's Court.  Here are a few pics taken by Barb:

One of Barb's creations (photo by Chuck)

Fish Truck

One day while on the eastern shore of Clarke's Court Bay (to get a haircut) Barb heard the blast of a conch horn.  She learned that a pickup truck often drives down from Guave loaded with fresh fish on ice.  She spoke with the vendors, and gave them her phone number so that they could call the next time they came and had mahi-mahi.  The very next day we got the call.  We took our dinghy over to find a nice 15-lb. fish.  We bought the whole fish, and commissioned the attendant to butcher it for us.  While conversing with the vendors, we suggested that they might want to add Clarke's Court Bay Marina to their route.  They didn't know about the marina or its location, so we gave them directions.  Ever since, they have been coming into the marina a couple of days a week.  Recently, they presented Barb with a couple of very nice tuna steaks as a thank-you for the suggestion.  Here are several pics Barb took of one of the their stops at the marina:


While I continued to let my knee heal, Barb continued to arise early for hikes with Dianne (Jabulani) and Devi and Hunter (Arctic Tern), a practice that has, among other things, had the happy effect of keeping us supplied in mangos.  A few pics Barb took:


Under Hunter's tutelage, Barb has continued her swimming lessons.  Freed from having to think about breathing (by using a snorkel) while she practices, here she works on her stroke:


On the evening of August 7, 2009, Barb and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary by going out to dinner at the Beach Club, a fine-dining restaurant near the airport that we had not heard of until we started asking around.   Our friendly advisers were correct:  the food was delicious and well-presented, and the staff were friendly and competent.   It was a marvelous evening.   Barb bubbled as we were being seated that it was our anniversary, and at the end of our meal we were presented with a large complementary slice of mud pie -- with a candle -- and two forks, and two glasses of Champaign.   Classy place.

Notice the shirt -- it is no longer a virgin.

We wolfed down the whole dessert before realizing we should have gotten a picture; it used to say "Happy Anniversay Mr. and Mrs. Shipley"


Hash House Harrier Run/Walk   (Aug. 8 )

My first hash in over a month.   I didn't run, but I had a pain-free walk.   Progress.   The route first took us around and about in the area to the north of the Hog Island anchorage -- the area most of which is slated to be developed into a resort/golf course/etc. and which was formerly a refuge for the endangered endemic Grenadian Dove.   Then over the bridge -- gates unlocked just for this occasion -- and onto Hog Island itself.   The walker's route followed the windy road on down to Roger's, where the hash organizers had arranged for all hashers to get a free beer before continuing on back over the bridge to wind our way back to the starting place:   Clarke's Court Bay Marina.