Grenada: June 22-July 7, 2011

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

Fried Chicken at Stevie's Sister's Rum Shack

One night while Ann (Receta) was still in New Jersey, but Steve was still here, the Terns and Takks and Steve walked to Upper Woburn where Stevie's (the local Stevie as opposed to the Receta-Steve) sister has a rum shack.  Charlene fried some delicious chicken while we relaxed with Caribs (local beer) and chatted with relatives and friends.   On the way up we stopped and chatted with Dingis and Janelle and Bici.

Steve w/ Janelle and Bici

Chuck and Devi w/ Dingis

View from the rum shack just at dusk: Clark's Court Bay in the foreground and Hog Island anchorage in the right rear

Barb w/ Stevie's mother Kathleen

Steve w/ Stevie's friend Primus (who gave Steve the hat)

Stevie's uncle Samuelson

Stevie and Hunter

Kathleen's sister and Kathleen

Stevie's nieces and nephew

Another Trawler!

One day the trawler pictured above anchored beside us.   We stopped in and met Art & Rachel (Jo Na Lisa), Arcadians from New Brunswick who have been cruising the Caribbean for about as long as we have.  During that time they spent most of their hurricane seasons in Venezuela, but after having two dinghies and three motors stolen, and after subsequently being boarded and beaten and having their boat stripped of valuables and electronic gear, they have sworn off mainland Venezuela and its close-in islands.  They are a gregarious couple; we had them over for sundowner drinks and they subsequently had us over for dinner.   During our wide-ranging conversations it developed that Art had a contact in St. Vincent's Union Island that sells bulk diesel fuel at about half the price that is generally available.  The diesel fuel is brought up from Venezuela by Venezuelan boats that buy the fuel at the subsidized price of about 6 cents a gallon and then bring it to Union for resale to the Union distributer.  The Union business is perfectly legal, and in fact has a specific license to sell the fuel to the larger fishing boats and to the ferries, and to vessels such as ours, so long as the business checks the papers of the vessels and assures that the vessels are either local or properly checked into the country.  The Venezuelan suppliers are presumably breaking Venezuelan law, but after some hesitancy the Prime Minister of St. Vincent decided to permit the activity since it so clearly benefits the St. Vincent citizens.  We do not know if the Venezuelan suppliers are daring smugglers or if they have the official or tacit approval of the Venezuelan government.   We have heard that Chavez and Castro and the St. Vincent Prime Minister are very tight, so it may well be that the latter possibility is the case.

So with Art's help we contacted the Union distributer and received assurances about the price and the availability of a sufficient quantity of fuel.  We cruised the 45 miles to Carriacou on Saturday, July 2 and anchored right in front of Ann and John (Livin' the Dream) in Tyrrel Bay.   Sunday morning we moved around to Hillsborough and checked out of Grenada/Carricou before cruising the 7 miles up to Union Island, where Barb went ashore to check us in to St. Vincent while I watched the boat.   When she got back we tied up to the distributor's moored boat and took on 700 gallons at a price of $2.62 (US) per gallon.   We were back in Tyrrel Bay by mid afternoon.  Next day (Monday) Barb caught a local bus into Hillsborough while I went on a hike w/ Ann and John, old cruising buddies that we first met on our way down to the Caribbean some five year's ago.  Tuesday we returned to Hog Island,  leaving Tyrrel perhaps 30 minutes behind Livin' the Dream.  They sailed down the eastern (windward) side of Grenada, while we motored down the western (protected) side.  When we pulled in to the Hog Island anchorage they were only 20 minutes behind us.   Trawlers rule!   :-)

John and Ann (Livin' the Dream) on their way over for dinner on Tusen Takk II

Bill Paterson (Notary and bar owner in Hillsborough) has spruced-up his store front!

Work on the new marina at Tyrrel Bay proceeds at a snail's pace

Famous "island" off Clifton, Union Island, created by a rasta entrepeneur who patiently dumped conk shells to make enought dry land to build his bar

Venezuelan supply ship delivering fuel to the Union distributor

Local worker and a Venezuelan aboard the distributor ship

Ellie sells from her dinghy delicious smoked fish in Tyrrel Bay

Dwight and Stevie

We cannot have a posting without devoting a section to Dwight and Stevie, who stop by virtually every day to snack and chat (and lately, fish for lane snapper).

They have been frantically attempting to gather enough lambi (conch) to fill an order for someone attempting to be ready for Grenada's mid-August carnival.   Dwight does all the diving, and Stevie drives the boat and attempts to keep up with Dwight.  When collecting lambi, Dwight throws the shells into the boat.  Stevie uses a small hammer to make the hole that will later be used to cut the lambi free from its shell.  "Later", because Dwight usually brings up so many that Stevie has little time to do more than pound the holes.   So later, they anchor some place, or tie up to us, and complete the process by cutting the lambi out of the shells and then cutting away the inedible portion.   When they return to shore they pound the lambi before storing it away in a freezer.   They work damn hard at their chosen profession.

Stevie and Dwight removing lambi (conk) from their shells

Cutting away the inedible parts of the lambi

Cleaned-but-not-yet-pounded lambi piled into the front of the boat

Dwight shows one of 30 sea cats (octopus) that they harvested on one of their days

Hunter (Arctic Tern) and Peter (Light Heart) joined Dwight and Stevie on several of their fishing expeditions

Some days the fishing from TT2's cockpit is a little slow...

Dwight and Hunter playing mancala on TT2's cockpit

Other Hog Island Stuff

One of the fast boats that zips through the Hog Island anchorage delivering folks to the Island

Receta had her mast removed, repaired and remounted, leaving Steve with the task of rewiring.

Mike and Rebecca (Zero to Cruising) demonstrate their exercise routine for the folks from Snow Bird

an old sailboat -- Coral of Cowles -- with a large crew doing lots of ongoing maintenance...

And then I got the bright idea of taking a photo of the Hog Island anchorage from atop the ridge to the north.   I have taken better pictures, but I have never worked harder for them.  I first bushwacked my way up the backbone of the ridge a few weeks ago, using my cutlass to clear the "trail" that used to be there.   I learned that there were no clear views of the anchorage; too many bushes between the trail and the edge of the ridge.   I also got reacquainted with zooti, which the locals call "devil's nettle".  Ugly sores on my shin, little finger, and elbow.  On my second visit, I spent four and a half hours clearing away the tops of bushes that obscured my view from the top of a huge boulder on the ridge.  By then a wiser man, I contacted no zooti.  On my third visit, just today (July 7), I finally got some pictures.  Here are a few:

Le Phare Bleu Pizza Night

Clarke's Court

Clarke's Court hosts a "hamburger" night on Wednesdays and a "pot luck" night on Saturdays, both of which often have musical entertainment.   Gilfy's band was joined recently by a woman with a marvelous voice; she was a joy to listen to and watch.

Clark's Court bookkeeper Jeanie gets set for a "duel" of cameras with Barb

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