Grenada:  July 20 - August 1, 2012

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

Performance by Donnel Best

On July 20 we attended at Secret Harbour Marina a performance by Donnel Best.  He has gathered together a number of other young men, including his brother, to make a band so that he can give fund-raising performances to finance his prospective music studies in Boston. They were quite good, but being new, they ran out of prepared numbers before the crowd was ready for them to quit. Donnel sang as well as played his violin.  He is very talented and we predict that he will do well.

Donnel Best -- a natural performer

Member of the audience

Desserts on Tusen Takk II

On July 21 we had a number of folks over for dessert that included a Tropical Paradise cake with pineapple in and mango, coconut and almonds on the cake.  Delicious!  And brownies made from Ann's (Receta) One Pot Brownie recipe.  The latter can be found on page 299 of her book:  An Embarrassment of Mangoes.

Lynn (Silverheels III), Håkan and Anna-Karin (Unicorn)

Håkan, Anna-Karin and Kathy (Oceana)

John (Oceana), Ken (Silverheels III) and David (Persephone)

Rock 'n' Roll with Doc Adams

Doc Adams' first gig after returning to Grenada was at De Big Fish on July 24.   We met Marty (Bay Pelican) and the crew of Unicorn there and had dinner before the performance.  Doc Adams has re-shaped his band and now does rock 'n' roll rather than the blues.  He is fantastic at either.

"Doc" Adams and drummer -- his new band

Marty (Bay Pelican) and Barb

Anna-Karin and Håkan (Unicorn)


Faithful readers will recall that local fisherman Dwight has hurt his hand and is currently unable to work.   On July 25 we met him at the bus terminal at St. George's and we all caught a bus up to his home, where we met his wife Glenis and her daughter Alicia and a cousin.  And of course Dwight and Glenis' charming son Akel.   Glenis and Alicia had to get downtown to do some last-minute shopping in preparation for Alicia's trip to London, but before she left she served us a delicious meal of salad, corn-on-the-cob, rice, mixed vegetables and stewed goat.   We look forward to spending more time with the family when we return after the hurricane season.

Dwight and his son Akel

Performance by "Barracuda"

On July 26 there was a performance at Secret Harbour Marina by Barracuda.   An entertaining mix of American songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s and Italian classics.


Barracuda and El


Portion of the crowd at Secret Harbour Marina

Barb and Anna-Karin were part of a large chain that danced through the crowd

Mt. Hartman Bay

Out on a walk on July 26, Barb decided to stop in at the Cave House restaurant and make reservations for dinner for our wedding anniversary Aug. 7.  She took a wrong branch of the road, and ended up atop the restaurant instead of beside it.  While taking pictures so that I could patch together a panorama, she was challenged by an owner/caretaker (?) who was not at all happy with her presence.   She batted her eyelids with sufficient skill to be able to finish her photography and then found her way down to the restaurant to make the reservations.

Panorama of Mt. Hartman Bay from atop the Cave House

Walk with Unicorn

On July 27 we left the dinghy at Whisper Cove and hiked over to Le Phare Bleu.  Going down the steep incline from the ridge between Clarke's Court Bay and Le Phare Bleu was just at (or maybe a little beyond) my comfort zone for my arthritic ankles, but I was able to make it back to our dinghy without calling for a helicopter rescue.

Håkan, Anna-Karin and Barb

Looking west over Clarke's Court Bay toward Hog Island

Tribute to and Performance by Mighty Sparrow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Mighty Sparrow or Birdie (born Slinger Francisco, July 9, 1935, in Grand Roy, Grenada, West Indies) is a calypso singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Known as the "Calypso King of the World," he is one of the most well-known and successful calypsonians. He has won Trinidad's Carnival Road March competition eight times and has been named "Calypso Monarch" eleven times.


On July 28 we attended what was billed as the last performance (before retiring) of The Mighty Sparrow.  He was born in Grenada, but grew up in Trinidad.  The first half of the performance turned out to be a tribute during which other (much younger) calypsonians sang some of his songs and some of their own.  In the second half, Mighty Sparrow sang a number of his own songs.  He is apparently in ill health; he mostly sang from a seated position.  A number of his songs are available on Youtube.  Three that he sang that night are:


Mr. Bendwood Dick

Congo Man

He may be retiring, but his songs remain popular.   I just noticed this morning in a Trini Sunday paper a list of this week's top 10 calypso songs.   Listed as number 2:  "Good Citizens" by The Mighty Sparrow.

Mighty Sparrow singing one of his many hits from his younger days

Prime Minister of Grenada making a presentation to Mighty Sparrow

More Dinghy Repair

David (Persephone) mentioned one day that it looked like we had excessive "smoke" coming out of our dinghy exhaust.  I assumed it was just that I had put too much oil into the gas for the 25 hp Yamaha 2-stroke, but when we next used the dinghy I realized that we had steam (!) coming out of the telltale combined with an intermittent flow.   Ken (Silverheels III) had experience with replacing the impeller on his Yamaha, and offered to come over and help with the replacement.  So we put the dinghy back up on the upper deck and removed the lower unit of the outdrive.  Took it down to the cockpit to get out of the sun, and then replaced the impeller.  Piece of cake.  Except we didn't notice that the rubber collar that mates the water tube from the lower unit to the water tube in the upper unit -- that collar had gotten pushed up onto the upper tube instead of being secured on the lower tube.   So when we put everything back together we got no flow at alll!  Back up to the upper deck with the dinghy and off with the lower unit.  Peer up into the upper unit and find the collar and secure it onto the lower unit pipe.  (There is a little nipple on the collar that fits into a hole in the lower pipe.)  Put everything back together and YES (!) we have cooling flow out the telltale.   I should have started boating earlier in life.   I feel like I have lately learned so much about the various systems associated with our cruising, that it will be a shame to retire to landlubbing without getting to use my knowledge again.  Not that I am asking for any more mechanical difficulties, mind you.

Ken (Silverheels III) and Chuck replacing impeller on our dinghy

Flight to Trinidad

It was our intention to hang around in Grenada until at least the middle of August, and to then move on down to Trinidad to await our scheduled haul-out in early September.  But our insurance does not cover us for damage caused by named storms if we are above 10 degrees 50 minutes, and Grenada is at 12 degrees.   So when Tropical Depression #5 (which later became Ernesto) threatened to hit Grenada, we fled.  We left Mt. Hartman at about 6 PM on August 1, and were slowed for the entire 14-hour trip by strong currents that were no doubt enhanced by the full moon.   At about 2 AM Barb took over the controls and I retired to the settee in the saloon for some sleep.  The ride was a little bumpy, with the waves coming in almost abreast, but the stabilizing fins did a good job of minimizing the roll.  We had of course before departing done the usual amount of securing of things that might fly about, but the truth is our sailing friends would be amazed and appalled at the number of loose items that we habitually leave unsecured other than to be placed on non-skid material behind a fiddle.  That is how good our stabilizers work. And then at about 3 AM a rogue wave hit us.  Tools and portable VHFs went flying from a shelf on the port side of the pilothouse.  Items flew off the desk in the saloon.  The oven door came open.  The table in the saloon came sliding into my settee and dumped its contents onto me.  A 2-liter pitcher of water skidded along the galley counter and dumped into a corner storage bin.  Much crashing and banging was heard but fortunately nothing was broken.

We have been cruising on Tusen Takk II since July 1, 2005.   That is the first time we have had things fly about.  Just one rogue wave in seven years.   Will we be better prepared for the next rogue wave?  To find out, stay tuned to the exciting adventures of "Barb and Chuck Go Cruising".

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