2009-2010 Caribbean / Bahamas Trip


December Logs

Tuesday, December 1st, Road Town, Tortola, BVI

We arrived at the marina by 11:00 a.m.  We were plugged in and hooked up to water for the second time since leaving home.   Let the provisioning begin!  First we went to the Marine Depot for a bunch of stuff for the boat.  The folks there were very friendly and helpful.  Lots of stuff was scratched off the list on that stop.  At this point we split up and I headed to the grocery store while Roger headed to another chandlery.  I miscalculated slightly on the weight of my purchases.  I thought that before I reached the boat with my backpack and overloaded Bean bag I might actually expire by the side of the road but I mustered my inner fortitude and with a vision of rum punch dancing in my head I was able to continue.  After stashing my purchases I headed in to the restaurant where Roger and I reconnoitered for lunch.  I had a chicken roti and he had a grouper sandwich.  Both were washed down by several Red Stripes (beer.)  After several more hours of walking around in the heat we decided to avail ourselves of the luxury of the marina POOL!!!  Such decadence.  Great happiness prevailed.

Wednesday, December 2nd, Caneel Bay, USVI

By noon we had finished what we wanted to accomplish.  We went to Customs and checked out of the BVI, we checked out of the Marina (after one final lunch.) and headed toward St. John, USVI.  As we left road Harbor we saw Windigo III anchored nearby.  We did a quick lap around and chatted with Karin.  It seems that she spent the week sailing by herself while Kevin was teaching a course.  She never ceases to amaze me.  The very last time we saw them two years ago their anchor was stuck on something when they were trying to leave Matthew Town, Great Inagua.  I watched as all 100 lbs of her dove below to see what the problem was only to surface and get back on the boat by climbing up the anchor chain.  I think she used to be a policeperson in Milwaukee.  Careful who you mess with.  We'll try to get together in April on our way back through.

The wind direction suggested that we swing around the east end of St. John, sail across the bottom and motor only briefly up the west side into Cruz Bay to check in.  It was a lovely sail by some really nice looking anchorages.  Perhaps we'll put them on our list for when we're back this way in February.  Luckily we found a place to tie up at the U.S. Customs dock for our check in.  We were in and out in a very short time and were able to pick up a mooring about a mile north in Caneel Bay by 4:00 p.m.  After a swim we grilled steaks and watched the sun set.

Thursday, December 3rd, Francis Bay, St. John, USVI

We left Caneel Bay mid-morning after taking care of some quick internet stuff.  We tacked our way up Durloe Channel and around the corner into Francis Bay for the night.  What a beautiful spot.  Like the BVI many moorings have been placed at the more popular anchorages to prevent damage caused by anchoring.  In this case the moorings are within the USVI National Park.  We are surprised at how less crowded the USVI is with charter boats than the BVI was.  Whatever the reason, we're not complaining.  We quickly jumped in the water for a swim.  A little more relaxation before we have to start getting our act together for our next passage.  This one the 400+ mile trip to Grenada.

Friday, December 4th, en route Grenada, West Indies

We've been listening to the weather for several days now, waiting for a window to make a shot to Grenada, our southern most destination of the trip..  There seem to be two good days sandwiched between two troughs.  After that it doesn't get any better.  The first trough  contains squalls up to 30k and no convection.  The second trough contains squalls 30-40k with convection (read: thunder & lightening).  We decide that we'll go with the first trough and the two good days.  This, of course, means we will be leaving by noon today.  I spend the morning cooking, while Roger secures the boat for offshore work.  No more relaxation for us for a few days...

We are heading south by 12:30p.m.  The wind is pretty tight so we are having to do a bit of motorsailing to get by the east end of St. Croix.  This makes Roger's stomach  complain.  Crackers for dinner.

Saturday, December 5th, en route Grenada, West Indies

Last night did not deliver the wind direction that we had hoped but once we went around St. Croix we had a bit of flexibility till our next possible obstacle, Isla Aves.  Happily we didn't see any of the squalls that were possible.  Today the sailing is better if not perfect.  Still sailing pretty close to the wind making for a very salty trip.

Sunday, December 6th, en route Grenada, West Indies

We managed to avoid hitting Isla Aves last night.  I felt a bit slighted when the cruise ship that was behind us was hailed by the Venezuelan navy (Aves is a Venezuelan possession) over the VHF and asked a long list of security related questions about where they were going  and where they had come from, etc.  Apparently we don't rank in the threat department or perhaps they simply couldn't pick us out on radar...  Thus far this had been a blissfully bird-free trip.  Today brought a better wind angle and we were able to cover a good deal of ground.

Monday, December 7th, St. George's, Grenada, West Indies

We arrived in Grenada this morning at 10:30.  Yay!  We thought we might spend a night at the Grenada Yacht Club but they were full (permanently, it would appear) so instead we dropped the anchor in Martin's Bay, just outside St. George's.  This worked out ok for us since there was a great breeze and a wonderful view of the part of the city they refer to as the Carenage.  St. George's definitely has a European flavor with the buildings around the harbor all built into the hillside and of pretty colors and roofs tiled with ballast stones.  We checked in and had lunch at the Yacht Club looking back out toward the anchorage.  It feels terrific to be here with no passages looming.  Tomorrow we will start our exploring.

Tuesday December 8th, St George's, Grenada, W.I.

We spent the morning cleaning up after the passage.  This entails removing as much salt as possible from our living space.  Every handhold and bulkhead that we groped or banged into needs to be wiped down.  Nobody likes a salt slick boat.  That done we headed into town to the marine store.  During the passage one of the control lines for the wind vane chaffed through.  When we mentioned it to a friend he said that the same thing had happened to him in the same spot.   With a possible work-around in mind we just needed to come up with replacement line.   Island Water World, the closest chandlery was amazing.  Much better stocked than most West Marines.  With our new line in hand we went in search of lunch.  For this we made our first visit to the Carenage, the pretty inner harbor lined with antique Georgian style buildings.  We took a bit of a walk around before settling on BB's Crabback Restaurant for our meal.  BB, the chef/owner returned to Grenada from Great Britain several years ago to start the restaurant.  He seems to be doing well and we're not surprised.  Our lunch (goat) was terrific.

Thursday, December 9th, St. George's, Grenada, W.I.

Today it was back to Island Water World for more boat stuff.  While cruising the aisles we stumbled on Werner & Christina from Windance III.  We've been corresponding via email for the last several weeks in anticipation of getting together while we were both in Grenada.  Forget technology, all it really takes is a good chandlery and you're bound to run into your favorite "yachtie" eventually.  We last saw Windance III in Luperon, DR. in the Winter of 2008.  It is good to cross paths once again.  We caught up briefly and planned an outing and were on our way once again.  We headed back to the Carenage to tie up the dinghy and continue our meandering around town.  I found a place to buy a string of Christmas lights and Roger found a place that sold pizza by the slice.  The topping appeared to be something like veg-all.  Peas, carrots, corn, green beans.  But strangely enough it was very good.  This was washed down with "golden apple" juice.  The Grenadian golden apple and our golden apple are most definitely two different fruits. 

After our lunch stop we headed back toward our starting point via the Sendall Tunnel.  The tunnel, completed in 1895, allows access to the west side of the city without having to go over a giant hill.  Amazingly enough both cars and pedestrians are allowed to use the tunnel.  At seven feet high, and about twice as wide with no sidewalk it is one of those exhilarating experiences you could probably live without.  A moment's inattention on anybody's part could be problematic. 

Thursday, December 10th, St. George's, Grenada, W.I.

Today we made several trips to town to organize for the pick-up of our new wind generator propeller.  First you need to get the $$ data from the FedEx people, then you need to get your c14 form from the customs people so you don't have to pay 37% duty on your newly arrived trinket.  Then it's back to the FedEx place...    We also managed to figure out where the P.O. was and how to mail a letter.  This eventually successful process was followed by drinks and a new bikini at the Port Louis Marina.  Tomorrow we head south and around the corner to Prickly Bay where we'll introduce ourselves to Tech Nick the welder.

Friday, December 11th, Prickly Bay, Grenada, W.I.

Today is Missy Thomas's birthday.  I went to elementary school with her.  It's amazing what you CAN remember.  We moved down to Prickly Bay this morning.  It was blowing like stink but we had only ten miles to go so we used the trip to charge the batteries.  We had the hook down (for the third time) by 11:00.    First stop, Tech Nick.  Nick is a very interesting guy.  He appears to do very good work and he certainly tells a good story.  We're going to drop off our wind generator mast to him on Monday to have him add several inches in height.  Ah, the continuing saga of the wind generator.  All boaters have at least one "continuing saga".  Once it is remedied you are presented with a new one.

The boats occupying the Bay are an international lot.  French, German, Swiss, South African, New Zealand, Canadian and American are among the few I saw in our trip to the Spice Island Marine.  I'm not sure what the ratio of "stay all Winter" to "just passing through" boats is.  It would be interesting to know.

Saturday, December 12th, Prickly Bay, Grenada, W.I.

The recipe of the week on the Grenada Cruisers Net this morning was given by Ann on Receta.   I happen to know that this is Ann Vanderhoof who wrote An Embarrassment of Mangoes.  The book chronicled the two year cruise she and her husband took from Toronto to Grenada ten years ago.  It would seem that they have found their way back.  It's funny to hear her in the present.  If anyone wants the recipe for "Bhodi Beans with Pumpkin" let me know. 

It's a lazy day of chores and opening and shutting the hatches to keep out the passing rain showers.

Tuesday, December 15th, Prickly Bay, Grenada, W.I.

Today was car tour day.  On Saturday we had arranged to rent a car for one day beginning at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday.  Not surprisingly we arrived to find the car rental place locked up tighter than a drum.  Werner & Christina, our tour companions had a cell phone so we were able to rouse the rental fellow out of bed.  Another difficulty was that there was no car available so the recently awakened car rental guy simply gave us his.  After correcting the rental period from four days to one and getting Roger a local license (read: pay an additional fee at the police station)  we were on our way.

Our first stop, after getting lost only briefly, was the Grand Etang Forest Reserve.  This is a protected area of rain forest in the center of the country.  The flora is quite spectacular with giant ferns, nutmeg trees, palms and a huge variety of greenery that I couldn't identify.  We stopped at the Reserve welcome center to look at the educational materials that these places generally provide.  This is when we discovered where the cruise ship passengers disappear to.  As we had walked around the Carenage in St. George's we were perplexed by the lack of tourists, even when there were several ships at the dock.  We now know that they are all whisked away in tour vans for the far flung corners of Grenada.  To heck with the capitol city.  At any rate, we were able to learn about various geological, and  horticultural aspects of the rain forest.  Because of the regular flow of tourists we were also able to do tourist things like drink coconut water and eat coconut jelly out of our own personal coconuts, have our pictures taken with gussied-up locals and get bitten by begging Mona monkeys.   

From Grand Etang we continued east in search of the mountain road which would turn us left and head us towards Gouyave on the west coast.  Sadly the roads are deceptively small and rarely posted.  Needless to say we missed our turn-off and soon found ourselves in Grenville, on the east coast.  Grenville is the second largest "city" on the island.  It is very bustling and not touristy in the least.  We pulled off on the side of the road to purchase ears of roasted corn  from a sidewalk vendor.  We knew they would tide us over till we reached the north coast where we planned to eat lunch.  After careening through town while munching on our snacks we came upon the famous Pearls Airport (now defunct).  During the U. S. invasion in 1983 there were several Soviet/Cuban planes bombed on the airstrip.  The carcasses remain to this day.  The runway is now used only occasionally for Grenada's version of drag racing.  Mostly it is for grazing goats.

From Grenville we headed north.  After a brief stop at Belmont Estates where we purchased (and swiftly ate) a bar of Grenadian chocolate we made our way up to Sauteurs.  Sauteurs is the most northern town in Grenada and the site of Leapers Hill.  In 1651, when the remaining 100 or so Carib Indians concluded that they were not going to survive the French they chose to jump to their deaths instead of being killed.  The site now houses a Catholic cemetery with a great view.  It is adjacent to a large Catholic church which was very busy with a funeral while we were there, making it impossible to depart the scenic vista.  We decided to have lunch next to the church at a restaurant aptly called Carib Leap.  Joan Williams, the proprietor, was a lovely woman with a wonderful presence.  She asked us what we'd like to eat (no menus) and I said we'd like to have something local.  Werner & Christina, who have spent the last several years cruising in this neighborhood could, perhaps, have done without something local.  I sensed this when Christina fed the bulk of her fried chicken to the two cats weaving around our legs.  As we were finishing our lunch the mourners who weren't sitting around on the street filed into the restaurant for lunch.  We were finally able to extricate the rental from Leapers Hill.

The last leg of the tour was the trip down the west coast "highway".  This road takes you through some lovely coastal towns including Victoria and Gouyave, home of the Friday night fish fry.  The sun was beginning to get lower in the sky giving these towns  beautiful orange glows.  We had heard that of late it has been difficult to get up to the fish fry because work is being done on the west coast road.  We asked our rental fellow about whether the road was passable and he said "not a problem".  We made our way through several areas south of Gouyave which were rife with giant potholes and decided that it wasn't so bad after all.  That was before we got to the blasting zone.  I know in the States we often complain about the "overregulation" that rules our lives in the area of safety.  We have rules for everything.  There are moments, however, as we travel in other countries when we can see where a smidge more regulation might be in order.  We were behind a taxi van (which had passed us at least a half dozen times after picking up or discharging passengers) when we came over a rise and encountered road construction.  A woman with a hand painted sign sat on a rock at the side of the road.  On one side of the sign it said "Go" and, as you might suspect, the other side said "Stop".  The taxi zipped past the woman, whose sign said "Stop", only to finally stop when giant boulders began to tumble down onto the dirt road ahead.  The woman had made no frantic motions to stop the traffic.  She had not risen from her rock.  She did not appear to have any sort of walky talky.  She did, however, have the sign turned in the appropriate direction.  Apparently the local taxi has a sixth sense for how far he can get before he has to stop for the cascading rocks.  At this point we are further surprised by the cars behind us.  Instead of all doing three point turns and heading back the way they came, they all began to surge forward, filling in any empty space to await the continuation of their journey.  We are so American (or South African, as the case may be.)  We assumed that a variety of public safety officials were going to arrive and start directing us all back up the hill.  But no.  After only five minutes a little front end loader appears and shoves the offending boulders out of the way and the traffic surges forward.  The four of us held our collective breaths as we charged under the looming cliffs, which so recently sent possible death and destruction down onto the road.  Once we were beyond the danger of falling boulders we began looking in earnest for a bar.  This we found in Grand Mal Bay, just north of St. George's and within striking distance of Point A.  After a soothing rum punch at the Sunset View Bar we were ready for the homeward stretch.

We dropped the car back with it's owner  by 6:30 or so and shuffled back to De Big Fish where we had parked the dinghy many hours before.  We had survived our car tour and managed to see several of Grenada's sights in the process.

Wednesday, December 16th, Prickly Bay, Grenada, W.I.

Today we fetched our newly extended wind generator pole as well as the adjusted generator.  We hefted all 12' of it and it's parts back into our 10' dinghy and made our way back to the boat.  After a relatively incident-free re-installation (i.e. nothing wound up in the drink) we loosed the blade and let it run.  SUCCESS!!!  Vibration was way down, the new blade was missing the backstay and the noise was gone.  Three cheers to Tech Nick!  We now have our free charging source back.  We can also add to today's list of accomplishments a refilled propane tank and a Dominica courtesy flag.  We're ready to move.  

Thursday, December 17th, Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada, W.I.

Happy Birthday Cath!  After a goodbye visit with Windance III we moved two bays east to Clarkes Court Bay.  We anchored at the north end of Calivigny Island near the cut that leads to Petite Calivigny Bay.  There were only four other boats nearby which was a pleasant change from Prickly Bay.  We could see the occasional turtle swim along  the edge of the reef to our north  and the gulls wheeling overhead.  It was very peaceful.

Friday, December 18th, Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada, W.I.

The next time you find yourself in Grenada on your birthday  (as I did) I can highly recommend a restaurant for your celebration.  It was not mere coincidence that we selected our current anchorage.  It just so happens that it is a four minute dinghy ride from here to Le Phare Bleu Marina and its restaurant, the Vastra Banken.  The Vastra Banken is a 100 year old Swedish light ship which has been transformed into lovely dining space.  In the evening it is lit up with twinkly lights making the setting magical.  You start with cocktails on the top deck, followed by dinner in the "dining room".  Because you are high in the air and facing out of the Bay where there are no lights to be seen, it's as if you are suspended in mid-air.  The food was wonderful and served at a very relaxed pace.  The pace could, of course, be attributed to the fact that there were only three tables dining.  A splendid evening was had.

Saturday, December 19th, St. George's, Grenada, W.I.

We headed back to St. George's today to visit the Saturday market and do a little provisioning before heading north.  What a colorful happening!  This was our first experience of the Caribbean Saturday Market and it was great.  It was a vibrant, crazy, hopping affair.  Very full of life.  The produce was spectacular compared to the somewhat anemic stuff that is sold in the supermarkets.  It was a real treat that we look forward to repeating as we head up-island.  Tomorrow we head to Carriacou, the next island on our path north.  Goodbye to Grenada.

Sunday, December 20th, Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

We set out from St George's this morning, headed for Carriacou.  The wind was just off our starboard bow making for a pretty tight sail angle.  The wind was 18-20k and we were moving pretty well.  We were moving well, if not exactly in the ideal direction.  The passage between the islands was boisterous but not unpleasant.  The seas near Kick' em Jenny (a submerged volcano) were definitely confused.  We had checked the alert level on the internet so we felt fairly confident that she wasn't going to blow as we passed over.  The sun was out, it was warm and it felt good to be moving again after two weeks of being stationary.  We arrived at Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou by 2:30.  It appears to be a very interesting stop.  The cruising boats are eclectic and the Bay is pretty.  Because the Island is a Grenadian dependency we won't have to go through a check-in process.  Tomorrow, after I turn our rotting bananas into banana bread, we're off to town.  Before we can begin exploring there is the minor detail of dealing with the newly lost zipper pull for the stack pack...  Chores in paradise, there's no avoiding them.

Thursday, December 24th, Hillsborough, Carriacou

Well, we checked out of Carriacou this morning and have till tomorrow to sail out of town.  We've really enjoyed our visit here.  It's very laid back and the people are very nice.  During our brief stay we've tried mangrove oysters, delivered and shucked by Simon (for $25 EC, using our steak knife), had an Island tour with Bubbles, replaced our stack pack zipper (needs re-work) and ate chicken roti local style (with the bones) and red snapper same (+ eyes).  Tomorrow we head for Petite Martinique & Petite St. Vincent, about seven miles away.  I'll leave you with an anonymous cruiser's version of "The Night Before Christmas", taken from the December issue of the Caribbean Compass.  If you are a traditionalist you might want to skip it.

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, I swing on the hook
Flaked out on the settee, asleep with my book
When up on the deck I heard footsteps and stuff
"I've been boarded" I thought, and I tried to be tough

Then down the companionway hatch came a dude,
He was dressed like a nut and I thought "I'm so screwed"
But he laughed and he hummed as he surveyed my junk
So I figured he must be the resident drunk.

His eyes were lit up like a junkie on speed
But he gave me a whole bunch of stuff that I need
Like rum and cigars and new charts and a dinghy
And some kind of fancy electrical thingy.

I thought it was stolen but I wasn't telling,
I hoped he was giving and wasn't just selling
And I poured him a grog which he downed with a wink
Then I poured one for me ( I sure needed a drink!).

Then he staggered above to the dark tropic night,
As I peeked I beheld an incredible sight-
Eight tiny dolphins and a beautiful sleigh
And the dude hopped aboard and prepared to make way.

The dolphins were ready to power the sled
But the guy raised a genny and mains'l instead.
With a burp and a chuckle he gathered the breeze
And called to the dolphins, now swimming with ease;

"On Fatty and Foxy and Old Barracuda!
On Teva and Mount Gay, Antigua, Barbuda!
Or whatever your names are, you cute little fishes,
Here's to every last sailor, my best Christmas wishes!"

As he sailed away leaving a wobbly wake
I hoped he had not many stops left to make.
He got close to shore and he soon was aground
But the dolphins proceeded to pull him around

And I heard him exclaim as he sailed out of sight
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!"

-Cruiser Claus

Thursday, December 31st 2009, Hillsborough, Carriacou, W.I.

"Still there?" you ask.  No.  We're here again, and heading SOUTH, back to Grenada for another round of wind generator pole extension with Tech Nick..  More to follow but first an update.

In the last week we checked out of the Grenadian Grenadines, checked into the St. Vincent Grenadines, checked back out of the St. Vincent Grenadines and  back into the Grenadian Grenadines.  We began our rather circular route the day after Christmas, also known locally as Boxing Day.  We headed the ten-ish miles north from Carriacou to Union Island to check in.  The sail was lovely, if a bit tight.  We negotiated the reef-fraught (though well marked) entrance to Clifton Harbor and dropped the hook temporarily while Roger went to Customs & Immigration.  He caught a lift to shore with "Mr. Plat", our first boat "vendor" . After an hour of peering toward shore and getting a visit from Mr. Plat wondering if Roger had somehow found another route home I began to get a bit nervous.  Roger can sometimes be less than 100% patient with authority figures and I briefly wondered whether he had been locked up for being surly.  Happily that was not the case.  No sooner had I begun digging for our Baltimore souvenir pen "Big Boyz Bail Bonds" than Mr. Plat turned up with the wayward captain.  After bidding the taxi farewell and ranting briefly about officialdom we were hoisting the anchor and on our way again.

Our first destination, post check-in, was to be Petit St. Vincent.  This island is just a few miles southeast of Union.  The route takes you between two sand islands which are amidst their own little reefs.  The islands, Punaise  (bedbug) & Mopion (louse) are tiny.  Someone has erected a small thatch umbrella on Mopion.  There is absolutely nothing else there.  It's definitely one of those quintessential post card scenes.   After our brief trip from Union we dropped the hook on the west side of Petit St. Vincent where we found ourselves all alone. The island is privately owned and was developed as an exclusive resort in the 1960's.  They allow cruisers to land and avail themselves of the bar and restaurant, but nothing else.  It really is a beautiful spot.  There were several rustic cabanas on the western beach but no dwellings that I could see.  We were joined in the late afternoon by a large British flagged go-fast sailboat with accompanying speed boat.  They were very quiet neighbors so we were happy to share.

 I spent the next morning concocting a shade for the starboard side of the cockpit. Between the starboard shade and the aft shade I think we'll remain cool as long as we are north of the equator and the prevailing winds don't change radically.  I had only so much canvas, after all.  In the afternoon we rounded the corner to the south anchorage.  Here we had company.  In the afternoon we made our way to the Petit St. Vincent Resort bar.  This is a lovely hilltop spot with great views and lots of birds to watch.  We enjoyed several PSV  Sunsets and speculated about our fellow guests.  A fine afternoon.

The following day we moved south about a half a mile to Petite Martinique.  This somewhat larger island is off the beaten track, tourist-wise.  Non-local boats come here to fuel up at good prices ($4.00 per gallon) and do a bit of provisioning.  It's a very friendly laid back spot.  The anchorage was a bit exposed so we continued on our way.  Our destination for the day was Mayreau.  Mayreau is a very small island that takes advantage of it's location as "gateway" to the Tobago Cays.  Mayreau is a scant three miles north of Union so once again we had a short day.  The sail was fine but tight once again.  The wind was at an angle that forced us to tack between the reefs off of Union and Palm Island (another resort island.).  We arrived at Mayreau's Saline bay by early afternoon.  One of the guide books suggested that if a cruise ship was in, the beach had an air of "Coney Island"  Well, a cruise ship was in and the smell of hot dogs was in the air.  The little orange pods that ferry the passengers to and fro were working furiously and kicking up little wakes with every pass.  We were beginning to suspect that the St. Vincent Grenadines were going to be a great deal like the BVI when it came to the number of charter boats and we were not to be proved wrong.  By evening the anchorage was full to uncomfortable.  A catamaran strung with Christmas lights, and carrying a foredeck generator dropped the hook within spitting distance and I could feel Roger's discomfort level rising.  Happily the festive vacationers had to run their generator only long enough to power the lights for a while.  Peace (relative) settled back on the anchorage.

Tuesday found us braving Salt Whistle Bay at the northwestern tip of Mayreau.  Intellectually we knew we shouldn't.  It was a classic little Caribbean anchorage and it was going to fill up to an unimaginable capacity by nightfall.  It looked so nice at 11:00 a.m.  We decided that it would be a lesson in patience.  We took the dinghy into the beach and crossed over a tiny sandy spit to the windward side of the island.  We had a nice walk and I even found a hamburger bean.  My first of the trip.  We went back to the boat and the show began.  When we arrived we thought we had anchored in a fairly reasonable spot, near the back but close enough in to easily get to shore.  Well, you'd think that we had anchored several miles away.  Boat after boat passed us and headed toward the head of the anchorage.  You could almost step from boat to boat it was so thick.  Toward the end of the afternoon people began to drop the hook in our area.  One boat, containing an extended family of Germans circled us five times trying to figure out a way to wedge themselves in (they did).  This was, of course while I was showering in the cockpit.  Happily Europeans don't seem to be as prudish about flesh as Americans are.  They never batted an eye.  At any rate by the time it was over we were encircled.  One catamaran with a crew of French vacationers aboard sensed that they were a bit close to us when we had to man the foredeck and stamp on stray embers from their grill.  They moved, bless them.  The evening's entertainment was over but the night was young.  The anchorage was very rolly and there were occasional gusts.  This is a combination that the wind generator disliked greatly in it's shorter life, causing it to bonk the backstay.  Well, the conditions were just right to test the new addition to the pole.  Was it now tall enough??  The answer is a resounding NO.  I woke Roger because the generator was making threatening bonking noises and with it's new height I can no longer reach it.  He waited to hear the threatening noise.  The next noise was a very bad bonk.  Roger went above to assess the situation and tie down the blade.  He returned with the simple announcement that half the blade had disappeared.  Hmmm....

The bottom line as we sit here, back on Carriacou on New Year's Eve is that we really need to have the alternative energy source.  Our options were to continue to St. Lucia or Martinique and try to locate a welder and get a new blade shipped or to return the 40+ miles to Prickly Bay where we know a welder, and have a new blade shipped.  We are going with option number two.  If it seems like we're going backwards well, you're right.  It's funny that after just a few days of crowded anchorages in the vacation paradise of the Grenadines neither of us hesitated on the decision to return to the laid back pace and quiet anchorages Grenada (ever so briefly).

The plan as it stands today is go get the wind generator up and running then to turn north and head straight to Bequia.  I realize this skips the Tobago Cays but I think I can contain my desire for gin clear waters till we get to the Bahamas in the Spring. 

That's about it from the happy crew of Shango on this New Year's Eve 2009.  All the best to everyone in the New Year!

2009-2010  Trip Logs

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