Grenada (again!)

9th January - 26th February 2003

Our arrival back in Grenada was greeted by George's happy smiling face.  We couldn't believe he'd remembered to collect us from our flight, we certainly weren't expecting him too.   We were relieved to find he'd done an excellent care-taking job and Anju was just as we left her, the only difference being that "boat" smell which takes over your boat when you leave it unattended but soon disappears with the first curry you cook on board!   We also had a warm welcome back from the other cruisers when we made it to Happy Hour before collapsing with jet-lag!   It was almost like coming home! 

We had only a week to prepare for the arrival of Christine's Dad, Joe, for a two week visit.   A week to prepare sounds plenty, until you realise that we had to make room for the forepeak to actually be used as a cabin rather than a storeroom.   Luckily we succeeded in time for his arrival for his first visit to our boat.   All things considered, he adapted marvelously to the cruising lifestyle and travelling ashore in the dinghy!   We ensured that his initiation in the dinghy was particularly scary by heading back out to the boat in the middle of a squall, with waves coming straight into the anchorage from the south-west.   Even the regular dinghy travelers were apprehensive and needless to say, everyone aboard ended up thoroughly soaked in sea spray!

Christine & Dad, Joe in Hartman Bay

Phil, Natasha, Chrissy, Michael and Asia from Sea Eagle and Joe barbecuing Russian kebabs on Anju.

In no time the new cabin boy was in the swing of the routine of siestas, dominoes and happy hour and even woke us each morning with a cup of tea in bed, ensuring a warm welcome for any future visit!

We had a fun evening with the crew of Sea Eagle.   Natasha prepared Russian kebabs, which were cooked on Anju's barbecue and followed with her beautifully decorated gooey chocolate cake.

We got together during Joe's visit with a gang of other cruisers and their visitors for an island tour, guided by Henson on the "Risky" bus.   Each bus in Grenada has its own name, we're not sure if they are designed to attract customers or scare them off!


First of all we visited the island's garment factory, always popular with cruisers as clothing can be purchased in the factory shop for a fraction of the retail price.   Of course we had to visit the hard-working, happy bunch of seamstresses to check who had made which of our purchases.

Our next stop was Annandale Waterfalls.   Unfortunately we'd picked a day for our tour when a cruise ship with 2000 passengers was in Grenada and it seemed that most of them were at the falls at the same time as us!   We were able, however, to see the exciting spectacle of locals diving from the cliffs into the pool below the waterfall, a dangerous way to make a living.   Other less daring souls preferred to raise money by sporting elaborate hats decorated with fruit and exotic flowers and charging for photos.

The hard-working, happy team at the garment factory.

A difficult way to earn a dollar - Annandale Falls.

From there we went to the Grand Etang lake and rainforest reserve and walked a short trail to a viewpoint over the island.  Henson stopped the bus in the rainforest to explain to us all the different trees and fruits they produce, including cocoa and nutmeg.    He traded for fresh bananas from a plantation to keep his passengers happy until the lunch break in the town of Gouyave.

Our last stop of the day was to the Dougalston spice plantation.  Unfortunately we arrived in the midst of a crisis when a young boy had been pulled, drowned, from a pool there.    Despite the best efforts of one of our number, Aud, a Norwegian nurse, the boy, who had been submerged for a considerable time, couldn't be revived and despite being rushed to hospital in our tour bus, couldn't be saved.   Understandably we were no longer in the mood for fun, so cut our tour short.    At least the boy was given the best possible chance with the presence of a qualified nurse and our bus to transport him.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't very settled during Joe's visit and we didn't make any sailing trips, so he still has that adventure to look forward to for his next trip.    During his stay he treated us to a couple of meals at the "Castaways" restaurant, a real treat for us!   


It was unlucky that the annual Grenada workboat regatta took place the weekend after Joe left and he wasn't able to witness the fun.   The races have a running start, where one crew member must start from behind the line on the beach and run to the boat before they can set sail.   Sometimes the runners only just manage to clamber aboard in time!   The winner of each race is the team whose runner makes it first to the finish line and downs a cup of rum.   By the sixth race of the day it's a wonder the runners can even remember which boat they're on!    We spent two days on the beautiful Grand Anse beach, watching the fun.   It was amazing that despite all the time we've spent in Grenada, we'd never been to Grand Anse beach before.   It was wonderful to swim in the crystal clear water again and it seemed like most of the population of the island were there on Sunday afternoon, enjoying themselves.


Annual Grenada Workboat Regatta on Grand Anse beach.

George, Chantelle & Flan at the house that George is building.



George, Anju's caretaker, who'd become a good friend, kindly offered to take us and the crew of Sea Eagle to visit the house he's building for his family.   It was a great opportunity as we hadn't had a chance to take a peek inside one of the local houses before.    He introduced us to his lovely children Flan and Chantelle, who were very welcoming.    On the way there he also took us for a tour of a couple of rugged headlands in the beautiful bays further east of our anchorage, which we hadn't previously had a chance to explore.


One day Natasha announced to us that she would be fulfilling a lifetime ambition that afternoon, to catch tropical fish in the wild.   As a keen fish collector in the past in Russia, she'd always longed to see wild tropical freshwater fish.   Although technically not 'in the wild' the guppies and swordtails were living in a pool at the Secret Harbour Hotel, where the management didn't seem to mind her fishing for her 'science' project.   So, a day or so later, we found ourselves proud owners of an aquarium (OK, once it was a container for dried mushrooms) containing guppies and swordtails.   How many boats can boast a piano and an aquarium on board?  The next assignment for the science project is to see if fish get seasick!

On board aquarium!

Time to get Anju ready for sea again, lots of jobs to do, including repairing our VHF aerial, which we did with the assistance of Pam and Chas from Night Owl.   Pam volunteered to go up the mast and, as is well known amongst seafarers, "One volunteer is worth ten pressed men".   (Maybe we've been reading too much Hornblower lately!).  Anyway thanks Pam!

All that remained then was to wait for the three to four metre high seas to die down before we could head north in company with our friends on Sea Eagle, who had a pressing date with their new, bigger boat, which was waiting for them in the Bahamas.

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