July 2020

Sailing from Guadeloupe to Grenada was a very nice trip. Grenada who offered me a possibility to enter, but I had to stay in quarantine for 14 days. And this time it was not allowed to leave the boat.
After the quarantine there is the final challenge. I had to have a reservation of some kind with a company in Grenada to be able to enter the country. They want to make some money, I can understand that. I chose a dry dock, for the engines and the underwater body needed some care.

So I sailed around the South part of the island to Clarkes Court Boat Yard. Here I met the engineer who wanted to listen to both engines while the boat was still in the water. The next morning the boat was lifted by a huge transport lift. Even a diver went in the water to make sure the straps where in the right spot. I did not make a video of the lifting, but to give you an impression I did make a video of the launch.

It is always a tricky operation and I have to take a close watch to make sure everything is done properly. The underwater body is cleaned with high pressure water and then she will be transported to a storage area. Here I can still live on the boat and use toilet, showers and a restaurant. It’s hard work though. I had to motivate myself everyday to start again. A plan for every day helps.
Guys come by and offer all kind of services. For giving you a hand or do some special work, like a sail maker.
I hired a guy to assist me with sanding the underwater body. I gave my gib, that is the front sail, and mainsail cover to the sail maker and invited the engineer to discuss the engines. This I needed as soon as possible, because parts will have to be ordered and this can take easily up to weeks. And I was correct. I had to stay on land for a month!

So I took the opportunity and listed all the work I’d like to do and prioritized it to all the work easiest done while the boat is on land. So I polished the hull, painted the underwater body, renewed the rudder bearings, (those that make the rudder turn), and well you know.

Left the old bearing. They really needed to be changed.

Lots and lots of work in a boring environment, with hot temperatures, because of the shelter there is almost no wind and no one around. Hmm. Like I said, a challenge.

And finally, after a month, the work was done and the boat could be launched.

A boat is so much more fun living on it in the water then on land. Others passing by, you take a swim, the quietness at night with the sound of chirping crickets and most importantly, no mosquitoes!
Launching the boat into the water is also a delicate operation. If the boat is on land, everything does dry out. So there could be a sudden leak somewhere. Before the boat is launched, they asked me to go onboard and have a check. I’m feeling always a bit nervous during these events.

She looks good, isn’t she?

But everything looked okay and I started the engines and was feeling proud on my nice and shiny boat.

I already picked a spot in the bay and lowered the anchor. Finally!

Such a good feeling staying on the water again.

Grenada is a very small country. It only has about 100.000 inhabitants. The capital is Saint Georges. Because it is such a small country, there are no important cities besides Saint Georges. If you need some stuff out of the ordinary, like wine, you have to go to Saint Georges
People are quite poor. Something you may not notice at first, but prices are double of what we are used to in Europe and salaries are 25% or even less of what we earn. So people live very modestly and share a lot.

Growing there own food.

And sell it in small shops along the road.

Shopping is therefor a bit hard. Here around the bay I can buy a beer,

but for serious provisioning, I have to go to Saint Georges by minibus.

But for the western there are special arrangements, like Calivigny Island.

Right in front of this bay. Calivigny Island is one of the world’s most exclusive private islands and available for rent. Have a look.

The sign says: Island under containment. No entry. I suppose this way they can still invite guests.

Since Grenada was a colony of France and later Great Britain, the local language is a mix of French, English and Creole. But the official language is English. So communication is simple, but I don’t understand the local conversation. People are very friendly, offering help without me being asking for it. When I crossed the street carrying lots of groceries, a car stopped, offering me a lift. When asking for directions, they lead the way, etc.

The weather is very pleasant. Some rain, but mostly sunny. But still I have to keep a close look for depressions passing. When I just anchored, I saw this on a weather forecast. The red color means strong wind, purple exceptional strong and light blue and white meaning almost no wind. So in the footage below you can see the ‘eye’. It should take the usual route north of Grenada.

In the middle you can see a string of very small islands. Right beneath them is a bigger one, That’s Grenada

The next day the predicted route changed and Gonzalo should come right over Grenada . . . .
There was some panic on several boats. Some left for Trinidad even, others hoped for the best. I was one of the latter.

But in the end it calmed down before passing Grenada. So it turned out to be a false alarm, but people are very aware. In the last 100 years there where only 4 hurricanes hitting Grenada. I mean it does happen, but . . .

My next planning is a bit difficult with corona still being around. In Grenada it is safe, but surrounding countries are not. I hope I can visit the NL in September, but I play it by ear. I must say it takes its toll. So much isolation and few possibilities for such a long time. This year turned out completely different from what I was anticipating for. The start was great with Ellen visiting for two months, but after that everything halted.

At the entrance of the bay is another small island, called Hog Island. Here the ‘boaties’ organize a bbq every Sunday. I visited it for the second time drank some beer, met some acquaintances and had some fun.

Next . . . .

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