I arrived in NL in October 2020. Planning to stay for about 6 months. But the corona pandemic lasted longer. Luckily the vaccination program started early for my date of birth. Only the second shot I would get in july!
It was good staying in NL. We could not go out or something but managed to visit an island in winter, which was very good. Seeing friends and family was also rewarding, but July is a bit too late with hurricane season coming up. I managed to get my second shot more early and could start planning the trip to Grenada.
Finally going back home! This turned out to be not an easy task, I can tell you. After lots of research, I did manage to get all the documents needed. 14 In total. PCR-test, double vaccination, authorizations, person locator forms, Apps with QR-codes, etc. I mean, I was not able to just buy a ticket. I had to buy several. And those countries had to permit me to let me in.
But all the preps rewarded me with a trouble free journey. Arriving in Grenada, I needed a quarantine awaiting the results of another PCR.
A nice small rural hotel and a room with a view. I was not allowed to leave the room, but with a nice balcony here that should not be a problem.
The PCR test turned out good. So finally. I called Dominic to pick me up. He responded: “You are in Grenada? You are kidding me!”. Dominic drove me back to the bay. On top of the hill, he stopped and I could see my beloved Ellena. Proud on anchor the way I left her.
Dominic did a fine job watching the boat and even cleaned it. No signs of dust of the volcano eruption last month. So I had a nice welcome home.
After organizing a bit, I sat down, gently moving on the waves. Some birds in a distance, quiet and peaceful. I felt really happy.
But still a lot happened since I was away. Namely lots of rust and everything was mouldily. The fridge and outboard engine did not work. And several other equipment needed attention. Inflating the dinghy I saw it had got a tan. I stored it on deck, well covered, but forgot about the water reflection through the net from beneath.
I went for my favorite café to see the EK soccer championships. And people recognized me, saying: “Hey, you are back”. Even when I went shopping in the capital some came up to me saying the same. That is a warm welcome!
I had lots of baggage brought back. No custom problems happily, a bit over weighted, but now I am well equipped! Cables, gauges, stuff for the boat.
The weather changed a bit. Every day some rain, thunder and some weird clouds. I checked the wind forecasts every day and there she was. A storm heading our way. This happens a couple of times during hurricane season. They always turn north after first heading for Grenada, but you can never be sure. The predictions looked good and in the end it happened like it always does.
The storm reached hurricane level and turned north, but it was a close call as you can see.
We did not get any wind, but lots of rain.
The tropical ones. For hours. After that I saw some brown water coming my way. That turned out to be dirt washed from ashore. All in all Elsa, as she was called, did not do a lot of damage. Some rooftops and trees on Barbados and S Lucia. I did not hear anything from St Vincent, the islands just north of here, they probably have no internet right now because of Elsa, so no blogs.
The cruisers changed the atmosphere in the bay.
Everyone is stuck here, so they organize parties, etc. Every night I can go dancing, eating on the beach, or just hangout. It is nice to build a bit of a social life here. These people are sailors too, so we have a lot in common. Each of them with surprising stories.
Like this nice man, Piercy. I met him last year and I really like him. We had lots of conversations about the meaning of life 🙂
Or two Polish guys, making their way up here from Poland along the coast of Europe. They even stayed in Groningen for a while. They loved that city!
Or this sailor, Nikolas, on his worn-out boat. His wife died a year ago and he is now totally lost. He is 78 and refuses buying a house and living ashore. He lived on the sea for 65 years. His wife was also very active in sea life. She worked with Cornwell. I can tell you, Cornwell is a world famous cruiser! Cornwell wrote this bible, World Cruising Routes: Featuring Nearly 1000 Sailing Routes in All Oceans of the World.
I talked with Nikolas in a bar and he was depressed. Everything broke down. So I offered him some help. The next day I came to his old boat with this aggressive dog that bit me straight away. I asked what was his problem with the highest priority? He said his pump. With heavy rain he needed to pump the water out. His generator and pump where not working anymore. I managed to fix them both. He was so happy and offered me one of those famous hamburgers on Hog Island.
Here I met the Polish guys again. Michael said: “I can imagine why this is a place people get stuck”.