As we approach the end of October, we are still in Grenada, trying to get permission to sail to the ABC Islands (the former Dutch colonies of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) north of Venezuela. To our south, Trinidad is still closed. The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly messed up our plans, which at this point, should have seen us returning to Trinidad to launch Esprit back in the water, after touring Cuba, the Aztec sites of south Mexico and Guatemala.
We will visit those countries from Australia, when the Covid thing settles down – hopefully in about 2-3 years time. The music of the “Buena Vista Social Club” from Cuba has to suffice for the moment, despite Ben from Vermont SA, dismissing them as “old chestnuts” (“old chestnut” actually means, a stale joke, story or saying).
In the meantime our social life here in Grenada carries on unabated, with music evenings, walks, lunches and drinks with friends.
Last night, the 26th October, we were on our way to the Cruiser’s Reef Bar in Clarks Court to listen and dance to the “Leaky Seacocks”, but on the way there, we had to turn the dinghy around, when a heavy rain squall hit us. We got drenched on the way back and were just in time to take down all the canvas shade covers, before a massive storm with gusty winds hit Esprit a half an hour later.
Fortunately, the“Leaky Seacocks” (Granada’s “premier” rock and roll band) will be on at Roger’s Barefoot Beach Bar on Sunday arvo, with “Bilge water” as the support act. We will try to get there after brunch at the West Indies Brewery.
News update: Great arvo with the Seacocks but Bilge water was a bit of a disappointment – an ocker Aussie bloke reciting a Banjo Paterson’s poem “Clancy of the Overflow” (1889) to a puzzled crowd, before launching into the worst rendition ever of “Beds are Burning” by Midnight Oil. The Oils Peter Garrett will be in tears.
We rented a car for three days to explore the island. Our route took us up the east coast to visit Grenville, the Belmont Estate and the river Antoine Rum Distillery. We stopped in Sauteurs at the north of the island for lunch, before driving down the west coast to Gouyave, and turning inland to see some waterfalls and Grand Etang Lake. We managed to climb up to Fort George in St George’s, visit two museums and do shopping.
On the 31st October we sailed from Secret Harbour to St George’s to meet up with some friends at the Victory Bar in Port Louis marina. Saturday night is their music night and we enjoyed good music and good food.
During our Sunday morning walk along Grande Anse beach, it started raining and continued bucketing down through the afternoon and night. The next morning we set sail for Carriacou Island, (Part of Grenada, about 30 nm to the North) and anchored halfway there at Corn Store Bay on Ronde Island. The next day we had a wet sail in a howling wind and anchored in Tyrell Bay in the south of Carriacou.
Tyrrel Bay offered us the opportunity to explore the town and get rid of our trash, before we sailed to Anse La Roche for lunch the next day. We anchored overnight in Hillsborough, the main town and had our hair cut the next day. On the way back to Tyrrel Bay, we stopped for lunch at Paradise Beach, opposite Sandy Island.
Armin Stauch, a fellow sailor who kindly included a part for us in his order from the US, sent us a text to say our new Suzuki outboard propellor had arrived in St George’s. So, on Friday the 6th November we sailed back to Grenada to collect the prop and checked out with Customs on Saturday morning. We will set sail for Curacao at 4pm this arvo for the two day and 14 hour crossing – looking forward to do some distance again. We will update you on the ABC islands in our next post. Stay safe and be happy!
Finally, some news from our girls: Karen, with her punishing hours as an orthopaedic surgery registrar, still finds time to do a masters degree in surgical education. With her colleague Sav, they have become published authors. Michelle, seems to have found a work/play balance, and have climbed Rabual volcano in PNG with some friends.