Leeward Drift

Date:  22 August 2018

Location:  Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada  LAT 12° 00.396  LON 061° 43.996

Weather: Scattered Showers, Low 80’s, Winds E 20 Knots

1 August 2018, Wednesday – Charlestown, Nevis

My Crew makes a final check on deck and down below to secure any loose items before we slip the mooring.  At 0500 the lines are off and sails up. Winds at 18-20 knots out of the E as we work pass Montserrat headed to Guadalupe. Around 1730 we were approaching the island and the Captain started engine to help get me into shore. The engine apparently decided it was time to stage a mutiny. I can confirm that the Smoke Alarm works as black smoke made its way thru the air vent in the cockpit. The fire extinguisher came in handy and the Captain put it to good use. Seems the Turbo overheated melting the plastic air filter and burned the insulation on the exhaust hoses. The engine was shut down and we sailed slowly into the anchorage off the beach at Point Ferry on the NW side of Guadalupe. I heard a little fussing as they cleaned up the black soot. The crew finally got to bed around 2200 after a refreshing shower.

 

2 August 2018, Thursday – Guadalupe

My crew awoke at 0620 to bright sunlight. Pretty view of the island from our anchorage. The Admiral had slipped and fell a few days earlier and wasn’t feeling her best this morning so taking it easy was on the agenda for the day (I’m sure it had nothing to do with the previous evenings excitement). Captain spent his time researching and considering options for our next destination.

3 August 2018, Friday – Guadalupe

The Captain pulls my Mainsail out about 1/3 the way to help move me forward taking pressure off the windlass allowing the Admiral to get my anchor up.  He uses the Bow Thruster to keep me inline with the chain. Once the anchor is off the bottom, he brings the mainsail out the rest of the way and falls off to starboard to fill the sail. My Yankee is unfurled and uses the wind to work offshore.  A decent breeze and minimal wave action this morning had us running along at 5-6 knots heading south on the lee of the island. A break between the mountain peaks along the coastline allows the apparent wind speed to accelerate to 25 knots and PAWS responds by accelerating to a SOG of 9 knots. Time to loosen the main-sheet to power down the Mainsail as I heel over.  We sail along at 7 knots for a bit before the breeze is blocked by the mountain peaks and boat speed drops rapidly to painful 1.5 knots. Trimmed the sails again and managed to get back up to around 3.5 knots. The plan is to sail to the extreme southern end of Guadalupe and anchor off Pointe Du Vieux overlooking the old fort. It takes 4 tacks to working into a light E wind to get me into to shore where they can drop the hook. We have a great view of the light house at end of Island and were greeted by a nice rain shower to wash the salt away. The events of the past couple of days has my crew in a somewhat melancholy mood so the plan was just to chill here and catch some rest before heading to Dominica tomorrow. The Friday night dinner special is hot dogs with onions and chili – a fine meal!

4 August 2018, Saturday – Dominica

Although there are no threatening storms in the Atlantic moving this way, there remains a slight sense of urgency to continue moving south as the peak of Hurricane Season is rapidly coming upon us. So it’s up at daybreak, generator started to charge batteries and get me prepped to depart. The procedure with the Mainsail to help get the anchor up and able to get under sail was relatively easy. Luckily, we changed the mesh screens around the cockpit enclosure to the isinglass panels as we ran into several rain showers along the way. Our first 4 hours of the trip almost feels like sailing in IFR weather as a front passed thru. We were in the fog, clouds and light rain with minimal visibility. Arrived at N tip of Dominica around 1000. As we continued on, the fresh winds that had been blowing in the low 20’s between the islands suddenly drop to less than 3 knots. One thing for certain is my 40 tons of fiberglass did not move very well in less the 3 knots of wind. PAWS went to turtle speed mode, as we basically drifted along.  A pod of dolphins played around the boat for a brief period and The Captain spotted a whale spouting in the distance, but The Admiral only got to see the tail. Too far away for a photo opt. After several brief showers, a rainbow in the clouds brings the promise of some better weather. “Patience” was the watchword as we waited for the winds to keep us moving along. We tried to work off shore to get some more wind but with little water flow across the rudder or wind in my sails, we were at the whim of the current. Had wanted to stop in Dominica and go ashore but we had to live with the view from 4 miles out. PAWS was trapped in a mini doldrums and after 9 hours of drifting along ever so slowly, averaging about 2 ½ knots, we made it to end of island around dusk. Once we passed the end of the island and clear of the mountain peaks, the wind speed increased and back to sailing at 8 knots. Mainsail out, Yankee out and sailing we went. A passage in the rain, thunderstorm and darkness with little visibility is neither fun or recommended, but sometimes the options are limited.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Crossed the distance between Dominica and Martinique in 3 hours, cruising at 9.6 knots at one point. Once again, we arrived on the lee side of the island, the winds fell to 3 knots and, once again, we drifted along. Since we were meeting new crew in Martinique we had to sail close to shore if we had any hope of making the anchorage. It was a big effort to sail down the island. Without wind there is no steering. No different than turning the steering wheel in your car while in neutral on a flat road and hoping you’ll actually move forward. After floundering around, we decided to launch Sea Tigger and attempt to create some forward movement. As the crew readies Sea Tigger to splash, the Anemone decided to favor us with a little wind. We can now sail along the coast for Anse Chaudiere. Captain guides me close to shore and gets the anchor down. Boat tidying complete, a snack and a nap ensued after the overnight sail. Truly different sailing weather then we have experienced over the last several months. Dinner on board and they turn in early.

6 August 2018, Monday, – Martinique

The peaceful sleep and much needed rest was appreciated. Boat cleaning completed and Sea Tigger launched. Secured to local city dock in front of the town church and readied for some adventure. The Admiral’s French is limited, but the local hotel gave us directions to the Internet Café to check in with customs and immigration. 3 Euro’s, a bit of paperwork and it was official.

Inquired about a rental car and local repairmen behind the café called a friend of a friend. Fortunately, he picked up my crew, drove to them to his house to pick up a car and then to his office to fill out some paperwork. A manual transmission is necessary in Martinique with all of the hills and curves. However, Captain has 2 big wide feet when it comes to the clutch and the brake! They stopped at JoJo’s for lunch, overlooking the water. I heard the Chicken, shrimp, rice and vegetables were delicious.

After lunch, they were off to find the island’s Volvo Dealer to see if there was something that could be done as a temporary repair on the engine. His office was on the North end of island and several back roads had to be navigated to get to the wharf.  Just able to catch Frank prior to him leaving for lunch. Questions asked and information exchanged but didn’t seem real promising. Next on their list was a trip to the airport to pick up our new crew Deck Swab Mike “I’m on a Diet – Honest” Ashcraft, their neighbor from Charleston who wanted to come down for a visit.

Google Maps was truly helpful and roads were marked D7, N5 and so on. However, round-a-bouts are very popular and dangerous to those that are not use to them. Followed signs and waited in the pickup area. Deck Swab recognized The Admiral in baggage claim area and the journey back to PAWS begins.

They found small grocery store during the return trip and indulged in the French flare. Fresh bread, salami and cheese to make a great dinner.  Groceries, a suitcase, The Admiral and (2) 300+ pound slugs put Sea Tigger close to max capacity. My new crew was welcomed with The Admiral’s drink special ‘Paws Punch’. Informed him that A/C consists of fans and that he would truly be “SAILING.” Captain avoided (he claims he “forgot”) mentioning the engine details before Deck Swab got on the plane! After an evening of discussing our sailing plans, the crew decided to take tomorrow to visit the Botanical Gardens.

6 August 2018, Monday – Martinique

After several stops, U-turns and round-a-bouts, my crew finally found a place for lunch. Restaurant was located on bottom floor of a house with outdoor seating and a cool breeze. Pictures were used for the selection process as their ability to read the French menu was shall we say “limited”. After pointing at the pictures of shrimp, beef with rice and vegetables, their mission to find the Botanical Gardens began. They endured several miles of hills and curves to finally find their destination. The Crew tells me the excursion was outstanding. The Gardens were very creative and well maintained. The pictures they took were only able show a portion of the beautiful scenery. Of course the Captain suggested they traverse the wooden slat walkway overlooking the grounds that is suspended by cables and straps wrapped around the trees. Sign says only 2 at a time to cross, Admiral says it was shaky and a little unnerving to cross. The Garden tour was a 5 Star outing.

They had intended to also tour a Rum Factory located a few hills and round-a-bouts away but a traffic jam slowed them to a crawl and they were unable to get there before closing time. Heading back to PAWS, they stopped off at rental shop to picked up owner and so he could take them back to the town dock – very convenient. Gathered their gear, loaded it on Sea Tigger and then took a stroll along the waterfront, watching the local kids jump off the dock and picnic on the beach. Enjoyed a late afternoon refresher at a local beach bar. The owner spoke English which was a plus. Back to PAWS for a light supper after a fun day of exploring.

7 August 2018, Tuesday – St Lucia

Up early for sail to St. Lucia. The light winds were enough to sail out of the cove without too much difficulty. Once around the point, we averaged 6-7 knots. It was a 5 hour sail to Rodney Bay and had to tack a couple times to get the right angle to get close to shore before we could  drop anchor. PAWS holding, light lunch and a NAP! Captain and Deck Swab snorkeled an area near the Fort. Admiral stayed with Sea Tigger to rescue them if needed. After swimming back to PAWS they were ready for a snack and shower. As the sun set, they took Sea Tigger into the dinghy dock for some evening action. A local tells them the Casino is a 5 minute walk but another Taxi driver says its much further and offers a ride. It’s a 10 minute ride to the other side of the harbour. My crew reports Treasure Bay Casino rates right up there with Motel 6 amenities. However, the Black Jack table was pretty exciting with Captain, Deck Swab and Dealer trading dollars back and forth. They ended up coming away a slight winner.

Enjoyed dinner at the Casino restaurant which was open air and overlooking the main shopping area in town. Dinner was ok, maybe 3 out of 5. After supper, Captain proceeded to donate his earlier winnings back to the Casino before heading back to PAWS.

8 August 2018, Wednesday – St Lucia

Crew had a light breakfast, packed a cooler with water, some light snacks and headed out. They drove to the middle of the island looking for a “off the beaten path” waterfall that the locals recommended. No name – just (vague) directions. After an hour or so winding up the mountain they found a few cars parked along side of the road and stopped to check it out. Spoke with a jogger going by that indicated the trailhead they were in search of was 3 km further up the mountain road. Loaded back up and onward they went. Found another group of cars parked and assumed they were at the correct spot this time. Seems that the trail was not marked but roped off with No Trespassing signs! I have to laugh. Since when does that stop my crew? Captain has the keen eye for finding the path of adventure and others followed along. The trail was not for the weak. They were joined by a group of about 15 others that were also in search of the Falls. The path goes up and down, through the trees and over the rocks. A few of the hikers spoke English which was helpful. Finally they reached a tunnel of darkness that was utilized to get to the Falls. There were large water pipes that were once used for providing water to the city run thru the tunnel. They had to walk on top of the pipes and balance themselves with their hands against the sides of the tunnel walls. Thanks to the flashlight App on the phone for providing some light along the way. Of course the headlamp they brought was left in the car. Reaching the end of the tunnel, they continued their trek. Followed the path along the stream and finally found their destination. Captain takes the plunge in the cool refreshing water. The hike was a little challenging but rewarding. Return trip went a little quicker and the tunnel crawl didn’t seem to be as difficult the second time around.

9 August 2018, Thursday – St Vincent

Up at 0500 for sail to St. Vincent. As The Admiral went forward to weigh anchor, she found anchor locker was jammed. Captain was able to remove screws in hinges and raise the hatch – problem solved. Note to crew, keep loose straps free of the hatch when closing.

Slow sailing to start out and then reached an exhilarating 9 knots before again slowing to less than 2 knots as we entered the lee of St Vincent (see any pattern here?) Sailing without auxiliary power can be a challenge. We reached the entrance to the anchorage but could not get that last little puff of wind to get us in. Just as the crew was getting Sea Tigger ready to launch and drag me into the anchorage, a local fishermen on his way home stops to offer his help and offer us “his” mooring ball. The Captain allowed him to pull us into Wallilabou Bay where my crew secured us to a mooring. The Captain’s thought was that he would purchase some fish from the guy and maybe give him a little extra for the kind deed.  The fisherman however, must of thought he was the local Tow Boat US and demanded $200 USD for the 500 foot tow and use of the mooring. The Captain had him settle for $50 and sent him on his way. Lesson learned.

After everything was secured, Rum punch was most needed by all Crew. Dinner on board, lights out early to the sound of insects chirping and dogs barking. Admiral decided that sleeping in the cockpit to listen for Pirates would make her feel better. Fortunately it was a cool evening with a light breeze and was reasonably comfortable….

10 August 2018, Friday – St Vincent

Awoke to sounds of local fishermen setting out. While The Admiral was enjoying her fresh perked coffee on deck, a boat boy paddled by and offered a fresh tuna. Captain negotiated a price and offered bag of flour and some metal brackets to seal the deal. Another boat boy brought us fresh bread that we had ordered the previous day.

For all of the movie fans out there, this Harbour was where Capt Jack Sparrow, in original Pirates of the Caribbean, steps off his sinking ship onto the dock as he enters what is supposed to be Port Royal. Click here to see the trailer.

The set for the Pirates of Caribbean movie and props still remain but have not been maintained. My crew wandered into the small museum that was set up and explored around the buildings. They rummaged thru the storage closets and took a few pictures. Snorkeled near the Rock Arch at the head of the bay (where the Pirates were swinging from their nooses in the movie), saw good coral formations, sea fans and several schools of fish – not a bad spot but no bones or treasure was be found. Did spot a Sea snake and a small Moray eel. Took Sea Tigger to other side of bay to explore a small cave. Needed a light for this exploration. After their little swim it was back to PAWS to set sail.

My Captain now better understands what sailing truly was like in the old days with no engine. I heard it said that it makes for better sailors. For sure it makes sailors more patient. The Captain uses Sea Tigger to pull PAWS out to open water. At least he doesn’t have to row us out like they did back in the day. Even after clearing the point there wasn’t any breeze this morning to fill the sails.

While we drift, The Admiral prepares lunch which was enjoyed in the cockpit as we scream along at about 1.5 knots. Captain takes advantage to filet the Tuna while we are in the calm waters. Floundering for 6 hours as sunset approached and unable to reach our intended port before dark, we decided to stay off-shore and wait for wind. Around 2000 hours, we get enough air to get us moving. We sail thru the night and decide to head to Union Island, 18 nautical miles, maybe 3 hours away if the breeze holds. As we approached the area under sail, The Admiral is concerned about clearing the point at the north end of Chatham Bay, in the dark and without a depth finder (forgot to mention some wiring also melted when the turbo overheated). With PAWS in the dark, without an engine, no depth info and limited on maneuvering, the approach is aborted and a heading was taken up for Grenada!

11 August 2018, Saturday – Grenada

We raised Grenada at daybreak. Winds again blocked by the mountains and yes, once again PAWS downshifts to turtle drive. At 1300 hours we finally can see the main anchorage near St. George and then the wind drops to “nothing”. I mean No. Wind. At. All. So once again Sea Tigger to the RESCUE! They attach her to starboard side of my hull with bow and stern lines. Captain is in Sea Tigger to provide forward propulsion, Deck Swab is at the helm steering and Admiral is checking the plotter and I-Pad for depth info and any underwater obstructions as we approach the anchorage. Of course soon after we get underway the winds start picking up. Taking advantage, the Captain makes the call to sail around the southern point of the island to head to our final destination – Clarkes Court Bay.  As we clear the Leeward side of island around the south point and turn up on the Windward side, the breeze comes alive. We suddenly find all that missing wind as it climbs into the mid 20’s hard out of the E. In order to get the right approach angle to sail into Clarkes Court, PAWS will have to tack several times to line up with the channel leading into the harbour. We were forced to sail several miles offshore to accomplish this. Sea Tigger is still tied to starboard side as the waves intensify and The Admiral suggests to Captain if he wants Sea Tigger to survive, the lines needed to be released. The Admiral puts on her harness and secures herself to the life lines as she climbs out on the deck to loosen lines so Sea Tigger can trail behind PAWS by her painter. With Sea Tigger now in tow, Captain can tack as needed and sail me into the bay.  As we make the final approach, the AIS shows a tugboat towing a barge that is on an intercept course. Captain hails the Tug on VHF and politely asks if he might be able to turn a few degrees to Port so we can cross in front of him and stay on our current tack. The Tug Captain obliges and we sail on. About a mile out from the harbor entrance, a blinding rain shower welcomes us. It doesn’t last long as the winds pushed shower off to the west pretty quickly. In we go between the waves breaking on the reefs protecting both side of the channel and get a view of “Sailboat Haven for Hurricane Season”. Grenada, located at 12 degrees N Latitude, is the Hurricane Parking Lot for boats from June to Oct mostly driven by the insurance carrier requirements.

But back to matters at hand. The Admiral strongly suggests putting anchor down ASAP – she is tired, wet and just a little grumpy. Anchor goes down with a lot of scope, snubber on and boat secured. After a 26 hour sail of light winds, no winds and then towing Sea Tigger in Force 5 winds, PAWS has reached her resting spot for the next several months. Time for PAWS Punch, snack and a much needed nap. Enjoyed their fresh fish, rice and salad for dinner and after a long sail, lights out at 1930!

12 August 2018, Sunday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Wake to sunlight and a calm anchorage. Fresh perked coffee the old fashion way as we view the surroundings. A delicious breakfast of pancakes and bacon, with Deck Swab assisting on the griddle. Genny is on, and water maker purring. R/O is doing her job converting salt water into fresh water at 30 gallons/hour!

After the nights rest, the Crew splashes off in Sea Tigger to explore the area and the boatyard where PAWS will be hauled out for her new engine. However, Sunday is a rest day for the yard folks and no one can be found expect a sleepy security guard. My Crew meets another sailing couple and they recommend the restaurant across the bay at Whisper Cove Marina. When lunchtime rolls around the crew boards Sea Tigger once again and across the bay they motor.  A nearby sailboat Captain points them toward the dinghy dock where they secure Sea Tigger and head up the plank.

Whisper Cove Marina was truly the place to be. Mary, co-owner, is the local “Go To Lady” when you need something or someone on the island. Marina offers a restaurant, laundry, butcher shop and Wi-Fi. Great meeting place for cruisers to relax, eat, drink, read and talk. Captain and Admiral enjoyed a coke and Deck Swab tries the local draft beer. Crew took advantage of the Sunday lunch buffet. It included soups, salads, meats, vegetables, breads and desserts. The Admiral had no problem taking a break from the galley.  Met some cruisers and was able to get the latest info on the happenings going on around the island.

When they started to clear the buffet tables around 1500, the suggestion was made to head over to the local hangout on Hog Island for the afternoon. Sea Tigger takes them across the harbor and under the bridge and one cove over they go (isn’t there a song that goes something like that?)  Sea Tigger is beached and painter secured to a log so she doesn’t go off exploring on her own if the tides rises. Once again, they lucked out meeting cruisers with local knowledge. Met several people from St. Thomas, US and London. Also, got the scoop on Carnival. Fun day swapping stories with our new friends about their travels to Grenada. Headed back to PAWS just after watching the Sunset.

13 August 2018, Monday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Admiral up early with the Sunrise. Only one rain shower during the night but cool with fans. Eggs, grits and bacon for breakfast. Trying to use up all of the groceries before leaving PAWS. Captain and Deck Swab set out to explore options for securing me while I wait to get hauled out later this Fall. They also visit Customs and Immigration to get all the paperwork complete. PAWS and Crew are legal now!

A light lunch onboard and napping between rain showers. Around 1530, they dinghy over to Le Phare Bleu to catch a ride into town for Carnival. A local taxi arrives to transport another group and they jumped in. Definitely a bit of luck because the hike to bus stop was 45 minutes and the rain showers started again!

Ride was cool and relaxing into town. They got dropped off near the festivities and were told just to follow the crowd. Streets were lined with locals and their food tents with pallets as the fences to mark their space. A flatbed truck with a DJ, amplifier, huge speaker blast of what could only be described as noise, louder than a jet during takeoff, fills the air. Locals were in costume attire, mainly bathing suits embellished with sequins, feathers, and sparkling glitter. They were running, dancing and grinding to the “music” as they made their way along the main street that circled the inner harbour of St George. The water in the harbour was covered with a film of body oil and paint left over from the early morning Slime and Body Painting Party know as Jouvue. My crew dodged the rain showers and found a local restaurant open and sat on the porch sipping on a coke while they people watched. Guess they missed some of the earlier festivities. Decision was made to return to Le Phare Bleu for dinner and a local police officer directs them to a stop for Bus #2 for return trip to marina. After several minutes, the bus rolls up but appears full – or so we thought. Driver says there’s always room for more. In case you didn’t know, Captain and Deck Swab qualify for 2 people each! A 13 passenger van now has 22 passengers stuffed in. How the van climbed the hills, passed on a curve and got them back to drop off point in one piece was nothing short of a miracle. The walk back to the marina starting at the top of the hill took 45 minutes. By the time they reached the restaurant, all they could think about was the need for lots of cold water. Nice that the restaurant faces the bay allowing a breeze. A flashlight was needed to read the menu or maybe they are just getting old and blind. Dinner was ordered and bread, butter and water held them over until the meal arrived. Pork chops, rice, chicken and vegetables was delicious. Captain indulged in homemade macaroni and cheese. Topped everything off with brownie and ice cream for dessert. A rain shower passed before Sea Tigger took them back to PAWS in the dark. Good thing Captain can maneuver in the dark, only bumped once on the way back.

14 August 2018, Tuesday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Woke to beautiful sunshine and moderate wind. R/O is full throttle making water. Funny how 3 people can go through water so quickly. Light clothes in the washer under counter in galley with sheets and towels loaded into Sea Tigger to wash at marina. As the Admiral and Deck Swab head off to the marina, her engine decides its tired and stops. After several attempts to restart, The Admiral grabs the oars and starts rowing to nearby boat to tie off to assess the issue. After securing the lines they hailed The Captain. He provides a few ideas and after 15 minutes of trying a few things the temp solution seems to be to leave the choke half way out and open the throttle at ½ speed, engine sputtered but finally starts. Back to PAWS for Captain to check her out. Seems the gas hose fitting was not fully secured to the engine fitting. The Captain takes Sea Tigger on a quick spin to make sure all is OK and then turns her back over to the Admiral to take to shore. Island time means patience, only 2 hours to wash 2 loads of clothes, low water pressure or something. Back to PAWS for drying the old fashion way, sunshine. Lunch of hot dogs, beans, coleslaw . Evening spent playing cards and talking.

15 August 2018, Wednesday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Up at 0700 to listen to the Cruiser’s Net on the VHF. Useful info (weather forecast, travel issues, parts and service providers) as well as the days social activities and events. They were treated to delicious pastries when the local bread boat stops by, made fresh daily. A quick run is made to the yard to secure a haul out date. Decision made to leave PAWS on anchor while waiting.

My crew explored the local farmers market set up at Adrift restaurant in the boatyard and the Captain visits the local ship chandlery for a float switch. One of those necessary items to keep excess water in bilge pumped out.

Invited to Le Phare Bleu Marina by our friends on S/V “Sail Pending” and S/V “We are Nuts”. Sea Tigger launched to their marina, easier trip in the daylight. They enjoyed a fun day of playing dice games and swimming in the resort pool. Their evening was finished at Whisper Cove Marina for “Pizza Night”. Mary was a wonderful Hostess and had been most helpful. The sunset was blocked by mountains, but sky colors were beautiful. They reported that the pizza was delicious.

16 August 2018, Thursday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Admiral woke up at 0430 and comes the companionway to enjoy the quiet and calmness of harbor while relaxing in the cockpit. Roosters crowing in the background was the only noise heard, except for the snoring below! Our friends, Steve and Greg from S/V “We are Nuts” arrived around 0630 to assist in taking down my sails for repair and storage. The boatyard requires all sailing vessels to remove their headsails while tied down on the hard to reduce the boats windage. Extra hands and no wind this morning make the task easy. However, folding up the sails on deck proved to be a little challenging. Yankee and Staysail are secured in their bags for easier transport to Sail maker for repair. They use the halyard to lift the sail bag down to Sea Tigger that waits patiently along side my hull. With the first job of the day done, The Admiral prepares breakfast with eggs, sausage, onions and grits for crew and our friends. Michael with Sunshine Canvas meets my crew and helps offload sails. Sea Tigger’s chaps are also sent out for repair and re-stitching. Her inflatable pontoons are holding up well under the chaps protected from the UV rays of the Caribbean sun. Now Sea Tigger doesn’t stand out with her orange and purple covers off.

The afternoon finds the crew back at Hog Island with the other cruisers for a fund raiser to help a local swimmer attend a competition off island. Conch Chowder was served and was delicious. Admiral brought some PAWS Punch to share with friends.

17 August 2018, Friday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

More fresh baked cinnamon rolls from the bread boat this morning as a snorkeling trip is arranged with a local dive shop and they are off again. Sea Tigger went over to Whisper Cove Marina where they were greeted by Mary with directions to the bus stop, only a short 10 minute walk with snorkeling gear in hand. Up a hill, down a hill, curve left and up one more hill is the bus stop. Took #2 Bus into town with only 13 on board. At the terminal, they catch #1 Bus to Grand Anse with only 20 passengers stuffed in!  Got dropped near the destination and fellow passenger headed to the IGA Grocery store offers to walk with us and pinpoint the Dive shop location, another short walk but on level ground this time. Greeted by staff, paper work complete, fees paid and ready to depart.

The Dive boat was well maintained and spacious. The crew offers water and fruit during the trip out. The Pontoon style hull and large outboard engines cut thru the water with ease. Their first reef to explore was just north of St. George Harbour. On the boat were several divers working on their SCUBA certification. Lots of fish and coral visible on the reef.  The second area they visited was an Underwater Marine Park where an artist had created concrete statues that were placed on the bottom for viewing. Unique but at the same time a little weird in the Captain’s way of thinking. Formations included concrete people in circles, a mermaid, nutmeg shaped statue, gentlemen sitting in a chair at a desk with typewriter and a young girl sitting on a park bench taking a selfie with a cell phone. Also, there was a statue to honor the lives lost on the Cruise Ship Bianca C that sank off the coast of Grenada in 1961 . Did not visit the dive site of the sunken cruise ship, approximately 165 feet deep per dive master.

Back at the beach, they enjoyed lunch at Umbrella’s while sitting outside in their wet attire. Provisioned at local IGA and opted for taxi ride back to Whisper Cove with 6 bags of groceries and snorkel gear. Taxi ride with plenty of room was a luxury. Back to PAWS to make water and charge batteries, more rain than solar power in the afternoon.

Spent the evening on “Big Red”, a large trawler “permanently” moored  at Le Phare Bleu listening to live jazz music. A young sailing couple from Lithuania, Milda and Mindaugas, joined them for the evening. Managed not to bump into anything on the dinghy ride back in the dark while using a spot light for traveling. Our new friends joined us for a late night snack and we learned a little about them and their country. They stayed up until almost 0100 talking.

18 August 2018, Saturday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Crew slept in due to rain showers this morning. Enjoyed chopped steak with onions and potatoes for brunch. Replaced float switch in mast bilge area and completed a few other boat chores. Admiral cleaned out freezer and found hamburger meat for spaghetti. On deck, a local dinghy driver was drifting by. Apparently he ran out of gas so my crew was able to come to the rescue.

The large pot of spaghetti was too big for 3 so Sea Tigger was dispatched to find our new friends, M&M. After 30 minutes, the 4 of them return and they enjoyed another evening savoring salad, spaghetti and bread. Found the last of the chocolate bars for dessert. As our visitors departed, rain showers started again. The Admiral donated her $1 rain ponchos for their ride back to boat yard. Genny  was running smoothly to charge batteries and make hot water. A nice warm shower and off to bed.

19 August 2018, Sunday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Sunshine this morning with a nice breeze. Coffee on for Admiral’s morning routine. Less humid this morning. Chicken roasting in the crock pot. Off to Le Phare Bleu to cool off in swimming pool and visit with friends on S/V “We are Nuts”. My crew reports its nice to have friends in a marina with access to swimming pool, I prefer the salty sea but to each their own. After their cooling off, back to PAWS for a quick lunch and packed cooler for another one of Hog Island’s Sunday fundays. Island is less than a mile away and Sea Tigger, without her chaps, blends in with gaggle of dinghy’s already on the beach. They spent the afternoon mingling with cruisers and locals. M&M joined us for supper later in the evening on board. Admiral was trying to clean out cupboards and freezer before the departure back to US.

20 August 2018, Monday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Up early for their scheduled tour of the Island. Dinghy ride to Whisper Cove Marina and Sea Tigger secured. Unfortunately their tour cancelled due to rain so “no problem” as they enjoyed breakfast at the marina and asked Mary how to get some gas for Sea Tigger since they gave our reserves away to the drifting dinghy. Mary responds with the words The Captain loves to hear, “ I can take care of it for you.” So its back to PAWS they go for their “close the boat up to do list” prior to their scheduled flight out on 22 August. Boat cleaning was in full swing and small maintenance items performed. Raining off and on most of the day. After a productive afternoon, crew feasted on pork roast, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese and sliced tomatoes.

21 August 2018, Tuesday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Before they depart this morning for the re-scheduled tour, Deck Swab “I’m on A Diet – Honest” Mike, treats all to more homemade cinnamon rolls from the bread boat, if only I could consume that delicious treat. One could over indulge in these pastries and easily add a few pounds. I suspect they will surely miss that treat back in the States.

Met Cutty, a taxi driver and Tour Director, at marina. Joined with 2 other couples from the UK. Cutty was knowledgeable regarding the local fruits and spices grown and wasn’t afraid to share it. The locals will not go hungry due to availability of fruit trees everywhere on the island. Stopped off at some falls where Captain and Deck Swab indulged in the cool water. Cutty pointed out a building the US bombed back in 1983 as part of Operation Urgent Fury. Seems the structure they hit was 100 feet off from the intended government target. President Reagan had the Mental Hospital rebuilt after the conflict was over. The Tour Guide would randomly stop along the way as he pointed out various spice and fruit trees. He would pull over, hop out, grab a piece of fruit, some leaves or a seed pod and encourage them to smell and taste. Their tour included a visit to a National Park for a chance to stretch their legs with a little walk. They came by a spot along a trail where another group of tourists were looking up in a tree. Posey, the monkey, made her way down once a human chain was formed and food brought out to entice her. Captain was chosen to be first link in the chain since he was the tallest and was positioned closest to the tree. While The Admiral kept her distance, Posey climbed from person to person, eating along the way. Everyone enjoyed taking pictures while she ate bananas and star fruit. Captain was glad she did not poop on him or dig her claws in. Next, they visited a lake nearby filled with hundreds coy fish. The Chinese built Gazebo’s and a “Meditation Park” along the lake shore as a gift to Grenada. The next stop around 1300 was the Chocolate Factory. They report it was not quite as fancy as Willey Wonka’s but impressive in it’s simplicity. Enjoyed tasting several samples with varying percentages of pure chocolate from local cocoa beans. Captain indulged in several samples. Sometimes you just have dessert before lunch! Next on their list was the River Run Distillery. Cutty had arranged a buffet lunch at the distillery which offered a variety of dishes:  Rice, pasta, chicken, fish, vegetables, salads and several different fruits. A short walk to the distillery was needed after a great meal.  The Distillery continues to make Rum using the original methods and equipment. Very labor intensive with limited automation. A waterwheel is used for grinding the sugar cane, the liquid flows in concrete troughs to large iron pots for heating over an open fire fueled by wood that is shoveled in by hand. At the end of tour, the different recipes were sampled and judged for flavor. The Captain purchased a few bottles of his personal favorite claiming he wanted to support the local economy! They moved on to a Nutmeg processing plant and warehouse where farmers sell their harvest to market (I was going to say “where they deliver their nuts to market” but somehow that didn’t sound quite right).  Anyway, first there is a grading process to remove the nuts with holes, all performed by hand (this has become R Rated). The Nuts are then put on drying racks for several weeks. The quality is tested by putting the good nuts back in water. If the nut sinks, they are considered higher quality and set aside for export. If it floats they are considered lower quality nuts and are used in spices produced in Grenada. The pass rate is around 70%.  The tour ended back at the marina. It started at 0845 and ended at 1700, it was a long but very  interesting day.

Refreshments in the cockpit around 1730, when the crew felt a vibration through my hull. It seemed to be traveling up the anchor chain most of which was laying in the mud on the bottom. The event lasted about 20 seconds. After it stopped, The Captain inspected the anchor line and snubber and all seemed fine. He chalked it up to the current and the wind. An hour or so later, our friends from Lithuania stopped by to say farewell and informed us about the shaking. Turns out it was from an Earthquake (7.2 Rector Scale) that occurred in Venezuela approximately 178 miles away. Our friends from Le Phare Bleu later told us they were at the Brewery in Prickly Bay and the quake caused the light fixtures and glasses to shake and everyone ran outside with a beer in their hand! At least they didn’t loose the beer. The power of nature on display.

22 August 2018, Wednesday – Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

With the final items close to complete, PAWS is ready for crews departure. Dry goods susceptible to bugs are donated and refrigerated items are given away to our friends from St. Thomas. Probably 2 large bags full. Luggage packed and Deck Swab is sent to marina with our friend Steve while Greg helped Captain and The Admiral hoist Sea Tigger on board and get her covered up for her long rest. Hatches closed and secured, 2 anchors down and PAWS awaits haul out in October. Friends will monitor me while they are away.

Good byes are said and Taxi awaits to get them to airport. They made it through security and grabbed a quick bite before the long flight to Miami. The big guys managed an exit row seat. Customs in Miami went smoothly, but had to wait for bag approximately 30 minutes. After rechecking bag, did not leave airport, but had to go through screening process again. Finally made it to their next gate area and enjoyed a Cuban sandwich before departure. The smaller plane back to Charleston was not crowded and they all spread out to take up two seats. Landed in Charleston and Karrie Lynn was there to chauffeur them home.

Admiral was happy as the house was clean, AC on and a nice hot shower was waiting before turning in from the long day.  I anxiously wait for my Crews return although not real thrilled about having to live “on the hard” during the engine change. Necessary evil I suppose. Captain will be off to Ft. Myers to work for a while and The Admiral will continue her Nursing career in Charleston.

Joyce & Brian Clark

S/V Pawsitive Latitude

bclark@umihvac.com

239-898-7646

http://www.PawsitiveLatitude.com

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