26 September 2016

Bye, Grenada

When we arrived on June 30, the slopes were dotted with the brilliant orange bloom of the jubilant tree.  The flowers and trees are in full bloom with the beginning of the rainy season.
After two and a half months in Grenada, with an exciting side trip sans Milly to Rio!, we are on our way.  We are both excited to be on the go and at sea again.
Our view of the capitol, St Georges, while docked at the "super yacht dock" in the marina, awaiting our berth in the average yacht dock.  Milly is always super in our estimation!

Anchored in Mt. Hartman Bay.

Grenada has been a wonderful island to hang out in during hurricane season.  We spent time at anchor outside St George, the “big” city, then in the marina with AC, long showers and other luxuries and finally anchored in Mt Hartman Bay, the social hub of Grenada’s summer camp atmosphere.  We hiked at least three times a week in a large group or on our own, played volleyball, practiced yoga, went to music jams, ate out en masse and joined others on their boats or on Milly for drinks.  We toured a cocoa plantation - fantastic, the young guide was super enthusiastic and went leaping over the gullies to pick a wide variety of unheard of fruits from the trees for us to sample - an ancient rum distillery which still uses the same ancient methods of crushing sugarcane, fermenting - really disgusting - and producing 79% firewater.  We met lots of cruisers and a few expats, all with interesting life stories.  A few had just learned to sail and set off only months before to live their dream - amazing.  Most were hardcore cruisers, having lived on their boats for many years either just in the Antilles chain or, more often, had crossed oceans or circumnavigated more than once.  We were relative newbys to the majority.
Our harvest at the market included water lemons which are sweet and delicious.  About the size of a lemon but with a thick, smooth skin which encapsulates pulpy edible seeds.  A local demonstrated a bite off the skin and a strong suck and pinch to squeeze out the innards.

Grenada equivalent of the lichee nut.  Not quite as sweet or as easy to peel away from the seed as the Chinatown variety.

Tamarind.  A pod with a crunchy, thin shell and a strong, sour flesh covering seeds.  I love it on it's own but the best is tamarind juice.

Tamarind flesh out of the pod at the top and ready for mouth puckering consumption.

Cocoa pods. Red or yellow ready for processing.

Cocoa beans re covered with white flesh which can be sucked off the bean.  Sweet.  Takes on a slight flavour of the fruit that it grows close to.  This one had a suggestion of grapefruit.
Water apples, I think.  As name implies they are extremely watery and pretty tasteless. Not my favourite.  

Cocoa beans fermenting with the white flesh covering in crude wooden bins covered with palm leaves.

Then dried and sorted on wooden racks.

After all our time in Grenada, it is still bittersweet to leave.  It is a beautiful island with lots to see and do and a great cruising community.  One of the things I will miss most is the greeting and smile from almost every local on the island as you walk by.  “Good morning”, “good afternoon” and “good evening” are the standard greetings on the street - you must be aware of time for this to work.  Noon brings an immediate change.  As some enter the local bus, the older locals sing out the appropriately timed greeting and many will say good morning twice - one for Peter and one for me as we walk by.  This cultural habit is such a refreshing change to eyes on the pavement and is indicative of the friendly character of the people who live here.
Our first of many of Steve's hike.  A cruiser who had been in Grenada for eight months, lead hikes once a week.  We were regulars.

Steve always planned a stop at the end of the hike for drinks as needed.  Peter and I drank juice at the first hike but brought wine to the next many for wine and cheese to relax at the end.

View from the top of one of the hikes.  The way down included a steep cliff with stairs carved into the rock and ropes.  Steve always made it interesting

Milly is way down there in the distance 

The Etang below and the long train of enthusiastic participants going up.  This became known as the 2 mile hike.  Whenever a not so enthusiastic hiker asked how much further, the reply was "Just two more miles".

Most hikes ended with a swim in a freshwater - treat - waterfall.  And then wine and cheese.

The honeymoon waterfall was beautiful.

Intrepid Steve leading the hikers.  Most hikes took us through at least two or three stream crossings.

It wasn't all play.  Cleaning the winches was one of our overdue boat chores.  

I've learned a lot about organization by working with Peter.  Everything in it's place.  I'm glad he never saw my desk in action at work!

But suddenly we feel itchy to move.  We left Grenada and are now in Carriacou again to join our friends on a last hash - a walk or run through dense forest, up and down incredibly steep hills at a trot or fast walk.  Gruelling and muddy but good fun!  And with a party after - a hash is dubbed "a drinking club with a running problem".

Tomorrow we set off to Bonaire, about a three day passage.  We have reprovisioned, I have made some passage meals, the oil has been changed on our motors and genset, the winches have been cleaned, our main sail has been mended, our water and diesel tanks are full, and other odds and ends have been sorted out.  Peter, Milly and I are ready and excited for our next adventure.
Our last anchorage at Carriacou at Sandy Island.  Lovely, tiny island - really a sandbank - with wonderful snorkelling.   Good-bye, Grenada.  We'll miss you!