Before we left, I read many cruising books and magazine articles by experienced cruisers. Inevitably, there would be one or two “Typical Day” articles about living on anchor in the islands.They would discuss rising and shining and working on boat projects for four hours, having lunch, swimming, reading, and enjoying sundowners. Their days were ordered and productive. Either those authors lie, or they are more disciplined than I am. We arrived at “mainland” Grenada on August 3rd and, while we’ve moved about the harbor a bit to re-anchor, La Luna hasn’t left Prickly Bay in almost 2 months. Here’s my truth about living in Grenada during hurricane season.
1. We aren’t sailing. One of the reasons we wanted to stay in Grenada is so we could go sailing. I’m sure I mentioned that I wouldn’t want to stay in Luperon for the season “because there’s no place to sail to”. While this isn’t like cruising the Coast of Maine, there are a number of interesting harbors in Grenada and nothing but our own ennui to prevent us from hauling anchor, going for a day sail, and dropping the hook back here in Prickly or in another bay.
2. We are insured in Grenada – just not for damage from a “named storm”. I know I’ve mentioned that I didn’t understand our insurance until we talked with other cruisers in Carriacou. Since Carriacou is part of Grenada, you can see that I was ignorant for a long time. Our insurance company will insure a certain number of boats for hurricane season in most Caribbean locations. We hadn’t applied for an exemption in Grenada and knew from others that the quota had been met by the time we heard about it. During that discussion, EW finally made me understand that we were insured in Grenada unless there was a storm, in which case we would have warning and head south to Trinidad and Tobago. Oh. For months I’d been saying “We can’t say in Grenada. Our insurance doesn’t allow it,” and receiving puzzled looks from more savvy cruisers. It took me a while but I got it.
3. The Grenada Cruisers’ Net is much less formal than that in Georgetown, and individuals can easily come up with ideas for events, find a place, and invite other cruisers. Our options include: playing games, such as volleyball, dominoes, cricket, backgammon, and bocce; seeing movies, both out of doors and in a local theater; snorkeling and diving; hiking and hashing, swimming under waterfalls; cooking lessons; excursions for shopping, a fish fry, or island tours; book swaps, Spanish lessons; and events at local restaurants and bars, including watching football, rugby, and cricket, musical jams, and listening and dancing to excellent local entertainment.
4. We have an increasing circle of friends here, so we get together for dinner, play cards and dominoes, enjoy sundowners, and share knowledge about other harbors, the cruising life, and safety.
All of this means that the “typical” day I’ve read about just hasn’t been possible for me here in Grenada – if that means I am a weak woman, so be it.
We get up about 6:30 or 7:00 and generally have a leisurely morning. If it’s calm, I may take a borrowed kayak out for some exercise. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays both of us attend an excellent yoga class in the shade at a nearby resort. (The manager gave the cruiser/instructor permission to use their lawn when two of his staff expressed interest in attending.)
If there’s nothing else going on that morning, we head back to the boat and generally get some work done. Right now, I’m working on an eBook about this first year of cruising and I have found that boat projects and this blog (and EW’s meals) have suffered greatly as a result. EW has been varnishing in the forward cabin, which has created a small mess aft as all things normally stored up forward have to have a temporary home. They now reside on our bed during the day and in the main salon at night. You may wonder about my self-absorption in the ebook. How bad is it you ask? EW was working on deck and needed some help. He called down, “Are you decent? Can you come up and help me?” I was not decent. It was 2:00 PM and I’d been writing since breakfast. I should be decently dressed long before 2:00 PM and have worked to at least achieve that goal ever since.
I do laundry or delivery laundry to be done in the morning and may then head off to town for provisions (groceries to you landlubbers). I prefer to write in the morning, so now more often do the grocery run in late afternoon, since it is just too hot to walk here at mid-day.
At least 3 days a week, we have something going on during the day: Spanish lessons, cooking lessons, hikes, excursions. If it sounds good or interesting, we try it. I haven’t yet participated in Tuesday Ladies Dominos at da Big Fish, yet, but that’s on my list for next week.
We read a lot.
We do clean and repair boat things. Really, we do.
We play cards.
We get on the Internet and Skype when possible, and text, tweet, email, and Facebook nearly every day.
We watch movies on board.
EW plays his guitar.
I cook. We clean up.
We undertake a major project every so often. If we’re lucky it’s a Project not Another Project. EW just discovered a serious issue with our dinghy so now he has Another Project to tackle.
This all sounds boring to me as I write this, but it’s not. It is certainly a slower pace that our previous life, and I’m still working on chilling out and getting in step with that. It’s a life that allows for a bit more contemplation, a lot more time together, and much more creativity than the life we lived before.
It suits us.
You could say that it’s D-Vine.
Photos, top to bottom:
On the beach before the Carriacou Regatta
Cooking Class at Tru Blue Bay Resort
One of the local Carriacou racing boats.