* Except s/v Too Much Fun isn’t here yet.
We had a nearly perfect sail down from Guadeloupe to Grenada, anchoring in Mt. Hartman Bay on Monday afternoon.(We had a hitchhiker for much of the trip.) Once we had anchored, I had every intention of sitting down to write because I have a lot that needs writing:
- Press releases for the new print version of Harts at Sea – Sailing to Windward
- One or two additional posts about St. Martin
- An article about dinghy docks for the St. Martin Marine Trade Association
- Two or three posts about Guadeloupe – including a photo post of a regatta for their local sailing vessels, the saintoise.
- Two or three articles for magazines
- A much-delayed post about our next adventure at sea
- Many more photo posts for www.SailingToWindward.com
I’ve got a list, and it’s a long one, and it now includes articles about our first week in Grenada:
- EW’s most recent Another Project - The Cursed Bilge
- My new cleaning schedule
- Hamburger Night at Clark’s Court Bay Marina (see right)
- Our amazing music night at the museum
But – we’ve been having too much fun. (For the most part. EW did spend part of three days working on the bilge pump, and that was most assuredly not fun. I could tell by the words he used.)
Before we got down here, I wondered if we’d enjoy Grenada as much during our second hurricane season here. After all, last year we sailed in with two of our favorite “buddy boats”, Fox Sea and Sanctuary, and were soon joined by Windrifter, Celebration, Magic Inspiration, Molly Bloom, and Happy Times. Except for Molly Bloom, we are the only one of those boats to return this year. Two of those boats have sailed back to the states for a visit, two have sailed to the western Caribbean, two have stayed in St. Thomas.
No worries, though. We met a whole bunch of other nice people last year – and have already made new friends this year – so we have had a very social week. Sailing is like that. (I finally created a spreadsheet to keep a list of the boats, people, hailing ports, and where we first met – because we keep seeing some of these folks again and again and I needed a cheat sheet.)
We listened to the Grenada Cruisers’ Net on Tuesday, and I provided relay services for a few boats who couldn’t be heard by the Net Controller. I did too good of a job, as Lynn from s/v Silver Heels III sped over in her dinghy shortly after the net and “voluntold” me to be the controller on Fridays. Since talking is clearly one of my things, she didn’t have to work too hard to get me to say “yes”. After the net on Tuesday, EW and I walked to Prickly Bay Marina, where we could check in with customs and immigration, and then we walked up to the main drag to catch a bus to the IGA for a bit of grocery shopping. A “shopping bus” from Mt. Hartman was at the IGA, so we were able to get a ride back with them.
Here’s how the shopping buses work: On selected days of the week, various taxi drivers schedule a shopping bus which will take cruisers to the ATM, Budget Marine, the Ace Hardware, CK wholesale, and the IGA. The cost is $10.00 EC per person round trip – $2.67 US –. While a bus ride is only $1.00 EC, they don’t go all the way to most marinas, which can be a problem if you have a week’s worth of provisions and a case of beer. Also, if you were to take a bus and stop at all of those places, you would end up paying $1.00 each time you get back on the next bus. We mostly stayed in Prickly Bay last year and took the bus nearly all the time, going together and handling all of our groceries fairly well. That just isn’t possible from Mt. Hartman as the bus stop is miles from the marina. This year, we have resolved to actually move the boat a number of times during the season, sampling all of the marinas, meeting new neighbors, and taking advantage of the different activities in the different harbors.
Despite the trip to the store and ATM on Tuesday, we found ourselves with a serious lack of funds that afternoon, after I had done two loads of laundry. “No problem,” I said. “I’ll just walk out to the ATM on Wednesday morning for exercise and cash.” Jackie, from s/v Compass Rose agreed to walk with me and we had a nice chat, got in some good exercise, and I got more cash. That evening, the “Mt. Hartman Gang” decided to share a taxi to the Clark’s Cove Marina Hamburger Night. A great time was had by all – and we were once again out of cash.
I was astounded. Grenada was the least expensive of all of our stops last year. We had a system. Each week we took out X number of dollars and it lasted all week – often with some left over. I had taken out X number of dollars since we got here and we were out of cash in two days. What had happened to Grenada? Late Wednesday night I realized that I’d been having a blond moment. Cruising in the Caribbean makes for interesting currency issues. Depending on the ports we deal with U.S. dollars, guilders, EU dollars, EC dollars, Trini Dollars. The British Virgin Islands use US Dollars. Go figure.
So – when I was faithfully retrieving $X from the ATM, I had forgotten to make the exchange. If my budget is $X US, I have to take out $X times $2.67. Blond moment. Remember, you don’t have to be blond to have them, but it helps.
On Thursday morning I again took a walk to the ATM and again found two ladies to join me. We actually walked all the way to the IGA and back. I am getting my exercise. Next week I plan to try some of the more picturesque walks around this harbor. That one to the bank is getting old. On Thursday, EW began the cursed bilge project and we stayed in for dinner and a rest. On Friday, EW had to walk to go back to Budget Marine (he’d already walked there earlier in the week) and asked if I wanted to join him. It is a lovely 35 minute walk -- and I plan to undertake it again next Wednesday for ladies’ dominoes at de Big Fish. Friday night we joined the “Mt. Hartman Gang” at jazz and poetry night at the museum. It was amazing.
On Saturday, I actually got a tiny bit of boat work done while EW took a break from the cursed bilge project. (That's two syllables cur-sed:
curs·ed (kûr-sd, kûrst) also curst (kûrst)
So wicked and detestable as to deserve to be cursed.
Now, on Sunday, I’m working on getting some writing done before we head over to Hog Island and Roger’s Bar for more music and fun. I can see that getting work done in Grenada will take discipline this year. But I am going to get a lot of walking in.
That's a good thing.
New to Harts at Sea? I've written a book -- Harts At Sea-Sailing to Windward -- about our first year of cruising, from Maine to Grenada. It's available on Kindle (or Kindle for PC or Kindle for Apple) for only $2.99. No Kindle? You can download Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac at no cost. Click here for the Kindle version. NOW Harts at Sea - Sailing to Windward is available in paperback for $12.00. Click here for the paperback version.