A warm hello to all our friends and family;
Wednesday August 26 2009
Just want to drop a line and let you know how we are doing. We would love to hear back about how you are doing too.
Stonecutter is anchored in a beautiful little bay off Hog Island on the south coast of Grenada.
The weather is very warm, sometimes rainy but usually sunny with scattered puffy clouds. We enjoy a lovely breeze at anchor during the day, but at night the wind dies down and it is a little uncomfortable for sleeping.
It is extremely hot down below, breeze or no breeze especially while I am cleaning etc. Today as I was doing dishes I could look up and watch sweat beads drip off my eyelashes onto my cheek and into the dish water, that’s hot eh! We need to drink enormous quantities of liquids to keep hydrated, and by the way beer doesn’t count! I pack water bottles with us where ever we go. We always where hats, always use sunscreen, always snorkel wearing t-shirts and put up sun screens in the cockpit, and still we get too much sun!
I am going home for three weeks (Aug 27 to Sept 16), oh no that’s tomorrow, I better finish packing…in a bit…anyway…
I had spent 6 weeks back home this past January starting on the 20th, one week waiting for Lily then 5 glorious weeks loving her.
Since I need to do my twice yearly eye checkups anyway I get to mix business with loads of pleasure. I am soooo looking forward to holding Lily, my beautiful 7 month old granddaughter, I can hardly wait!
After I come back my visit we plan to pick up the anchor and ???...we are not sure …maybe off to Carriacou then Tobago then Trinidad then tour one of the rivers in the Orinoco basin of Venezuela then back up north through the windward and leeward islands as far as Puerto Rico, then fly back home for a visit while there, hopefully both Ernie and I this time and then back down south as far as Grenada or maybe Trinidad for July 1/10. That’s kind of the plan as it stands now but who knows??...
Friends and family back home sometimes ask, “What do you do all day?I '
Our day to day life is similar in many ways to retired couples everywhere.
Up and about shortly after 6am, put the coffee pot on, listen to the radio (SSB radio for the 630am weather report from Eric in Trinidad) and then decide on activities for the day (vhf radio for the 730am daily Grenadian cruiser net broadcast telling us about the planned opportunities for fun that day). Breakfast, then an hour or so of tidy up time and work on our, ever present “boat job list”. We think the list is under control and we can relax for a bit and then wham, Ernie spotted a rather large crack in the plastic at the stern of our dinghy yesterday. Another priority fix. We just bought a new dinghy motor and I would really hate to have the stern tear away and…! Anyway just like in a house the “job list” grows and shrinks and priorities change as necessary.
We then might visit with friends or neighbours maybe go shopping, go for a long walk or have a snooze in the afternoon, maybe a little swim, game of some kind what ever we feel like really. It‘s also fun times when family and friends come visit us.
Local Island busses are great fun to use exploring inland. We have visited waterfalls,
rain forests, markets, parks and trails and lots more. They are usually plentiful, always inexpensive, mostly crowded and sometimes the bus drivers are in a BIG hurry. In Grenada a trip into the capital city of St. Georges, about 5 miles away is 2.50 EC (about 1.15CA) one way.
Renting cars and going on organized tours are also great fun.
One day after breakfast I leaned over the cockpit table to Ernie and said, “Let’s go on a holiday”. He says “cool, a holiday within a holiday, where to…”? Oh goodie, my favourite “job”, planning, navigating and investigating the best anchorages, actually; just having a map or a guide book in my hand is ridiculously pleasing to me.
We came up with a plan, go for about a month, sail as much as possible and visit the islands as far north as Bequia and then return to the south coast of Grenada.
May 7/09 we picked up anchor from Mount Hartman Bay on the south coast of Grenada and headed to Carriacou. We motor sailed in 10 kts of wind from the NE along the west coast putting up with rain, lumpy seas and wind on the nose. As we cleared the Island of Grenada the sun came out and the wind just stopped, barely a ripple on the water. We spotted a large looking raft off to the port side of the boat as we got closer I realized it was a living great mass of Booby birds. Evidently, I learned later they will often join up in numbers on the sea for a rest and protection from predators and weather.
Tyrell Bay in Carriacou has a beautiful, safe, and welcoming anchorage. The people are very friendly, proud of their country and happy to see cruisers on boats to share it with. They are eager to sell you their wares yet are also easy going offering “recipes and chats and their favourite trails … for “smiles”. Many bars, restaurants fruit and vegetable vendors and small grocery stores face the beach. Walking the paths and beaches of this small island is spectacular. The scenery is amazing, beginning with the ancient gnarly tree trunk at your feet or gazing out over the water doted with tiny uninhabited islands. Snorkeling is also very interesting off Sandy Island. In fact one of my very favourite things to do is snorkeling; it’s hiking under the waters surface over a reef that is 10 feet down. The fantastic coral and fishes of incredible colour and variety are a feast for my eyes; it’s a whole new world to explore.
Often we enjoy getting together with other cruisers; it is fun listening to their stories and sharing ideas. We had a delightful beach day with many fellow cruisers during our “holiday”, on the beach across from Sandy Island in Carriacou.
A favourite, friendly late afternoon pastime is “sundowners: where we visit other cruisers on their boats, watch the sun set sharing conversation, drinks and appetizers. I am still waiting to see a “green flash” as the sun goes down. The sky needs to be very clear and you need to have an open view to the western horizon.
Anyway, back to my “holiday” story.
We spent a few days in Carriacou then sailed about 2 hours to Union Island. Spent a couple days there exploring the island. From there we had a great sail, a little over an hour to Mayreau. Next day we sailed to Tobago Cays, which is a group of small islands and reefs.
We spent 5 glorious days exploring the small surrounding islands and snorkeling in the beautiful, clear water mornings and again after lunch. We spent hours snorkeling with Hawksbill Turtles in their natural habitat.
At times we could see 5 at once eating the sea grass, going up to the surface to breathe, watching them watching us, some swimming so close I could slowly reach out my hand and gently touch their backs. We also spent hours trying to get pictures of them, ending up with just a few good ones. Underwater photography is difficult and we need a much better camera for more successes.
From there we had a beautiful sail, about 2 hours to Canouan Island where we spent the day snorkeling and exploring the island.
The weather was generally great for sailing, about 15 kts with less than four foot seas. Our best sail was from Canouan to Bequia in about four hours. We sailed with a reefed main, jib and staysail and reached 8.1 kts…Fantastic, our best speed so far. We stayed in Bequia a few days enjoying the island and visiting with other cruisers.
Then we sailed from Bequia back to Union Island in about 5 hours, another great sail.
The next day we sailed, through really choppy seas with squally weather all around us for a little over an hour and dropped anchor at PSV Island (Petite St Vincent), not much fun. As the sun came out we enjoyed snorkeling and exploring the island with our dinghy.
Next day sailed back to Carriacou. We spent another week there going on splendid hikes and simply relaxing and enjoying ourselves.
We sailed back to Grenada on the 10th of June. Good sail for most of the 7 hours.
Next day, out came the” to do list”, back to work…
Since then we have been anchorage hopping the south coast of Grenada, generally having lots of good times.
Well I guess I better wrap up this note…got only an hour to finish packing…can’t miss the “Jelly Fish” Presentation at Clarke’s Court Marina this afternoon by a fellow cruiser who just happens to be a Marine Biologist…cool eh!
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!!, lots of time to answer back while sweet Lily is sleeping.
Take good care everyone, love you all
Kathy and Ernie