June 2018 - Carriacou to Trinidad

1 June May 2018    Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
Glenys woke with a dodgy tummy, so she stayed on board, while I caught a mini-bus into Hillsborough.  I love riding on the mini-buses, everyone greets each other good morning and there’s always some friendly chatter going on.  I can’t understand a word of the local patois, but I enjoy the cadence of the banter and the bursts of raucous laughter.  The fare of £0.75 is a bargain.

I managed to get some money out of the Bank’s main ATM, but only with our Debit card - it just rejected my Credit card.  I had a wander into a few hardware shops, but they’re geared up for house building and I soon gave up trying to buy things for the boat.  I’ll wait until we get to Grenada. 

We had a quiet afternoon and evening on-board.

The largest supermarket in Hillsborough

2 June May 2018    Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
We’ve decided that we’ll sail to Grenada in a couple of days’ time, so we couldn’t be bothered to disrupt the boat with any big jobs.  Instead, we had a very lazy day.

We go home to the UK in 4 weeks and I’m planning to spend some time with my mum going through her memories of our family history.  In preparation for this, I spent most of the day working on our family tree.  I’ve bought a genealogy application (Roots Magic), which allows me to enter lots of information about each family member.  

The application also has a clever interface to several on-line genealogy websites which carry large databases of birth, death and census records.  It’s amazing that I can be sat here at anchor in the Caribbean doing research into my family living in Lancashire in the 1800s.  I traced my mother’s family and found out that they were mostly cotton weavers living in Bury Lancashire during the Industrial Revolution.  My Great Grandmother Kenyon was working in a cotton mill when she was 12 - a hard life.

3 June May 2018    Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
Being a Sunday, we had another quiet day, going ashore to the Slipway restaurant for a boozy lunch.  The food was fabulous and they sell a very tasty IPA beer, which is brewed in a micro-brewery in Grenada.  Unfortunately, it’s very strong (over 8%), so I slept the afternoon away...

4 June May 2018    Tyrell Bay to Prickly Bay, Grenada
After two weeks in the lovely Tyrell Bay, we pulled up our anchor and sailed down to Grenada.  We elected to sail close by Diamond Rock and Ile Ronde, which is half way between Carriacou and the north coast of Grenada.  It broke the journey up with some nice scenery, but the wind was very flukey as we passed in the lee of the steep sided islands and we had to start the engine several times.

We’d put out a couple of fishing lines and the lures were very attractive to some of the hundreds of Brown Boobies.  We tried shouting at the birds, but they just kept on swooping down to try to snatch the lure out of the water.  Unfortunately, one of the younger ones tried to dive into the water and became hooked, skipping along on the top of the water as we towed it along.

An angry Brown Booby

Glenys pulled in the other fishing line, while I reeled in the desperate bird.  I lifted it on deck where it immediately started to snap at anything close with its vicious 3 inch beak.  Glenys handed me a towel, which I threw over the bird’s head to calm it down.  I was then able to unhook the lure from its wing and unwind the stainless steel leader which had wrapped around its neck.

Once free of the fishing gear, I unceremoniously dropped it into the water, after which it shook its head a few times and few off home.  Hopefully, it’s now a bit wiser.

The sail down the leeward side of Grenada was pleasant, but with fluky winds.  We rounded the south west tip of the island and had a gruelling 20 minute bash directly into 25 knots of wind and 1 metre seas.  However we were soon entering Prickly Bay, dropping the anchor at 11°59.77N 061°45.76W in 10 metres of water.

The anchorage is not as crowded as I expected it to be, but there are plenty of boats huddled together on the east side of the harbour trying to keep out of the swell which hooks into the bay.  We couldn’t be bothered to try to find a spot amongst the herd, so we anchored in the middle of the bay - it will be more rolly, but at least we’re in our own space

Our friends Paul and Monique arrived here a couple of days ago, having just finished their circumnavigation, so we went over for a few beers and ended up staying for dinner.  It was great to catch up with them.  

5 June May 2018    Prickly Bay, Grenada
It was my 62nd birthday today, so we had a leisurely day.  We caught a mini-bus into St Georges, had a wander about town.  The place seems a bit tidier than it did six years ago, but they still have the very smart policemen directing traffic at the major junctions.  We had a celebratory lunch of Chicken Roti at the lovely Nutmeg restaurant.  It overlooks the Carenage and has a great view of the hustle and bustle of the port.  We’ve been coming here for 25 years and it hasn’t changed much. 

Traffic Control in St Georges

There were lots of long-line fishing boats tied up to the harbour wall and I had a chat to one of the fishermen.   He told me that they put out 15 miles of fishing line, which has baited hooks that are suspended between buoys on the surface.  The buoys have flags and lights and are normally deployed overnight, targeting Yellowfin Tuna.  He told me that the line is 20 metres deep and it’s safe for us to pass over the line as long as we stay away from the buoys.

In evening, we went out with “Full Circle” for pizza at the marina restaurant.

6 June May 2018    Prickly Bay, Grenada
It was uncomfortably rolly last night and we want to be somewhere calmer to get on with some jobs, so we went shopping for essential supplies - hardware and food.  We walked to the Spice Island Mall, stopping off at Ace Hardware and two other hardware stores, where I was able to tick off a lot of things on my list - sandpaper, wire brushes, wood filler, etc.  Glenys stocked up on meat and essentials and then we caught a mini-bus back to Prickly Bay.

Over lunch, we ran our water-maker and then motored into the steep waves around to Hog Island.  I have fond memories of Hog Island, having spent many weeks there on our previous boat, Glencora.  However, that was back in 1994 and the anchorage is now covered with moorings and scruffy, mostly abandoned boats - it’s horribly crowded.  We motored around the anchorage, but couldn’t be bothered to try to squeeze in between the moorings and the wrecks.

We motored around to Mount Hartman Bay and found much the same sort of picture - too many moorings and unmanned boats.   It’s a sad reflection of the many cruisers who congregate in Grenada and hardly sail their boats anywhere.  We tried to anchor once and then decided that we didn’t like being surrounded by boats, especially as the wind swirls around in the anchorage.  

So, we motored upwind into Woburn Bay and anchored off Calvigny Island at 12°00.05N 061°43.66W in 14 metres on good holding mud & sand.  There are only three other boats in the anchorage and the nearest boat is 50 metres away - lovely.   Calvigny Island looks very smart - it’s private and can be rented for the exclusive use of you and your friends for $165,000US/day. This includes accommodation for 50 people and is fully catered with top notch chefs.