Back in Grenada

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. 

7 June May 2018    Prickly Bay, Grenada
The anchorage is in a gap between the island and the mainland and the wind really whistles through the channel, so we had a restless night.  After breakfast, we upped anchor and moved further into the harbour to Benji Bay.  Most of the bay is covered by moorings belonging to the small boat yard ashore, so we picked a spot just outside the mooring field at 12°00.32N 061°43.81W in 11 metres - it’s good holding and we’re much better protected from the howling wind.

The uncrowded Benji Bay

We had a quiet day pottering about.  I did some more genealogy and found to my horror that my ancestors on my mother’s father’s side come from the Yorkshire Dales.  (I was born in Lancashire and the War of the Roses against the hated Yorkshire men is not easily forgotten - even though it occurred in 1455…) 

8 June May 2018    Prickly Bay, Grenada
We pottered about in the morning getting the boat ready to start on some more maintenance.  The front cabin has been converted back into a workshop ready to do some varnishing and I reviewed my to-do list, pushing back some jobs until we get to Trinidad in two weeks’ time. 

In the afternoon, we went for a look around the harbour.  There’s a small marina called Whisper Cove, which is owned by a French couple, who normally sell freshly baked bread and very good cuts of meat, but they’ve just closed for a holiday because it’s the low season.  

We popped into Woburn where there’s a sturdy dinghy dock and we can get a mini-bus into St Georges.  Woburn is a sleepy little village with goats wandering about, but there’s a rum bar called Nimrod’s and Taffy’s restaurant run by British couple who do a Sunday roast lunch with Yorkshire Pudding, so we might indulge this coming Sunday.

Over in the north-west corner of the bay, there now a huge boat yard called Clarkes Court Marina.  It used to be a sleepy little boatyard, but four years ago they invested loads of money and it now houses hundreds of boats on the hard with a massive travel lift.  We met Nils, who used run St David boatyard and he told us that they are massively oversubscribed and are busy extending their hard stand. 

Traditional Sunday Lunch

9 June May 2018    Prickly Bay, Grenada
We had a day of jobs.  Glenys sanded down various removable fittings and then varnished them.  I worked on the teak on the aft coach roof.  We had most of the teak deck replaced in Thailand, but the aft coach roof is a low wear area, so it’s still the original deck with screws.  Over the past three years, some of the teak plugs covering the screws had popped out, so I replaced them. 

It’s a straightforward job.  I removed the screws; deepened the holes; put the screws back in with a touch of sealant; and then knocked in some new teak plugs with some epoxy to hold them in place.  There were only a dozen or so, but it still took a couple of hours. The rest of my day was spent on small jobs and helping Glenys with the varnishing.

10 June May 2018    Prickly Bay, Grenada
It’s a Sunday, so we had a relaxed day.  In the morning, we finished off a few small jobs - putting on a second coat of varnish.  We then went over to Taffy’s bar for a traditional English Sunday Lunch - Roast Pork, Mashed Potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire Pudding and lashings of gravy.  All washed down with a few cold beers of course.

Later in the afternoon, we zipped over to Hog Island where we went for a walk before having another cold beer at Roger’s Bar.  There was quite a gathering of tourists and yachties at the bar - Sunday is a regular event.  Roger has been serving beer and food on the island for years - we first met him in 1993.  He used to be a happy Rasta, but the joy has gone out of him and he’s now a jaded bar owner.

After our extensive lunch, we were feeling a little weary of drinking, so we sloped off before the band started - perhaps we’ll go back next week.