Archive for: ‘June 2012’

Dinghy Concerts, a New Mini-Van Record and Bloody Hashes: June in Grenada

June 25, 2012 Posted by Deb

The dinghy concert is an annual event put on by the Le Phare Bleu Marina and Island Water World. They bring out a barge, tie it off to a big monohull sailboat, and load it up like any outdoor concert. It all happened within a rock’s throw of Neytiri but we dinked on over anyway to tie up to the growing mass of lashed together dinghies. Those of you who have done the dink-drift-drink functions in Boqueron will remember the routine. The hard part was scrambling for beers. The unlucky gofer has to climb from one dinghy to the next to get to the barge and then find a way to get all that beer back to the group. We started sending the kid from Cape and he could scramble. Only one dunking and he got to watch soaking wet wondering if his cell phone would ever work again.

In Trinidad in 1995 we set a record of 28 people in a public minivan taxi and we did it with a packer and a healthy dose of school kids who could sit on laps. In Grenada in 2012 we broke that record with 32 on board a public minivan. We, again, did it with school kids and they were in every nook of the van. We got to stop about every two blocks, get out, let them out, and repack.

We met up with Oceanis again after hiking with them in Dominica and going our separate ways. John, who’s Hash name is Brain Damaged, was returning to his first hash in six months after being up island, and signed up for the runner’s route. He’s 70 and a former runner. I signed up for the walking route but took the running route with a bunch of college kids. Deb is still on the injury list but did a fair portion of the hash. When we got back, we heard John was off to the hospital. He had fallen and ran a stick through his cheek as in all the way through. He came in with his great looking beard a new color. The word today is that he had 14 stitches.

Grenada Revisited

June 19, 2012 Posted by Deb

We came back to Grenada to get back into clean water and anchorages with nice breezes. Huge difference. We’re also staging for our longest run to date and that is a 400 – 500 mile downwind leg to Bonaire. We’re anchored off the windward side of Hog Island and have a short dink ride to five of the more famous destinations on Grenada. That would be Clarke’s Court Marina, Whisper Cove Marina, Secret Harbor Marina, the Hog Island beach party, and last but not least, Nimrod’s and the soon to open Taffy’s in Woburn.

Doctors, Dentists, and Dinghy Concerts

That’s all on the books for tomorrow. It’s volleyball today and Deb just finished the Shade Man shopping trip and we’re down about an inch on the waterline with the cases of water, beer, soda, wine and rum she lugged home. We don’t know what a dinghy concert is but we hear they are basing it on the big tug out in the anchorage (on the top left of the anchorage picture). That should be interesting.

Nimrod’s

I can’t remember the details of the old Nimrod initiation 17 years ago, if fact I can’t remember much of that whole day. It is the only bar on the planet that Deb had to pull me out of back on July 11, 1995.  A very powerful rum was involved, I do remember that.

So … how can we remember the date to the day? We can’t. But the initiation involved signing the log book and a few log books survived Hurricane Ivan. Nimod is gone but his son has taken over and we scrounged through the books and found our old entry right next to our sailing friends, Sherpa. Neither entry was particularly poetic but the rum hadn’t kicked in as yet. Oh … and as you can see, our boat card had long since fallen out the log book. This time, I had a Carib and left without having to be pulled out. What we do remember from that day was that the patrons were still passionately arguing both sides of the US invasion of Grenada and that one of the guys was an extra (as a teenager) in the 1957 filming of Islands in the Sun and kind of got adopted by one of the female leads, Joan Collins. It turned out to be a real Bruce Springsteen Glory Days thing for him.

It kind of makes us want to find all our old restaurant/bar log entries from 17 years ago but a couple are in Venezuela and we’d have to shoot our way in and out and another got burned not too many years ago by Mario after Fin drowned in the Bluefield Range up in Belize. The rest are still out there, though.

Pan Band and Basketball Practice

We took a maxi full of gringos to the Cherokee pan yard where they practice their music, eat, drink, and apparently play basketball. They also have rooms where ladies volunteer full time for months to get costumes ready for their carnival, in August. Guests are welcome and we help in a minor way by buying drinks, food, and making the odd donation. It’s all pretty laid back.

A Tale of Two Visits = Trinidad: May 15 through June 4

June 4, 2012 Posted by Deb

Much of April and early May was geared toward having the boat stable enough and stowed enough for two rounds of brave souls who were going to venture to Trinidad for a vacation. Deb was relaxed and I was quite worried, mostly about weather. As it turned out, some of the multi-day streaks of solid rain that we had earlier did not materialize (or have not since we are In the middle of round 2 right now). Trinidad actually put on a good show with plenty of sun, a pan festival, bird sanctuary, a night trip for turtles, botanical gardens, a visit to Monos island and the leper colony out on Chacachacare, and a pan-purchasing run (successful) all in five days for our friends from Minnesota, Bill McTeer and Karen Parson.

Leatherback Turtle Nesting on the North Coast of Trinidad:

Trip to the Asa Wright Bird Sanctuary, the Oldest Nature Center in the West Indies:

Eight of Hearts Pan Band Concert:

We had a two-day break to get the awning back up and power and water hookups back on. That was complicated by yet another version the famous Trini time estimate, “Don’t worry, we’re shutting down the power to repair a broken main and it should be back up in five or ten minutes”.  After a few hours I cornered the dockmaster and he said they shut down my power and it would be awhile. So if five or ten minutes is really three or four hours, awhile is weeks. We jury rigged extensions all the way to slip 59 and got the A/C, 110, and 220 all working before touchdown for group 2.

The second group, Deb’s sister Cindy and friends Gena and Trudi, had twice as much time and a more relaxed agenda. They took off for a three-day excursion to Tobago. I stayed on the boat because I picked up a cough and fever from too much A/C and too few hours of sleep. Probably good that I didn’t go because another boat came in to our shared area and I had to redo all the mooring lines.

Tobago’s Store Bay:

Famous Quote from our Favorite Bartender: “Get Trudi … Too Much Witch Doctor”

Pigeon Point:

The Story of Cap II:

There was quite a show going on down the dock as a gorgeous large monohull was undergoing a final fit out before heading off to, I believe, Massachusetts. The boat had undergone a complete overhaul and Keith, the British captain, was under huge pressure to get North for a delivery that was worth a significant piece of change. Cap II was between him and that delivery job and it was wearing on him as was the many months on the hard. At any one time, there were from three to six sets of contractors working on the boat and there was a lot of yelling.

To make a long story short (and there are many other chapters), they left yesterday, about a week or so late. I was surprised to see Keith near the ice machine today. Apparently, he detected a vibration in a shaft coupling, called his local expert, and was advised to haul the boat. So … after all the going away parties, customs paperwork, and waiting opportunities up north, Cap II is back on land.

Final note. Cap II splashed in 2 days and left again. We have heard that their generator ran out of oil but the boat is still moving north and it looks like we won’t see Keith around the docks again.