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Date: 10 Jan 2009 12:37:01
Title: Prickly Bay? Can't keep away!

11:59.8N 61:45.7W

 

Well, after mulling it over (as discussed previous blog – come on, keep up) we decided that west wasn’t for us and started the long, tedious and most likely uncomfortable journey east.  We’re really thinking we’ve come to the end of this particular part of our life (the sailing) and much as we wanted to venture onto all exotic points west, it’s not really a goer if you want to stand a good chance of selling your boat.  The western Caribbean is much less discovered yachtywise, and presumably that will change eventually, as it has in the Windward and Leeward Islands.  Still you can’t do it all…

 

The bitter pill of the unpleasant journey was sugared somewhat by the promise of a traditional Christmas dinner in Prickly Bay (Grenada) courtesy of Roger and Vicki on El Vagabond who had a long standing appointment to meet their friends on True Colours from the UK who were crossing the Atlantic this season and hoping to arrive in time for the big day.

 

So with this in mind off we go…accompanied by the biggest pod of dolphins we’ve seen which always cheers your heart. 

 

Frolicking off the bows. (Sorry, no fish caught this trip).

 

Going against the prevailing trade winds and currents is considered the least favourite option at any time and people sail miles out of their way to avoid a direct route into it (ie east) but in true Adonde fashion we decided to just get it over with and head straight for Grenada.  And it wasn’t that bad.  It took about a week with a couple of stops for snoozing in Los Roques and Tortuga (Venezuela’s offshore islands) and a couple of nights in Margarita spent drinking cheap rum and sneaking ashore to the supermarket without officially checking in (naughty but very good VFM, especially the diesel – 30USD for 220 litres, the same quantity we paid 270 USD for in Curacao, damn).

 

 In Tortuga, where we really only stopped for an afternoon nap, we were very sorry to miss Malarkey by 24 hours who unbeknown to us were coming the other way. Talk about ships that pass in the night.  It probably was a good thing as we haven’t seen them for a year and although we’d love to catch up on all their news, it would have been a bit drunken and messy.

 

The last leg from Porlamar (Margarita) to Grenada was motorsailing but with Prickly Bay in sight we pulled out all the stops and had a lovely sail for all of half an hour just to see if we could still do it!

 So with nothing broken and our fillings intact we had a very jolly reunion with El Vagabond and also John from Durban Dancer, who told us they were running a sweepstake on the estimated arrival time of True Colours in the bay.  Very hard to judge the length of an Atlantic crossing but Roger and Vicki know them and their boat better than us and had already picked the best runners.  So with “Monday am” as my rank outsider we were extremely gratified to hear True Colours calling up on the VHF in my time window.  As R and V weren’t answering True Colours were welcomed into Grenada with the words “Hello this is Adonde, you don’t know me but I just won £5 on you!”  How we laughed.

 

True Colours arrive looking shipshape and Bristol fashion.

 

Dave and Fi from True Colours – well, they have been at sea for 25 days!

 

 

Anyway, on to the main point of this missive which is to tell you that you can all sleep soundly in your beds, safe in the knowledge that the traditions of Britain are being upheld in this corner of the globe.  As mentioned before (and regular readers might remember) the overuse of the word “awesome” tends to rub us stuffy types up the wrong way, but with regard to the spread we had aboard El Vagabond on the 25th , it was truly worthy of such praise. 

Yes, we did all help out a little with cooking (we got the cabbage and broccoli, thank you John and Sue for roasties to die for) but El Vagabond certainly made up for our last 2 Christmases, which weren’t so hot (one spent bailing out the engine room mid Atlantic and the other in a soulless restaurant, no offence to Scorpio and Squander for this one). There wasn’t a Christmas food missing and they went beyond the call of duty with no less than 7 vegetables to squeeze onto your plate. Of course, we all had to have seconds AND leftovers on Boxing Day whilst watching the Queens Speech (ah, the internet…).

 No decent Christmas dinner for 2 years then three come along at once (there’s a joke there I know it). Homemade crackers, silly hats and jokes, charades and twenty questions; it’s amazing what cruisers with time on their hands can conjure up for entertainment.

Getting a bit over excited.

 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

           

John from Durban Dancer prepares to chow down…

Our hostess, Vicki.

Sommelier Roger with gratuitous dinner plate shots.

 

All this jollity was swiftly followed by a New Year’s Eve celebration chez nous, comprising of far too much curry (cooked by everyone) and far too much booze (drunk by everyone). I’m fairly sure curry is considered Britain’s national dish now so we felt it was appropriate. 

And in keeping with the British theme, at midnight we counted down the Big Ben bongs and sang Auld Lang Syne (both downloadable don’t you know, along with sound effects for your very own audio firework display).  That’s midnight GMT, which is of course 8 pm here, so we could all be tucked up in bed at the usual witching hour of half past nine… 

Not really, we made an exception and stayed up for the local fireworks, which were pretty good too.  It was another excellent night’s fun and a first for someone who doesn’t like New Years Eve parties much (me, Tracy).

Vicki, Fi and Jan from Scorpio make their curry choice.

The big moment.

 

Cheers!

 

So all that remains of this ramble is to wish all of you a very Happy and Healthy but probably not Prosperous what with the Credit Crunch and all that New Year.  We have the prospect of hauling and painting Adonde to look forward to and in true cruiser style, are putting it off as long as possible, what with that involving some real work…

 

Lastly, on a sad note, it’s with regret we have to report the demise of our favourite watering hole, The Angels Rest, which broke free from it’s mooring in Carriacou (fully stocked) and disappeared out to sea never to be seen again, and is probably on it’s way to Venezuela.  It would have appeared on the horizon like a mirage to a thirsty sailor. We were wondering how we would have explained that to the insurance company if we had met it on the way – “You hit a bar? A sand bar?” “ Not exactly…”

 

 

R.I.P.

 


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