Underway again, at last!

Graham Shaw
Fri 25 Feb 2011 15:25
12:06.9N 064:33.4W
After much engine work, sorting out cooling problems, we have finally prised ourselves away from Prickly Bay in Grenada, and are now en route for Bonaire in the ABC Islands - part of the Netherlands Antilles.  We left yesterday (Thursday) around 11am local time, and hope to be in before it gets dark tomorrow, though that might be a bit optimistic!  So far conditions are almost perfect, with 20ish knots of wind on the starboard quarter, and a knot and a half of current going our way.
Leaving Grenada had us feeling mixed emotions.  Since we started out at the end of 2008, Prickly Bay is the place we have spent the longest periods in one spot, having spent a month there in 2009, around a month and a half in two sessions last year, and a month this year, so it had become a bit of a base for us.  Along with that goes the many friends we have made there, and the familiarity that builds up after spending a while in one place, like being recognised as regulars by bus drivers, shopkeepers and market stallholders!  Our particular favourite has to have been De Big Fish bar and restaurant, right on the Prickly Bay waterfront, run by Rikky and Kim Knowles.  Rikky is originally from Jersey, so we shared a common bond straight away, and in the Jersey way have mutual friends back home.  We have spent many happy hours (and Happy Hours!) at De Big Fish, and are disappointed to be leaving, especially before the end of the Six Nations Rugby, which they are showing on the big screen.
We mustn't forget to mention that Lucas celebrated his fourth birthday in Grenada last month; as he did his third, and second birthdays last year and the year before!  I think he is also sad to be leaving (or at least will be when he realises we're not going back!), as he has made quite a few friends with other liveaboard children in Prickly Bay.  There will be more along soon, though!  We hope to catch up with our friends on the boat Charade when we are in Panama - after seeing them last in the States, we just missed each other in the Bahamas, and they have since been to Cuba and Jamaica and are now on their way to Panama.  I'm sure Lucas will be very excited to see little Romain again!
Anyway, as hard as it was to tear ourselves away, it is now time to move on.  With our plan to go through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific, time is ticking away and we have to follow the seasons westwards.  Otherwise there would be the ever present danger of ending up like so many other cruisers who have got stuck in Grenada, and simply never ever leave!
Rikky and Kim at De Big Fish.
Two final pictures from Petite Martinique, an island just to the north of Grenada:
As you can see, a scruffy looking shed-type building, with a dog sat outside the door and a goat chained up on the grass outside.  You probably can't read the sign over the door in the picture above, so here it is slightly enlarged, below.  How very Caribbean!!
P.S. We had a computer glitch at the end of last week, and our email inbox and outbox emptied themselves for no apparent reason.  Thanks to the Catacaos IT Helpdesk (aka Gareth), and $27 worth of software, we have managed to recover almost everything.  One thing we have lost is copies of the few blog entries since 17th December last year, so I would apologise if any of the above overlaps with what Lorraine had said in the last one.  Obviously being at sea right now, I have no internet access to look it up myself!  Also, if anyone has emailed recently and not got a reply, we're not just ignoring you, please can you email again?! (catacaos"at"mailasail"dot"com) - can't put the correct address here as we'd be overloaded with spam very quickly.  I'm sure you can figure it out!