Hurricane Watch

Wed 23 Jul 2014 23:02

Ok mon, we still be in Grenada, mon.  Ah, we have been here so long I am even talking like a local and Jez has dreadlocks forming but I think that is lack of water and soap.  But things are looking up as the water maker is fixed, not only fixed but running more efficiently and we can produce 60 litres an hour now instead of 40 before the new pump. 


We had a heart sinking moment when the lovely Claire from Spronks Procurement at True Blue delivered our pump, as on opening the box we discovered it had been sent with the wrong coupling to attach it to our motor!  To add insult to injury Procon in the USA also decided to omit from the box the all-important clamp for the ‘clamp on’ pump.


Well, a Stickels is not one to be defeated, so out came the angle grinder,  dremel and drill and after a few hours of some very ‘not so local’ language and a lot of sparks flying – literally, that is - (thank god we are not GRP or wood), a new coupling was neatly fashioned to fit.  A couple of hours walk the next day scouring the hardware stores and chandleries, and we found a temporary clamp (temporary because it is not the right sort of metal) and a few more ‘adjustments’ with the dremel and a clamp was formed.  This will get us by until we find something more suitable.


Last Friday, in celebration and to thank our friends from Pannikin and Moose Tracks, we held a goodbye dinner on Joy – Goodbye because Pannikin were heading off to Carriacou the next day, and we were returning to the west coast of Grenada where the water is clear and better for making water and having a swim.  


Beef in red wine, mash and green beans, followed by choccy pud (see recipe below).  Enjoyed by all except Liz from Moose Tracks, who had omitted to tell us she doesn’t eat red meat – whoops!  I was so sure she tucked in to my home made pizza with sausage and bacon when we went to their boat for nibbles a couple of weeks before…!  Double helpings of choccy pud (ok, desert – but I’m a pommie) made up for it.


So, back in our anchorage outside St George’s, clear water has meant lots of swimming. Lots of rain too, good for Joy but a bit soggy in the cockpit eating dinner and playing backgammon (it’s just too hot to sit inside).  Then Sunday a storm alert started, a tropical wave (a trough of low pressure which travels from Africa across the Atlantic to the Caribb) started to show signs of turning into a depression.   There have been many waves coming over since early June, they usually bring a few gusts, thunderstorms and lots of rain, but now the sea surface temperatures are warming up these waves can turn cyclonic and start building as they are fed with moisture from the warm sea.  A depression turning into a storm can then turn in to a hurricane, so they are watched very closely by the National Hurricane Centre.  It was a strange moment when we did our usual daily checks on weather reports and synoptics, as this screen has always been blank:



Luckily for us, whilst this wave did form into a depression with circulating air, the conditions have not been quite right for it to develop further.  It has winds of 35 mph, gusting to 45mph, but convection has been low because the sea temps aren’t quite high enough as yet and great news for us this afternoon, it has weakened and turned back into a wave.  Phew! We should only experience rain and maybe thunder as it passes north of us, sometime tonight.  We have therefore stayed put at St Georges as we have good holding in a great bit of sand. Hopefully we can get up to Carriacou Friday to head across to Tobago for a day or two (we can get a better sailing angle by going north first before heading south east with an easterly wind).  


Anyway, enough talk about storms, here’s my famous choccy pud (or ‘desert’ for those posh people – or Aussie’s, ha ha):


Biscuit Base:  75g Butter, 175g Digestive Biscuits smashed to crumbs (that’s the good bit, put them in a food bag and hit them with a rolling pin)

Melt the butter gently in a pan, add the biscuit crumbs and stir around to make sure all the crumbs are coated.

Tip into pie dish and press evenly into the shape of the dish with the back of a spoon (fits a 9” dish perfectly)

Refridgerate the pie dish to set the biscuit base.


Filling:  2 x 4oz (226g total) packs of chocolate (I use a really good cooking chocolate found here in Grenada made by ‘Bakers’, it’s a semi-sweet choc 56% cacao).  I have used plain choc, and also a mix of plain and white.

300ml whipping cream

2 tbspn of chopped dried fruit, I have used dried cherries and they are lush because they have a tartness about them, but cranberries or raspberries would work well too.


Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.  When completely melted , take off the heat and pour in the cream.  Whip together until the mixture is smooth and the cream thickens.  Add the dried chopped fruit or whatever else you fancy.


Pour over the biscuit base and refridgerate.   It should take 2-4 hours to completely set, you can add some toppings such as fresh raspberries or a sprinkle of coconut just before it completely sets.


Best served with whisky and extra cream!



Joy now has a clean bottom after lots of srcubbing and a few extra helpers.  The boat has been covered in tiny shrimp which schools of fish are rather thankful for.



We had a thriving little eco system going on around the prop:


And finally, the storm is brewing..