Is that Spice Island I can smell?

Well there's a surprise. it doesn't smell at all in fact you have to get
pretty close to the spices to smell them but Grenada is full of them. We
took a tour around the island with Justin, a very well informed taxi
driver, who showed us how all the different spices grow including the
Cocoa beans, and told us what they do with them. Quite a lot of their
nutmeg trees were destroyed by hurricane Ivan 5 years ago which is the one
that happened just before we arrived to pick up our bareboat charter. We
must have been mad coming at that time of year and it isn't really
surprising we had the whole place to ourselves. We met up with Brigante
again and it was lovely to see them but a pity we just missed saying
goodbye to Gaetano who flew back to Rome the morning we arrived. Their
boat was robbed, at the anchorage, while they were ashore one night. one
of the hatches had been left unlocked and they returned to find their
beloved boat in a total mess as the thief had rummaged through everything
trying to disconnect anything electrical of value without success and
finally leaving with some lipstick, make-up and David's mobile phone. The
thief then went to an American yacht close by and broke into it, in the
process of stealing a video camera he dropped David's phone on the other
yacht and made off. On realising he'd lost his phone David used his wife's
mobile to ring his own number. After several calls that went unanswered a
voice said in English "Hello who is this" David replied,thinking he was
talking to the thief, "I am the owner of the phone" "Where is my
camera" came the reply from the American who thought he too was talking to
the thief. "I don't have your camera why you have my phone " The
dialogue continued along the lines of an Italian comedy until they
realised what had happened. The thief was caught by the police launch who
spotted him swimming away from the scene, they fired at him and also
injured him by running their propeller across his leg while trying to
detain him so he went to jail via the Hospital. This incident did put a
bit of a dampened on St Georges and we heard lots of stories of pirate
attacks on boats South of Grenada, a place we're not intending going to.
One of the problems is that the authorities tend not to report these
incidents as they are desperate to keep the foreigners coming and almost
every day sees huge cruise ships arriving. Quite amazingly most of the
passengers stay in the very American style shopping mall they are
disgorged into until it's time to get back on the ship.
Gaynor and I had been told of a fish fry at Guave, about 13 miles north of
St. Georges, that takes place on Friday night's and decided to get a local
bus there. We arrived at the very busy bus terminal about 1800 and were
directed to a Toyota minibus with four rows of seats behind the driver, we
got in and were at the back. It was very warm, the windows were tinted
black, very little air was circulating and they kept putting people in.
The rows are for 4 but they squeezed 5 onto each and for someone who gets
a little claustrophobic it was becoming a tiny bit uncomfortable. Finally
with 23 souls on board we set off over the first speed bump and once on
the other side of it a flat out sprint to the next one ensued, the driver
then slams on the brakes to go over the bump, usually by veering
diagonally across the road and then drives pedal to the metal till he
arrives at the next one. It took an hour and fifteen minutes to go the
distance and there were lots and lots of sleeping policemen. The fish fry
was very good and the taste of all that beautifully cooked food was only
tainted by the knowledge that we had the return journey to look forward
to. It didn't disappoint and in fact I'm sure they got a couple more
people in on the way back.
We also met up again with Paul and Lyn and had a very pleasant evening
with them at the Jazz club, the company was wonderful but sadly the music
wasn't. Lyn flew back for her Father's funeral before we too left Paul
to his own devices. Departing from Grenada on Sunday morning we headed
back into Cariacou, Tyrell bay and established my temporary office at the
Pizza Hut on the beach. Sorry that's probably a bit misleading it's
nothing like a Pizza Hut it's just a hut on the beach where they sell
Pizzas but they have good wifi, cold beer and spectacular views. We have
been getting information and quotes for shipping LadyC back home at the
end of May and have decided to go with a UK company who will pick her up
in St Thomas in the American Virgin Islands sometime between the 10th and
20th of May and ship her home as deck cargo. We are pleased with this as
it means we will be able to continue cruising around here until she goes.
Gaynor and I will fly home to meet her on her arrival in Southampton. As
we're going to be here for longer, Zara and Simon are coming out to spend
a week with us around Antigua at the end of April, it will be lovely to
have some company onboard and to see them.

Friday 12th March 2010

We spent one night in Union after clearing in and then came over to Tobago
Cays yesterday. More of the same I'm afraid, but this is Paradise so what
do you expect? I know you'd be disappointed if it was cold and wet,
wouldn't you? This morning we tiptoed through the reef in the dingy, to
the outside and snorkeled, Gaynor took around 300 photos with her camera
in the underwater case we bought in Grenada. It turned out to be rubbish
and the pictures aren't any good at all, such a pity, I guess the only
picture of all that stunning marine activity will be in our heads. After
lunch onboard we went to one of the islands where they have encouraged the
growth of the underwater grass that turtles eat. They have put a buoyed
rope cordon around it to stop boats going in and created a safe haven for
them. These magnificent creatures come in some number and snorkeling
around here is like being in their world. They come very close and
surface to breathe right beside you, I was around one for a long time and
he was very big, about 5 feet from tip to toe, and very graceful and
really didn't seem worried by my presence at all, I felt very privileged
to be allowed to observe him and occasionally one of his friends who came
over to be with him. I couldn't resist placing my hand lightly on his back
as he surfaced underneath me although I don't think you're meant to touch
them. I was shocked to see boat boys unloading a very large dead turtle,
that they had killed, from their small power boat onto a rickety floating
jetty in quite a big swell in Tyrell Bay the other day, I thought they
were protected but apparently there is a season for hunting them. It
seems such a shame as judging from my experience today they are very
friendly and trusting.
We have decided to stay here for "Just one more day" and do it all over
again tomorrow before we head off on Sunday. We will be visiting a
couple of places on our way back up North to rendezvous with
Brigante,whose company we will enjoy tremendously for the cruise up as far
as Dominica and possibly to Antigua. One of the stops will be at
Wallilabou bay, partly because I just think it sounds great but also
because it is where they have done a lot of filming for "Pirates of the
Caribbean" There is also a beautiful waterfall and a volcano fairly close
to the anchorage that we hope to visit.

Lady C and her underwater crew.