Daily Archives: August 25, 2013

We’re at it again

Seven am launch and shove off. Catnip seems to actually be repaired and has been holding her air pressure so there’s little to do but grab the rope fall, step off Escape Velocity’s transom steps onto Catnips’ firmly inflated hypalon tubes, gingerly walk two steps while carefully balancing, hop down and push the starter button and we’re off to catch the F1 race live from Spa at the outdoor Tiki Bar, Prickly Bay Marina where a small but dedicated group of fans congregate every F1 race day. Our local Marina which is less than a quarter mile from where Escape Velocity is anchored started showing the F1 races but our tradition is the Tiki Bar at Prickly Bay where they also serve a nice breakfast.

The sun had already begun to warm the bay after a cool starry night. It’s a short run down Clark’s Court Bay till we pickup the starboard turn into the cut between Hog Island and the Woburn bight where there’s a line of longterm boats stashed cheek to jowl tied to the mangrove trees, some of whom have actually sunk right where they are tied.


We thread our way through the pilings holding up the pedestrian bridge to Hog Island although I’ve seen more cattle on this bridge than people. It’s said that some developer is working on building a resort there.


Passing under the bridge we’re faced with a wall of anchored cruising boats of all types and sizes, so thick it looks like you’d never be able to get through. I keep Catnip up on plane because we still have a long way to go. In the States you’d never dream of weaving your way through an anchorage at high speed but that’s how you roll in Grenada. As we thread our way through we pay particular attention to friends’ boats or boats we only know by name on the VHF radio.


Passing out of the Hog Island anchorage things get serious and a little tense as the first order of business is to pick up the flag about halfway to Mt. Hartman Bay. This hard-to-spot flag, privately set by cruisers, has a solar garden light taped onto what looks like a tomato stake and is close to the cliffs to starboard and is stuck into the reef to port which kicks up nasty breakers rolling in from the open ocean, so it’s reefs to the left of me, reefs to the right, here we are threading the needle in the middle. The flag only sticks up about three feet so I often head to where I think it should be and anxiously scan the reef until I see it. Getting it wrong would be disastrous. The water is so clear here that you’re always looking right at the bottom features the whole time. Unnerving.

Once through the gauntlet we turn right and run up through Mt. Hartman Bay anchorage to the dinghy dock at Secret Harbor Marina.


Now it’s feets don’t fail me now time because there’s a high ridge and plateau between Secret Harbor and Prickly Bay Marina but it’s an interesting walk past the tumble down ruins of ghost resorts and rich people’s mansions who seem to live high up where it’s cooler. Our current path took us several tries to figure out ending in encounters with dogs, chickens, lizards, walls and fences while trying to find the most direct route.







There’s not much cover up here and we have to walk through several neighborhoods of new and old housing to reach the other side of the peninsula.


Once down off the plateau Prickly Bay Marina is a short walk down their long driveway.

Several weeks ago, halfway through the F1 season, the teams went on a forced four week hiatus, as did we, so we’ll see who the real fans are.

Several regulars are already waiting at the bar and they’re fiddling with the internet hookup which is always a last minute panic. It’s beginning to feel a lot like home. Don’t you just love traditions?


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The view from the back porch


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Dinghy concert

There are a ton of boats here waiting out the hurricane season, and wherever cruising boats gather the organizers among them start organizing. There are jam sessions, yoga classes, tai chi on the beach, pig roasts, burger night, pizza night and so on. We tend to not be joiners but when we heard about a dinghy concert we thought that sounded fun.

Things happen early in the cruising world to avoid having to dinghy long distances in the dark and because most of us can’t stay awake much past nine o’clock. The concert was at Le Phare Bleu in the next bay east of us and we dinghied through our anchorage, past what we just learned is called the “litter tray” because a bunch of catamarans are anchored there, around the marked reef in the Le Phare Bleu. As we rounded the corner we gasped when we saw what looked like more than fifty dinghies all rafted up and tied to a barge and a large anchored sailboat.


We tucked in behind a family of four and passed our line across for them to tie off on a stern cleat.


Behind us a new arrival handed us their line to tie on our stern cleat.


As more and more dinghies arrived the raft grew further and further from the barge, and each time a wave rolled in from the sea the whole thing undulated, often knocking a sailor or two off balance.


Surefooted children and pets nimbly stepped from boat to boat, looking for friends or treats. We had a long visit from a little dog named Tiller who went from dinghy to dinghy, presumably just to get hugged.


This is the Caribbean so the music started late but we enjoyed the pan band that came on short notice when the originally booked musician’s flight was canceled. People passed money toward the front of the raft-up where someone was always available to get a couple of beers from the bar on the barge, then the beers and the change would be passed hand to hand back to the owners.





20130825-155625.jpgWhen the concert was over everyone cast off the lines attached to their dinghy and we all gradually drifted apart and started the long quiet ride back toward our various anchorages.



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