Before we left Trini we took the 0630 bus to the market in the capital for a top up on fresh supplies. Definitely not a place for vegetarians, there were cow’s heads, stripped bare of meat, pigs noses, little live chicks in boxes and plenty of blood around the meat stalls. The amount and variety of fruit and vegetables was excellent and it was a very interesting place to visit.
On Monday morning we got Beyzano ready to sail, paid our final bill at the yard and walked to Crew’s Inn to check out. First we went to the immigration office and filled out lots of forms, some needed 4 copies and again no carbon paper! We paid 150 TT dollars for the departure tax, which is about 7.50 GBP each. Then on to customs to fill out another form regarding the ship’s stores and we were free to go. You have 24 hours to leave, making it perfect to choose the right time and tide to start the 80 miles to Grenada.
We treated ourselves to a delicious lunch in the marina Café and walked back to Powerboats for the launch at 1400. I stayed on the boat during the lift, a new experience. Rob quickly painted underneath the post once the boat was clear and we were off. It was great to be back in the water and find no seawater coming in! As the harbour is so oily, we immediately motored the hour round to Scotland Bay, an idyllic and quiet anchorage which is close to the Boca where we needed to exit in the morning.
After a peaceful night we got up early and left at 0545, getting the mainsail up in the bay and motoring through the Boca. Fortunately it was much calmer this time and once clear of the headland we put the genoa up and sped towards Grenada at 7-9 kts with the wind on the beam. I felt a little queasy having not been afloat for 3 months but it soon passes. On the way we sailed close to the rigs but no other dramas.
It was dark when we reached St David’s Bay on the SE tip of Grenada but we had sailed out of there in August and felt safe going in at night. Only 1 of the 2 green buoys were lit but we still had our track on the plotter from the previous trip and knew where the other green buoy was. Once inside the bay it was very hard to see all the other boats and you realise how badly lit some of them are. Rob shone a powerful torch from the bow but all the 10 mooring buoys were taken and we had to anchor just south of them. By 1900 we were safely anchored and celebrated the beginning of our second year in the Caribbean. The following morning I was swimming in the lovely clear waters again before breakfast – bliss ☺
St David’s is supposed to be a port of entry with a customs office but it is rarely manned. We couldn’t raise the harbour on the radio so sailed gently down the coast under genoa alone and went back into Mount Hartman bay. We anchored next to another boat we knew, with Annie and Ian aboard, got the dinghy blown up and the outboard on the back and walked to Prickly Bay to the customs office there. Checking in was a quick and simple process in what must be one of the loveliest locations for a customs office, overlooking the bay. We had to pay about 20 GBP and can remain for 3 months, just needing to renew the monthly cruising permit.
Back on the boat there were new toys to play with, finding the best way to set the sun awnings and water catcher and how to raise the dinghy on the new davits. The solar panels are brilliant, keeping us completely charged up. We have now turned on the freezer, so will monitor how the panels keep pace with that extra drain.
Tonight we are fortunate that ‘Barracuda’, the guitar player we didn’t get to see last trip, is playing at the bar. For 7.50 GBP each we get fish and chips plus the concert. We sold our unwanted foot pump to a fellow sailor for a few beers and he is repaying that tonight as well. We have both been swimming today, several dips to keep cool and it is absolutely wonderful to be back on the water again.
The radio net is now on Ch 66 but as busy with social events as ever. There are cocktail mixing classes with rum tasting, the Thursday cookery classes, bingo nights and countless bands and special meal deals. Something every night in fact.
‘Shademan’, the local taxi driver, is taking us on a personal shopping trip tomorrow morning, to stock up on drinks and fill the freezer. Then we want to dinghy round to Clarke Court’s Bay to say ‘Hi’ to some old friends there. They are celebrating 10 years of the marina being open and are offering marina berths at 2002 prices until February. Rob is itching to get back to the Bakery at Port Louis for his Chelsea bun and pasty on Saturday (good old Caribbean food!!) The Hog Island BBQ is Sunday so we won’t be moving on for a little while yet. Once the wind is more easterly again we will make our way to Carriacou and spend a couple of weeks there before sailing on to Bequia and St Lucia.