We were planning to leave yesterday and sail to Carriacou but our friend John, from last year’s ARC boat ‘Chiscos’, is flying to Grenada for a couple of days later in the week and we obviously wanted to see him again, especially as he’s travelling so far.
Last Saturday we ordered 40 frozen pasties from Rob’s favourite bakery, plus some frozen meals for long passages and needed to sail to St George’s to pick them up. The anchorage had bad holding in July, so we picked up a mooring buoy this time and when the owner came along at dusk for the fee we managed to get 5 nights for just 30 GBP, a bargain. It can be a bit rolly when the swell is in the wrong direction but it is a quick dinghy ride to the capital with all the markets and shops on hand. The Yacht Club has great Wi-Fi but the upmarket Port Louis Marina doesn’t even provide Wi-Fi to customers eating at the restaurant, just to berth holders!
Yesterday there was an easterly wind, as predicted, resulting in a mass exodus of yachts sailing north. Next weekend we should have another easterly and will leave ourselves, to make the 30 miles trip up to Tyrrel Bay. It may be quite busy in the anchorage, unless the current fleet have moved on but many insurers give November 15 as the date for the end of hurricane season, hence the boats leaving Grenada and finally heading north after months here. Ours is officially November 30, so not long to go now. We have been lucky this year, with a low activity season and were not in the firing line for any hurricanes, just the 1 worrying storm at the beginning of August named ‘Ernesto’, which fortunately moved north and reduced in strength.
The solar panels have been a great success so far and ran the fridge, freezer and our water maker without a problem earlier. The MPPT Controller manages the power into the batteries, allegedly making it up to 25% more efficient. During the day it keeps the batteries fully topped up and then they last through the night. We have yet to test them overnight when sailing, using the navigation equipment. We have a 520 amp domestic battery capacity but some cruisers have between 650 and 700 amps. The diesel generator is only needed now if we want to heat water, make toast or use the hairdryer! I could hoist the solar shower up if I wanted but it is easier for washing up to have hot water in the taps.
A few little maintenance and improvement tasks have kept Rob out of trouble. He fitted a new tap with shower extension to the stern heads, as the old one broke off at the joint and couldn’t be fixed. We made a couple of props for the water catcher to increase the bowl shape. Next time it rains we will see if it increases the quantity of water caught but it was satisfying to see some rain pouring down the hose and into the front tank a few days ago.
Another modification was to use flexible sealant all along the gap between the plastic sugar scoop rubber and the transom. In the past, little marine animals have found the gap a great place to set up home, so we needed to put a stop to that. There is always some small issue to solve!
This morning we awoke to find a cruise liner had berthed in St George’s during the night and watched the smaller boats ferry the passengers to the nearby beach where the vendors were eagerly awaiting them. Usually they spend a day in each island, sailing at night and waking up to a new capital. The restaurants and duty free shops have to make the most of their opportunity but once the cruise ships arrive we tend to stay out of the city centre and avoid the beach.
It is still wonderful to be back on the boat in the water, messing about in the dinghy and swimming every day. Being ashore is no place for a boat and we really appreciate how fortunate we are, with our second year sailing in this lovely part of the world beginning.