Monday, January 15, 2007


Picture of Rhonda Brenda & Pauls annual tradation of making and decorationing a ginger bread house --this year it was a lighthouse obviously with actual glass/candy windows.

After six weeks in Canada, including an eightieth birthday, a twenty-fifth birthday, Christmas, New Years, we are happy to return to Grenada and RAFT and start our next sojourn of cruising.
We had left RAFT on the hard in Spice Marina and she had fared well while we were away. The taxi driver on the drive back from the airport, let us know that December had been a very rainy month, especially Christmas day. Other cruisers confirmed this, and also mentioned that the Christmas winds were very evident, 35 knots even in the boat yard.
As hurricane season was over, we had chosen to leave the bimini up, because we didn’t want to take down the solar panels mounted above. Everything was fine, and the batteries were fully charged. (We had left the wind generator up as well, but turned off). We did have some mildew, and if we had been away longer than the six weeks, this could have been a problem. As for heat, there must have been some, as we had one exploded pop can. But thankfully no evidence of bugs, or other furry creatures. And thanks to all the rain, the decks were power washed clean. Not much to our surprise, the sanding and fiberglass work we had asked the yard to do while we were away, hadn’t been started.
The Tuesday evening we arrived was a beautiful starry night with a full moon. So we sat on the deck and toasted our return with a bottle of red wine as the champagne wasn’t chilled. It was great to be back!!
The next morning we let the staff know we were back, and the work on the rudder and keel joint was organized. The yard did a good job, but wasn’t finished until Friday. Ross had booked RAFT to be dropped in on Monday, so we were going to be delayed. No bottom painting would have happened over the weekend unless we did it ourselves, so the decision was easy. We spent the weekend painting at 6am and 6pm and in between sat around and watched the paint dry. The days were very hot, so it was difficult to accomplish much during the afternoons anyhow. We were invited to play dominos on Sunday and Bev did find the energy for that.
For you yachties following this adventure, we put on 2 coats of barrier coat, and 2+ coats of Micron 66. We used the barrier since we were covering Atlantic marine antifouling and we wanted ensure compatibility.
We had been told that we could not be launched on Tuesday, since the Marina owner wanted to paint his mega racer, and didn’t want the dust that the Travellift might stir up. However when we woke up Tuesday to the pitter patter of rain, we rightly assumed the paint job would be off, and by 0830 the marina staff was at RAFT asking us if we were ready to go. Hurrah!!
We launched and anchored out beside our friends on Second Wind. It was great to be back on the water and experience the roll that Prickly Bay is known for. The next few days were spent getting RAFT into sailing mode, sails put up, refrigerator started, systems checked, social life started. Of course, what would cruising be without socializing. Sundowners on RAFT with Second Wind, dinner on Moon Goddess (a thank you to Ross for helping them install new motor mounts).
Provisioning is high on Bev’s list to accomplish. Until we were satisfied that the refrigerator was functioning, we always keep our fingers crossed that this 20 year old system will keep going, we couldn’t stock the fridge and freezer. We had been out together to the larger stores, Food Fair and Real Value in Spice Mall, but hadn’t found everything she wanted. So she decided to make another trip to the Frozen Warehouse to see if they had any stock in, previously the shelves were quite empty. This day, she was successful, and filled her thermal bag with frozen meat. We had purchased pitas the day before, that we baked at the Mediterranean Bakery on Maurice Bishop Highway. We had walked this road many times and never seen a bakery, (followers of this blog know our love of bakeries), so Bev asked the store clerks if they knew where it was. The first clerk didn’t, but told Bev about Melo’s just up the road beside the Carib plant. Before Bev had left the store, another clerk had found up the Med. Bakery was in the Rice plant next door. Leaving her thermal bag in the freezer at the store, Bev set off to find the bakery.
Next door, there was no sign indicating a bakery but the door into the Rice plant was open, so Bev went in and spoke to the man at the desk. Yes, the bakery was in the building but he didn’t think anyone was there now. When asked if rice is grown in Grenada, he answered no, they used to import from US and Ghana, but now they can’t get any rice and the plant is closed and unlikely to reopen. Another industry gone from this wonderful island.
There was no one at the Med bakery, so Bev went to find Melo’s. Not far up the street, as promised. Bev told the lady at the bakery, how pleased she was to find a bakery walking distance from the anchorage and bought bread and some treats. As she was leaving the lady gave her two biscottis, for being a new customer.
Just another great afternoon adventure and why we love Grenada, the friendly people always seem willing to go out of their way to make sure we are having a great time here. When Bev related the story to Ross, she added "I feel like Justine on Pilot Guides/Globetreekers" a show on OLM network we always watch when we are in Canada.
Next day we were off to the market, perhaps for our last time. We were happy to find Sister John was at her regular stand, and mangoes were back in season.
Now we wait for the winds to come down, the seas to settle so we can head north.