Tuesday, February 16, 2016

6 weeks in St. Lucia

After spending some time in the anchorage and seeing several boats we had met in Grenada come and go it was time to move into the marina where we had booked a slip for a month. Dirk's Grandmother had not been doing to well so he decided to fly home to Germany to see her. This was a perfect spot to keep me as everything I could possibly need was within walking distance. We also knew a couple of the dock neighbors from our travels. We provisioned the boat for me and on the 24th he departed for three weeks. I managed to keep myself busy with friends coming and going daily, I hiked the fort again with some friends for a little exercise.
The fort
Dont want to stand under the Golden Shower tree.
A hermit crab that decided to climb a branch for what?
Crew of Lequesto and Lagniappe
Rodney Bay and the small inlet of water is where the marina was
A prickly tree
Look at all the almonds. Just to hard to deal with
Locals pulling in the catch
Amazing the difference in scenery from June till now. Things have really gotten nice and green. Thanksgiving came and I was invited to go out to eat Indian food with several of the kid boats. I had not eaten Indian since I was a small child and thought it would be a great experience.
Lots of great food
I also kept myself in stock with all sorts of wonderful fresh fruits and veggies from the farmers market.
Passion frits, tangerines, mangos, cilantro, tomatoes, and a very spicy pepper that I ended up saving the seeds from to plant myself. They are incredibly hot and when I chopped them up my hands would burn for hours after. A couple slivers is all it took to put heat in your food. I do like spicy. Once when they were out of cilantro I stumbled across a wonderful substitute. Culantro, or Shado Benny as its called here is a wonderful. It taste exactly like cilantro but is more like a thistle and is stronger in flavor so you dont need as much. It looks like a very hardy plant so I bought some from the lady to try. Lucky for me some of it had a tiny root system and I stuck it in water. I now have it planted in soil that I borrowed from one of the berms there. It seems to be thriving, below is a pic of one, not mine but it shows you what it looks like.
And another days haul of passion fruit, tomatoes and basil And believe it or, that lumpy huge green thing in my hand is a lemon. Love all the fresh stuff there is in these islands.There was also time to spend with the Rat Pack that was catching up to us by having dinner out at a little mexicanish place.
And then plenty of time to see some beautiful sunsets.
Dirk returned and it would soon be time for Christmas. A couple cruiser orphans got together and put on a great pot luck. The pizza place allowed us to use their outside seating as they were closed for the day. Someone even managed to cook a turkey with stuffing. We ate very well.
Afterwards Dirk and Andy set up the amp and played some music for us. What a treat.
Our friends from Moonrise were still in the mariana as they were waiting on new batteries. They saw someone on the dock that had just caught a 600 pound blue marlin and purchased a couple steaks. He then brought us a steak to try. We had never had marlin and we were both of the same consensus, we liked Mahi much better. But it was great to try something new.
After Christmas we set our sights on getting out of the marina and starting to head north. It was time to make tracks.

Bequia And St. Lucia

On the 6th we headed to Bequia and found a nice spot by the beach to throw the anchor down, later in the night we realized that in the morning we would need to pick up and move to the North end of the anchorage as we rolled all night from the swell coming in. The following morning we moved and after about 4 tries managed to find a spot that was sandy enough to drop the anchor. We stayed here about a week as another weather front passed meeting up with some of the new friends we had met in Grenada and enjoying the quietness of the island. I tried a new fruit while here called a soursop. I had seen it before in Grenada but had never bought one for fear of not liking it but a gentleman selling them at the farmers maket cut one open for me to try.

It had a very unique taste and texture so I bought one to try at home. It has a sweet taste almost of a sweet tart with undertones of pineapple and coconut? Its hard to explain but it was different then anything else I had ever eaten before. The texture on the other hand was something I could not get past. It had almost a cooked fish texture that just didnt jive with a fruit. Oh well I hear they make wonderful smoothies and if given the chance I would try it. Our next stop was Marigot Bay in St. Lucia. We stopped here on the way down and really liked it as they have the pool and marina facilities you can use when you take a mooring ball. On the way there we had to pass the Pitons and on the way down it was very cloudy and we didnt get a good view of them. However this trip they were beautiful.
The pitons coming into view

We also managed to catch two Mahi's but one of them decided to jump overboard after the hook came out. Guess it was his lucky day, but we managed to keep the other onboard and had a wonderful dinner of fresh fish. Dirk as always has to have his just seared with wasibi and ginger.
We spent the next day at the pool just hanging out and relaxing a bit.
I love these canopy beds they have to lounge in
Two rum punches to help chill out. After paying for them Dirk needed the alcohol to get over the sticker shock.
Other parts of the resort, just so pretty
I love those covered seats
After a day at the pool we came back cooked dinner and sat in the cockpit watching the sun set into the ocean.
We planned on staying here several days but after such a relaxing time we decided to move on the next day, after all it would just be a short hop up to Rodney Bay where we would sit in the anchorage for a week before moving into the marina for a longer period of time.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Halloween And The Final Days In Grenada

We were beginning to count down our final days in Grenada as Hurricane season was over and friends were moving on. There was one final big event that seems to signal the time to leave, the annual Halloween Party. Dirk and I dug out our Pirate costumes that we have been carrying onboard for several years now, hung them up to air out and started prepping the boat for our departure. We had all of our sun awnings up with the mizzen boom removed to make more room on the "back porch" as I call it. Dirk did all of the outside preps as I started stowing all of the numerous items that we tend to pull out when stationary for more then a day. I made a final provisioning list of things I hoped to get at the store before leaving and just about got them all. They only had one box of kitty litter which I jumped on. Being here has proved difficult with the cat. Many times I would go to buy litter and they would be out. I use the clumpable rather then the clay but now I have resorted to mixing it to go further. They say not to do this but one must do what ya have to do to make it work. The party was to be on a Wednesday and our plan was to leave Mt. Hartman the day after or 2 days later. Secret Harbor put on the kids Halloween party on I think it was Monday where they had a jump jump and a bubble machine along with games. I didnt go but you could tell the kids were enjoying it as you could here their screams and laughs into the anchorage. On Tuesday we had the final jam session that turned karoke soon after. Dirk and Gary were the only musicians that showed up but Jod, a bartender from the marina joined in on the drum and the kitchen staff joined in for some singing. A great time was had by all that attened and we made some great memories to carry us on our way. The following evening all the kids piled into several dinghys and proceeded to Trick Or Treat through the anchorage.
Trick or Treat
Guess where theres a will ther is a way. Shortly after the kids were done it was the adults turn for some fun. We all started piling into the Secret Harbor Marina where they had a DJ playing some great tunes. Just about everyone made some sort of attempt to dress up and I was surprised to see what people came up with.
Of course we were the pirates
Gary & Venessa from Neptune II
Sherry & Paul from Tehani
Izzy &Jeff from Izzy R
Carolyn & Dave from Lequesto
Thats just a few of the couples that came. There was also the crew from Gilligans Island that looked great and Dirk ended up taking some nice photos for them. Soon they got the bubble machine cranked up and even the adults were having fun.
Bubble Queen
To say the least we all had a great time which I think in part was due to the wicked Witches Brew the bartenders whipped up. Whew, that stuff was potent. We didnt get home till almost 3 am and Dirk never moved off the salon settee the whole next day. I on the other hand had to push through the hangover that plagued the entire anchorage the whole next day in order to do several loads of laundry as we were leaving in a couple days. Later that evening I had dinner with Gary and Venessa from Neptune II, Dirk stayed behind still glued to the settee unable to join us. While we had our pizza we sat and pieced the night before together and we came to the conclusion that it was the bartenders fault. Hey, we had to blame someone right? But I tell you, I wont be doing that again for a very long time, or in till the next time. The following day, on Oct. 31, we pulled up the anchor that had been keeping us attached in Mt. Hartman for a while now and headed to the fuel dock to fill up on some diesel, get some gas for the dinghy and go ahead and fill up the water tanks. It was cheap enough here and it would save us the trouble of running the generator in order to make water. During this time several folks saw us at the fuel dock and came to say goodbyes. I didnt tell too many people we were leaving as I hate goodbyes and we knew so many folks now it would have taken all day. It wasnt like we wouldnt see these folks again. In a crusiers life its more like see you later as you usually do run into them somewhere down the road. We have seen several people we have even met years ago. Of course once we were ready to leave the dock a huge black cloud started rolling in. We ended up staying on the dock till the squall passed and the winds died well enough to allow us to get off the dock with no problems. So, we were off, as we were leaving Mt. Hartman I actually got a bit teary eyed as we had spent so much time here, gotten to know some wonderful people here. It is always nice to be on the move again, but it is also a bit sad. We made the short sail to St. George and attempted about 3 times to set the anchor before we got the hook to set. I set about heating some dinner and we called it a night. The following day we Did yet another short sail up to Carriacou which is an island north of Grenada but still considered part of Grenada. We pulled into the crowded Tyrrel Bay and set the hook. Looks like we would be here for a couple days as weather was coming in. We ended up staying 6 days here with various squalls coming in. One poor boat in the anchorage drug so often I have no clue how they managed to get any sleep. And of course when they would re anchor everyone would keep a close eye to make sure they didnt anchor in front of them. We re connected with some friends we had last seen in St. Martin on Amaroo, a German couple that was part of the original rat pack, they still had not made it to Grenada but were on their way. We eventually checked out and said our final goodbyes to Grenada and Carriacou, next stop Bequia......Let me end this blog by posting some sunsets we were blessed with in Grenada.