Friends and family flew in and out on the heels of the pandemic, spring 2020… Grenada went into lockdown… then, slowly emerged and has had great success managing the pandemic since.
After several canceled flights back to the US we conceded defeat (temporarily) and took an apartment in July and rented a car. The apartment was really comfortable but REALLY noisy, situated on one of the longest, straightest stretches of road in Grenada...1 mile, give or take. Traffic raced by at all hours of the day and night. and, next door was a business that refilled dive tanks. their compressor adding to the of cacophony assaulting our senses.
We relocated to an apartment near the golf course… Vittoria, the owner, refashioned her lovely home adding a studio apartment in the back where she lives, the guests having the use of her lovely Villa. Vittoria originally from Italy, has traveled the world but decided Grenada would be her forever home. A Grenadian 30+ years. Kathy immediately bonded with Vittoria, both sharing a love of food and cooking, gardening and art. Vittoria was eager to show Kathy how to make authentic Italian pasta
While Jim and Kathy were enjoying being land-lubers, Inishnee was also of land or ‘on the hard’ in sailor speak. Her insurance policy required a thorough inspection as well as haul out for hurricane season.
New standing rigging (wire cables that support the mast) was replaced and a new cutlass bearing were installed.
Inishnee was given a coat of anti fouling paint on her hull will help prevent marine growth while in the water...
We hired Ben, a very capable craftsman to address an old issue common to Passport Yachts. The builder / designers of Passports placed metal pellets under sections of the sole (floor) to even out the ballast. They were incapsulated with fiberglass. This worked fine many years. Unfortunately, over time water migrated into these areas and caused the iron to swell resulting in parts of the floor and cabinetry to heave. Using a chisel and hammer, Ben opened the area and removed the pellets. Re-fiberglassed then painted the area… Problem solved!
Having a car, allowed us to shop, check on Inishnee and tour…
Grenada is 134.6 square miles; 21 miles long and 12 miles wide. around 700 miles of road, mostly vertical. You drive of the left side of the road. Many of the roads are rough, potholed and single lane. However, you will seldom (never) hear someone honk their horn out of frustration due to errors in navigating. It is common for the driver / car ahead of you to stop (abruptly) in the road and have a chat with someone on the street or to make a purchase from a road side stand then zips back onto the street in front of you after collecting / dropping off a rider or items. We returned our rental car after 6 months or use… adding nearly 3,000 miles to the odometer.
We became proficient enough to only need / use the GPS to locate new to us attractions or areas. Directions are often given through landmarks, road names being something relatively new. Names such as Second Left, Dusty Highway or Antoine Hill, as much a description as a location. We explored many old favorites and discovered new territory…
River Antione Distillery
A stop for Lunch at Helena’s in Sauteurs' in the north.
Closer to home, West Indies Brewery became a favorite hangout… including a behind the bar tour of the brewing facility and sampling…
|Kathy, Jim, Brenda, Charles, Stephanie, Laura and Steve|
Lynn and Darell aboard Open Agenda, joined us in finding the Fort Jeudy Blowhole. With a vague idea where to go, we set off on foot after parking the car. A few wrong turns and a bit of back tracking (there are no signs) we were rewarded with spectacular views of the wind-whipped rugged volcanic coast. The sought-after blowhole is on the rim of the southern coast…
Friends and fellow cruisers Jane and Jan were always up for an adventure… we shared many excursions with them. An all day road trip took us to Mount Carmel waterfalls where we cooled off in the upper and lower falls and river.
Pearls Airport was quite a surprise. Located on the windward side, the now defunct airstrip was used during the October 1983 US invasion... ‘Operation Urgent Fury’.
Jane and Jan invited us to their sail boat … we enjoyed being on the water again as well as a visit to Hog Island for a beach BBQ.
With new friends Peter and Mary, we checked out one of the many Amerindian ancient stone carvings,
We often circled the island clockwise.
Stopping at overlooks.
Making a purchase from
local artisans when possible…
Learning about Sea Moss harvesting was quite interesting... the sea moss is farmed in the sea on lines suspended in shallow water often using recycled plastic bottles for buoyancy.
Sections are cut from the parent plant which will continue to produce ... the cut portions are rinsed and dried... then bagged for sale. The dried sea moss can then be reconstituted in water which produces a gel like substance used primarily in drinks.
In the south we enjoyed La Sagesse Beach located near Inishnee’s summer turf.
Closer to home; Grooms beach. A hidden gem for swimming and snorkeling.
In December relaunched Inishnee and returned to Port Louis Marina.
The heat of the summer had passed and christmas winds were bringing much needed rain.
After a week or so of acclimating and adjusting to life on board we started on the next batch of boat projects.We installed a new solar panel, more than doubling out energy supply. Our wind wane was taken down for maintenance and reinstalled.
We contracted for new canvas… Unfortunately, a covid outbreak originating from Sandal's Resort Grenada put the project on pause … a new curfew and tightened guidelines ensued. The Sandal’s management allowed the incoming visitors to mingle. This led to other guests and local workers becoming infected. Through contract tracing and isolation of those involved, the island was able to quickly contain the spread. Sandal’s is closed for the time being.
Our fridge all but quit just before Christmas, luckily we were able to get a technician out to fix it the next day; Christmas eve! … Michael recharged the system with refrigerant and tweaked a few things. It now runs better than EVER with half the energy consumption.
Many of the islanders live in poverty, hand to mouth. We’ve helped were we could providing ‘dignified’ charity; buying items from street vendors (more mangos and limes than we need) and employing locals for tasks we could do on our own. Donating to food banks and charity organizations.
The average wage is 100 EC a day when they can find work (38 US dollars a day!)… a skilled worked can earn up to 150EC a day…
Saint Georges university accounts for 30% of the revenue in Grenada. The university is closed and has been since March of 2020… In a normal year, tourism via air travel also supplements the economy, but there are no tourist. There are no cruise ships either.
Grenada has a great climate for growing produce. The diet is basic but nourishing for most. Many locals have returned to home gardening to supplement their needs.
January and February brought cruisers from Europe (Grand Canaries) to Grenada via the ARC; Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. An annual transatlantic sailing event since 1986. Normally they choose St. Lucia for an arrival destination but many diverted to Grenada this season due to Covid.
We eagerly made friends with many of the new arrivals. Because Grenada has been virtually covid free, we are allowed many freedoms including restaurant dining and socializing …
We’ve celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and many other milestones and holidays with our cruising friends.
Unfortunately, Jim developed a nasty infection in his hand requiring medical assistance;
lancing a finger and a regime of antibiotics.
Two weeks of convalescence…
Kathy used this time to strip and varnish exterior woodwork.
Soon after recovering from that Jim was bitten by a teensy mosquito… unfortunately she was carrying Dengue… Another round of Doctors and getting blood work. Time is the only cure for Dengue fever. We were glad it was a mild case not requiring hospitalization…
|Papaya leaf... brew into a tea to relieve |
Dengue fever symptoms...
Late March 2021
If all goes as planned… we will leave Grenada April 1… Inishnee will remain here in Grenada on the hard. A trusted friend will do boat checks making sure Inishnee is secure and mold free…
The decision to leave is fueled by our hearts...
the desire to see our family; parents, children and grandchildren... connect with our loved ones…
some say we are crazy to do this… leave this beautiful island and its safety
but… it’s time
We need a change and our hearts are weary not being able be near our loved ones …
More adventures await us
both home in the US and here… in Grenada; our second home… we’ll be back
|hurricane prep ...|
boarding up windows and sandbagging
used for tea or juice drink
|sugar cane and palms|
|fishing boats under a |
|Black lives matter protest in Grenada at the US consulate|
|West Indies Brewery...|
|Cocoa Pods on a tree|
|Butterfly Pea Flower |
used to color Gin and Tea
|David and Mary |
|David and Caroline|
|Nutmeg ready for harvest|
|Grand Etang |
|Mount Carmels Falls|
Jim, Nick and Amanda