Hi from Clare, Tuesday 20th March 2012
ESCAPE FROM TRINIDAD
We arrived in Grenada last Wednesday after a boisterous overnight sail from Trinidad. It is just a nasty piece of water with currents, winds and swells from different directions. From what we have heard the 80 miles is never a pleasant trip and we have since heard of one boat taking 40 hours in 3 to 4m seas just one week before we made the crossing. We were glad we listened to the local advice and waited for more favourable winds and smaller seas.
|St Georges Harbour and new and old buildings|
A NEW START
Grenada is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Ivan which swept through here in 2004. Poverty is still wide spread as many workers lost their livelihood when plantations and crops were destroyed. However new buildings are springing up in amongst the destruction and the capital city of St George’s appears to be thriving especially when a cruise ship comes.
Upmarket around Prickly Bay
We anchored in Prickly Bay on the southern end of the island. It is a pretty up market place with many Foreign Embassy houses, the International University and expensive housing and holiday accommodation. Looking out from the boat we could imagine we were in the northern suburbs of Sydney.
Checking in to Grenada was easy as the Custom/Immigration/Health building (hut) was 30m from the dinghy dock although Andrew had to go back in the following day as the immigration officer was “absent”.
Cooking Class and Prickly Bay anchorage
WHAT TO DO
Since our arrival here we have been busy with a trip to the capital St George’s, a tour of the island with thirteen other cruising folk, early morning walks with our American friends, drinks with fellow Aussies on their boat, a musical evening listening to a local steel pan band and a cooking class to learn something of the local vegetables.
Cashew fruit and Papaya crops
The trip around the island was a good day out. We stopped off at a tiny beach shack for lunch where cold drinks and a terrific meal of fish, chicken, salad, rice, vegetables and followed by ice cream was produced for $10 per head. We drove up the east coast and came back down through the middle of the island stopping off at a river for some white water rafting if we so desired. It was Sunday and many local people were walking up the roads to church. The adults were dressed to the nines and the children were immaculate with the boys in white shirts and long trousers and the girls with pretty dresses and braided hair with bright ribbons.
Luncheon stop at the Beach Hut and.....
However the thing that struck me the most is that the lush countryside is being strangled with vines growing up trees and through bushes. It’s growing so quickly that any abandon machinery or equipment is almost completely covered with vines. The market gardeners are having a job to keep their gardens clear. I think we have a problem in the Australian bush with Lantana, but this looks much worse.
The local people are very pleasant and some of the young women have gorgeous bodies and are really beautiful. The muscle definition on some young men is just amazing. On the other hand some of the woman (I believe originally from South African tribes) have the biggest backsides I have ever seen; humongous. Any Australian woman who thinks she has a large rear end – forget it you’re not in this race.
The cooking class was a disappointment as it was advertised as introducing us to the local vegetables. Twenty four international cruising women attended the class and I was eager to learn the names of the strange looking vegetables I see in the markets and how to cook them. However the only vegetable held up for our viewing was a ‘bloody carrot’ – maybe a local carrot – but nevertheless just a common old carrot. I was so disappointed I had to go to the bar and console myself with a rum punch.
Last week when in Trinidad I decided to cook the local vegetables. So I bought a big leafy green thing with an unheard of name. I established they it needed to be boiled. So after thoroughly washing it my curiosity got the better of me and I sampled a small piece raw. Well that was a mistake; I thought I had seriously burnt the roof of my mouth. Whatever it was, it was the hottest vegetable I have ever eaten; I was hopping around in the galley drinking water and deciding to cook good old carrots for dinner.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
Yesterday we left Prickly Bay and moved 2.5 miles to Hog Island where we are well sheltered by a reef. We will spend another quiet and peaceful night here then go around to St George’s harbour for shopping on Friday morning before heading north to catch up with the herd heading to the USA.
Love Candy xx