Saturday, May 20th, 2006
Grenada! Oh, sweet smells of land, and cool, cool drinks, hamburgers, piña coladas, the smiling faces of people on the street (whom you don’t know, and that is actually kind of nice!). It has only been 17 days since Fernando but somehow it feels like longer. It has been small islands and quick island stops since Cape Town, which was almost eight weeks and 5,600 miles ago, maybe that’s why. I can tell you that it feels so good to be back in the Caribbean, not far away from home but some of my favourite stops are down here.
Grenada is how I imagine the Caribbean used to be. Not too touristy but enough to be of comfort, fried chicken straight off the street barbeque, grilled corn on the cob right there on a grill at the corner of the post office, school kids in their pristine uniforms loitering, as kids do, at the shack selling cold drinks. It’s hot and humid and it just thundered and rained for 5 minutes. Now it’s dry and the sunshine is bright bright.
St. George’s Carenage is a horseshoe-like harbour, with little fishing boats moored right up to the edge of the street, the houses and buildings are tiered up the hill painted in an array of colours; pinks, blues, red and orange—very pretty. Up and over the hill is a bustling market selling everything you can imagine—spices galore, fresh fruit, and lots of crafts like baskets. The people on the street all say hello and smile. Some want to chat and find out where you are from. All of them are proud of the way the have restored themselves and their town after hurricane Ivan struck and devastated Grenada two years ago. It looks great to me!
The crew are busy arranging tours to visit chocolate factories where they grow the cocoa right there, visits to waterfalls and hikes through the jungle, stops at nutmeg factories and spice plantations—and ,of course, there is always talk of food and which little village they should stop in for chicken roti and lambi (conk). Already there have been visits to Grand Anse beach, a striking white sand beach with perfect clear water. Women wander up and down offering to braid your hair and sell you sarongs, and of course the men are selling drinking coconuts; they are so good!
The on watch made their own treats tonight: grilled hamburgers, fresh salad, and real French fries. That was after they dried and furled all sail, made the topsides look all pretty and of course the usual coming-into-port-things like putting chafe gear on the mooring lines. Sails are getting laid out on the wharf at St. Georges as vessels sail in and out of the harbour. An old iron sugar cane boiling pot from slave days is now a planter on the beach at Grande Anse.
Today was a great day onboard the Picton Castle and off board, too!