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The Infectious Rhythms of Grenada

In order to get a more complete picture of Grenada one must talk about the music! You will inevitably find music on every street corner in St. George’s. Steel drum and reggae bands practiced well into the evenings; large speakers were set up at every corner shop, blasting the latest (or vintage) calypso and reggae songs. Set up next to every speaker were instruments and inevitably people were playing, adding their own beat on top of the beat in the song, making it richer. Everyone, it seemed, appreciated spontaneity. Everyone wanted us to play, regardless of skill. So, encouraged by the mood created, most of us, at least once, picked up a piece of steel pipe or grabbed a hubcap or a shaker and joined in with the local revelry.

The musical theme continued throughout our stay in Grenada. Donald and his family threw a BBQ/Dance Party at his house for the crew one evening. Donald has a lovely house he built just a 30 minute walk from where the Picton Castle was moored. Perched on a hill, it overlooks the lagoon of the port and his family’s property runs all the way to the water. Donald and his family whipped up BBQ chicken and a Grenadian dish called oil down. We mingled and danced with Donald’s family (his son Donnel – or DJ Point Blank Menace as he known professionally – acted as DJ extraordinaire) and neighbors until we could dance no more. The music continued to reverberate in our ears long after we were tucked into our bunks on the ship and fast asleep. It was a block party Jump Up!

But oh, no – the celebration did not stop there! We also hosted a dinner onboard for all of the Captain’s shipwright friends he has known since his days sailing on the Romance. These men, like the shipwrights on Carriacou, had taught the Captain many of the boat-building and spar making skills (he says they also simply taught him how to ‘work’, an alien concept to many young guys) he would later go on to use during his time as Bosun on the Danmark and even later, when it came time to convert the Picton Castle into the tall ship she is today. In a touching speech, the Captain reiterated this fact: “This voyage of today would not be possible without the instruction and guidance and hard work of the men you see around you tonight.” This was met with unanimous applause from the crew.

After four busy days in Grenada it was time for the inevitable farewells. In the early morning, with Senior Pilot Capt Julien Rapier aboard, we eased off the stern lines holding us to St George’s and hauled up the two anchors, waved goodbye to our friends on the dock and prepared to handle sail. We were bound for tiny Petite Martinique, the last of the three habited islands of Grenada.

Captain, Bones and the shipwrights
Dancing to the beat
Donnel (left) and friend DJ
Nadja reunites with Queen

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