Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
By Kate “Bob” Addison
November 23, 2012
Friday evening finds the Picton Castle alongside the “schooner dock” portion of the deepwater commercial wharf in St George’s Town, Grenada, after a very enjoyable daysail down from Carriacou yesterday. Not so long ago, inter-island cargo schooners sailed in and out of this pretty harbour.
I am sitting on a deck box on the quarterdeck, looking out over the water as the sun goes down over the entrance to the harbour on my right. Straight ahead is the yacht club, and the green hills behind are studded with pastel coloured houses, one of which belongs to Donald, our cook of so many years. To celebrate being home, Donald is hosting a BBQ for the whole crew on Saturday night – he says there will be plenty of chicken for everybody. To my left, the next ship along the wharf tucked under our stern is a smallish inter-island supply vessel. The men aboard have just finished unloading the cargo and are relaxing now, leaning on the rail.
We started the day looking out over the other side of the harbour, the Carenage, but moved round the corner to the Lagoon side this afternoon to let a big bulk carrier take our spot on the dock. The Carenage is named for the fact that schooners and sailing ships “careened” down to work on their bottoms. Cannon mount the hill that once protected the town from foreign ships and the old fort is still standing high up on top of Fort George Point at the northern limit of the harbour. The ship that came in is carrying a cargo of wheat, which they have been unloading with a big mechanical scoop, load by load. It’s a big ship and a small scoop, looks like it will take days to unload! And if it rains they have to stop.
We’ve had a busy day today – we bought and stowed a load of lumber, big bags of charcoal, and fresh provisions. We did a giant clean and laundry run, everyone’s bunks stripped and cleaned, and mattresses wiped off and left on deck to bake in the sun. We also unloaded the children’s books that were donated for us by generous schools, hospitals and individuals in Canada and the USA to bring to the children in the islands here.
Our five new crew are settling in very well – all their inductions and safety training done, they have been up aloft, and they are becoming accustomed to this ship and island life just as well as the rest of the gang.