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Grenada – The Isle of Spice

After 29 days at sea from St Helena and a sweet few days in the nearby sister island of Carriacou, the Picton Castle sailed the 32 nautical miles to St George’s, Grenada. We sailed off the hook and the crew had a lesson in sailing among the islands close to land. Very different from deep-sea sailing. Snappy sail handling and careful steering become critical. Without the engine we sailed away from Hillsborough, past Tyrell Bay, across the ocean passage, past Kick’em Jenny rock and soon under the lee of the high, well-forested island of Grenada. Winds became light around Gouyave but we managed to get anchored off St George’s by about 1530 for a three-day stay.

The gang had all been encouraged to get a proper day tour of the island as there is so much to see: spice plantations, cocoa plantations, a sugar factory still from the late 1700s, rum shops (they don’t just sell rum), carnival preparations, walking around the Carenage, Carib Leap, bustling Grenville, checking out the colourful shops at the old market, gain some practice in the art of “limin”, showers at the Grenada Yacht Club and a big barbeque at Chief Cook Donald’s house at Belmont. Presents for friends and family. I got the chance to visit with my old friend and former boss Mr. Bones. Bones was head shipwright at the local shipyard back in the 1970s when we used to repair the wooden vessels in Grenada in the lagoon, at the current location of Port Louise Yacht Marina. A great man, who taught me so much. There would likely be no Picton Castle without him.

Back on the ship we were some busy. This was our first major port since Cape Town for getting needed things done. And the last one before getting back to Lunenburg. Diesel fuel; needed 7 tons. Big food shopping to be done, the cupboards were getting empty. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies to be had. Laundry is a must. This and that from the hardware store. Almost all our propane bottles for the stove in the galley were empty. A visit to the huge lumber yard to get ship woods for doing work; greenheart, purple heart, silverbali and so on. Anyone with an interest in wooden boat building would drool at Concord’s massive lumber yard. Can’t wait to go back. Grenada is a remarkably effective place to get almost anything done and we got done everything we needed.

After some difficulty getting a berth at the big ship dock – lots of container ships coming and going – we got alongside Saturday morning to load our fuel. The next morning our good pilot Captain Joseph boarded just around dawn, we loosed sail and sailed away from the dock and out the harbour entrance. Braced up sharp and steered by the wind and northerly bound for the Saintes.

Just now we are sailing along about 40 miles west of Saint Lucia (pronounced Sint Loosha) under all sail. Looking to getting anchored at the Saints tomorrow early AM. Then bound for the BVI and Bermuda.

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