Westward Bound

On To Grenada

By Kate “Bob” Addison

After a few days to relax, decompress and do nothing in Carriacou after so long at sea, we made the short passage to Grenada, which is just a perfect daysail away with sunny skies and fair winds. It’s a fair amount of work taking a square rigger out for a day sail from heaving up the anchor, setting all sail and then taking it all in again a few hours later. I think most folks are glad that our passages are usually a bit longer than that, and have newfound respect for the crews of daysail boats that do as many as seven sails in a day.

After sailing over a sunken volcano and then under the lee of high green Grenada, we dropped the anchor again outside just outside St George’s where ship’s cook Donald’s pretty blue house is perched half way up the hill overlooking the swanky marina and the old colonial Carenage with its elegant Georgian buildings and Napoleonic fortifications. Donald hosted all hands at his house that night, with a barbecue to feed a hundred: delicious grilled chicken and fish parcels that Amanda said were the best she’s ever tasted, and possibly the biggest potato salad I’ve ever seen in my life. My highlight was looking up into Donald’s breadfruit tree at dusk and seeing four or five chickens roosting in the branches, bright orange bundles of feathers tucked in safe for the night amongst the distinctive broad breadfruit leaves.

We put the colourful dory Sea Never Dry in the water in Grenada, and either Amy, Gabe or Sam took small groups out every day: just tacking about around the ship or heading over to the huge white expanse of Grand Anse beach a couple of miles away to anchor off and go for a swim and a lounge on this famous tourist beach before heading back to the ship for supper. We got plenty of admiration for our fabulous wooden Lunenburg dory with her Norwegian mainsail on this beach – it seems it’s more usually populated by catamarans, windsurfers and speedboats towing inflatables plus shrieking customers.

Queen, who is an old friend of the ship and especially the Captain, came out to offer us spices, vanilla, hand-made jewellery, hats and bags, even hand crocheted bikinis. She also organised a fabulous beach afternoon for the crew at her house over near Grand Mal – a big feed including a huge pot of coconut cream and callaloo ‘oil down’. It was such a perfect afternoon with local kids playing cricket in the surf, diving for sea urchins and splashing about off the anchored fishing boats, music pumping from someone’s car stereo and our gang mingling with the locals, eating and swimming and having a time. We had our signing off ceremony for Magnus, Anne-Mette and Ben right there on the beach, and presented them with their sea time certificates and South Pacific fishhooks.

Island tours were popular in Grenada too – it’s a big island with a lot to see in the jungly interior: from the old rum distillery and chocolate factories to beautiful waterfalls and beaches. There is plenty of nightlife and a bustling shopping district between the wonderful covered fish market and the open air vegetable and spice market. We were in Grenada over the long Easter weekend so we just had Saturday and Tuesday to shop and do jobs in town – meaning we were forced to relax and have fun for the rest of the long weekend, just like the locals.

Picton Castle behind breadfruit and palm trees
Picton Castle at anchor, hiding behind palm and breadfruit trees

Queen brings things aboard photo by Donald Church
Friend of the ship, Queen, brings her wares aboard, photo by Donald Church