Summer in Grenada

Summer is the wet season over here and most nights we have rain. During the past week we’ve had two days of continuous rain which means we either don’t leave the boat or we wait for some respite and make a quick dash to shore! It never fails to surprise me how quickly the dinghy-cover dries out once the rain has stopped. Temperature doesn’t vary much and is around 29C most days with humidity around 65%. Normally we have a breeze so it’s good but, if not, it’s swim time off the back of the boat.

This time I brought back with me from Oz a good rain coat (thanks Annie) and found a use for it last Friday when walking over to Secret Harbour for our volleyball game. Mal got drenched but Susie stayed dry!

Far too serious!
Pretty happy with himself! 

We’ve been playing quite a bit more volleyball lately (3-4 times per week) and, as I’m getting a little better, I’m enjoying it more:) Most couples don’t like to play on the same team as their partner and Mal & I are no exception. Less arguments that way! Canadian friend Dalynn took the photos below including the iguana shot. It lives in a tree overlooking the volleyball court so we often catch sight of it munching on the new shoots. We did hear the other day that the locals have spotted it so we’re hoping it will survive. It looks like a young one as it’s not as large around the girth as some we’ve seen on other islands.

Mal in blue & Gagi in pink.
Mal & I on opposition teams.
Don’t think I got this one!

Entertaining on the boat can be a challenge but we’re getting better and we’ve mastered a few dishes. One is a Bill Granger chicken curry (thanks for recipe Rob Mc) which went down a treat with our guests, Gagi (pronounced Guggi) and Rudy, Anjelica and Dennis.

Gagi and Rudy
Dennis, Anjelica & Mal
My 1st bracelet.
Leather-wrap bracelets.

Gagi is an accomplished “beader” and has given me some materials and advice to get me started as a hobbyist. On those wet days when we can’t get off the boat I need something other than reading, cooking and boat maintenance to do. Here are some pieces I have created. I’ve learnt how to do sliding knots which I like as a fastener. There are so many varieties of beading that mine is very different to what Gagi designs. Hers is very fine work and has a high level of complexity to the designs whereas I’m into simple, quick and easy, ready to wear! It’s been alot of fun and I’ve now discovered beading has a massive following throughout the world. Gagi’s website is http://www.ellad2.com. She and Rudy run a very successful business from their yacht selling her tutorials and patterns in five languages. She is highly regarded in the beading community and very creative. She’s also a mean volleyball player!

Double leather-wrap bracelet.

  Well, we’re off on a long walk this arvo so until next time, lots of love, Sue & Mal. xx

Advertisements

Back in Paradise

Hi everyone!

I have been back in The Caribbean now for nine days and it’s great. Lovely to see Mal after my ten weeks back in Oz and fabulous to be back in this gorgeous part of the world (and warm weather). I had some problems getting back with delays, etc, but hey, that’s travel for you! Mal wasn’t too unhappy cos it meant I had time to purchase two volleyballs in Miami – you can’t buy them here.

Mal in action
Mal doing his stuff!

A friend in Oz asked how I’ve been spending my days. Relaxing is the answer. I have done two yoga classes, played volleyball twice, started book 1 of Game of Thrones, swum every day and experimented with some cooking recipes. We also went on a Turtle Watch tour (more below) and yesterday attended a dinghy concert (always fun).

Me, down but not out!
Me not doing much

Yoga is free and hosted by fellow cruisers who find it easier to practice off the boat so they organise a venue. I’m loving getting back into it and attend classes as often as possible. Mal took up volleyball whilst I was in Oz and I definitely didn’t want to risk my knees, back, etc, but after watching one game I was sucked in and my competitive nature came to the fore! Anyone can play and we have children (very good at volleyball) from 10 up to oldies (Mal & me!). Mal is in grey striped top in 1st two photos and I’m wearing the visor in the 2nd two photos. We make sure we’re not on the same team or it could get nasty! Much beer is drunk between games and it’s a great social pasttime. This day we had four teams of six and everyone loved the new balls. 

Hatchling. Google image
Google image

The Turtle Watch tour was a must-do for us after hearing so many great stories from other cruisers. Before we went back to Oz the turtles were coming in to lay their eggs and we were told if we wanted to see hatchlings we should wait until July/August. Well, we were lucky enough to see both activities: three massive leatherback turtles on shore laying their eggs and babies hatching from two nests! The photos above are courtesy of Google as ours weren’t good enough to share but they give you a good idea of the size. The trip is a good 2-hour drive north to Levera Beach on the northeast coast of Grenada. We arrived in the dark and were given instructions by our guide about when we could use torches and how we should behave on the beach. White light torches were permitted through the walk to the beach but once we hit the sand we could only use red lights. Fortunately our friends Gagi and Rudy on Prairie Fox had lent us theirs. Due to the darkness, we had to walk in single-file behind the guide in case any babies were hatching and we inadvertently trod on one! She would alert us to any little tracks as evidence of newborns. The leatherback is the largest living turtle and travels north to places like Nova Scotia and south to Australia. It’s carapace is flexible where other turtles have rigid backs and it feeds on jelly fish in deep waters, up to 3000 ft. They mate at sea and she carries the sperm to fertilise the eggs. She will lay approximately 60-100 eggs at one sitting, but she will do this 4-5 times a season. Unfortunately, they estimate only 1 in 1000 hatchlings survive. The hatchling predators are crabs, birds, dogs before they get to the water and thereafter it’s other sealife or humans (fishing nets, etc). Humans also raid the nests to steal the eggs but slowly education is working and this is improving their chances of survival. We feel very privileged to have witnessed these amazing animals in the wild.

Mal, Pam & Chris
Kool Kat (left) off Calvigny Is.
Even doggies attend
Getting organised

Yesterday we moved from Prickly Bay to Clarke’s Court Bay. We have anchored next to Calvigny Island in beautiful clear water. We dinghied around to Mt Hartman Bay (the bay where we play volleyball) for the jumble sale. It is like a flea market and is an opportunity for cruisers and locals to sell or give away items they don’t need anymore. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up. Mal is with Pam and Chris from Wild Cat who Mal recently purchased an inflatable two-person kayak from. The other photos are from the dinghy concert in Clarke’s Court Bay in the afternoon. Great live music, beers, rum punches and lots of atmosphere. Even boat dogs attend – look for the Golden Retriever – she’s one of two on Nauti Dog catamaran.

Whisper Cove meats

Clarke’s Court Bay is well served by pretty marinas. We called into Whisper Cove which is owned by French-Canadians for a drink and to listen to some live music. Whilst there I checked out their ‘mini-mart’ which has some fabulous meats and cheeses, as you’d expect. Because it was my first visit they sent me away with samples of their homemade pork terrine and a feta/pepper mix. Whilst there we noted the “iguana crossing” sign.

Some of Jenny’s produce

We also visited Le Phare Bleu marina where we purchased fresh bread for our terrine and feta. Then down to Clarke’s Court Bay Marina where Jenny, an English woman who has lived here for 14 years, brings fresh produce for cruisers. 25EC later (about $12) and we had freshly picked rocket, basil and rosemary, mangoes, avocadoes, bananas, a plantain, a young coconut, a cabbage, limes and passionfruit. Back on the boat we took the top off the coconut, drank the juice and devoured the pulp. Unbelievably good!

We hope all is well back home, so until next time, happy travels, Sue & Mal. xx