GRENADA “The Spice Island”
avatar

This lush and fertile island is home to approximately 102,000 Grenadians.  Columbus discovered the island on his third trip in 1498 and baptized it Concepcion.    Later the Spanish sailors gave the island the name it has today.

one of many beautiful waterfalls on the island

Jumping off the cliff in to the pool.

    The French arrived in 1650 and bargained for the island with trinkets and alcohol.  Later the Caribs knew they had been cheated and fought back.  The French hung on and by 1651 surrounded the Caribs to a high cliff on the north coast.    The Caribs chose to jump instead of surrender.

The last Caribbean native indians jumped over the hill to escape the French.

   

The island is beautiful and the soil is fertile for agriculture. There are several daily markets in which to buy local produce, locally raised organic chickens and pork. The supermarkets also have local items along with imported goods.   After the devastating hurricane “Ivan” in 2004, they started producing dark Chocolate.

Walking around in chocolate beans all day long.

Chocolate fruit

Vickie enjoying chocolate in St. Georges.

There are several buses (mini vans holding about 12-15 people running all through the day. You can wave to them along the street and they will stop for you anywhere, plus the designated bus stops. Along with the driver, each van has a spotter so he can look for people on side streets who may need a ride. Very inexpensive (2.50 ECD) good service and fun to ride  them with the music playing.

Local bus transport

For us, what makes this island very special is the people. Extremely friendly and helpful which one does not always find in a touristy area. Money fell out of Roland pocket twice and both times a person saw it happen and ran after him to give it back. One woman looked for him 20 minutes in the grocery store to return his wallet. As can be the case with other caribbean islands, we have never felt unease or nervous here. It is understandable why so many cruisers return to Grenada again and again.

Roland & Joseph who did find my 100 USD bill.

There is a good cruiser net on VHF 66 every morning full of information on events, special market buses from different anchoring coves, boat repairs, etc. People announce their arrival or departure; a fun news source to listen to in the morning while preparing breakfast and a nice contrast instead of  world news.   We spent most time in Prickly Bay and they have daily events and good wi-fi in the restaurant/bar.

Grenada also produces rum and is the second largest exporter of Nutmeg.

Rum distillery. If not 75 % alcohol it is considered a failure.

CAPE VERDES TO GRENADA
avatar

When we left Mindelo we did know that the first 3-4 days would be slow.  A low up north killed all the trades between Cape Verdes and Caribbean. The ARC fleet was fighting with strong headwinds. 

We sailed south as there was some wind down around 12 degree.  After 4 days sailing south in light winds ranging from 4-10 knots we gybed and steered west. We had reached 12 degrees and trades were taking us directly to Grenada. We sailed with a boomed out genoa and the hardwind jib sheeted on the same side as the main sail.

Trade wind sailing

Wing&Wing

It was a very comfortable sail. Winds between 15-25 knots and slight seas. It could not been better. With some small exceptions, this was the conditions across the Atlantic.

The last week in to Grenada we got some rain squalls that sometimes could increase wind speed to 30 kn.

Trade winds

The fishing was a big disappointment as we hit seaweed already a week from Cape Verde. The seaweed  fouled the fishing equipment right away.

Seaweed almost all across the Atlantic

Whales came and escorted Bella. 

We did see 2-3 fishing boat and two tankers on the route from CV to Grenada. 

Our friends on Hullabaloo went rumb line from  Cape Verdes.  They had to motor for 72 hours!.  

We sailed defensive as the goal was to come to Grenada with all the crew and boat in one piece. We reefed as soon as the wind was between 23-25 knots.  We could possible have been averaging 0.3-0.5 knots more if we had been pushing 100 %.

We arrived to Grenada after 15 days sailing. The last 6-7 hours we sailed reefed as we did want to arrive Prickly Bay in daylight.  We motored about 12-15 hours.  The generator had to run about 2×3 hours/day to keep up with our electricity need.

Half way party. Herring and aquavit.

The  Raymarine autopilot steered 100% of the way. Not one single disconnect. It steered courses that would be very difficult to hand steer in the darkness.

Nothing broke on the trip!! Not bad for a 14 year old boat.  That showed that the preparations in Gran Canaria was done right, and that we had a skilled crew that did not do any mistakes.  

Avi spend a lot of time in the galley making delicious food. Unfortunately we did not lose weight as Avi could not find baby spinach in Gran Canaria.  

Avi in action

Lots of boats in all the bays on the south coast of Grenada. Clearly the hurricanes in the north is creating business for the boat yards on Grenada.