February 12 – March 07 2021; 6783 nm and 717 days after departure from La Rochelle.
Waiting for the results was in fact not as bad as it might have sounded. As we were not allowed to leave the boat, we actually had the time and peace to recover from our trip. The urge to go ashore was simply postponed until we were permitted to. Swimming, sun bathing, reading, catching up our sleep as well as catching up news with family and friends was all we needed. On Monday early morning, very well rested and extremely excited, we went ashore to lovely Mrs. Frederick (she was our medical opening to Grenada, see blog pic) to get our results. After only seconds being on land we were told to come back at around 12pm as she didn’t have the results yet. Well, disappointing but who cares?! So we returned at 12, but nobody was waiting for us at the tent, damn! We asked a marina guy and he told us, that Mrs. Frederick would PROBABLY come back in half an hour. We decided to wait and it was nice that we were allowed to wait a few more yards ashore under a tree in the shades. Long story short, of course the lady came back much later and then we still had to wait for the results. Anyhow after some phone calls and more waiting we had our negative results and could finish the immigration at the customs office at Port Louis marina. We were happy but the excitement was kind of limited due to the stretched waiting time.
Eventually free, we explored St. George’s and inhaled the first impressions of Caribbean life. Super friendly people welcomed us on this pretty, very green island. No doubt we were desperate for fresh fruit and vegetables, so our focus was on finding the farmers and fish market and all the groceries stores. As St George’s is more the size of a village that was an easy approach.After finding the farmers market we found ourselves in a couple of supermarkets and enjoyed to find out the local supplies. The next days we filled up our provisioning, checked out some more (marine) shops and worked on a big load of washing at the Port Louis marina.
One day we said hello to our neighbours in the quarantine bay. A nice dutch couple on a catamaran who invited us immediately for a coffee which we happily accepted. After a crossing everybody seems to be longing for chats with other humans. That turned out to be a coffee heaven😁. They had a proper Italian coffee machine aboard!!! How crazy is that? Similar to the one we used to have and we miss very much! I think I have to get used to the fact that catamarans are just extremely huge and that they have enormous space (in fact some of them are as big as small apartments). So it’s not really a big deal for them to have a lot of kitchen devices and machines aboard, but we’ve never seen a coffee machine like this on a boat. Anyhow, we enjoyed a delicious coffee and of course a nice chat with Juri and Nicole on their boat named “Wanderlust”.
As nice as it was in this bay concerning the sunset, it was of course not a place for a longer stay being at a quarantine anchorage. And as we anyhow were keen on finally meeting our dear Canadian friends Shelly and James. They arrived in Grenada in December and are now located around the corner in the south in Woburn bay, next to Hog Island. It was Thursday morning a week after we arrived in the Caribbean, when we decided to move on. In the morning we bought some more groceries and around midday we lifted our anchor and headed off to see our friends. It was only a short jump of 10 miles but after a speedy couple of miles we had to sail against the wind. That turned out to be a very rough trip as it was blowing not the sweet 15 knots of wind which was forecasted. No! Of course it had to be muuuuuuch more (28 – 32 knots) wind and we had to fight against the waves and current. Not the nice easy trip, done in a couple of hours, we had expected😩. Instead of 10 miles we made 15 miles and needed 4,5 hours. In the late afternoon we arrived in Woburn bay and we were loudly welcomed with a horn concert from the crew of Carina. Anchor set and only 30 mins later we were picked up to go ashore to have some drinks at Nimrods. A small bar with cold drinks, some food and live music. OMG that was awesome! We had a blast! After such a long time, catching up with our friends, meeting more people, having cold drinks and live music we felt like being in heaven. Yes!
The next couple of days Shelly and James showed us around. They told us where to get rid of the garbage, where to get diesel and gasoline, where and how to find our way to go to town, the bus system, a french bakery/deli and much more. For example: Friday we went to Le Phare Bleu, a beautiful little posh marina, where the french bakery is located; Saturday we went for another live music evening to Whisper Cove, a lovely bar with an even smaller marina; Sunday we had BBQ at Hog island; Tuesday they took us for a ride with Shade-man (he picks up cruisers and takes them to town and back and stops at several shops, the biggest supermarket, marine supply, bank…). When we were not entertained by our friends, we discovered the close by surroundings on our own. We had a nice walk to the next two bays west of Woburn bay. Secret harbour was our first stop and after a cool drink in the pretty marina we headed further to Prickly bay. We started in wildness, passed some wealthy neighbourhoods, enjoyed a pretty sweet empty beach and finally reached the “Budget Marina” shop at Prickly bay. From there we took a taxi back to Altimate.
Wednesday when we only wanted to get rid of our garbage at Whisper Cove, we run into Michael a German we already met some days ago. He was very excited to tell us it was his birthday but as well that he got a vac shot that morning. That definitely got our attention! Covid vaccination, not being resident, where, how, when??? He told us he knew from a friend that at the Radisson convention centre the locals could get the vaccination. And because lots of the locals didn’t want the shot, he thought he got it🤷♀️. Thursday we tried to get more information about wether it would also be possible for us to get a shot. We did not find out much, only where the vaccination was located and that the vaccination was held only this week. We decided to give it a try! Friday morning we left early and walked to the Raddison Hotel. Around 10:30 we arrived and lined up like all the other people. After maybe 45 min we were able to ask a lady of the medical staff if we’d be legitimate to get the vaccination. She didn’t know and said she’d ask. We don’t know what that nice woman did, but she never came back to us. Another 45 min of queuing and we could sign in a piece of paper. Name, tel number, temperature. (That was the normal procedure here. In any shop , bar or office you’d have to sign in like that.) Then everything went fast. Two more minutes waiting, then we were called to a room, where another young lovely lady asked for our name, birthday, passport number, address and occupation. She wrote it nicely down in a vaccination certificate, handed it over and then we were send off to the vaccination room. Three minutes later we both had our shots! What? No questioning, no nothing? Wow! We couldn’t believe it! AWESOME! In 8 weeks time we will get our second shot, isn’t that incredible?
We still can’t believe that we got the shot. After talking to some other cruiser fellows, who also tried to get a shot, most of them were rejected, we think we were just very lucky. At the right time at the right spot. Yesssss!
To get faster around in the bay we decided to get a new out-boarder with more power. The trips to the bars 😉 or just ashore are quite far, so it is much more comfortable to have a stronger outboard engine. After a while being in the bay the “dinghying” to the different location has lost its attraction so that arriving is more at focus. After checking the possibilities and where to get the best offer for a new out-boarder we tried the local busses and headed again to budget marina and bought a 10hp outboard two stroke (2Kg lighter than our 4 stroke but double HP) Yeahhh! Though we still have to be slow for the break in of the motor, it is already much more fun than riding with our 5hp 4 stroke. I can’t wait to plane😁.
Yesterday, we had our first Hash run. On the morning net we heard about it and decided to participate. We had no clue whatsoever what it is, we only found out that we needed running shoes rather than flip-flops. And we heard rumours that alcohol might be involved. Shade-man organised the transportation for the cruisers who wanted to participate and our pick up was at 1:30 pm at Clarks Court entrance. Squeezed in the bus with other fellow hashers it took more than an hour to reach our starting point at the Renegade Rum Distillery in the north east of Grenada close to Grenville. Quite a few people were already there when we arrived and more runners came within the next 30 min. My guess was 150-200 hashers were taking part in this hash. Everybody had to sign in (like this the organiser would know if everybody had found back their way safely) and then we learned that we were virgins as we started for the first time. We learned something about “On Oni” and “On Backi” and how to find our way, which was marked with scraps of paper. Well, it was not a very challenging duty to find our way. In fact we just had to follow the crowd 😂. But we enjoyed it very much. It was an easy 5km walk through some fields, at the beach and along the old airstrip.
Being back at the Rum Distillery beer and food was offered (and maybe rum). Usually there would also be music but as it was the first hash after covid shut down the organisers still had to follow lots of rules. Still a nice way to wait for all the hashers to come back and to get to know some more people. The virgin hashers even got a certificate of loosing their virginity. Later on on our way back to Woburn bay we learned from our experienced hash passengers the hash group slogan “drinkers with a running problem”. There is nothing to add, is there😉? So we were not surprised when we had a stop at a bar in the middle of nowhere. More beer or rum, pool and veeeeeery loud music. As we missed the food at the hash we were happy to get some chicken with fries and not only beer. It was fun to see the locals showing some of the hashers how to play pool. A couple of drinks later our driver gathered us back in the bus and after another 30 min drive we finally got back to Altimate. Tired, happy and ready to sleep.