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Grenada Hash 2

Saturday morning was the shopping trip. We first dinghied ashore and walked around to New York Bagels only to find them closed on Saturdays. We kept on up to the main road where a bus had spotted us and was waiting, the conductor out on the street to hurry us on. We alighted at FoodFair and picked up as much as we could reasonably carry. So far we are minimizing the amount of frozen food we’re buying as we have yet to turn on the freezer and relying only on the fridge/freezer. From an energy budget purpose we can power all our refrigeration, lighting, water making and computer usage from solar as long as we don’t turn on the fridge.

Just after 1pm we picked up Jim from Bees Knees and made our way to the Caranage Café to be picked up for this weekend’s Grenada Hash. The location was about 15 minutes further on the road we took to Seven Sisters Falls yesterday so the route was familiar. We were collected by one of the St Georges University student busses so we had plenty of room. On the bus we got to know Scott & Joalie (check) from “Excuse Me” and Richard and Laila from “Nebula”. Scott and Joalie are avid wind kiters. It turns out we saw them (and they saw us) when we were anchored off Maria Island in St Lucia. Also on the walk were Devi and Hunter from “Arctic Tern”.

This hash was a lot more arduous than our first hash. It started with a steep climb with many having to take rests before reaching the peak. Even though we started around 4pm the heat and humidity did not help at all. Shortly after our steep climb we encountered an equally precipitous descent which was challenging in terms of trying not to fall on top of those below and to avoid those tripping and falling from above.

For a while things got a little easier although the general elevation of the walk seemed to be climbing inexorably upwards. We were presented with one or two ‘choices’ in route but given our position in the pack it was always obvious which was the wrong turn. I ended up losing Helen and catching up with Jim and when we were presented with the choice between the ‘Runners’ path and the ‘Walkers’ path we chose to walk the runners path as it offered more views and even though we were walking, we had a good pace.

We were treated to plenty of great views although from talking to Helen, who took the walkers (shorter) path they saw most of the same. We saw the old airport strip and beautiful lush valleys. High up we walked through a village with a partially built church with palm trees outside painted Caribbean style.

Eventually, all the climbing was made up with even more precipitous descents than encountered earlier. I managed to slip down a bit. One chap behind me lost his footing and somehow flew down the slope turning and twisting without falling. The ‘path’ we were on turned into a short jungle trail before following a rocky brook where we could avoid getting our feet wet hopping from rock to rock. We eventually made it down to river level where Jim and I caught up with Helen who had got ahead of us by taking the shorter route.

The walk followed the river for a while past thick rainforest and clusters of bamboo before coming within a couple of hundred feet of our destination: rest, food and beer. Our hopes were lifted only to find there was no direct route to our destination and it was back to hard climbing (and slipping) and descents through plantation.

We did finally make our destination. Many were pretty exhausted from the ordeal. The beer, BBQ chicken and oil down (local food) was most welcome. At the ‘devirginizing’ ceremony Jim was welcomed into the Grenada Hash and received his certificate as well as a liberal coating of beer.

After feeding and lubrication it was time to reboard the university bus.

As luck would have it the bus drove right by Grenada Marine where we had left the dinghy so our trip home was not only simple but also free – a cruisers delight. We dropped of Jim back at Bees Knees and it was back home to Dignity to rest though not before watching the first episode of the recent series of 24.

Here follows the slide show from yesterday with more pics than shown above. A reminder that if you click on the slide show you will be taken to the Picasa website where you can see the pictures much larger.


Maria Island

After writing yesterday’s blog we were approached by the one other boat in our anchorage – Brad who was captaining a 60 odd foot monohull called Blue Whale. He needed some help undoing a couple of screws and I was more than happy to oblige. He’s been a professional captain in the islands for a few years now. Apart from helping undo two screws we had a good chat about the islands and a show around the boat. Brad also gave me the coordinates of a good anchorage in Tobago Cays away from where everyone else goes. We must give this a go in a week or two. Before parting we invited Brad over to Dignity to have a look around.

This morning around 9am we set sail just around the corner to Maria Island. Even though it wasn’t too far we decided to see if we could sail most of the way. We headed out into the Atlantic for 40 minutes then tacked back. With the wind dropping and quite a strong current we were heading back along our original track so we turned on the motor and made it there without too much faffing around. Approaching Maria Island we were tantalized by a streak of turquoise visible between the mainland and the island where we had to squeeze through the reefs. We found the cut in the reefs quite easily and kept in 60 feet of water until we were clear of the breakers around us. We turned into Maria Island and, sheltered from the ocean, dropped our anchor in her lee.

As we ate lunch Bees Knees, who we’d been in contact in the morning, rounded the corner, came through the cut and anchored next to us. We are the only two boats around here which is great.

This afternoon I dusted off the Hookah and scraped the barnacles off both hulls. The underwater bit takes two hours – double that when you consider all the gear prep and tidying. This evening Anne and Jim are coming over for a barbecue. I’m feeling hungry after this afternoon’s exertion.

FOOTNOTE: While here we noticed a couple wind kiting for some hours. We were later to learn that they were cruisers from “Nebula”.