Sunday, August 24, 2008

Trip to Guayave

What have we been up to since our last update? The days go by so quickly and sometimes we can't even remember what we've done. That's what boat life is like. The smallest chores seem to take forever. The quite moments seem to slip by too quickly.
Last Wednesday we decided to go to Clark's Court Bay Marina for Burger Night. Clark's Court Bay is another anchorage just a short distance from here. We thought we'd check it out by land first, maybe meet a few new people and hopefully get a good burger. Our first 2 attempts at finding a good cheesburger in Grenada left us disappointed so we were on a mission! The result was not bad. We'll go back again.
We had a van full of cruisers, or as we are referred to in these British islands, Yachties. Our taxi driver dropped us back at the De' Big Fish Restaurant dinghy dock where several of us decided it was still early and we needed dessert. Here we are getting ready to dig into apple pie with ice cream and a four layer chocolate mousse cake. Yum!!!
As usual, Jim couldn't wait for the picture to be taken. He wanted to dig right in!
(Sophie & Natalie - he just wanted a little of each)
Friday night was our trip to Gouyave, a small town on the west coast which is known as the fishing capital of Grenada. Every Friday night the town holds a fish fry, a combination street festival and feeding frenzy.

Vendors set up stalls along 2 streets and cook up all kinds of wonderful dishes. You can get yellow-fin tuna kabobs, red snapper steamed with vegetables over a fire, fried fish of all kinds, shrimp kabobs, stir-fried shrimp with chinese noodles and cabbage, and more. We wandered the street sampling the incredible fare.

Then suddenly there appeared a wonderful surprise. Clarke's Court Rum was doing a free tasting!!!
Here's Derek (Idyll Island) and Jim getting an introduction to the Clarke's Court family of rums. I think it's funny how they pretend they don't know much about rum so they can taste a little longer.

Steel drum music on the street. The party was just getting going when our bus arrived to take us back to Prickly Bay. It ended much too quickly. We will go back again!

How do you relax after a night of rum tasting? You grab a noodle and your fins and float in the warm waters of the caribbean. Aahhhhhhh.......

Yesterday was another hash. This was the worst yet! I've done 3 and only one was good! The common denominator in the 2 bad hashes, MUD! When we left for the hash in the afternoon it was hot and sunny. A few minutes into the hash it was pouring rain. I should have turned around then. When will I learn? The trail was immediately turned to mud. We climbed up into the hills through beautiful countryside with stunning vistas, if you could see them through the downpour. Then the wind started. We were sheltered in the forrested area but when you broke out of the trees on the hilltops you were immediately slammed by the wind. It felt like sleet! We later heard that this squall had wind speeds of 45 knots.

Jim was out front with the runners and I, as usual was in the back. I clawed my way up and down the muddy, slippery, squishy trail hanging on to any bush or tree that would help me keep from falling. But progress in these conditions was slow and I soon became concerned that we might not make it off the trail before dark. I was walking with Larry & Debbie from the S/V Debonair, fellow mid-westerners from St. Paul, Minnesota. We were feeling our way down the last big hill in the dark. At least at this point we could abandon the trail and head for the main road, a much safer way back toward home. It was exhausting, much too long (about 3 1/2 hrs) and at times a little frightening. No more hashes for me unless it hasn't rained for days! Check out the pictures on Jacumba's blog.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Waterfalls, Hashing and Dominoes - What a life!

Carnival is over but there has still been so much to do. Last week we went with a group of cruisers for a trip to the Seven Sisters Falls. The waterfalls are about a 45 minute drive away, giving us an opportunity to see some more of this beautiful island. The hike to the falls was great.

This Billy-goat was feeding alongside the path. We thought he had a most impressive beard! He said something about the falls being thaaaaaaat a way!

The trail comes out at the last two falls. Jim and I hung out here and swam in the clean, cool pools. Most of the group climbed up to the top where the only way down is by jumping. The 6th falls is a jump of more than 30 feet, not recommended by Jim's back surgeon and a little higher than I like. We were happy to just go swimming!

Here's the group clinging to the edge while they get their instruction on how and where to jump.

Then it was a hike back out to cold drinks and some lunch. Great day!

On Saturday we did another hash. I don't have pictures of this because it was a moonlight hash that took place as the full moon was rising. This one was easier as I'm sure they didn't want anyone falling off a mountain in the dark! It was a beautiful trail through the countryside and across a creek. It began and ended in a small village where the restaurant cooked up chicken and pork, there was plenty of cold beer and even an ice cream shop.

On Saturday we finished a dominoes game that began last year in the Dominican Republic. Renee, Michael, Jim and I started a game in Luperon but quit for the night before we finished. It can take as long as 4 hours to play a game of Mexican Train Dominoes. We agreed we'd finish it another time but shortly after that Mike and Renee left Luperon and we haven't all been back together until this past week. Jim was winning so for all this time we've been listening to him declare himself the champion. We've been listening to his trash talk for almost a year. He wanted to know if we just wanted to concede this victory to him and start a new game? Well, it ain't over till the fat lady sings and I haven't even hummed a note. Set em up! With rum punch in hand, we dueled it out. I was so far behind there was no saving me. Jim and Mike were neck-n-neck until the final round when unfortunately for Jim, he took a doleful drubbing.

Jim and Renee debating strategy.

After his loss, Jim took the rum punch jug and cooler (we couldn't have any) and went to drown his sorrows on Jacumba's trampoline.

Then he started hoarding the snacks. This was not very sportsmanlike behavior!

A couple of rum punches later the match was forgotten as Mike and Jim started pointing out cloud faces to each other. (what was in that punch?)

Jim has demanded a rematch! He claims Mike wasn't really working in Mexico for the past 3 months but was getting Mexican Train Dominoes instruction from a master. Stay tuned

Monday, August 18, 2008

Grenada Carnival - Spice Mas 2008

Last week was a busy one. It was Carnival in Grenada!
The first festivity for us was Panorama, the steel drum competition. We bought tickets for the event at the Grenada National Stadium and headed out for the evening. The music was great, the band members were energetic and the competition was fierce. Some of these bands had more than 80 players and 120 instruments. The music started about 8:30 p.m. and didn't end until 1:30 a.m. I'm proud to say we hung in there until the very end! Because this was a competition, each orchestra played only one song. Most of the time was spent breaking down one band and setting up the next. Here's some video of the top 2 bands.
Two nights later we were at it again. Mike and Renee (Jacumba) and Jim and I headed back into St. Georges for the Monday Night Mas. We were told it would start around 6 or 7:00. You can never be sure because the carnival website doesn't even publish starting times. Grenada operates on what we cruisers refer to as GMT (Grenada Maybe Time). We arrived at 7:00 and the first band didn't come through until 10:30. The Mas is a big party where people sign up to participate in a parade where they follow a truck blaring music. They dance along wearing their sponsors' t-shirt, carrying glow-sticks and blowing whistles. This too is a judged event although I'm not sure what they're judged on. We watched the first couple of groups and then headed home. I think it's more fun to be in the parade/party then to watch it.
Tuesday, the day of the big Carnival parade. It was scheduled for noon but according to one of the participants it probably wouldn't start until about 2:00. We went to St. Georges with Mike and Renee and a van full of other cruisers. GMT was in play again...
Here's the parade route at 12:00. That's OK, we're going to lunch.

Here's the route at 1:00, no one even lining up.
2:00 and still empty.
3:00 Where's the damn parade!!!
These participants are just making their way to the start!
Things finally got going around 3:30.

This parade had a group of children and as is usually the case, the kids were quicker to smile and pose for the camera.

Here's a video with some of the sights and sounds of Carnival....