Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dominoes and Dirty Dancing?!?!

It's been a busy, fun-filled week! It's great having Whisper, Jacumba and Merengue back together. We've been sailing, gone for happy hour and pizza, done some island exploring and had a great party on Jacumba.
The other day we decided to go to one of the waterfalls on the island. The most economical way of traveling is by bus and the bus system on Grenada is great. We headed across the island to the Mt. Carmel Falls for a hike and a swim. The hike turned out to be a short one, only about 10 minutes from the road. But the waterfall was beautiful.
Mike and Hans getting a water massage!

Kristen provides an action shot!

Hans, Kristen and Mike.

Next another bus ride to Grenville where we had lunch and then a tour of one of the Nutmeg factories. Grenada is known as the Spice Island and was once the largest producer of nutmeg in the world. But 4 years ago Hurricane Ivan changed all that when it destroyed many of the nutmeg trees on the island. Production is only at 10% of what it used to be and will take many more years to be at the previous level.

Kristen snapped this picture of nutmeg drying in the factory. There are row after row of these muti-level racks filled with nutmeg. Each day someone rakes the nutmeg to assure that it all drys perfectly. The entire process is still very labor intensive which gives you an appreciation for what goes into bringing the consumer these wonderful spices.
The bus ride back across the island was a scary one! We are used to the buses in town with drivers that don't scare the pants off of you! Apparently the bus drivers on the longer routes across the island are in a bigger hurry. After all, more trips mean more paying customers. We all held on and occasionally closed our eyes as he sped around turns on the hilly, twisting road. The cost for all that excitement was only about $3.25 U.S. per person one-way.

Next day, another session of Mexican Train Dominoes. Jacumba was planning to depart and we thought we'd get one more game in. Besides, we had a little surprise planned for the loser! Renee was talking trash the day before, threatening the crew of Merengue with a big loss. So it was pure justice that she lost BIG and became the first recipient of our traveling loser trophy, a Domino Dunce hat.

The hat was originally a drogue for a life ring that we picked up at a swap meet. After a few decorations it became the perfect dunce hat, complete with a vent at the top to let out the steam of the wearer!

The loser must wear the hat during our next match until they can pass it on to the next loser. Although it looks good on Renee, don't you think? Perhaps she should be allowed to keep it. We probably won't get to play again for a few months so she has a lot of time to savor her trophy!

Thursday night was a farewell dinner on Jacumba with Merengue, Whisper and Fine Line. Renee and Mike left Friday for St. Martin where Jacumba will be for sale with a broker. After a great meal we all took turns shaking an ice cream maker that Whisper has on board. It was pretty funny watching every one's technique as we all took turns shaking. Renee took pictures of all the action. For a complete look at the fun visit

While Jim was shaking the ice cream, the music switched to the song "I Like Big Butts" so I felt compelled to shake my butt. Looks like we got caught doing a little dirty dancing!

Jacumba pulled out on Friday and we were very sad to see them go. We'll miss them until we catch up again in St. Martin a few months from now. Stay tuned for the next big loser in the on-going domino challenge!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sailing with Whisper

Just 2 days after our sail on Jacumba and we're out again, this time on Whisper. Hans and Kristen thought that Mike and Renee should get to experience mono-hull sailing so off we all went. Whisper is a 27' Albin Vega and boy is she sweet! I took the tiller for a while and thoroughly enjoyed stearing her through the waves. I'm not sure everyone else enjoyed it because I did manage to splash them a few times. Guess I've lost my touch. I haven't steered with a tiller since we sold our Catalina 22.
Kristin adjusting the sail.

kitkat (Whisper's kitty) looking less than interested in our adventure.

Mike takes a turn at the tiller.
Wendy and Renee enjoying the day.

Another fun day of sailing. Merengue's starting to feel the pressure! We might have to pull up that anchor and take everyone sailing!
On another note, we've had some inquiries regarding Jim's shoulder. He still can't lift his arm over his head. He can't even lift a fork to his mouth. He bends to meet the food half way. However, he has improved and has less pain. He probably has a tear. He says this because he knows what it feels like as he has injured this shoulder before. So he knows that he has months of recuperation ahead of him. He thanks everyone for their concern. He hasn't learned to eat with his left hand but interestingly enough he can drink left-handed!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jacumba the Party Boat

"The Time Flies When You're Having Rum."
It was a cruising party on Jacumba!
Renee and Mike invited a group of friends for a day of cruising on board Jacumba, their 37' Island Spirit catamaran. Several people couldn't make it but as usual, the crew on Merengue and Whisper and Mike and Reneee's friend Lincus were in for the adventure.

Our destination was a snorkling site called The Statues where statues have been placed underwater. We had a beautiful sail there but arrived to find the visibility was only a few feet. Looks like things are still stirred up from the storms that past through the caribbean last week. The 7 of us swam all around the bay but we couldn't spot any of the statues. Oh well, back on deck for great food, drinks and music before setting sail back to Prickly Bay.

Renee, our beautiful and capable captain.

Kristin riding in the bow seat.
Hans cooling his heels at the stern.
A 37' catamaran has an incredible amount of space for everyone to move about and get comfortable.
Hans, Mike and Renee.

More "limin" on deck

Mike going for a drag behind Jacumba.

Spread out along the bow and settling all the worlds' problems!
Jim, Hans, Mike and Lincus.

Back in Prickly Bay we fired up the grill, pulled out the rest of the food and had a great dinner on board. It was a wonderful day! As often as we are on other peoples' boats we never go sailing with them. This was a first and we really had a great time. Thanks Mike and Renee!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The 600th Hash!

Saturday, October 4, 2008
The Grenada Hash House Harriers celebrate their 600th hash!
It's as though Mother Nature knows we are going hashing. After weeks of dry weather, Grenada was deluged with rain Friday night and Saturday morning. If it was any other hash we probably would have skipped it. But it's the 600th! We have to go be with the crowds, hash, drink beer and get our commemorative T-shirt.
The drive to the forested area of Petite Etang was breathtaking. Grenada is a beautiful island. When we arrived at the race site we could see that the road and the area around the beer and food tents was a sea of mud. No doubt in Jim's mind that he would be hashing. Lots of doubt in Wendy's mind. You'll remember from our last hash update that I vowed to never do another muddy hash! In honor of the 600th celebration there were 3 trails to choose from, a walkers, a runners and an Iron Man. Mike (Jacumba) decided to tackle the iron man, Jim and Renee the runners' trail and I stuck with the walkers'.

Here's Jim hanging out at the beer tent prior to the hash. Notice the mud!
Walkers heading out at the start. This part of the trail was beautiful and I found myself saying "if it could just all be like this." Then it hit me. It can! I decided right then that I really wasn't up for sloshing through the mud. What I wanted was a beautiful hike through the countryside. So that's what I did. I walked out the trail for about 15 minutes and then doubled back. Then I walked down the road a bit and then back up to where the race finished. It was beautiful, peaceful and I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude.

Here's Jim coming up the trail to the finish. He was running through a muddy area when he stepped in a hole and slipped, catching himself with his hand as he fell. He came down pretty hard and pulled something in his right shoulder. He cannot lift his arm above his head. Looks like he has a long recuperation ahead of him.

Jim, Renee and Mike with their incentive to run, an ice cold Carib at the finish. If it could only be this big!

There was plenty of food to go along with the beer. Grilled chicken or the traditional "Oil Down" were the fare of the day.

I think we're done hashing for awhile (Jim just read this and says he's not done). Jim needs to let his shoulder rest and we'll be leaving Grenada in about a month. But we hear they hash in Antigua so who knows!

Otherwise things have been quiet here. We play dominoes occassionally, go to the occassional happy hour with other cruisers or out for pizza. We've been at the sports bar alot lately watching the Milwaukee Brewers in the play-offs but that ended yesterday with their loss to the Phillies. Friends who spent the season in Trinidad are starting to work their way back this way so we're looking forward to seeing all of them. Life in Grenada continues to be good!