Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Island Life

We often get questions about how we spend our time, especially during hurricane season when we stay in one place for months. Any location that has a large number of cruisers like Grenada has no shortage of activities.
A trip in to St. George's for boat parts is always better if you stop for lunch. We find it lessens the pain of all the spending we do at marine stores, hardware stores, etc. The restaurant on this trip was the Horni Baboon at the Lazy Lagoon.

A week ago we joined other cruisers at an auction that was held to benefit the Mount Airy Young Readers Program. Here's Chris, the skipper of Verna Breeze acting as auctioneer. The proceeds of the auction will buy books and supplies for the tutoring program that many of the cruisers volunteer their time for. They tutor the kids once a week in English, reading and math.

Hanging out with friends while we wait for the auction to begin.

Ray (S/V Highthawk) and Jim hamming it up for the camera.

There were even a few pirates there to rob us of our loose change. The auction, which was totally organized by cruisers raised over $2500 U.S. dollars!
There are lots of weekly events to take advantage of if one feels so inclined.
Sunday - dominoes at Clark's Court Bay Marina and barbecue at Roger's Beach Bar.
Wednesday - Burger Night at Clark's Court.
Saturday - Potluck at Clark's Court
Happy Hours at all the bars often with live music. We went to De Big Fish for pizza and to listen to the blues on Saturday.
Add to that the occasional swap meet, special tours and events and there's lots to keep you busy.
The best event of the past week was the celebration of our 30th Wedding Anniversary on October 13th. We started the day with chocolate croissants and mimosas. That evening we had a wonderful dinner at the Dodgy Dock Restaurant at the True Blue Bay Resort. I planned to take pictures as we were all dressed up for a change but arrived at the restaurant with a dead camera battery. Nuts! You'll just have to use your imagination. Trust me, we were gorgeous!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Island Tour

Last week we took an island tour with our friends Pat & Geoff (S/V Beach House), their son Bil and Ray & Genna (S/V Nighthawk). Even though we spent 6 months in Grenada last year, there was still lots for us to see.

View of St. George's and the Carenage.

Our first stop was Conford Falls, a waterfall easily accessible down a flight of stairs from the road.

Next stop was a spice factory where we learned about the local spices and their uses.

Left to right: ripe nutmeg splitting out of the fruit, a cocoa pod, dried cocoa beans and dried mace which is the orange part covering the nutmeg.

Guarding the spices.

Cocoa beans drying in the sun.

The ancient scale used to weigh the spices.

Drying spices. The process hasn't changed in centuries.

Women carry these baskets full of nutmeg on their heads. I managed to stand perfectly still with an empty one.

Fishing boats on the beach at Gouyave.

An ancient indian carving on a rock near Gouyave.

Lunch was at a beautiful little resort called Petite Anse. The view was spectacular!

After lunch we stopped at Leaper's Hill. I'll let you read the story....

This is where they leaped to their deaths.

Finally, what we've been waiting for. Rum!

Rivers Rum Distillery has been in operation since 1785. They still use the original water wheel to generate the power to crush the sugar cane.

This is the crushing mechanism that the water wheel drives.

The crushed cane after the juice is extracted. Nothing goes to waste here. This will help fuel the fire in the furnace.

This is where the juice is boiled before fermenting.

Fermentation happens here.

Feeding the furnace.

The only modern day equipment in this distillery. Save the rum!

The Still.

Outside on the sugar cane we witnessed this duel going on. We didn't stay around to see the outcome.

This machine is used to measure the percentage of alcohol in the finished product.

Our guide Patsy said we should start our tasting with the good stuff, 75% alcohol and 150 proof!

Here's the before.....

..... and the after! Enough said!

The drive home was through the beautiful Grand Etang rainforest with a stop at Grand Etang Lake. The air was cool and refreshing at this spot in the mountains.
It was a wonderful day spent in great company. This island never disappoints!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life in Grenada

Our friend Renee told us to get off our lazy butts and update our blog. She's right, we have been lazy. Too lazy to haul our computer ashore to get internet access. We've been anchored in Saga Cove on the east-side of Hog Island, Clark's Court Bay and we can't pick up a signal from there. That's right Renee and Mike, we know you can't believe it but we've actually been moving around a bit this year! We spent 2 weeks in Mount Hartman and 2 weeks in Clark's Court Bay. We moved the boat back to Prickly Bay yesterday for our last few weeks in Grenada. The first thing I did was boot up the computer and check email. We were starting to feel really out of touch so if anything interesting has happened in the world in the last few weeks you'll have to let us know. We wouldn't know!
We have taken some great trips around the island, seeing places we didn't see last year. This is Bathway Beach at the northeast tip of the island.

This was once a beautiful beachfront home. Our guess is damage from hurricane Ivan.

Nature has a way of creating the most beautiful designs. Check out these patterns in the sand.

What a beautiful spot to spend the afternoon.

Here's a quick Bailey update for you. Her new favorite place to take a nap is in the locker in the head.

She'll go in and sit on the toilet until we open the door for her.

A package of toilet paper makes a great mattress.

She's always liked closets for naps. Nice and dark and no one to bother her. Now could you all leave!

Another excursion. This time it was just the ladies. A bus-full of us headed up to the Belmont Plantation for lunch and a tour of their gardens. The plantation also grows and processes cocoa that is used to make the fantastic Grenada chocolate.

The museum at the Belmont Plantation, up close.......

....and a view from down the road.

We drank mimosa on the bus, had a wonderful lunch and tour and just enjoyed being out with the ladies.
We'll get some more pictures posted soon. I promise Renee!