Monday, December 30, 2013

Great Chart Accuracy

We don't have an electronic chart plotter in our cockpit, as it tends to draw the eye, making you drive the plotter rather than actually looking around to see where you are. However, down below, we have a computer with electronic charts, so we can look at our position if necessary. It really pays to know how accurate a chart is in any particular area. We've seen charts where our little boat icon is ashore or on a reef, when we're actually well positioned in deep water. But this chart of Prickly Bay, Grenada, seems to be spot-on. See where it says "Prickly Bay Marina"? To the left of the text is a black "T" sticking out into the blue water - that's the marina's t-head dock. And see the boat icon at the end of the dock? That's Mr Mac, tied up to the t-head, waiting to fill our water tanks. Now THAT is positional accuracy!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Grand Anse Beach

Cruise ship docked at St. George's, Grenada, with the mountains of Grand Etang in the distance
A few days ago we took the bus over to Grand Anse beach. We've seen it from the water, but never walked it. Just lovely. Across the bay to the north is St. George's (you can see the cruise ship at the dock), Grenada's capital and largest city. Beyond that are the mountains of Grand Etang, a national park with great rainforest hiking. This would be your beautiful view if you were staying at one of the relatively small and tasteful resorts along the beach.
Beautiful Grand Anse Beach

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Caribbean Christmas

Lori and Cheryl in festive moods and headgear

We had thought that we might be underway between Grenada and Martinique on Christmas Day, but we delayed due to predicted squalls. Good thing, because the squalls came through early early Christmas morning, nearly non-stop lightning and rolling thunder – not much wind, thandfully. So, we were able to attend the Christmas pot luck at Clarkes Court Bay Marina. The marina provided ham, turkey, stuffing and gravy, and attending cruisers all brought a dish. Waaay too much to eat, but it was all delicious, and we got to see friends again before we take off. We hope everyone had a very happy holiday, whatever you celebrate.


...and after

The dessert table

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beautiful Exotic

While snorkeling in Culebra, we happened upon this beautiful specimen. I looked it up—orange cup coral—only to discover that it’s an Indo-Pacific species that has been spreading throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida since the 1940s. Lovely, but it really shouldn’t be here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Neighborhood Block Party

Chris showing off his tag for our mail box - #7565

When we had some friends (Lori and Ken on Reality Check, and Harry and Melinda on Sea Schell) over for drinks last week, we realized that we’re all neighbors in the states – at least, our mailing addresses are all 411 Walnut St., Green Cove Springs, Florida. This is the St. Brendan’s Isle mail-forwarding service, which many cruisers use. So someone came up with the idea of a block party. The next night, nearly twenty folks brought appetizers as we gathered for drinks at Clarkes Court Bay Marina. Some were 411 Walnut St. “residents”, others weren’t, but we all had a great time.


Monday, December 16, 2013

True Blue Christmas Bazaar

Chris building up energy to shop the bazaar

Looking at jewelry made by Vee and Cynthia
Sunday was fun, attending a Christmas Bazaar at the True Blue Resort. This is a pretty resort, small and intimate, just west of Prickly Bay, Grenada. Since we’re anchored farther east in Clarkes Court Bay, we took a van over with a bunch of other cruisers. Lots of local artists exhibit their wares at the bazaar, including many artistic and crafty cruisers that we know: Vee on Blues Breaker, Cynthia on Minx, Sue on Luludu, and Helen on Iguana. When we attended two years ago, I bought a couple of pretty shell ornaments decorated with crystals, and it turns out that I bought them from Sue, though I didn’t know her then. The resort just opened their new Blue Haven Spa, and Lori on Reality Check and I received their very first massages – they were providing free mini-massages to honor the occasion. Very nice. We browsed and bought a couple of little things – killer guava preserves and hot pepper jam made from all local ingredients, and a small woven tray made by a local folks with disabilities –  then had a cool libation and chatted with friends until our ride returned to pick us up. The wind was howling, so the dinghy ride back to the boat was pretty wet, and we jumped in the water for a swim before rinsing off.

The lovely ladies of the Blue Haven Spa

Bazaar on the deck overlooking the blue Caribbean

Oooh, rum punch with fresh-grated nutmeg on top!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yacht Spotting: Atmosphere

Before Atmosphere arrived, the motor yachts on the dock seemed big!
Pretty motor-sailor that was docked at the privately owned Calvigny Island here in Woburn Bay, Grenada. Delivered in 2000, she’s 173 feet long and nearly 38 feet wide. A crew of ten takes care of twelve passengers. Of course, she’s got all the toys: various tenders and dinghies, inflatable water slide, dive gear, water skis and knee boards, wind surfer, and kayaks. And if you’re tired after all that fun, you can relax in the Jacuzzi on the aft deck. She moves at a max of 15 knots, and it seemed like she was doing that coming in the channel, considering the bow wake she was throwing. All this, for only $205,000 per week!