24 November 2019

Go Up! A Bit More on Grenada

Advice for cruisers, or other travelers, looking to detect the essence of cultures on these islands: go up, venture in.

Captain Linda Perry Riera

It is easy and comfortable to stay in the cruising neighborhoods of the islands. Semi-manicured marinas  and beach fronts with pruned palm trees, restaurants with pizza and wings, activities and socials for cruisers, lots of people that look like me. And although these nooks usually have a sprinkling of culture and evidence of the complex dichotomies that come with island living, we were reminded recently how rich the experience can be when we venture beyond the surface and just walk up the hill.

Anchored Off St. George's


After anchoring in Prickly Bay for the first 9 days after launch and spending much time still working on getting Argon and ourselves ready, we weighed anchor and enjoyed a leisurely short test sail along the southern coast and over near the capital city of Grenada, St. George's.

Simple, luxurious inaugural 8nm sail in very light winds. Enjoyed seeing dozens of turtles, a large sting ray, and even a small shark along the way in the calm, clear waters.

There is an expansive anchorage area just south of the capital of St. George's on the west coast. The holding is precarious as small rocks and dead coral are abundant with surprisingly scant sand and mud for a secure holding. It is not uncommon to have to try a few times to get a good set in this area.

Urban Hike


After enjoying the Hash through a beautiful, rugged, hilly (and muddy) 3 mile hike on the eastern coast recently, Bob proposed we do an urban hike. We had been admiring from afar the bright white pillared Parliament building perched high up above the city of St. George's and decided we would set out for a vigorous climb winding our way through back streets.


The city of St. George's is inviting with it's colorful facade climbing up the mountainside. Upon closer inspection on foot, grit and hardship are evident.

Hillside overlooking St. George's.

View of St. George's from nearby the Parliament building after an invigorating walk up. The anchorage (and Argon) is to the left just out of view off the peninsula.




So many interesting buildings and sites along the way. The infrastructure is good for a poor Caribbean island but extremely meager compared to standards back home. Sidewalks are rare and walking along the road takes much attention and jumping out of the way of vehicles whizzing by. We have learned to carry a flashlight when venturing out late in the day as streetlights are uncommon and the paved terrain is abundant with ditches, holes and other obstacles.


Flowers and produce are commonly sold on the street. My favorites include christophine (aka chayote), papaya, avocado, mango, potatoes and passion fruit.

More street vendors.


Grenadian traffic signal in the capital of St. George's. (There are no electric traffic lights.)


Popular weekend street market downtown St. George's.






Tending to the Tender - With Help from Patrick

While making one of the many lengthy dinghy rides in to the city from the anchorage, we noticed that the raw water cooling had restricted flow (even though the outboard was just serviced this past summer... argh!).

We were no longer near the shipyard where the outboard was recently serviced. But we were able to get connected with a local mechanic, Patrick, to help with figuring out what was causing the restricted raw water flow.



Partially in a torrential downpour, Patrick and I got the outboard to his work boat. Patrick was kind enough to give me a bit of a lesson in outboard servicing.



Replacing the impeller on a Tohatsu 6hp 4 stroke is extremely tricky (much more difficult than on our Volvo 55hp diesel). The crank shaft needs to come off (and, the more difficult part, is getting it back on).


The impeller was changed (although the original one looked good). We also inspected the thermostat which was extremely corroded (removed it - not needed with in the warm water); and cleaned out the area around in-take and outflow. The outboard ideally needs a bit more of an overhaul (including a new base gasket) which we will arrange to have done in the coming weeks further up the island chain.

Beach Bums for an Afternoon

We spend surprisingly little time hanging out at beaches while cruising. However, nearly three weeks after arriving in Grenada, we both enjoy an afternoon at Grand Anse Beach, just south of St. George's. I swam and we both indulged in an afternoon cocktail.


Surprisingly rare beach hang out.

And on to Carriacou, or Not....

We have been itching to start to make our way to the next island north all week but the winds have been uncharacteristically light (and often non-existent). With favorable winds finally forcasted we weighed anchor Sunday morning and, despite rain moving in, happily set sail up along the west coast. After a bit we had to fire up the motor, keeping the main up for some motor sailing, as the wind was light and on our nose when Bob heard a strange loud boing. It was pouring rain but we soon realized that the upper battens along the leech of the sail were hitting the back stay making a loud vibratory plucking noise and shaking the rig. We realized that the roach of the sail was jutting beyond the back stay... not good for the back stay, sail or rig.


Pic of the over-extended roach through the bimini window in a rainstorm. Fingers crossed that the sail maker will be able to quickly re-cut the roach of the new main sail so that we can finally, really, no kidding this time start our journey. We were surprised not to have noticed this the prior week during the initial test sail. But we had been sailing mostly down wind and in hindsight should have headed upwind more and done several test tacks.

After a quick conversation on what to do next, we agree to turn around and head back not to St. George's, but even further to Pricky Bay near where the sail maker is located. Ugh. Back where we began several weeks ago. But this is not a bad place to be stuck.




4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your adventures. Chris and I find ourselves missing our (much tamer than your) boating life so love following along. Fair winds to you!

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    1. Hi Susan - Wonderful to hear from you! I suspect you continue to enjoy your lovely NH home in lieu of the boat home. Very much hope we can meet up next summer (we will be docked in Boston all of July). And happy birthday to Chris :-)

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  2. Always enjoy reading about your adventures!

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    1. Hi Adam - Thank you for continuing to follow our blog! And hope to see you back in the northeast next summer!
      Linda and Bob

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