So, last report, April 4th, Cat Tales and Peace & Plenty were in Tyrell Bay, Carriacou. We received a good weather report and decided, for the first time, to attempt to go down the east, or windward side of Grenada. We were rather nervous, since Dawn and I had attempted the east side of St. Vincent a few years ago with s/v Free Spirit. We had found outrageously confused seas as the waves and wind reverberated off the steep island. Worse, the wind that should have kept us going came and went as it got backed up from the hills, and the current constantly hauled us nearer shore. Ultimately, we motored through the awful waves and thrashing.
But this time, the trip down Grenada wasn't bad at all. We chose to stay at least 4 miles away, the waves were manageable, the wind was constant, and it was better than having to motor down the west side. We pulled around the corner into St. David's harbour after only 4.5 hours.
The plan allowed us to visit a number of harbours on the south coast, and travel downwind to Prickly Bay. It was nice to have avoided the upwind slog from St. George's to Prickly; and the visiting was fun too. We only actually stopped in St. David's and again in Clarke's Court; but got to see the two other boatyards, clean up our boats in the flatter waters, visit with s/v Tiger Lily II and s/v Sittatunga (and others), and try out many of the eating and drinking spots we had heard about over the years.
|We love the creativity on these islands!|
|Laurie and Brian tying and locking dinghies while we go to lunch.|
|We thought it was just a sign, but it really was an iguana crossing!|
The bays themselves are no great shakes: wind blows through them, waves are rather constant except in a few corners, and the water is tremendously polluted and cloudy. Some of the water problem is simply because of mangroves that line almost every bank, and the freshwater streams that come in from every cleft; but not completely. These streams run far inland, and are polluted by sewage and, in the case of Clarke's Court Bay, by the industrial runoff of the island's largest rum distillery. Not a place for swimming, although I did get in and give the boat's bottom a final scrape and wash in St. David's.
|Laurie working on the washing and waxing of Cat Tales while out in the bay. We leave wax on for the summer season and then wash is off with soap and water on our return.|
Even more than Tyrell Bay, the Clarke's Court area is the last stop for a large population of very crusty old sailors, from Canada, US, Britain, and parts of the EU. Mostly male and alone, they spend their days at the rum shops or enjoying the community gatherings. They head back to their boats at night in dinghies that should have or actually were thrown away, and dare to sneak through the speeding local pirogues in the dark without lights. Their boats all seem to be old and in need of work, much like their dinghies, and we imagine their banter at the rum shops might be about how they intend to find a solution to a major problem on board ...maybe next year. We took a dinghy ride around to see some of these boats. Most appear to show scars from the 2004 hurricane, with some just plain neglected but lived in. There are retired couples betwixt and between; keeping the community together with jam sessions, pot lucks, beach barbecues, trivia games and the absolutely necessary weekly domino games.
|I think you can close the curtains on this boat!|
We organized at least three wonderful lunches ashore, some with other boats, before we made the last jump to Prickly Bay. Dawn and I had organized a full week ashore, while Lorna and Brian did a great job of getting the boat ready on the water, and pulled out only 2 nights before joining us on the same flight home on the 20th of April. Of course, we got together for a night at the craft brewery, two meals at the new Prickly Bay restaurant, and one meal at the Greek restaurant at the University. Eating out is a pleasure of ours on ALL the islands!
We are now back in Canada enjoying the coolish spring weather and all the fun stuff, like a car, washer/dryer, hot running water and a flush toilet!!!
|Since we never did find our leak, we're hoping the tarp has covered it!|
|One more sexy catamaran! This one is called Helicat Red. Yup, that's a helicopter landing pad on the back end!|
Biggest news is that I was introduced to a new tool, an impact driver. It is like a screw driver except that it turns when you hit it with a hammer. Two different boaters came to me in the yard to ask that I try it after hearing me tapping at a large screw on my traveler every few hours, attempting to drive in the penetrating oil. They knew I was in trouble, and indeed, it might have been a lifetime of tapping without the tool. As it was, the little hammer that came with the boat actually broke from my efforts before I tried the driver. I promptly ran down to Ace Hardware and bought my own, I was so impressed.
The usual maintenance and decommissioning work was done, but we also began in earnest our efforts to stop up the leak that is delivering water to the port hull at the forward bulkhead. We used a combination of butyl tape and 3M 4000UV on the port pulpit, toerail and one stantion, all the toggles of the windshield, and all the snaps of the window sunscreens. We also wrapped the salon in tarp to attempt to minimize the water that might cause mould while in storage. More rebedding will occur in the fall.
Over our 5 months of sailing, we were hit by other boats numerous times, and these hits have to be addressed. One was just a propeller cut of the anchor bridle, and I spliced the ropes. The Hobie Cat 16 hit to the stern was repaired in the Saintes, but the colour match was made with spray paint. Since another hit, one causing leaking at the swim ladder, is going to require some gelcoat, I'll redo that one as well next season. A starboard bow scrape also needs gelcoat.
Other pending plans include replacing all the emergency u-bolts at the waterline, regluing bilge switches that let go, replacing dodgy-looking hose clamps, non-skid on the swim steps, reloading the bearings in the traveler car, and other things. Who would have thought that 7 days in a boatyard would make such a small dent?