Monday, September 27, 2010


We visited Fort George today. Overlooking Georgetown it commands the entrance to the magnificent natural harbor which was used by the French and the Brits as they squabbled over and swapped the islands between themselves like chewing gum cards.

This was Gisela checking with the guide if that was in fact a rat!

But Fort George was also the scene of a more recent squabble for power which resulted in Maurice Rupert Bishop [1944-1983] who was then prime minister of Grenada and seven of his 'kitchen cabinet' being shot on October 13, 1983 by his Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard.

This was the cell in which Prime Minister Bishop and his pregnant girlfriend plus 5 others were held before being taken out, stood up against the wall of the Fort courtyard and shot.

This was the precursor to the invasion of Grenada on October 25, 1983 by a large contingent of US Forces.

After the invasion by the Americans, plus a few others to give the illusion that it was multinational force Bernard Coard and his cabinet were tried and found guilty.

In September 2004, the prison in which he was held was damaged by Hurricane Ivan and many inmates took the opportunity to flee, but Coard said he chose not to escape in an AP news article, saying he would not leave until his name was cleared.[1]

On September 5, 2009, Coard was released from prison.



is the fishing capital of Grenada and every Friday they close off a few streets, the vendors come out and those streets are filled with the smells of variations on fish and lobster fries/barbecues/stews/etc.

However some of the locals are just out on the mooch and doing very well too!

We joined a group of cruisers and shared an Island bus/taxi to Gouyave and sampled the wares on offer. Very good they were too. The ride up was scenic and we were very glad of the restraint shown by our driver as many madly driven cars, taxis and buses hurtled past us.


On Sunday we joined another group organised by that tireless warrior of the airways Lynn from Silverheels III and hiked in to the Seven Sisters falls. This was steeper rougher and muddier than we had bargained for, mostly because it had rained hard the night before.

We were also going to have an oildown which is Grenada's National Dish. There are lots of variations depending on which village your grandparents were from but the one we were to have had dumplings, chicken, salt fish, breadfruit, yams, bananas, kallalou and lots of local herbs. Everything was pretty wet and the boys lead by Super Butterfly, the one in yellow, had a hard time getting the fire started but it was soon smoking well and they seemed confident that all would be cooked by the time the leapers returned.

We had a great swim in the lower pools while the more intrepid group of cruisers lead by Super Butterfly headed for the upper falls with the intention of jumping their way back down to us.

We were kept entertained by a local rasta who arrived with 4 very well behaved dogs which he preceeded to wash in the pools below where we were swimming. The dogs were very obedient but it would have horrified any RSPA inspector to see how he picked them up by the scruff and hurled them out into the pool for their final rinse. However there was no yelping so perhaps this was a Sunday ritual.

The oildown in fact was soon steaming away and after a while the intrepid leapers were seen at the top of the last fall to be jumped. This was a bigger and more dangerous jump so SB was there giving last minute advice and encouragement.

But not all went well and one of the geriatric leapers landed less than perfectly and strained his back badly. Our decision to wimp out on the leaping seemed justifable but it did look like fun and the rest of the jumpers were on a natural adrenaline high when they arrived back at base camp.

The oildown was ready on time for the leapers return and it was so good we went back for seconds.

Well we needed to keep our strength up for the climb back to civilisation.

We were both very glad to see the car park but not as glad as one of the bus drivers was who looked like he might not make it at one point.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Rock and roll is not good, if it is the boat that is playing and not the music. We had a miserable night, well at least I did, Gisela slept through the night but I was up and down all night, trying to find a setting on the bridle to the anchor, that would keep me from needing a seat belt to stay in bed.

It was a funny swell that was doing the damage to us and it would start late afternoon when it was too late for me to be comfortable about dodging the reefs that lay outside many of the bays on the south coast of Grenada. On day one it quietened down around ten in the evening but on day two it built up all night and we were soon worried about loose stuff on tables and in the cockpit.

The wind had also got up and at least one person in the anchorage was happy about this as an expert kite surfer was weaving through the anchorage slaloming his board and lifting his kite over the masts as needed.

So next morning we upped anchor and plowed our way out then past Hog Island to Woburn Bay, now called Clark's Court Bay but it will always be Woburn to me.

I thought it would be crammed full but we had our choice of anchorages and tucked in close to Hog Island.

What a difference, the peace that passeth all understanding fell upon us, no more rock and roll with dishes clanking, tins in lockers rolling from side to side and anything not lashed down or wedged in tight threatening us with mayhem.

A good nights sleep and we were ready to go snorkeling. We found a tiny beach and worked our way out to a tiny reef to see what we could find.

This coral was new to me and was a brilliant white.

Two tone blue and yellow hog fish were everywhere, some a good foot long but anything that size was pretty gunshy and vanished as soon as I showed any interest in them.

On the way back to the boat we passed Rodger's Beach Bar and Barbecue which was started when I was out here last by Rodger who would dinghy out to hog Island on a Sunday with a cooler full of beer and the “bar” [ second palm tree] closed when he sold the last one. Now his Sunday barbecue is an island tradition and he can afford to stock more than a case of beer.


We were woken on Monday with a story on the cruisers morning VHF net of a single hander who had had his dinghy stolen on Saturday night by three local youths who hit him on the head with a conch shell when he confronted them. The locals who value the tourists and yotties have already informed the police as to who the likely suspects are and interviews will take place.


Well we got wet, very wet Monday afternoon on our way back in the dinghy and after a showery start on Tuesday we got a real downpour so I had to bail the dinghy twice today. Mind you it saves a shower and the rain is warm.

The forecast was for a 20 % chance of light showers which surprised me as the synoptics have been showing this area of disturbed weather heading our way for some time now. I suspect it will get it's act together soon and a depression or storm will form over the ABC islands soon.

Still we had a delightfull lunch ashore as the sole diners in the Little Dipper restaurant looking out over the bay and with a Nouni tree in full bloom outside the verandah attracting a myriad butterflies and one persistant and busy hummer, all after the nectar.


After some snorkeling we spent some time cleaning the barnacles off the outboard.

Note the high tech tool in my hand, a clear sign of Neanderthal intelligence.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It was another dark and stormy night!

Well I have had an eventful couple of days here with boats dragging in the anchorage in a thunderstorm in the afternoon then a big night storm with even more boats dragging and colliding with others. Lots of shouting and big waves and panic as it was pitch black, raining very hard and blowing 30 knots.

Nobody was hurt which is the main thing but there was quite a bit of damage done including dents in a steel boat called Buena Vista belonging to a nice yound German couple and one small boat washed ashore.

As well as other peoples anchor problems keeping me awake, I have had trouble with my electrical system, the main lighting circuit breaker kept tripping out at random intervals which may have been caused by the gas control solenoid failing as that went off and the toilet started leaking badly.

Ah well I thought everyting was going too well in the run up to Gisela's arrival.

Just to add a little more anxiety the area of disturbed weather sitting on top of Grenada was clearly developing into something serious. I was 12 hours from moving to a hurricane anchorage! However not to worry it has gone West and is just now being officially graded as a storm. Hurricane Igor is a monster and everyone in the Northern islands has been watching it fearfully but it has gone well North and will miss by several hundred miles. However it is such a large and powerful storm it will disturb the wind and waves all the way down to Grenada.

But the rains stopped and I got to work on the boat.

Well the toilet works, the lights stay on, there is gas to the cooker but the boat is not cleaned properly.

[ Gisela says cleaned - CLEANED - you cleaned that cooker? What was it like before? - you are just a batchelor ]

and I got to the airport in timw to meet Gisela of her flight from Barbados on LIAT. For those who fly regularly in the Caribbean LIAT stands for luggage in another terminal and they were true to form. Gisela was in Grenada but her luggage was in St Vincent.

But next day her luggage arrived. LIAT is good at that, they have lots and lots of practice!

The sun is shining the swell is down and life is good.

OH yes we have been hard at work doing the cleaning I should have done!

Gisela was wearing one of the many bikinis she had feared lost to the LIAT luggage monster.

It is very hot here even in the shade and Gisela christened her new bikini with a swim before we had lunch in the cockpit.

Lfe is definitely good!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


It is 4 days in a row now that we have had thunderstorms. Two boats are reporting hits with lots of fried electronics.

There has been lots of rain as well so my ladder job has been put on hold as it is too damp to use epoxy.

Still I have it at the point where I only need to cut the handholds and I guess I can risk doing that.

After the sticker shock I got when pricing teak I found a reasonably priced alternative and got a plank of greenheart which the local lumberyard even delivered for me FOC. Free always pleases my Scottish heart.

The thunderstorms are part of a low pressure area which may develop but hopefully when it has moved to the west of us. I hope it moves as at the moment it is right over the top of Grenada.

I will be in cleaning mode for the next day or so as the temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees F so it is possible to work inside without turning into a greasy blob of sweat in 30 seconds. It has been Hot Hot Hot with high humidity as well.

This decaying cumulonimbus cloud got lit up very nicely as I watched the blue drain out of the sky. Ten minutes later it the cloud had almost disappeared and the sky was deep grey.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Well Gaston fell apart in mid atlantic; not having the courage of his convections.

He is forecast to strengthen back to a storm and maybe even a hurricane but he has gone North and will not bother us down here in Grenada.

So as I was a bit hot this afternoon I went for a snorkel and after taking lots of photos and filling up my camera I saw my first ever lionfish. Natives of the Pacific apparently some escaped from aquariums in Florida during huricane Andrew in 1992 and their population has exploded throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean as they have no natural predators. However thet are predators on many reef fish so the ecology on many reefs is getting unbalanced. They now have official snorkel / scuba lionfish hunts where they go and kill as many as they can.

Still it was a spectacular looking fish pity I had filled my camera memory so did not get a shot of it. I deleted some but could not find it again.

Pic is from the internet! The one I saw was much darker in colour though.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


The Cape Verde hurricane factory is in machine gun mode. Firing a succession of storms across the tropical Atlantic as fast as it can.

Gaston is forecast to hit the Leewards next week and there is enough uncertainty as to its track to make everyone nervous, even as far south as Grenada.

Hermine ,that yellow splodge, is even more worrying as she may come south of the usual track.

Ah well time to move to hurricane DEVCON 2 and recheck the engine, anchor winch and passage plans to safe hurricane holes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

DARWIN AWARD Honourable mention

Kyle Dubois, 18 years old, attached an electrical clamp to one nipple while another student attached another clamp to the other. A third student plugged in the cord.

Yet another videoed the incident on his phone!

Kyle is suing his teacher for not warning him it was dangerous.

He gets an honourable mention for a jolly good attempt at removing himself from the shallow end of the human gene pool.