|Petite Ste Vincent from Petite Martinique|
|Small houses with beautiful flower gardens on Petite Martinique|
|The Maltese Falcon anchored behind us in Carricou. Largest sailboat in the world and has three unsupported masts. Very modern inside - you can Google it!|
|New marina and haulout yard in Clarke's Court Bay, Grenada|
|View of Prickly Bay, Grenada|
Grenadines to Grenada
April 16, 2017
We enjoyed the remaining time spent cruising through the Grenadine Islands. After Bequia and Mustique, we spent time on Canouan, Petite St. Vincent, Petite Martinique, Union Island, and Carriacou, some which were new stops for us. The distances between them is so short that it was no more than a morning's project to move. That is what makes this area popular for charterers. Although the wind blows hard, the islands break up the waves. The islands of Petite Martinique and Carriacou belong to Grenada, and the rest to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This presents interesting situations, like being able to dinghy between countries from PSV to PM. Fortunately they are not strict about formalities there. But we did have to travel back to Union to clear out and to Carriacou to check in to Grenada. There have been a few changes in the 3 years we have been gone, especially some new developments. Unfortunately prices and crime are both a bit higher. A frustrating change for cruisers is the placing of mooring balls in prime anchorages. Now you have to pay to be there. The question is who owns the water to do that.
PSV is another private island, like Mustique, which is one high end resort. ($1500 a night) But only guests are allowed to leave the dock and restaurant area. On Canouan, the whole north end of the island is a private resort area. But at least you can hike around the south and over to the Atlantic side. Union has the best airport, so has the most tourist businesses. Most people come to tour and dive around the Tobago Cays.
Starting in Carriacou, most of the boats in the anchorages have been live aboard cruisers. We have had a chance to meet some interesting new people as we did activities ashore. There are quite a few Canadians around. We sailed 32 nm along the east, then south side of Grenada to Clarke's Court Bay. Since we were here last, a new haulout yard and a marina upgrade has happened there. We wanted to see it, in case we chose a different yard another year. They are providing some competition to Spice Island, which seems fairly empty. But it is still early for hauling out. We are now anchored in Prickly Bay, waiting for haulout on Tues morning.
In Grenada there is a VHF net every morning giving you weather, announcements, events and commercials. There is also a facebook page for cruisers. That makes it easier to have activities that cruisers from any of the anchoring areas can participate in. There is more interaction with the local population, too. Usually there is an inexpensive bus with pick ups from several bays. We have been to a jazz jam at a Brewery, and a full moon party with bands and food and drinks on a beach. There are some great jazz players around among the cruisers, local business people, and staff at St. George's University.
There has been special music every night somewhere this week in the lead up to Easter. Kite flying is traditional here for Easter, with kites for sale in the markets. We may take a hike today to see them. They are not allowed near the bay as we are on the airport's flight path. We listened to a church service and music on the radio this morning, with eggs for breakfast. That will be our celebration. Sundays are family days here so no restaurants are open.
It has been since Nov 2015 that Maggie was launched from Spice Island Marina, two and a half years ago. She hasn't been stored since then, so we are working through a list to prepare her for sitting in the tropics for 8 months. We did make 4 trips home while she was in marinas. I'm looking forward to a flight this year that is in the same time zone. Our flight home is Sat, April 22.
All that traveling takes its toll on a boat, so we are slowly doing repairs and cosmetic work. An engine mechanic has come out and repaired the tachometer and 2 other gauges. The fridge stopped working with only a week left. At least the timing wasn't bad. The heads both need work. The canvas on dodger and bimini are worn out. And lots of small things.
But despite the work, and occasional frustrations, we do still want to continue sailing next season. But now we will be making up the plans as we go along.