Day 133, Year 6 Atlantic Passage, Day 30-Arrival in Grenada!!!
Date: Sunday, March 6, 2011 (1730 UTC)
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day; Wind NE 10-14 knots
Air Temperature: 82 degrees F
Latitude: 11 59.761 N
Longitude: 061 45.789 W
Miles Traveled: 3928 + 1878 S Africa to St. Helena
Location: Prickly Bay, Grenada

Passage Statistics St. Helena to S Africa:
3928 miles in 696 hrs 50 mins (29 days 50 mins)
Sailing Hours-616 hours 25 minutes
Motor Sailing Hours-80 hours 25 minutes
Average Speed-5.6 knots per hour

TOTAL Passage Statistics S Africa to Grenada:
5806 miles in 1036 hrs 10 mins (44 days 3 hrs 10 mins)
Sailing Hours-935 hours 30 minutes
Motor Sailing Hours-100 hours 40 minutes
Average Speed-5.6 knots per hour

Whoa! What a lot of miles and hours and minutes. And what a challenging passage! But the bottom line is that we are here in Grenada after 44 days at sea. We are safe and sound and are anchored beside a boat we know from Sail Indonesia. We met Howard and Judy Wang in Darwin and ended up in Ao Po Marina in Thailand together later that year. They went through the Red Sea to the Mediterranean last year and came across the Atlantic this fall. We had heard from other friends who read our log, Jean and Ken of Renaissance 2000, that Judy and Howard were here, so it was no surprise. But it was a wonderful feeling to pull into the anchorage and have friendly faces waving hello to greet us.

Forty-four days at sea is a long time and after arriving and inspecting Windbird, she shows the wear. The waterline has tons of gooseneck barnacles at the stern and for about six inches above the waterline Windbird looks like she decided to grow green hair. This is really a green algae that is very hard to remove. I learned this the hard way when we arrived in the Marqueses in 2006 after only 22 days of passage. I found the only way to get this algae off is to spray it with Clorox, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it off. The Clorox kills it and it then no longer adheres. I’m afraid to think what the Clorox might do to the Alwgrip paint job we had done in Thailand, but I am even more afraid of the almost impossible task of scrubbing it off without the help. The other signs of wear are more serious. We have the blown-out mainsail, the frayed lower aft stays on both the port and starboard sides, the broken toggle that connects the inner forestay to the chainplate, the Dorade box top and the cowl vent that are missing because they were swept overboard by a staysail sheet. I think that that sums up the damage. So we’ll start dealing with this first thing tomorrow morning by visiting the sailmaker here in the bay. One day at a time, we’ll get Windbird back in shipshape condition. We owe that to her for getting us here safely.

Once we arrived here at 10:50 am this morning “our time” (7:50 am local time) we scurried about doing all the things you have to do when you arrive in an anchorage after passage. The bedding is taken off the passage berth and the main saloon is returned to a living area. The dinghy has to be lowered and lines need to be coiled and stored. Not long after, Howard and Judy came over to say hello and offered to go to shore to see if the Customs and Immigration Office was open on a Sunday. They returned with good tidings. The office was open. So we headed to shore to check-in and to visit with Howard and Judy. The Prickly Bay Marina where the Customs Office is located is tiny, but there is a tiki bar and a small restaurant. We all had a cold drink and then went back to our dinghies to head further into the bay to Spice Island Marine. This is the “working” part of this bay where Budget Marine (like West Marine) is located along with many other yacht services. Nothing was open today, but we got to see what is here. We walked out to the main road and down the road to the “Blue Machine”-the local ATM-and got our first EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollars. We then walked back to Spice Island Marine and decided to keep on walking toward True Blue Bay. Actually we were looking for some place that was open to have a bite to eat. We eventually ended up at Dodgy Dock. This is the name of the bar and restaurant at a beautiful little hotel on the waterfront. I had a Caesar salad that was big enough for at least two people and Mark had a cheeseburger and fries, and again the portions were huge and the presentation was elegant. It was a fun afternoon with friends.

I can’t end this log without mentioning the “interesting” sailing we had the last 24 hours of the passage. Just when we needed to slow down to make sure we arrived in Grenada in daylight hours, the negative current that had plagued for seven days disappeared and came back as positive current that got stronger with every hour. Yesterday we furled all the sails and were still moving along at 4.9 knots with 13-15 knots of wind under bare poles. At one point we had 3.8 knots of positive current. It diminished somewhat the closer we got to Grenada, but enabled us to “sail” in with no sails. And that was a good thing since we no longer had a mainsail!

And last but not least we want to wish a very happy birthday to our friend Alan Kanegsberg from Concord, NH. Alan and his wife Helaine toured New Zealand with us in February and March of 2007. Alan and I celebrated our birthdays on New Zealand’s south island that year and we went on a tour of Milford Sound on Alan’s birthday. It was a wonderful experience, even though it was cloudy and rainy, and I’ll never again have a birthday without thinking of Alan. Happy Birthday!

110306 Day 133 Grenada–Passage from St. Helena to Grenada
110306 Day 133 Grenada–Walk to True Blue Bay