Day 145, Year 6 A Little Exploration of St. George’s
Date: Friday, March 18, 2011
Weather: Sunny Day (morning rain shower); Wind E 10-15 knots
Location: Prickly Bay, Grenada
Grenada is the place that the US invaded in the 1980’s. Grenada has got hit really hard in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan which devastated the entire island. It is the smallest independent country in the western hemisphere, and according to the Lonely Planet, St. George’s, Grenada’s largest town, “has one of the most picturesque waterfronts in all of the Caribbean.” And today we enjoyed that waterfront.
But before exploring St. George’s, I’ll go back to the early morning. I had hoped to get the cockpit caprail varnished before heading to St. George’s, but an early morning deluge delayed the varnishing project. Howard and Judy of Laelia were planning to go into town with us, so Mark had to call and tell them we would be delayed. Once I was able to get everything dry after the short but heavy rain, I did get the varnishing done. We then called Judy and Howard on Laelia again and this time told them we were finally ready to head to town. We net at the De Big Fish and the taxi driver named Matthew offered to take us to town for $20 EC (Eastern Caribbean dollars) for the four of us. $20 EC equals $8 US. We said no thank you as we knew we could walk out to the main road and get a bus (mini-van) for $10 EC for all four of us. We started to walk on, but Matthew conceded to take us for the bus price. He’s a great guy and very knowledgeable about the area and he shared some of that information with us as we into town.
Matthew dropped us off near the cruise ship dock. There were two small cruise ships in harbor today, but he explained that they were too small to cause us major problems. When a really big cruise ship is in, it is best to stay away from town. We walked from the Esplanade Mall by the cruise ship docks to the public market and enjoyed the variety of fruits, vegetables, and abundant spices that are available here. I bought some limes to make Key Lime Pie and some green tomatoes to fry. Fried Green Tomatoes is one of our favorites. Grenada is known as the “Spice Island” with nutmeg at the top of the list and you can certainly smell and see the presence of spices in the market. After finishing our market visit we started walking back toward a deep bay on the east side of the downtown area. You can get there by climbing the steep steps up to the old part of town and then climbing back down again, or you can walk through the Sendall Tunnel built in 1894. The cars supposedly watch for pedestrians on the west side of the tunnel, but it is one-way, not very wide, and only seven feet tall. But we got through and found ourselves on the shores of what is known as The Carenage. This deep bay is where the passenger and cargo ferries hang out that head out to Grenada’s two small islands, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. We found the Ocean Grill Restaurant & Bar sitting out over the water and stopped there for lunch. Beef burgers are popular here and cost about $10 US a burger with fries. But the special today was Oil Down, Grenada’s food specialty which is stew of breadfruit, callaloo (spinach), pumpkin, dumplings, and some meat, all nicely spiced. Howard had this and shared it with all of us so we could get a taste of the local food. After lunch we started walking on around The Carenage, but it was mid-day and the sun was scorching, so we hopped on a bus to take us around to another bay called The Lagoon. This is the home of the Port Louis Marina, the Grenada Yacht Club, and Island Water World, the “other” chandlery on the island. Budget Marine is the chandlery at Spice Island near our anchorage area. We shopped long enough to realize just how much prices have increased since we left the US in 2005. We then hopped on another bus that took us to the traffic circle closest to Spice Island Marine. We stopped for a cold drink at De Big Fish and then got in the dinghy and head over to Prickly Bay Marina to pick up our filled LP gas tank. It was then back to Windbird and time to sand and varnish those Dorade boxes one more time. In the morning, I’ll do the last coat on the cockpit caprail and then we can ‘reassemble” Windbird for Steve’s arrival tomorrow night.
Mark’s sister Mary Ellen called us on the cell phone when we got back to Windbird this afternoon. She is doubtful that they will be joining us at any point in the next month, but they still have their return tickets from St. Martin, so we will remain hopeful. In the meantime, we are gearing up for our Caribbean cruise with Mark’s brother Steve. His sister Jeanie will meet us in St. Martin for a few days at the end of the month, so we are ready to cruise and enjoy these beautiful islands. And it is only 36 days until we meet our children and grandchildren in Puerto Rico!
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