We are in Grenada!!! We still have a few posts about the Bahamas and they will be coming soon but we wanted to tell you a little about our new country.
|Out with our Bahamas flag (which has seen better days) and in with our Grenada flag.|
It is time to get your maps out and check out our new location. We are much further south than the Bahamas. Only 12 degrees from the equator!! The UV index is usually about a 12 here! We are now closer to South America than we are to North America!
So why are we so far south??
We are getting ready for the 2018 hurricane season. If you asked us last August where we would be for hurricane season this year we would have said you would probably find us in the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico. After Irma and Maria we thought we should probably come up with a new plan. Grenada is officially outside of the hurricane belt but we know we are not out of the woods so we have plans to haul SandStar out for the prime season of September and October.
How did we go from the Bahamas all of the way down to Grenada???
That is a great question and one that tested our ability to make changes to plans pretty quickly. We had a great route planned to take the boat from the Bahamas to Luperon, DR in early May and then from there make the trek down to Grenada. BUT the weather had different plans. May came around and we waited and waited and waited for a good window to leave. We were getting very windy and squally weather in what is normally a very calm month. We even hired a weather router to help us and he basically told us the weather was junk until probably sometime in June. We also found out when we did get our window it may be a very short one so we would need to do some long passages in some rough seas. Hmmmm.....let’s rethink this plan. Our goal for this adventure is to have fun and we wanted everyone to want to stay on the boat once it reached Grenada so we decided to have a crew take the boat south for us. We said good bye to the Bahamas and SandStar and flew to south Florida for a few days and stayed with Dan's parents and had hot showers (Yeah!!) and ate lots of our favorite foods. We were also able to do a little Amazon shopping and a little refresh on clothes since everyone was out growing their small wardrobe. We really needed to buy tennis shoes for everyone since we have been barefoot or in flip flops for the last 9 months and we had read Grenada was full of hiking trails. While we were in Florida we were able to meet up with our friends from SV Gato Rison who we met in George Town. It was great for the kids to see we really can meet up with people after meeting them while cruising and that a "good-bye" is hopefully a "see you later". After a whirlwind stop in south Florida we flew to Grenada to meet the boat.
|Picture says it all.... a big grocery store with a snack aisle! Haven't seen one in months.|
|We met up with our friends from SV Gato Rison. We met them in George Town.|
|It was great for us to catch with Gato too!|
|Flying to Grenada!|
We arrived in Grenada about a week before SandStar arrived so it gave us a chance to start understanding everyday life on land before we were seeing it from the water. We are definitely in a new place, with new people, new food, new landscape, new culture. It does take time to get use to your new surroundings and really try to understand how to live life here. Could we go to a resort and hang out on the beach?? Yes, we could and we might do that if we were on vacation but we have come to realize there is a big difference between cruising and vacation. With cruising, you will have your fun days and you will also have some work/chore days. We have been feeling the work side of things this week with cleaning up and fixing anything that broke on the boat from the passage south. One of the biggest things that happened was that the mainsail was damaged by bird spikes we had on the spreaders and we chafed both reef lines. In theory, the bird spikes were a great idea when we had so many birds in Florida making a mess on the boat. Over time some of the spikes bent and when the sail was up it caught some of the spikes. It looks like a small bear decided to climb horizontally across our sail. We have taken apart the boat and put it back together several times this week. We also have access to a pretty good chandlery (boat supply store) here in Grenada so we are able to do a few projects that we couldn’t do in the Bahamas.
|Looks like a small bear climbed across our sail.|
|It took two guys to get the mailsail down. It is huge and heavy.|
|Dan and Oscar trying to figure out what is going on with our water pump.|
This will be our home for a few months and we really want to have fun living around the locals and cruisers. Our first week was a bit of a shock to our system but this is part of the adventure – learning to live in new places. We didn’t feel as big of a change when we arrived in the Bahamas since it was located so close to the US and they are so connected to everything happening in the states.
What are some of the big differences?
Fruits – YEAH!!! Lots of mangos, limes, passion fruits, and guavas. They also have some we have never heard of before but we are looking forward to trying them.
|Some of the local fruits. Some we know and others we have no idea what they are!|
Soup – There is a whole culture of soups on the island. We have really been enjoying some of the local soups. Our favorite so far is Callaloo soup. Callaloo is a green plant that grows on the island that is a super food when it is cooked. The locals say they eat it at least once a week for the health benefits. But don't try to eat the leaves without cooking them. It is said that it will feel like razor blades going down your throat.
|The Callaloo plant|
Street Food – It took us about a week to finally stop on the side of the road and buy street food. Everyone is usually out selling food Thursday – Saturday. It can simply be a guy and a grill on the side of a mountain road. As you get further into town you will sometimes see bigger setups. It is usually bbq chicken or ribs. We did pass a guy grilling fresh corn and I am still kicking myself for not stopping. We passed by before we realized what he we selling and then it was too late to turn around (there is no turning around on the mountain roads).
|One of the larger street food vendor near the beach. It looks like one guy but there is actually three different vendors under the tent - bbq, juice, and soup.|
Spices – This is the spice island!! Everything revolves around nutmeg. Nutmeg in your sundowners, ice cream, porridge, etc….I am now on the hunt for a nutmeg grinder at the store this weekend so we can add some to our coffee.
Mountains – The elevation is up and down around the whole island. There is a rainforest is right in the center of the island. It is beautiful. You have to go over some hills and mountains to get to it. A lot different from Florida and the Bahamas.
|Lots of mountains!|
Driving – This is a white knuckle experience. We have a rental car for a couple of weeks and Dan has mastered driving on a road that is made for 1 ¾ cars. Not quite wide enough for 2 cars to pass with ease at a regular speed. All this is done driving on the left side of the road!!
|A two lane road in Grenada.|
Liming – Yes, that is a word here in Grenada and it is an actual activity. It means to sit back, relax, have a drink and hang out with friends.
|We did a little liming at the West Indies Brewery after a long day of boat projects.|
|Dan enjoying a local micro brew and Emma enjoying a local grapefruit soda!|
We have some good blogs coming your way about chocolate, rum, and hashing…. Stay tuned!!