November 2014 ~ Boatyard
Day 1536 ~ November 29th, 2014
Day 1534 ~ Happy ThanksgivingNovember 27th, 2014
Day 1533 ~ November 26th, 2014
Day 1531 ~ November 24th, 2014
Day 1530 ~ November 23rd, 2014
Day 1529 ~ November 22nd, 2014
Day 1528 ~ November 21st, 2014
Day 1527 ~ November 20th, 2014
Day 1525 ~ November 18th, 2014
Day 1524 ~ November 17th, 2014
Day 1523 ~ November 16th, 2014
Day 1522 ~ November 15th, 2014
Day 1521 ~ Medical BenefitsNovember 14th, 2014
Medical and dental prices appear, in written form, about the same as you would find in the states. Except here, you get to divide by 2.69 to figure out your USD outlay. I've also found many in the medical profession have been trained in the US, UK or India and then returned to Grenada to practice. Equipment isn't fancy, but it's generally fairly modern and just what's necessary to do the job.
It's been nice to find quality care but also know the fees aren't also paying for fancy designer furniture, extravagant vacations, or a boat-load of staff salaries. Calling the dentist's office about prices and services last year, when I was ready to make an appointment the man on the other end of the line turned out to be the dentist himself. He also does the cleanings himself, rather than a hygenist.
The chiropractor has a small room with a screen blocking the patient table. He has two chairs in the front half, one for himself and one for the waiting patient. The GP/dermatologist's surgery room also serves as her office and the receptionist has a few stacks of medical files behind her on a shelf, not rows of fancy color-coded file cabinets. Once they're out of date, the folders are turned inside out and reused for other patients.
Some price examples:
- Dental Cleaning/Exam - 105EC
- Dental X-rays (digital) - 10-15EC
- Fillings - 55-170EC
- Crown - 1000EC (+3-4 weeks as they send the mold to the US)
- GP standard visit - 70EC
- Orthodontist consultation - 50EC
The only one that is comperable to US prices is the chiropractor at 140EC per visit.
Day 1520 ~ Immigration ExtensionNovember 13th, 2014
Since the beginning of the month, the weather took a turn for the better. More wind, cooler days. Upon first clearing into Grenada, we are given a three month stay after which we must go to St. Georges to apply for an extension. The day broke wet and it just got wetter and I had a mile long dinghy ride to the bus stop. We had just moved into the cottage on land and I had forgotten several things, of course. One of these was a rain coat. I waited, and waited, and waited for a break in the rain. Finally, it was getting on to lunch time so I had to go since they're only open until 3pm. I borrowed a rain jacket from John and made a dash during a slight rain reprieve. When I got close to the dock, it started to rain and I saw a local fisherman struggling with his engine. Good choice on the rain coat. I puttered over and had to tow him back to shore as it just wouldn't start. The rain came down harder.
Slogging through the muddy path, I climbed the hill and hoped a bus would come soon. Not. After a half an hour, Trevor, a local taxi driver who lives on a boat near where we were, passed by with his shopping bus cruisers. Fifteen minutes later, he returned empty and I was still there, waiting. He offered to take me as far as the grocery store where he was picking up the rest of the cruiser shoppers. Nice to know some locals. Once that far, catching a bus was easy and I made to immigration without hassle. I was surprised, however, as what I anticipated to be a 40EC bill like we paid upon check-in, turned out to be 25EC per person fee, and that only gets us a one month extension. I had just enough money because Peter flew to Alaska and got another three months so I didn't have to pay for him. Whew.
One month should do it. Our engines are supposed to be here any day now so should only need three weeks to get them installed and complete all the boat yard projects.
Day 1519 ~ Boat YardNovember 12th, 2014
While Peter adjusted the rigging from our latest sail repair work, I took one more dinghy load to the cottage at Secret Harbor Marina. By then, it was time to start hauling up anchors and head out. What a messy job it was. Three months of growth and mud covered the dinghy in slime. That was the only the first anchor. The line we used, however, initially came pretty clean with just a spray-off with our hose.
We then transferred kids; Anna, Sara and Pippin to Discovery to spend the day and Kate and Emma with us to help with fendering once we enter the boat yard chute. Kids and animals situated, it was time to extract the Monster brittany. Using the halyard, Emma hoisted it up while I drove forward. The line was four times the diameter the attached slime. Once up high, it started to swing around tagging everything, including our brand new sail cover, with brownish-green goo. Nice. To make matters worse, our mast wasn't high enough so Peter had to tie it off so we could reattach and get it lifted complely out of the water. Soon, the deck, trampoline and Peter matched the slime-covered anchor. Emma and Kate began hosing everything off not thinking that we were heading into the wind so all the spray was coating the rest of the boat. I had them wait until I could motor around, then held position facing downwind to minimize the carnage. After about 45 minutes, we were heading out to sea under power for our hour-long trip.
Arrived in St. David's around 12:30p. All the workers were at lunch and they told us to standby on 16. Amazingly, after an hour, they called and told us to head over once the boat in the sling was launched. This is a good sign. However, when we got to the chute and flipped a 180 to head in backward, we were told to hold position while the diver in the chute finished. Only at Grenada Marine, only in the Caribbean.
We finally got in without incident, got lifted and then Peter went to work on releasing the rudder post and dropping it out while we were hanging in the sling. After the power wash, they moved us two boats down from where, four years ago we began our adventure on November 7. We've come full-circle...again.
We didn't realize it when they were blocking and chalking, but they set us nose-up at a pretty good angle. You'd think they would have the leveling routine down by now. Got things back in order, then called one of our taxi friends to take the girls and me back to Secret Harbor. Peter will begin ripping the boat apart tomorrow; glad we're not there to witness the carnage.
- Grenada Marine Harbour, St. Davids, Corinth, Grenada, Caribbean
- Grenada Marine (boat yard), St. Davids, Corinth, Grenada, Caribbean
- Cottage #1, Secret Harbor Marina, Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada, Caribbean
Day 1517 ~ November 10th, 2014
Day 1516 ~ November 9th, 2014
Day 1515 ~ Five Hour PlayNovember 8th, 2014
Emma and I, along with the Moms and teens from Amelie IV, Discovery and Rafiki and La Jeannoise kids, attended a Grenadian play, For the Love of Money. It began at 7:30p and we did pretty good following the story line and most of the dialog (the Grenadian accent is quite strong) for the first couple hours. However, it kept on going. By 10:30p, the curtain finally went down. It seemed like it ended abruptly, but we were tired and ready to go home anyway. The MC surprised us by only annoucing intermission and told us we could find food for sale out in the courtyard.
I think the audience was as surprised as us, but dutifully trooped out to the waiting BBQ chicken and fries. A half hour later, the lights flickered announcing the continuation, but by then we had food in our bellies and everyone involved chalked it up to a unique and unforgettable experience. Considering I invited them all, it was a relief to be with understanding friends. The play went on for TWO hours more, the final curtain falling at 12:30am. We thought, at that point, we could finally leave, but NO! The raffle was yet to take place. Good thing we stayed, because Emma's ticket was chosen and she won a basket full of food (see tomorrow's entry for contents).
Joe was there to pick us up and bring us home. I think we were finally in bed by 2am.
Day 1514 ~ Friend FrenzyNovember 7th, 2014
Bendecida is leaving for parts West this afternoon so Emma has been in a state of panic. In anticipation of the parting of friends, activities have been planned for just about every afternoon, as well as all weekend, for the past couple weeks. I would say, however, that today was the climax. For their last night together, the big girls slept over on Discovery. Well, slept is used loosely as we heard about their three-movie marathon which didn't leave much time for rejeuvenating sleep.
Normally, Emma does the Friday shopping bus for our family and she told us that she would still go. I was proud of her for not trying to ditch her responsibility and assume someone else would take over so I told her that I would go in her place. The look on her face when she was given the last few hours with her friends was priceless. We didn't see her for most of today.
They began with breakfast on Discovery followed by music and fixing hair on La Jeannoise. Around 11, it was time to head to Prickly Bay, a dinghy ride and 15 minute walk, to meet Bendecida who would dinghy them across the bay to the bus. From there, they ride in to St. Georges to the Merry Baker's Build-a-Burger Friday. The return trip was done in reverse and Emma finally wandered home in the late afternoon. Five minutes after sitting on the couch, she was out like a light.
Day 1513 ~ November 6th, 2014
Day 1512 ~ Surfing AgainNovember 5th, 2014
With imminent departures by several friends, the teens have stepped up their activity level to a near-frantic pace. Today, they're off to Bendecida for more surfing.
Day 1511 ~ Creative ConnectionsNovember 4th, 2014
On a boat, one must think outside the box. Our water tanks were empty with no rain predicted. Hauling water is possible, but that means two mile-long dinghy runs toting a 55 gallon bladder and a couple jerries, then return to pour the contents in the tanks one bucket at a time. Oh, yes, Peter is also in Alaska so the kids and I are it to carry out the 2 hour task. However, in this case, Discovery saves the day. They have a 40 gallon per hour water maker, so it's quick to replace, and just happens to be anchored 75 feet in front of us so John suggested we just hook up.
John swam the line over to tie on, then swam back with our garden hose. We tied buoys, life jackets and dingies on to prevent a wayward cruiser from clothes-lining himself. Forty minutes later, we were topped up with 120 gallons of fresh agua. Now that saved a few days of back pain.
Day 1510 ~ Teen YogaNovember 3rd, 2014
Gabi on Cool Change teaches kids yoga three times a week and wants to make a promo video for teen yoga. She reserved the yoga studio at True Blue Marina and invited our cruiser teens if they would be willing to be the subjects. Now, True Blue is three bays over from where we are and the roads in Grenada are not straight, but it all can be done without a car. La Jeannoise swung by our boat and dinghied them to Secret Harbor Marina. They walked over the hill where Bendecida picked them up in the dinghy to transport them to the other side of the bay. From there, they walked another mile or so to the next bay over to the studio, do the class and then repeat the return trip backwards. Can't say our teens don't get exercise!
Thanks to Carole from La Jeannoise who provided all but the final photo of their experience.
Day 1508 ~ 'Tis the SeasonNovember 1st, 2014
November first marks the 'official' end of the hurricane season. Consequently, 'tis the season when cruisers begin to study weather and wind in earnest to determine the best day for unfurling those sails and venturing north through the Caribbean or west toward the Pacific. Anticipating this mass-exodus, the kids are also ramping up their activities. Every afternoon is filled with some group activity or another just in case a weather window opens and one of their friends opts to take it. Today, La Jeannoise, a French-Canadian boat, invited all the teens to their boat for a day of swimming, music and fun so the kids donned their swimsuits, packed a lunch and headed out as soon as possible.
The last photo posted shows the areas where no one wants to be during the hurricane/cyclone/typhoon seasons around the globe. Source: NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks map on SpaghettiModels.com, where all kinds of other cool weather graphs can be found.