October 2015 ~ Grenada

Chronological Order

Day 1870 ~ Post Sugar RushOctober 29th, 2015

After a long night of 'hearty dissapation', as Peter says, everyone was slow-moving today.  Twentse Meid stopped by to bid farewell and we, too, started looking for weather windows for our own departure day.

 

Day 1869 ~ Trick or Treating, Cruiser StyleOctober 28th, 2015

My last event to organize before we head out from Grenada was trick-or-treating around the bay.  Peter said we'd stay until then and I promised I wouldn't take on anything new.  This is our third year of doing this in Grenada and a couple boats, who left for other islands, planned to return just for this and the kids party.

I started announcing it on the cruiser's Net a couple weeks prior.  By the event day, we had 48 kids in 9 dinghies and 26 boats giving out candy.  Last year we had the same number of boats, but they were spread out between three different bays so having them all in one bay was really handy.  I'm not sure who had more fun, however, the treaters or the treatees.  Some even dressed up to hand out the sugared goods.

A local photographer brought his drone to film our event.  Here is the video he posted on YouTube.  Nika's driving our purple dinghy, I'm in a borrowed one, Nina's in the dinghy with the driver in the orange shirt and Nana is still back at the boat getting ready with her friends.

After returning and treating at the boats on the dock, the kids all went up to the restaurant to sort and trade.  By this time the sugar had kicked in and they were abuzz with energy.  They were still going when the DJ set up for the adult party and many stayed on to dance and play.  The bubble machine helped to keep it a family affair as several kept going long into the night.

 

Day 1868 ~ ProposalOctober 27th, 2015

Paula on Daystar was elected to present a plan proposed by Nicole and Nana to take Nana along with them when they venture south to Guyana & Suriname in a week or two.  For returning her to our boat, we would either fly her back or meet up with them when they came north, potentially not for a month or more.  We said we'd sit on it and get back.

 

Day 1866 ~ October 25th, 2015

 

Day 1865 ~ Kids PartyOctober 24th, 2015

Again, my teen team came through.  They showed up and, although the kids event was a bit disorganized, we all managed to get some games going for the kids party.  The ponies were a no-show and the bounce house arrived a couple hours late, but the kids had fun on the trampoline, getting their face painted, winning prizes for the stall games and running a motorized blowup toy through an obstacle course.  Like last year, the bubble machine was a huge hit.

One of the cruisers gave me 50EC (18USD) to spend on Halloween so, to thank the kids for their help both days, I used it to buy chicken nuggets and fries for the helpers.  Secret Harbour, who was in charge of the event, matched it.

We're proud of our teens.

 

Day 1864 ~ Halloween HelpOctober 23rd, 2015

Secret Harbour planned a kids Halloween party for Saturday so I offered to find teens to assist with decorations and the day-of, which they gladly accepted.  The kid decorating team showed up and the place was decorated in very short order.

Later that night, we went to meet Tinka's parents who came to visit and were staying in one of the cottages.

 

Day 1863 ~ The Grand TourOctober 22nd, 2015

The back story to today's entry is that on Saturday night, around midnight, Pippin woke us up with his alarm bark.  We looked out of our port hole windows and saw a boat out of place.  Turned out, when our sleepyness cleared, that it was a drifting boat, slowly bobbing through the anchorage toward the western reef on a windless night (how often does that happen?!).  We hopped in the dinghy and went over to our neighbor's boat where we saw lights in the cockpit.  He and a friend were still up chatting so they both came out to help as well.  Pulling the end of the bridle brought up an open clip so it must have come off a mooring; how the clip just opened wasn't evident.  Unable to start the engine due to no key, we thought we could tow it but, when one of the guys turned the wheel a little, we heard a loud pop and the rudder would no longer move.  Trying to anchor was also impossible as the dinghy was set up over the anchor box.  Needless to say, the owner left for the summer obviously overconfident of the mooring gear.

By this time a third man came out to help.  In discussing where to put the thing until morning with a rudder stuck over to one side, Dave offered to tie it on the back of his boat.  With three dinghies to steer and tow and Peter up on the boat calling out which dinghy to push or pull, we managed to secure it and head back for a few more hours of sleep.

In the morning I called George, a Grenadian who runs one of the shopping busses and also manages several moorings, and found out the boat was in his charge.  He was so grateful for our assistance that he offered all who helped out a free island tour, along with anyone else we wanted to bring along.  Nina and Nana had birthday party obligations and Peter had to work so Nika invited a friend to come with her and I invited our Dutch friends.  We were 12 total.

George owns a few acres of land north of Gouyave that he checks up on every Thursday, but would take us wherever we wanted to go after that.  He wants to develop his land and offer tours or some sort of wilderness experience to tourists.  He took us to the Diamond Chocolate Factory and we also stopped to tour the Nutmeg Factory with a break for lunch in between.  We started at 9am and returned around 5pm; all had a great time and it was a very relaxing trip.

 

Day 1862 ~ October 21st, 2015

 

Day 1861 ~ A Two-For TourneyOctober 20th, 2015

Cruisers will do just about anything for alcohol.  A cruiser helps you with a task?  Give him a beer and he'll be happy.  Have something to sell?  Offer it for a beer payment and someone will take it.  Volleyball is no different.  Secret Harbour hosts a tournament and offers a case of beer to the winner.  Simple and everyone is happy.  However, with the admission of an under-18 team, the volleyball prizes had to be slightly modified this year because the teen team won third place.  A simple challenge to overcome because pizza to teens is like beer to cruisers; the kids ate it up with relish.

Peter's team won the tournament and got the trophy.  Carlos' team came in second place.  Two of the winners came from Day Dreamer.  What a deal.

 

Day 1860 ~ What, No Volleyball?!?!October 19th, 2015

The day started out normal.  Lessons in the morning, hanging out in the afternoon.  Elliott, aka Easy E, brought his DJ equipment to the restaurant for an afternoon of easy listening music.  However, at the volleyball court, one was met with only silence.  The court was empty, the spectator benches were silent.  Could it really be possible that everyone is burned out from playing volleyball?  With the court being busy three-six days a week for the past three months, we never thought it could happen, but it did.  Amazing.  That would explain all the blank faces wandering about the marina grounds.  ha.

 

Day 1859 ~ First and ThirdOctober 18th, 2015

By now everyone is exhausted.  Volleyball every night starting at 6pm and going until 8 or 8:30 for the last week and a half is wearing.  They haven't been able to start earlier due to the Calivigny and Secret Harbour teams work schedules, not to mention a smattering of other team members.  Five sets were played last night and another seven tonight.  I lost track of scores, but the spectator benches were full and cheering 'til the bitter end.  Peter's team remained unbeatable, except the kids did win one game against them, shaking their winning streak and forcing them into a third tie-breaker.

Carlos' team, who rose victorious through the losers bracket ended up going against The Renegades in the end, but that ended up a fight to the bitter end.  By now, the teams were exhausted and, after two games, they ended up tied.  If The Crazies won the third game, then they'd have to play one more set and I'm not sure anyone wanted to play another 30-45 minutes.  It was decided, however, in this round; the Renegades squeaked in a win, it was over and we could finally go home.

All the teams played well, all improved their game and everyone had a great time.  The kids really shined, ended up holding on to their third place standing, and showed that even 'kids' can play with the 'big boys'.

 

Day 1857 ~ Mega StuckOctober 16th, 2015

Gramma and Grampa got off to the airport thanks to Joe first thing this morning.  Being so early and in the next bay on land, we said our good-byes last night.

The kids were off on the shopping bus this morning and then the afternoon was spent hanging out.  When walking Pippin up by the bat house, I looked down and noticed a mega yacht facing an odd direction.  Sure enough, they were stuck on the reef.  The cruiser radio came alive and, before long, a slew of sailors were headed out to help the poor power boater in distress.  Peter thought to take his snorkel gear and discovered that the captain had managed to back down and dig the propellers well into the coral reef.  Oops.  After suggesting they dump their 600 liters of water to lighten the boat, the dinghies were able to spin the yacht around and tow it out past the reef for the night, well past the sailboats at anchor.  They can assess their damage at the dock in the morning.

The volleyball tournament championships, double elimination, began tonight so excitement was in the air.  Peter's team got a by in round one and Nina's team won their round against Tinka's team.  Round 2 got more exciting as the kids tied with Carlos' #2 ranked team after two games, then beat them by the skin of their teeth in the third game. Carlos was none too pleased as it put his team into the losers bracket.  While not a great way to start the championship round for him, the kids were ecstatic to say the least.

 

Day 1856 ~ Volleyball is Our LifeOctober 15th, 2015

Since Gramma and Grampa have A/C, hot showers and internet, the girls have been spending time in the apartment.  Either one, two or all three have been spending nights there so it works well.

In volleyball news, the kids (Plan B) beat the Marina Boyz 2-0 and The Renegades got a by against the withdrawn team.  Final standings in the Round Robin puts Peter's team in first place and the teens held on to their third place standing.  The next three days will be crazy because they're going to complete the championship games by Sunday night.  Final Round Robin standings, click here.

 

Day 1855 ~ More VolleyballOctober 14th, 2015

Gramma and Grampa came over to spend the afternoon with us and watch a little volleyball.  They also treated us to dinner before the games.

In volleyball news, because that is our life right now, Nina won their set 2-0 and The Renegades were up against Carlos' second placed team and had to, again, play three sets to keep their first place standing.

 

Day 1854 ~ Painting VolcanoesOctober 13th, 2015

Today after regular lessons, the kids got together to paint their volcanoes.  At the end of the week, they'll get to simulate a lava flow.

Tonight, Nina's team faced off with Peter's team, but lost both games.

 

Day 1853 ~ Hanging OutOctober 12th, 2015

We brought Gramma and Grampa over to hang out a the boat a while.  Peter and his Dad tackled a few small electrical projects.  The girls and Gramma played games.

Evenings are spent at the volleyball court.  Nina's team won their set 2-0 against Tinka's team.  However, The Renegades (Peter's team) had to go to a third tie-breaker game to win against the Marina Boyz (Secret Harbour staff).

 

Day 1852 ~ ChurchOctober 11th, 2015

A couple years ago we took a tour with a taxi driver named Joe.  Turned out he is also a pastor of a local church.  Being as though most Grenadians don't own cars, Joe ends up giving rides to his parishioners.  I've been going fairly regularly as it's good for my soul, but I also don't incur ear damage while at it.  Islanders like to 'feel' the music and crank up the volume whenever possible.  Local churches are no different and they usually like their music ear-splitting loud and their sermons boisterous (delivered a microphone just in case you'd miss something I guess).  Well, Joe is a local and he can preach a passionate sermon, but his congregation fits in his van and he doesn't use a microphone so this white girl with sensitive ears can handle it.

 

Day 1851 ~ More Send-OffsOctober 10th, 2015

Today's sad send-off was for Traveller.  We met them in St. Martin this last Spring and buddy-boated through the islands to Grenada with them.  We've been together for at least six months, but they have plans to be home by Thanksgiving so need to get moving north.  The nice thing about meeting all these adventurers is that there is a strong likelihood we'll see them again somewhere.  At least, it makes the good-byes not so tough.

 

Day 1850 ~ Night at the MuseumOctober 9th, 2015

Once a month, the Grenada Museum hosts a free Jazz and Poetry Night.  This is essentially a jam session and open to anyone who wishes to participate or watch.  I've always been curious to see what it's about, so the easiest way to go about filling a bus in Camp Grenada is find a driver and then announce it on the Net.  It didn't take long and we managed to fill two busses, one for the participants who wanted to leave early and the other for those of us who just wanted to sit back and listen.  The girls and Peter stayed behind to hang out with Gramma and Grampa.

We were not disappointed.  Several local musicians came, along with the bus load of cruisers with their instruments.  Piano, drums, guitars and saxophones were the main order of events.  Some played individually, but they mostly jammed as a group.  One of the cruisers read a poem she had written, a local student improvisational theater class came in to demonstrate what they had learned, an acapella cruiser group sang a song and a local woman with a beautiful voice came in toward the end.  I'm told that no two jazz nights are the same as different people show up each time.

They were still going strong at 9:30p when we had to leave, but it was well worth the time to listen to the great talent.

On the home front, the Volleyball Tournament played on.  Nina's team got a by against the withdrawn team and The Renegades easily held onto first place by winning their set 2-0.  They'll all get a weekend break and be back at it on Monday.

 

Day 1849 ~ Goings, Comings and VolcanoesOctober 8th, 2015

It's that time of year when the hurricane season winds down and the cruisers start watching for weather windows to move on.  This is the difficult part of traveling with mobile people.  It's fun to meet, but sad when we part ways.

Three Little Birds led the pack this year and is one of the first kid boats to depart Hartman Bay.  The rest of the kids got up early to give them a proper send-off by following them out as they went.

Later in the afternoon, we were back on volcanoes.  The unit study has the students building their own 'mountain' out of a water bottle and papermaché.  Those will dry for several days, they'll paint them and then create their own lava-flowing volcano!

The Volleyball Tournament began last night with seven teams.  The Round Robin will place the teams in the championships and each team will play the best two out of three.  One team each night will get a pass due to the odd number.  Both Peter's and Nina's teams had a strong start last night and won both sets; the teens had to go to a tie-breaking third game, but were victorious in the end.  Tonight, however, the teen team lost both sets to Carlos' team, The Crazies, and Peter's team, The Renegades, won both of theirs.

Tonight is an exciting night for another reason.  Peter's folks arrive for a week visit.  They'll stay in an apartment on land in the next bay over.  Joe came to fetch us around 8:30p and we had a proper welcoming party for Gramma and Grampa T.

 

Day 1847 ~ At Day at the FarmOctober 6th, 2015

Jenny is known as the Fruit Lady and the Dog Lady.  She also has the only pink car on the island.

Two years ago, we adopted Pippin from her organization that works with the vet students at the University.  As the Fruit Lady, Jenny brings her farm's produce to three different locations once a week to sell to cruisers.  Her goods are always fresh and, unlike some of the vendors around town, we always know we're getting the 'local' vs 'tourist' price with her.

Because she doesn't have a radio, I and other cruisers announce her business on the Net.  She has a faithful following and the same core group show up week after week.  For the last two summers, Jenny invited us and some of our friends to her farm as a thanks for our support but our schedules never seemed to match.  This year, however, she made the invitation again and I managed to fill two busses with 32 cruisers.  We each brought a dish to share and Jenny cooked up three wonderful soups/stews made from farm produce.

We arrived around 10 and finally pulled ourselves away close to 3p.  She took us on a tour of her land, including the creek below.  It's a relatively small farm on four acres and Bertram works for her to help manage the crops.  She had the home built when she arrived 16 years ago which overlooks the sea.  Designed to be protected from the rain, she said that even the veranda that wraps around 3/4 of the home stays dry except in the hardest and windiest rains.  A perfect retreat in the hills.

 

Day 1846 ~ VolcanoesOctober 5th, 2015

Ally Cat found a volcano unit and several boats teamed up to do some of the activities associated with it.  The documentary brought interest from around the bay then the kids actually doing the unit did some experiments with gelatin and colored water.  School's always more fun with friends.

 

Day 1845 ~ Crab RacesOctober 4th, 2015

With a bumper crop of kids this year, there's always something going on.  Today, the event of the day was CJs birthday party complete with crab races.  Each person got some CJ Bucks to bet on a crab.  Kids could pool their 'money' or bet separately.  Nina teamed up with several other kids and they ended up winning third place and a 6 pack of Ting (locally made grapefruit soda).

 

Day 1844 ~ October 3rd, 2015

 

Day 1843 ~ Shopping BusesOctober 2nd, 2015

Shopping bus days have become quite the teen event.  They've even divvied up responsibilities in order to help speed up the shopping part in order to get to the smoothie part faster.  Cash goes to buy all the meat pies, Nina orders all the cold cuts and cheese for the group and any extra hands help out finding grocery list items.  Once checked out, they all head down to the food court for their smoothie while they wait for the last shopping bus back to the marina.

 

Day 1842 ~October 1st, 2015