So we have finally dragged ourselves away from the lovely island of Antigua and are continuing our adventures at sea. What a busy few months it has been....
We made a flying visit to the UK to attend my gorgeous step-daughters wedding in May and then set sail south from Antigua as hurricane season arrived once again. We enjoyed return visits to some of our favourite islands en route to Grenada, but this time included some new locations, such as Canouan and Union Island. Despite some mixed reviews from fellow cruisers about some of the places we were visiting, we were glad we made the effort as we enjoyed them all – even the 'fun' of ridding our anchor of discarded fishing line in one of the bays ! I guess it is a reminder of how we are all different and what an interesting life this makes, but also how important it is to make our own memories.
Back in the delightful Grenada we are getting re-acquainted with the island and the people that live here. It is amazing to see so many cruisers still here from last year, but I can't blame them for wanting to linger in such a wonderful location. We had a special couple of weeks when friends visited from England exploring the waterfalls, beaches, distilleries, nutmeg factory, underwater sculpture park, restaurants and other delights that Grenada has to offer. Turtle watching and snorkeling at Sandy Island off Carriacou were particular highlights and we were pleased to finally make it to Petit Martinique. We were also lucky to be able to help out with the Get Grenada Swimming / National Learn to Swim Week and meet yet more lovely people.
As much as we love it here in Grenada we also have a busy year planned visiting new destinations. We have therefore taken the opportunity to get a few maintenance tasks done in preparation for the adventures ahead.
A new cooker has been on my wish list for a while and I am delighted with my purchase. 3 burners, an oven and a grill – wow ! My bread now comes out of the oven with a brown top instead of bottom and we are re-discovering the joys of toast. It is amazing how you can crave something so simple when it is off the menu for a year. Getting the new cooker on board was not without it's challenges though. There was a slightly stressful dinghy journey from the chandlery to the anchorage and a fraught few minutes whilst we transferred the huge box from dinghy to yacht, but all went well. Inevitably the new cooker was not the same size as the old one and some modifications were required, which necessitated extra trips ashore for parts which were not available in the size wanted. Nothing is ever simple on a yacht. Still, the swearing and sweating were soon over and the kettle back on.
We booked ourselves into Clarke's Court to get our anti-foul applied this year (along with hull polish, rigging clean up and spray hood repair) and were very impressed with the professional and thorough service we received from them and Driftwood. We treated ourselves to a few days at the Rex Resort rather than living in the yard whilst the work was done and made full use of the facilities, food and beverages that our all inclusive package provided. We managed to drag ourselves away before we gained too much weight and then sweated off a few pounds putting the sails back up once we had “splashed” back into the water.
So now we are back on board and finalising plans for the year ahead, including enjoying the fantastic Grenada Carnival with our friends who are sailing in to join us. We have decided to try rallies this year and will be exploring Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana with the Nereid's Rally, heading out from Tobago in early September. A visit to South America has also been on the wish list for a while and I am getting very excited about the wildlife, scenery and people that we will encounter. My camera will be working overtime. November will see us arrive in the ABC islands to join the Suzie Too Rally where we will explore Columbia, Panama, Honduras and Belize. How lucky are we ?! This second rally will also see us join friends that we have spent some time cruising with over the last year, which will make the experience even more fun.
Whilst there are bound to be challenges ahead, we are determined to make the most of our year exploring the wider Caribbean, enjoying the unique opportunities and experiences that life at sea offers. I still have to pinch myself sometimes.......