Before we left experienced cruiser told us that sailing around the world was just carrying out boat maintenance in exotic places. And so it is we find ourselves in Grenada, an island of wooded mountains, white sandy beaches, reggae, spices and rum, tied up to the dock of Port Louis marina, a marina much like any other, with spanner and cloth in hand and little or no time to explore. We are very aware that not only are the places we are about to visit even more exotic they are also more remote, so we are working hard here, in relative civilisation, to get the boat in as good a condition as possible. Doing anything is hard work in this heat, everything taking more time than normal, our clothes are soaked with sweat. We have to stop frequently to try and cool off and however much water, tea or beer we drink, it’s hard not to get dehydrated and tired, never the less, we are pleased with what we have achieved.
Rick has managed to fix the wiring problem on the “up” mechanism on the anchor and with help of the rigging company here, Turbulence and Harry back in Southampton the main sail furler is also fixed. He has been through all 26 of the through hull fittings that are below the water line and checked they are in good condition, repaired a leaky lid to the watermaker oil reservoir, got the boom lights, that have never really worked, working and almost sorted a problem with the gas supply to the cooker.
Raya has been scrubbed and polished inside and out and the provisions left over from the Atlantic crossing have been sorted and re-catalogued. Spares have been ordered and the charts for the next passage to Panama have replaced the windward Islands on the table.
While we have decent internet I have been battling with all the paperwork required for our transit of the Panama Canal and our visit to Galapagos. This has required dozens of emails to the agents that we have had to engage to help with this process and numerous forms, copies of passports and crew lists have been sent.
Luckily the marina is very well placed with most of our requirements within a dingy ride. The chandlers, a supermarket, even the main town of St George’s all have dingy docks. St George’s, the small capital is surrounded by steep hills that run right down to the protected harbour. The waterfront is lined with rather incongruous Georgian style buildings, a legacy of times when the harbour was busy with Clipper yachts exporting spices particularly nutmeg to Europe, now the Clippers mostly carry tourists.
Yesterday feeling that we deserved a break we took a cab to a beach restaurant that had been recommended as one of the best on the island – The Aquarium. It lived up to its reputation, the location was picture perfect with tables right on a stunning beach, we played in the waves, ate lunch under the palm trees and drank too much rum.
Today it was back to work but we had some help. One of the poles that support the Bimini had taken a bash during the Atlantic crossing and was proving hard to fix. We seem to be making a habit out of bumping into people even though we are half way around the world and bizarrely Rick’s brother and wife, who are on a proper cruise arrived into Grenada for the day today and with thier friends Bob and Yvonne, popped over to see us. Between the three boys they applied their combined engineering knowledge and a couple of hours and plenty of tea later we had a workable Bimini pole.
Most of the jobs done, tomorrow we plan to leave the marina for a few days and anchor ina quiet bay somewhere and catch our breath ready for the next leg of the journey.