Monthly Archives: August 2015

Cliff Diver, Concord Waterfalls

Family Visitors in Grenada (a.k.a. “The Spice Isle”) Part I – by Theresa

Patti & Chuck at PLM beach, Carenage in the background

Patti & Chuck at PLM beach, Carenage in the background

My sister-in-law “Patti” recently asked me “When are you coming home?” I replied, “We are home. Home is where the boat is!” Upon hearing this, she decided that if she and her husband “Chuck” were going to visit us in the near future, then it was going to have to be on the boat. Since we are currently stationed in Grenada, she promptly made arrangements and within weeks we had the pleasure of hosting both Patti and Chuck on board the Pilot’s Discretion.

HASH HIKE

We wasted no time introducing them to our Grenadian adventures and on the first full day of their visit they accompanied us on our weekly hike. This week’s hike began on the north shore beach in Sauteaurs, continued up mountainsides, and did not disappoint in providing the usual vigorous exercise and spectacular views (click on any photo to enlarge or for slideshow).

GRAND ANSE BEACH

Having exerted ourselves on the hike, we opted to spend the next day relaxing on the beach.  First, some 50’s music, and dancing, at Coconuts, on Grand Anse Beach, and then dinner at The Aquarium Restaurant, Point Salines, at sunset.

CLIFF DIVING AT CONCORD WATERFALLS

With so much more to see and explore in Grenada, and only a short time to share with our guests, we chartered an air conditioned bus, with an experienced guide, Mr. Rawl Bell (“Rawl”). Rawl provided us with a wealth of  information regarding the beauties of Grenada, a.k.a. “The Spice Isle.” Our first stop was Concord Waterfalls, one of the countless natural waterfalls on the island.

The kids enjoyed playing on the rocks and we all enjoyed the natural beauty of the falls .

Shortly after our arrival at the falls, a local “cliff diver” climbed to the top of the falls and amazed us all with his daring cliff diving acumen.  It did not take long for my ever-adventuresome brother-in-law Chuck to dive in after him (click on any photo to enlarge or for slideshow).

(Note: We have created a dedicated YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com where we have compiled videos from our blog, and uploaded additional videos from our journey. To view the videos, including VIDEOS of Chuck, and the cliff diver, cliff diving, click https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC94z5hCIrRiEvY8MTJegTbA  (or copy and paste into browser).

NUTMEG FACTORY

Nutmeg Receiving Station (Examined, Weighed, Payment to Farmer

Nutmeg Receiving Station (Examined, Weighed, Payment to Farmer)

After the cliff diving adventures at the waterfalls, our guide informed us that Grenada is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg, after Indonesia, and that nutmeg is Grenada’s principal export crop. He then took us to the nutmeg-processing co-op, in the center of the west-coast fishing village of Gouyave (pronounced gwahv), where we got to witness first hand the nutmeg process from tree to spice. There we saw locally grown nutmeg being received, examined & weighed with payments made to the local farmers. We learned the nutmeg is then dried in drying racks for 6-8 weeks.

 

Once dried, the seeds are cracked by a machine and then sent down a chute to the floor below where workers manually separate the shells from the nuts. No resource is wasted and discarded shells are collected in burlap sacks and sold for mulch. The nutmeg fragrance at the factory is intoxicating.

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Next, nutmeg kernels are graded by floating them in water (sinkers are sound and floaters are defective). Workers then hand grade the remaining nutmeg, removing residual defects and running the remaining nutmeg through metal graders (for size). The final nutmeg product is bagged in hand painted stenciled burlap sacks with international destinations throughout the world. We were surprised to learn that Rotterdam and Antwerp are the two largest importers of Grenadian nutmeg. The factory produces approximately 3 million pounds of Grenada’s most famous export each year.

A lot of effort for a small, yet delicious, spice present in almost all spice racks!

LEATHERBACK TURTLES IN LEVERA BAY

After the nutmeg factory, we visited yet another notorious spot on Grenada, Levera Bay. Levera Bay is a Sanctuary to the endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle. Each year, Leatherback Sea Turtles return to Grenada to lay their eggs on the sandy beaches of Levera Bay.

Leatherback Sea Turtles can grow to more than six feet long, weighing as much as 1400 pounds, however, the initial hatchlings, only inches long, are left on their own to find their way from the beach to the sea. Due to a recent invasion of Sargasso Sea weed on Grenada’s coastline, the baby Leatherback Sea Turtles have been finding it difficult to reach the sea. On the day that we arrived in Levera Bay, the Park Rangers were assisting this group of baby Leatherback Sea Turtles in reaching the sea!

(To view a video of the baby Leatherback Back Sea Turtles click the “VIDEOS” tab at the top of this page.)

After all the excitement exploring Grenada, we stopped to rest, enjoying some local cuisine on the north shore of Grenada looking out over “Kick em Jenny,”  and Ronde and Caille Islands.

Chuck, Patti, Ronan and Ryan, lunch on the north shore

Chuck, Patti, Ronan and Ryan, lunch on the north shore

There was still much more of Grenada to explore … however, we will leave those adventures until another post!

Ryan Sailing GYC

CAMP GRENADA – by Theresa

GYC Sailing Camp Boats

GYC Sailing Camp Boats

With school out, and since we knew that we would be stationed in Grenada for the summer, we actively sought appropriate summer camp activities to keep the boys educationally engaged while socializing with their peers. Fortunately for us, Grenada Yacht Club, just across the lagoon from our marina, offered a summer sailing camp. Allan Sherman’s “Camp Granada” immediately began running through my head as I completed the necessary paperwork to enroll the boys in camp, in Grenada! (“Hello muddah, hello faddah, here I am at, camp Granada …”)

"Dinghy Bus" to Sailing Camp

“Dinghy Bus” to Sailing Camp

The boys were excited to begin camp, and even more excited when they realized that they would be transported to camp via the “dinghy bus.”

On the first day of camp, the boys returned home somewhat disheartened that they had not been able to go out sailing. They groused that it had been raining all day and that instead of sailing, they spent their time learning about (of all things) boat parts, sea conditions, wind, weather and knots. (Once again, Allan Sherman’s “Camp Grenada!” “… And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining!”) While the boys have spent significant time on the water, no doubt, the camp counselors were appropriately taking the temperature of their summer sailing camp pupils.

The next day, the weather cleared and the eager students were able to get out on the water to test their sailing skills, both solo and in larger boats working together as a crew. As the children’s time at camp, and their abilities, progressed, they even had sailing races. (Click any photo below for a slide show.)

(Click below for videos.)

(Check out the videos tab at the top of the page for additional videos of the boys sailing!).

The camp has also offered a series of lectures: from marine biologists, on marine environment and pollution; nurses, on first aid at sea; and retired coast guard, on marine safety and sea protocols.

It turns out “Camp Grenada” is not so bad after all!

Click below link for “Camp Granada” by Allan Sherman (music with lyrics):


 

Hello muddah, hello faddah
Here I am at camp Granada
Camp is very entertaining
And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining

I went hiking with Joe Spivey
He developed poison ivy
You remember Leonard Skinner
He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner

All the counselors hate the waiters
And the lake has alligators
And the head coach wants no sissies
So he reads to us from something called Ulysses

Now I don’t want this should scare ya
But my bunkmate has malaria
You remember Jeffery Hardy
They’re about to organize a searching party

Take me home, oh muddah, faddah
Take me home, I hate Grenada
Don’t leave me out
In the forest where I might get eaten by a bear

Take me home, I promise I will
Not make noise, or mess the house with other boys
Oh please don’t make me stay
I’ve been here one whole day

Dearest fadduh, darling muddah
How’s my precious little bruddah
Let me come home if you miss me
I would even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me

Wait a minute, it’s stopped hailing
Guys are swimming, guys are sailing
Playing baseball, gee that’s bettah
Muddah, faddah kindly disregard this letter!

 

Carenage waterfront, St. Geoarges, Grenada

A DAY IN THE LIFE IN GRENADA – by Randy

We have been exploring Grenada for a little over two months now and still there remains much more to be seen both on land and at sea. Fortunately, Port Louis Marina, in St.  Georges, is centrally located giving us easy land or dinghy-dock water access to the waterfront shops and restaurants in both St. Georges and Carenage.

PORT LOUIS MARINA

Port Louis Marina (PLM) is a resort destination unto itself and we have been enjoying all of the amenities, including the spa,  pool, grounds, restaurants, waterfront park and beach (click on any photo for slide show).

 GRAND ANSE

The pristine Grand Anse Beach is only a short distance from the marina by land or sea. The boys have been enjoying snorkeling with their friends just off the beach, as well as “sea-bobbing” (we had to look that up before agreeing to allow them to go do it), and getting pulled on a tube behind the dinghy.

 HIKING THE MOUNTAINS AND RAINFORESTS

Popular among cruisers, locals, and students from the on-island American University School of Medical and Veterinary Science, are the weekly organized hiking trips, known as hashes, which are scheduled at various locations around the island. Each week, bus loads of enthusiastic cruisers, locals and students arrive eager to get some exercise, explore local terrain, and partake in the after hike revelry.

We have been hiking in the mountains and rain forests where we have seen banana tree plantations, monkeys, tropical flower groves, and amazing vistas (click on any photo for slide show).

With equally compelling scenery, other hikes have taken us through the countryside and along the coast line(s) of Grenada.

Patrick teaching R&R how to wax the boat

Patrick teaching R&R how to wax the boat

 

With all of the above said, it is not all fun and games in Grenada. At the end of the day, the boat requires daily maintenance and upkeep, not the least of which is keeping her clean and waxed. Fortunately for us, a very friendly and competent local gentlemen named “Patrick” has been assisting us in with these ongoing laborious efforts. He has taken the boys on in apprenticeship teaching them how to keep the boat “ship-shape!” Additionally, we have utilized our time in Grenada to take advantage of the well developed yacht support infrastructure to complete some upgrades to the Pilots’ Discretion to make her more long term cruiser friendly.

 

Rainbow over Port Louis Marina

Rainbow over Port Louis Marina