Monday, July 8 - Sunday, July 14, 2013Welcome to our first stop in what is officially "Carriacou & Grenada"! And what a welcome it was. First we found ourselves running south from Tropical Storm Chantal. Then we arrived in Hillsborough, Carriacou, only to be warned that Stacy might not be let into the country because she'd (just) run out of empty pages in her passport. (But I still have three more years before it expires...now what?!) The customs guy finally caved in and stamped us through, but we definitely have a new item on our to-do list: find an American consulate in Grenada!
After a four-stop run from Chatham Bay, Union Island, we finally reached Tyrell Bay and were thrilled to see that Anne Bonny was still there. We'd expected them to be long gone to Grenada by now, and were happy to have some catch-up time. Had it really only been five days since we'd last seen them? When you travel together for months at a time and see each other daily, even a short absence seems like forever. (I hope Storyville's ears are burning!) JoHo had also arrived in the bay a few hours before us, so we all met up for a visit to "The Olde Rum Shop" and dinner at Miss Lucky's. We even got an after-dinner surprise at the Lambi Queen bar: the mini-Windjammer we'd been seeing since Bequia stopped at Tyrell Bay to wait out the weather. They arranged for a steel-drum band to entertain their guests that night, so we all got to enjoy the music. Party!
Our real focus for the first couple of days was Tropical Storm Chantal. We felt pretty safe ourselves, given that the track had continued to shift northwards. We'd expected to see heavy winds Tuesday morning, but the opposite ended up being true; apparently Chantal sucked all of the wind out of our area, because the bay was a lake for most of the day. Other than an ominous grey sky and very little rain, we had no ill effects. There wasn't even enough wind to keep us on the boat, so we enjoyed dinner aboard the catamaran, Stingo, with JoHo and Anne Bonny. (Thanks, John!)
Wednesday was Stacy's grandpa's 91st birthday (happy birthday, Papa!), so we wandered into town for some internet and Skype. The next few days were spent walking around the village, swimming at the postcard-stamp-sized beach in front of the supermarket, and doing a few small boat projects (mostly reading) on Pipe. One beach day resulted in us buying fresh conch (four cleaned conch for 10 EC - quite a bargain), so Stacy even tried her hand at conch fritters. They disappeared quickly enough at the happy hour aboard Yachtsman's Dream, but we doubt conch will become a staple on the Pipe; those nasty buggers stick to EVERYTHING!
We can't say we've done much exploring of Carriacou, but we've enjoyed the laid-back feel of the island. Next up, we're sailing down to Grenada, where we'll spend the bulk of the hurricane season. We may even take a dock for a month if we can get into the more affordable Grenada Yacht Club, where Anne Bonny is staying while Christian enjoys sailing school. We haven't stayed in a marina in over a year, and haven't been dock royalty (what cruisers call themselves when staying on a dock for more than a day or two at a time) since we left Kemah. This could be fun! We'll see if it happens...GYC is all first-come, first-served, so no guarantees. If not, we've got the entire south coast of Grenada to explore. Til next time...
Fellow cruisers, a few things to look for if you come through Tyrell Bay:
- Great rotis are available from the green shack across the street from "In Stitches"; you can get boneless if you order a day in advance.
- A "bread van" stops at the roti shack every other day at 3pm (rumor has it the bread is still warm when it arrives)
- If you like rum, do it like the locals do. Buy "a quarter" (we think it's a quarter of a liter) of local rum for 10-12EC. The bartender will pour home-made rum from a large bottle into a glass soda bottle for you. You can buy a mixer from the bar or bring your own. Good spots are the Olde Rum Shop or the Lambi Queen.
- For the best dinner deal on the island, go to Miss Lucky's for 12EC fried chicken and chips; better yet, be there on a Saturday when she barbecues chicken and ribs.