Sundance Caribbean Adventures (Apr 1, 2013) - Dave TuningaThe sun is shining but what is that white stuff coming down from the sky. Well it is not volcanic dust and we are definitely not in Grenada any more. I am sitting in Toronto after receiving orders from head quarters to return myself and dog back to Canada. Funny how one minute you are playing dominoes on the beach and the next you are flying north at 500 knots per hour.
So let’s rewind the clock back to Grenada January 2013. The wind is still blowing and the weather is warm in the day and cool at night. It is time to check the boat systems, engine systems, and get the boat ready for the next set of visitors. I have run the boat hard and so far there are no signs that she is falling apart. This is a good thing.
Ships dog Bosun has decided that life in Grenada works for him. Every day he gets his half a can of Tuna goes for a good hike on Hog Island which might include chasing the lizards sunning themselves on the rocks, herding a small flock of sheep (where does that instinct come from), digging for crabs in the mud, rolling in some dead stuff in the swamp, a quick swim in the ocean and back to the boat for some fun in my bed with his sock monkey. I think he likes his life in Grenada.
My guests Greg and Beatrice Shears from Spice of Life at AYC arrive some hours late. Something about snow, de-icing line ups etc. but now all is good. Apparently this year in Toronto there is a real Canadian Winter happening? Yikes!!! We spend a few days getting organized which includes a hike to Grand Anse Valley where there is a road side Jerk Chicken Shack and a small blue bar with very cold beer. This is a good way to see the real Grenada. We also visit St Georges on our way up Island and eat a the local hot spot Creole Shack. Then party at the Power Station which is basically a parking lot in the day and a small bar with a large sound system and video screen in the night. The wash room is well a ditch down the hall. Lots of fun for the ladies if you need to pee here.
Another load of Rum, we now buy it by the gallon, Stag Beer, Pesidente Beer and some Argentinean wine and off we go back to Carriacou north of Grenada for another adventure. Yes we also buy some fruit and vegetables, some goat, chicken, olive bread and almond croissants. The wind is all over the map today. It starts from the South East, swings to East and then North East (on the nose) as we start to motor sail our last hour into Tyrrel Bay. It is always fun when you arrive at your destination and sneak up on your friends as they go about their lives. One set of friends whom we will call Beach House have made their home in this bay and another set of friends Indigo, who are on their way north to where ever they end up are here in this anchorage. Plans are made for a Sundown party and all is good on Sundance. Cruisers midnight comes at 9:00 pm when you get up at 6:00 am with the sun every day.
We are walking down the middle of a quiet road on our way to Paradise Beach. Dogs sniff each others private parts as they do, lawnmower goats eat the grass in front of brightly painted houses and life slows down for another day. Paradise beach lives up to its name as we sit under a grass umbrella with some cold Stag Beer and fresh home cooked Grenadian food. On our way back to the boat we go to Rufus’ fruit market and while his 3 year old grand daughter entertains us we get some tings to keep us going. Another fruit stand awaits us at Tyrell Bay where we are anchored for those things we missed at Rufus’. As we walk the dog on the beach around the bay there is happy hour action at all the beach side bars and restaurants. As I sit for a cold Stag a local who informs me that he is 80 shows me a picture from his wallet of a 2 year old boy whom I think is his grand son. Oh no that is his son, one of 20 children he has had the pleasure to create. So we toast to his good work with another cold STAG Beer and watch for the Green Flash as the sun sets on the bay.
Today we are going to Hillsborough by bus and then to Windward where they build engineless wooden sailing schooners for daily fishing trips to feed the islands population. The roads are winding steep and curvy. We stop at one house to deliver some passengers and meet Rambo an islander swinging in the wind in his hammock. Well we actually do not meet him as he is sound asleep as he just got home from last night Grenada Independence Day celebrations. What a great place to recover.
Our next anchorage sits on the horizon where we will grab a mooring for the night. Sandy Island is a great place to picnic, walk, swim and sleep on the beach under the trees. Dog is very happy to lift his leg on all the sculptures and palm trees on the island. We have also found a tide pool on the windward side of the island that is home to those fish the ladies use at the beauty parlour to eat the dead things from their feet. Well can say they we not interested in my feet but were very interested in some of my other parts.
We are on our way back to Grenada as the Daisleys and the Gardners are arriving to enjoy the island and we would like to get together with them before Greg and Beatrice leave the island. Also this weekend is the Grenada workboat Regatta on Grand Anse beach. The wind is perfect as we sail back on the leeward side of the Island. It is a good idea to stand off the island quite a distance as the mountains create a large wind shadow. The trades are really blowing as we round the southern tip of the island and beat our way back to Hog Island. First we will get fuel and water at Secret Harbour Marina and then set the hook at our home base. All is good as the dog lifts his leg on Hog Island again.
The number 2 Woburn bus is always a thrill as we make our way to the number 1 bus to Grand Anse beach and the work boat regatta. The boats are pushed into the water and the crew waits beside the boats for the official start gun, jump into the boats and take off. The colours of the water and boats as well as the people are amazing. Food tents, Beer Tents and music make for a great day.
We do find Ken and Diane or they find us where else but at the beer tent. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur but I do know we made it back to Woburn sort of hit a reef with the dingy and slept like the dead once we found Sundance and our bunks.
Today we are going to have roasted English lunch, party at Rogers Beach Bar Hog Island:
and then have dinner with Gardners at their cliff top house at Fort Juedy. Well I am not sure how it all went down at this point but I am sure we had a good time.
Greg and Beatrice slip away to the airport and Bosun and I are left alone once again.
The usual routine kicks in again, clean the boat, sort out a big bag of dirty laundry, propane tank refill and defrost the fridge. The next group are my kids Casey, Kris and Kris’ girlfriend Lauren. One by one the bunks are filled up again with people, more beer and rum. The kids and I first activity is a dingy concert in Mt Hartman Bay. This is always a good time. You load your people, and pets, your beer/rum and tie up to the closest dingy sit back and have a great afternoon listening to the music with 100 or so of your new friends.
When you are watching this video I want you to take notice of the large wooden boat tied up to the stage. This boat is or was called Rain Dancer. It left the concert and hit a reef on her way back to her home marina in the next bay. Here are some photos and a story:
Well it is a long time since I have partied with the under 25 group and I have to say it was exhausting. They all have gone home and again it is just Bosun and I alone with a giant bag of dirty laundry and lots of cleaning to do. It is amazing how much beach sand you can collect on your boat. Any way life is back to normal here with Yoga on Monday and Thursday at 8:30 am to 9:30 am, shopping for fruit and veggies and hiking in the hills. There are also birthday parties, pot luck dinners and last but not least an offer to learn the art of moonshine making from building your still to finished product. What could be better than that?
Now I bring you back to the start of this story as I sit here in my little house in Toronto watching the snow and wind howl in my back yard. The good part is I will be home on Sundance April 4 until April 21 which will give me enough time to take one more trip to Carriacou and then sail back to Grenada Hog Island, dismantle the boat, haul it out at Spice Island Marine and put it away for another season. We will then focus our efforts on Tiny Dancer and launch on April 27. Let’s hope this summer in Canada will be as amazing as last year and the hurricanes will not cause the people in the Caribbean islands any trouble.
All the best, Dave, April 1, 2013