Thursday, June 26, 2014

Prickly Bay

As we spend time in Grenada, we are adjusting to not having a next destination planned for the following day or week.  Most here in Prickly Bay are just living here on board, in a community of others doing the same.  People have different plans for when they will move.  There are basically two groups of cruisers here.  Those that plan on hauling, leaving their boats on the hard and traveling home and those that will stay on their boat for hurricane season.  We are in the latter group.  

As of this writing we have a few ideas as to what we would like to do once we leave Prickly Bay (in about a month).  We don’t know which plan we will follow but here are our thoughts as of today.

Plan 1:  Stay in the Grenada area and explore a few other anchorages on the southern coast.  In addition, head back up the Grenadines to visit some of the Cays we didn’t see on the way down including Tobago Cays, Petit Martinique and others.  Then return to Grenada.
Plan 2: Explore other anchorages in Grenada and then migrate down to Trinidad and Tobago (just north of the Venezuelan coast.  From here we may head west toward Aruba and Bonaire.  This would lead us toward Columbia, Panama and up the western Caribbean.
Plan 3: Explore other anchorages in Grenada and then migrate down to Trinidad and Tobago and then head south with a group leaving from Tobago going to Guyana.  This group is planning to leave on September 2.  If we were to do this we would likely then begin our journey back to the US via the eastern Caribbean.

Part of the joy of traveling as we are is that we have choices of how we want to go.  It would take many years to fully explore the areas available to us and we will never be able to see all of the wonderful places there are to explore.  Instead, we try to savor each day, meet new people, make new friends, and take care of each other. 
Today, the winds are howling.  We are safely anchored and staying on board should the boat need us.  Hopefully, the winds will settle and the bay will calm.  Until then…. Best always

Richard and Kay

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thinking about eating, deciding where and what to eat, food provisioning and food preparation all seem to take up a large part of our daily routine.  Traveling throughout the Caribbean brings us in touch with a variety of cultures and foods. Meat is a staple - fish, conch (lambi), chicken, lamb, salt fish and goat are readily available. Beef is in the supermarkets but it just doesn’t taste like what we’re used to.  
Bar up the Indian River,
Local lobster is spiny and has no claws. Rice is the preferred starch; rice and beans is served everywhere, but the French islands have delicious bread and pastries. Caribbean food is usually seasoned but is not spicy hot, although locally made hot sauces will make your nose burn and eyes water.
(nut is on the top, no wonder they're so expensive)

Tainos were the native settlers on most islands and they grew batata (a different kind of sweet potato), squash, peppers, corn, cassava and pineapple. When they arrived, Europeans introduced lime, mango, orange, tangerine, tamarind, guava, ginger, sugarcane, cocoa and Captain Bligh brought breadfruit as 
Cutty picking native fruit
an inexpensive way to feed slaves. After slavery was abolished, workers from India were brought to the plantations and curry is now popular in recipes throughout the islands. I have sampled ‘roti’ (curried meat and vegetables wrapped in a soft chickpea flatbread) and ‘doubles’ (two fried Indian flatbreads filled with curried chickpeas). Yum! I once ordered a chicken roti and found it made from chicken necks, bones and all.  You need to order “boneless” if you don’t like chewing on the bones.
Tropical fruit is sold at stands everywhere and the ground is strewn with ripe fruit that dropped off the trees.  Richard narrowly escaped being thunked on the head by a falling mango.  I bought a soursop for $5EC at a roadside stand but when I cut it open, I was overwhelmed by its appearance and didn’t know how to deal with it. Our Grenadian guide, Cutty, says, “No one on Grenada goes to sleep hungry – fruit is so plentiful.”  We have had passion fruit smoothies, banana fritters, and fried plantain. 
Fresh Nutmeg

No discussion of Caribbean cuisine would be complete without mentioning things shaken & stirred. Every island seems to have a locally produced beer and a rum.  The beer is the not cheap but the rum is. We have tried rum punch is as many different places as we can and no two make it exactly the same, but they all do pack a punch.

If you’d like to try a taste of the Caribbean, here’s a recipe for Skipper’s Rum Punch:
Mix the juice of 3 limes with ¼ cup Grenadine syrup, 1 cup of dark rum, and one liter of fruit juice (orange, pineapple and/or passion fruit. Serve with lots of ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon on top.

Thanks for following

Richard and Kay

Delicious Pineapple

Ummmm meat
Union Island

Richard and Paul at
happy hour
Chatham Bay, Union Island

BBQ Fish coming
Union Island

Jack's in Bequia

More Happy Hour

Botanical Garden

Street food

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Touring Grenada

We met Cutty, our tour guide, at the Tiki Bar at 9:00 to explore Grenada. This small island is extremely photogenic with lovely beaches, flowers galore, and lush rainforests. We visited Annandale Falls and Grand Etang, a crater lake.  The monkeys that live in the rainforest there were hiding so we didn’t see them but we did spot the Grenada Dove; the state bird only in residence here.  Our tour took us to the Grenada Chocolate Factory located in small building but still able to produce 1000 bars per day. We sampled bars that are 100% cocoa, 82% and 71%. The cocoa beans are grown at nearby Belmont Estate and then processed using solar-powered, handmade, or vintage machinery.  The Salt-i-licious is heavenly and unlike any other chocolate I’ve ever tasted.  It is exported to the US so all you chocoholics need to keep an eye for it.

We had a fabulous buffet luncheon at the River Antoine Rum Factory where fish, chicken, green salad, pumpkin, rice, plantain, breadfruit and yams were on the menu. We stuffed ourselves and followed lunch by waddling off to visit to the factory itself where strong (150 proof) white rum is made using a giant water wheel from the 1800’s to crush the sugar cane. The liquid is then heated in in a series of huge cast iron bowls, allowed to ferment naturally in open tanks, and then distilled. 

Stopping frequently along the way, Cutty introduced us to local flora including banana, papaya, mango, cashew, lemon grass, breadfruit, cocoa, cotton, tangerine, coriander, turmeric, dasheen, callaloo, avocado, West Indian pumpkin, soursop, star fruit, French cashew (plumrose), and especially nutmeg. Grenada is known as the Spice Island and was a leading producer of nutmeg prior to Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that destroyed 90% of the trees. The nutmeg industry has not yet fully recovered and it will be another 10 years before they get back to pre-2004 production levels.  I am dreaming of a garden filled with every one of these plants plus a lime tree to accompany the Rum & Cokes.

It is not that difficult to understand why people come here to visit and never leave.

Thanks for following

Richard and Kay


Nutmeg Factory