Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Grenada ..... we made it to the 11th Parallel

Atalanta under full sail off Bequia
 Once again, it has been a while since we have been able to post to the blog due to limited WIFI availability.  Since we last shared with you, we have moved from the Leeward Islands, to the Windward Islands, the Grenadines and Grenada (not part of the Grenadines… go figure).  We are now safely anchored in Pricky Bay, Grenada.

Hiking the indian River
While in Dominica, we were joined by our good friend Paul Birnholz.  Our first night with Paul on board, Atalanta’s mooring line broke loose and we drifted through a crowded field of boats without touching another boat.  Once 50 yards from a rocky shore, we somehow attached ourselves to the last boat before shore.  This woke us up at 3:00 AM and saved us from going up on the shore.  Fortunately, Atalanta did not have any damage and the other boat only a minor issue.  In the end, it was a lucky night for us.  We returned to our mooring and finished our night’s rest.  We LOVED Dominica.  It was in many ways the same as it has been for many years, unchanged by tourism.  We explored the Indian River, hiked, rented a car and toured the island.  It was both remote and beautiful. 
Alexis, our river guide
Indian River, Dominica
Fort Shirley, Dominica
Upon leaving Dominica we sailed south to Martinique.  We had a beautiful sail and anchored close to shore.  Our anchorage afforded us a front row seat to the festivities on shore celebrating “Abolition of Slavery Day.”  Mount Pelee dominates this small-island and erupted killing 30,000 in 1902.  There were two survivors, one of which was a convicted murderer.  There are ruins throughout the area, a reminder of this islands history and trials. 

St. Lucia and Rodney Bay were a pleasant day’s sail from Martinique.  St. Lucia has a reputation for not being the safest of Caribbean islands.  We generally had a positive experience and were impressed with how friendly most were.  Unfortunately one boat vendor felt a need to threaten us when we did not buy his offerings.  Incidents of this nature will certainly enter into our thinking when we come this way in the future.  Soufriere is a town down island from Rodney bay and offered us a safe anchorage for the night.  We were at the foot of Grand Peton, a magnificent mountain and inactive volcano.  Its slopes were steep and dropped down to the water’s edge. 
Pictures by Kenny

St. Vincent is another island that most cruisers are avoiding these days due to safety concerns.  We sailed by it and landed in Bequia (pronounced: beck way), an island just south of St. Vincent.   Here we anchored in the town of Port Elizabeth.  We found this island to be lovely and one of our favorite stops.  With lots of interesting walks, local bars and restaurants.  As we entered the harbor, “Kenny” the boat photographer was out in 5-6 foot seas in his inflatable.  He took some amazing pics of Atalanta that are included in this posting. 

Fort Shirley
Portsmouth, Dominica
The biggest concern that cruisers in the Caribbean have this time of year is hurricanes.  They tend not to be a significant issue in Grenada and south.  Therefore we plan to be hovering at around the 10th parallel until next November when the hurricane season passes.  We will have a number of options that we can consider for that time.  One is to volunteer in Grenada and stay put.  The other is to visit Trinidad, Tobago, and maybe the ABC’s (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).  Another possible option is to link up with other cruisers that will be going to (English) Guyana in South America.  This would be about 300 miles south and put us below Venezuela.  Time will tell what we decide.
Now we are looking to Grenada.  Unfortunately bid goodbye to Paul on this morning after a wonderful two weeks together. 

Much more to come.  Thanks for following.

Richard and Kay


  1. Be sure to meet up with Pierre-Yves and Mireille from Umido they run yoga and Tai-chi classes they are great people. They brought their boat down from Lake Champlain. Also you are just a days sail away from the Grenadines that is best explored during hurricane season anyways, we spent 2 months exploring all the little islands, great snorkeling. Tobago Cays is an excellent anchorage and you would be surprised at where you can find free wifi.

  2. Will do. We plan to spend a good deal of time in the Grenadines over the summer as well as Tobago, and maybe Guyana.

  3. Sounds like you need a gas anchor drifting alarm. No gas in that atea?

  4. we have an app for an anchor alarm called "Drag Queen"