Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Change is Coming

We have been at anchor in Prickly Bay for over 2 months.  Cruisers here are required to renew their cruising permit monthly; we are now on our third.  Time spent reminds us that boats like to move and transport.  Therefore, we are formulating a plan and expect to leave in 3 weeks.

First, we will pull the boat from the water and go on “the hard.”  Spice Island Marine will accommodate us Tuesday–Friday providing us with a chance to sand and repaint the bottom of the boat with special anti-fouling paint. TecNick will install a 9-foot stainless steel pole and mount a wind generator to help us with our need for electrical power. Living aboard in this environment
Rodney and the crew from Turbulance that built
 our new dodger and bimini
makes having either wind or solar power essential. Those of you who thought Atalanta needed a more traditional dodger and bimini (including Richard) will appreciate the canvas work Turbulence has completed. Rodney and his crew did a wonderful job of making Richard happy with a new dodger while still enabling Kay to keep dry and/or warm in the cockpit with an enclosure.

Our first destination after leaving Prickly Bay will be Chaguaramus, Trinidad where we will take a berth at the Crews Inn Marina for a week to explore the island and provision for our push south to Suriname.  We will sail along side Anne and Tony on Argosea for the 500-mile passage to this beautiful yet somewhat remote destination.  Suriname has little tourist infrastructure but it is a safe and beautiful country that welcomes visitors to its shores.  In its abundant rainforests we hope to be fortunate enough to spot unusual tropical plants, howler monkeys and maybe even a toucan or jaguar.  We’ll tour for almost a month before heading north to Guyana, another remote country dominated by rainforests and rural landscape.  We are not sure how long we will remain in Guyana but when the time is right, we’ll return to Grenada.  Then perhaps heading north to the eastern Caribbean or sailing west to Panama will be next on the cruising itinerary. 

This adventure becomes ever more interesting as we travel into territory that few journey through. In the meantime we continue with dominoes, yoga, tai chi, drumming lessons, swimming, diving, socializing, and getting ready for CARNIVAL!

Thanks for following,

Richard & Kay

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Month without a Hurricane in Grenada

Kay and Suzie at the Hash
Diving a Wreck off Grenada
Once again, this blog entry comes to you from Grenada, our adoptive home.  We arrived here on the first of June and are in our second month on anchor in Prickly Bay.  We find Grenada to be peaceful and beautiful. We have made friends from places far and wide and engaged in activities from drumming lessons to hiking.  We have been extended membership in the University Club giving us access to a beautiful pool, beach and restaurant. 

Grenada is a fairly good place for boat services and repairs.  As with houses, boats need on-going maintenance and upgrades.  The marine environment (especially here in the lower latitudes) is harsh and places demands on a boat.  Not only is the boat our home; it must be maintained for safety reasons.  The consequences for taking a boat to sea that is not seaworthy can be significant.  We are in the process of repairing sails, installing 
Kay Getting Ready for a Swim at the University Club
Richard's Lesson on How to Make a Dry
Secret Harbor
new canvas, and adding a wind generator to help keep the batteries charged.  We are dependent on an onboard 12-volt system for running our lights, refrigeration, instruments, and much more.  To do this we have four fairly large batteries (4D AGM) batteries each of which is about 4 times the size of a car battery.  Many boats charge these batteries with solar panels and/or wind generators but we have relied on a diesel generator.  The wind generator will help us create a smaller carbon footprint.

In a few weeks, Grenada’s Carnival culminates in St. George’s and we are looking forward to attending a variety of events from Soca and Calypso competitions to J’Ouvert celebrations where the traditional Jab-Jab bands emerge from the darkness of night to parade through the streets wanting to dab their body paint onto unsuspecting spectators. That’s it from paradise for now.  Hope you are all well and enjoying summer.

Richard and Tony
Thanks for following.

Richard and Kay

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Hash isn’t just something to eat.  On July 6 and July 13 we participated in our first two hashes. Originated in 1938 in what is now Malaysia, the Hash House Harriers is now an international group of non-competitive running social clubs.  Individuals known as hares lay trails marked by shredded paper and it is up to the rest of group, the hounds, to follow the trail which included false starts, shortcuts, dead ends, circles and splits.  In Grenada, trails pass through all types of terrain including beaches, rainforests, village streets, and backyards and require participants to ford streams, scale steep hills, or slip & slide through mud. Members often describe their group as a “drinking club with a running problem” since beer is an integral part of every hash. At the conclusion of the run, a “on-after,” or “hash bash” is held with plenty of music and beer.

First time hashers, virgins, are asked upon concluding the race to pose for a photograph. While smiling for the camera, they are sprayed with beer by other hashers.  Here's our initiation into HHH.

Another custom dictates that anyone racer with new shoes must drink a beer from them prior to beginning the race.

It's great fun, a good way to work up a sweat, allows to socialize with cruisers and locals, and enables us to see parts of the island that we would not otherwise see. We can't wait to see what challenges next Saturday's Hash offers!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Some of This Week's Activity in Pictures

Here are a few pics of this week's activities...... we need to slow down.  Island time may be just a bit to fast.

Thanks for following our blog.

Richard and Kay

Street Food at the Fisherman's Birthday Celebration

Richard, Sophie, Ann, Tony and Jonas at the Fisherman's Birthday Celebration

Great Music at the Dingy Concert in Le Phar Blu, Grenada

Drumming Lessons in Secret Harbor

How Many Sailors Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?

Picnic in Prickly Bay - 4th of July

Fisherman's Birthday Celebration

Fisherman's Birthday Celebration

View while on the Hash (a community hike and party)

Dingy Concert

Jazz at the museum in St. George, Grenada

Picnic in Prickly Bay - 4th of July

Poetry at the Museum

Post Hash

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Celebrating the 4th of July, Grenada Style

4th of July BBQ in Prickly Bay, Grenada
Yesterday was July 4th.  While out of the USA, we nevertheless had a wonderful if non-traditional celebration.  We announced on the morning sailor’s net that everyone was invited celebrate the 4th on the beach for a potluck.  A group of about 20 arrived with grills, food, song sheets, beer and rum punch.  We had a wonderful day with folks from England, Sweden, Ireland, Australia and oh yes, the US.  Afterward we bussed to St. George’s for a wonderful night of jazz and poetry at the museum community room.  The musicians were talented; the poetry edgy and very interesting.  Another great day in Grenada!

Today we will watch friends on two boats (one from Sweden and one from England) leave to explore other parts of Grenada’s beautiful coastline.  We bid safe travels to Jonas, Sophie, Ann, and Tony.  Our South African friends are already scattered about and we wish them fair winds and safe travels. This is all part of a cruising lifestyle of those that are onboard for years at a time.  It is a transitory way to live and therefore those that you connect with move in and out of lives with reasonable frequency.  We look forward to the next time we are all anchored in the same place at the same time.

We are continuing to work on boat projects although Atalanta has been behaving very well lately.  A local sail loft, Turbulence, is sewing a new dodger and bimini for cockpit and the redesign will offer a more traditional appearance.  The “greenhouse” afforded us hours of warmth and protection from the rain and Kay is a bit sorry to see it go. Richard never was fond of its size or shape so he is anxious to have the new one installed. We chose silver Sunbrella for the new material and it is quite attractive. We are also looking at modifications to the electrical system.  When you live on board, the demands on your 12-volt battery system is extreme.  Everything runs off house batteries including refrigeration, lights, etc.  Recharging batteries is a daily activity.  Currently (no pun intended) we do so with a generator and would like to add either solar or wind generation.  We are researching to see which is more suitable.

It’s time to provision for the week and see about getting some fuel.  That’s it for now from the Spice Island of Grenada.  Thanks for following.

Richard and Kay
Richard, Sophie, Ann and Jonas
at the Fisherman's Birthday Celebration

Poetry in St. Georges, Grenada

Poetry in St. Georges, Grenada

Jazz at the Museam

Richard changing a light bulb 6 stories up

Riding the donut

A night of Great Music!!!!