Sunday, August 17, 2014

Leaving Grenada

It all started here with Paul guiding us in to Grenada
June 1
Our time in Grenada is about to come to a close….for now.  On Monday we sail to Trinidad, the most southern island in the Caribbean.  We will leave just as the sun sets for an overnight sail, getting us into our destination at about 8:00 AM.  Rob, Gerda, and their boys James and Alex will be sailing along with us on their steel sloop “Margie.” 

Rob (on Margie)
with his "Mr. Bean" smile
"G" and Richard preparing birthday dinner
Grenada has been a real highlight for us.  There are few places that we have been that have been as welcoming, friendly, and beautiful.  We dropped anchor here on June 1st and have moved little during the past (just shy of) three months.  Because of the threat of hurricanes, many “yachties” stay put for long periods of time here.  It becomes a community of sailors that get to know each other.  
Friendships develop and new plans for travelling with “boat buddies” develop.  We hiked, toured, learned to play dominos and drums, did yoga and Tai Chi, attended concerts and more.  We learned about the history and traditions of this remote and independent island in ways that are difficult if you are only passing through.  We even joined the University Club and enjoyed their pool.
Relaxing at the University Club Pool

Carnival is something that should be experienced once and fortunately we were here for Grenada’s Spicemas. Hundreds of years ago, Catholics in Italy started the tradition of holding a wild masquerade (mas) festival before Lent. Since meat was not to be eaten during Lent, the festival was called carnevale meaning “to put away meat.” In the Caribbean, this tradition has combined with ancient African practices of parading through villages in costumes and masks. 
Today, this explosion of color, music, revelry and dance takes place throughout the Caribbean. For our part, pre-carnival we heard a steel pan band rehearsal and watched costumes being created with tons of glitter, feathers, sequins, bright fabrics, and beads stuck together by many people wielding hot glue guns. We attended the Groovy/Soca Final competition at the National Cricket Stadium, enjoyed the Fancy Mas Parade, and participated in the Monday Night Mas with the Carib band. For this event we dressed in our light-up Viking helmets and followed hundreds of others chipping to loud pulsating music blasting from a flatbed covered in speakers – think boom box on wheels.  
Youth Pan Band
FYI: chipping is a street dance requiring you to always have one foot on the ground and the other foot barely above ground while moving in a quick forward motion. My feet started to complain after the first mile.  Chipping should be accompanied by wining; gyrating your hips in three dimensions.  
Learning to Play for Carnival
Wining can be done solo but it usually ends up with two people grinding their pelvises together. I concluded that it not something North American hips are capable of. Although there were plenty of other events, we lacked the stamina to drink beer and dance for 24 hours straight and fully revel in the heaving, sweaty orgy of color and music that is Carnival.
The Vikings celebrate Carnival in St. George, Grenada
Most importantly, we have formed a number of friendships that we hope will endure well beyond our stay here in Grenada.  We are looking forward to a few weeks in Trinidad and then on to Suriname with Tony and Ann, sailing on Argosea.  We will be back in Grenada in about a month and a half after exploring Suriname and Guyana.  While sailing there feels like we are extending ourselves into uncharted territory, it’s only 300 miles, how can we not?

Thank you Grenada for being a wonderful respite from constant movement.  You feel like a second home.
Thanks for following.

Richard and Kay
Carnival Grenadian Style
Soca Concert
at National Stadium

Additional Pics from Grenada
Great Street Food
Returning to the Sea
Dinner in Le Phar Bleu

Hauling Atalanta
Getting new bottom paint
Diving off of St. George

Tony (from Argosea) and Richard

Kay and Susie on Hash (hike)

The Donut

Dingy Concert in Woburn Bay

Celebrating the Fisherman

Not who you think!

Jim (on Jady Jane) and Kay

1 comment:

  1. What a fun and educational journey! We feel like we are there with you! Thanks for sharing!