Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm on 'Vacation'!

Sunday 7 Sept. 2008

In about two weeks I’ll be a working stiff again so Sue and I decided to get out exploring a little before we are pinned down to Prickly Bay for an extended time. We spent many minutes slowly hauling anchor while I scrubbed each meter of chain and hosed it off. Good exercise.

The south east coast of Grenada has a bay to explore about every half mile. Today we went exactly one bay to the east to Secret Harbor in Mt. Hartman Bay. I love the name but it doesn’t seem like much of a secret as there are a dozen or so other boats here. There is a marina here and we’ll go there tomorrow with dinghy to get gas. Prickly Bay Marina (Motto: What do YOU want?) has not had any gas all week. Some marina!

Mismo likes to hide under our 'comfy' chairs when it rains.

Pretty fun motor boat ride in here as the safe course is to sail past and come back to the north west between the reefs. We laid in a course with the GPS but kept a keen eye on the breakers and color of water. Oh, the buoys helped too! Buoys are nice but you’re never sure who is maintaining them or not maintaining them.

So, anchor down around noon making time for Sunday naps and reading followed by nice big spaghetti dinner. We decided to treat ourselves (we are on Vacation!) to ice while cruising this week so the cooler is full of fresh stuff including ground beef. Our spaghetti included meat, fresh mushroom, onions, green peppers and of course lots of garlic.

Still some squalls around but anchor is holding well.

Monday, 8 September

What we really need is gasoline! Dinghy is down around a quarter of a tank and part of this trip is for exploring and snorking via dinghy. Martin’s Marine is here though and we’re pretty sure they have gas. We go in around 1100 and they DO have gas and wifi and BEER! But no ice. Damn. The wifi works about as well as any other wifi we find in the islands meaning not at all. Slow, slow, slow and then can’t find server, spinny wheel, blah, blah, blah. I got off one e-mail but nothing else. Oh well, we didn’t expect to find any wifi on this little trip so no big deal.

Hard to see in this pick but this house is built into the hillside and has a lawn for a roof! Beautiful grounds all the way down to the water front.

We checked the marina rates in case we decide to leave Enee at a marina while we venture north for the Cubs world series. It’s about $40 a day. Not a bad rate for a day or two stop but we’ll be gone about 17 days. (So we’re still looking into options. Since we’ll be in Prickly Bay for quite awhile we may look into getting a mooring. Then there will be No Excuse for not cleaning the chain.)

Back to Enee with our gas! Much reading and napping happen now and a cool off swim. I finished a page turner that was about 100 pages too long. Some authors just don’t know when to quit. I am also reading King Leopold’s Ghost which is about the enslavement and murder of the people of the Congo from about 1890 to 1920 by Leopold - King of the Belgians. I’ll write a complete review for GoodReads when I finish. It is actually hard to read as it is so sad. Everyone knows about WWII and the Holocaust but not too many about this period time when for ivory and then even worse for raw rubber, Belgians working directly for the King terrorized and basically enslaved the indigenous people of the Congo. An example: The white people running things were given rifles and bullets but they were only to be used for shooting humans - no hunting or just messing around. So for every missing bullet you had to verify a kill. This was done by cutting off the right hand of the deceased and turning it in with your remaining bullets. If you shoot at something and miss you then still need a right hand to turn in so they would cut off the right hand of a living guy to keep the accounting accurate. Estimates are hard to do but many independent researchers come up with about the same number. That being that about 50% of the population was decimated in this short time and that that is around 10 million people. Joseph Conrad visited the Congo around 1900 and his observations and experiences were the inspiration for the book Heart of Darkness which I now want to read again. This is not a happy book. I am one-half Belgian and not so proud of that now!

We plan to move the boat over a little bit tomorrow to Clarke’s Court Bay. There is a marina there (with ice?) and they have a burger and movie night on Wednesdays. We’ll stay for that probably.

Tuesday 9 September

Jeez o peet! We only want to go about a half mile to the next bay and of course we’re dead into the pretty stiff breeze and heavy chop. A short but bumpy and slow ride into Clarke’s Court Bay. This is a fun bay as there are many places to anchor and explore. We go past the first possible anchorage and go up to the next little bay where lie only 2 other boats. It’s a little deep but the holding seems to be good and we’re well protected here. We left the previous anchorage after coffee and now Sue makes a nice big bacon and egg breakfast that will serve as lunch as well. Everything’s better with bacon!

We gas up the dingy and go into Clarke’s Court Marina in the afternoon to see what they’re about. Very nice little marina. There is a building that serves as the bar/restaurant/ meeting room. Our friends Mike and Renee from Jacumba are there having a beer and we join them. A nice couple of hours ensue as we trade stories and plans for the future.

We get some ice and head back to the dinghy. What the . . . . ????? We had left 4 little bags of garbage in the dinghy as we were not sure where to dump it when we first arrived. In our absence some wild dogs got into it and scattered the garbage all over the deck of the dinghy. EVERY bag was torn open and coffee grounds etc were everywhere. Now I have melting ice and have to clean up quick. I get some garbage bags from the bar; we do a quick clean and head back to Enee where I can do a better clean. Lesson learned!

It was a beautiful evening. A little cooler than usual. A cloudless sky filled with stars. Sue made olive pasta and pea salad for dinner and we sat out and looked at the stars afterward as we finished our wine. Scorpio is so clear and spectacular this time of evening. Our friend Orion doesn’t appear until around midnight - that’s the real midnight, 2400 hours not boaters’ midnight which is 2100. We rarely get to view him but we’ve been tracking how quickly the moon moves to the east past Jupiter from day to day. Of course you’re thinking, ‘but isn’t Jupiter moving too”? Yes but being so much further from the sun it is essentially stationary in the sky compared to the daily movement of the moon.

Wednesday 10 September

In the morning, before the heat of the day, we took dinghy over to the town dock (actually behind it I think) from which we could go for a walk to the little town of Woburn. A nice walk. Not much there but some houses and couple of little stores. After a couple of miles we just turned around and went back. Now a long dinghy ride over the shallows at the top of Calivigny Island and into the next bay where lives La Phare Bleu Resort.

What a beautiful resort. Opened for less than a year, they have about 8 cabins. Some one and some two bedroom. Each has fully stocked kitchen and cable tv. They have porches too with porch swings. A really sharp bar/restaurant area, pool and tidy little beach. It also serves as a marina with room for about 30 boats. The main office is an old light house boat that is moored at this pier. In there is their office, a lounge and their nice restaurant. Those of you looking for a place to go on vacation, I think we can recommend this place. The one bedrooms are about $275 a night. We had a couple of beers at the bar and plan to come back tomorrow for happy hour when beers are two for one! Wheeeee.

Back to Enee for reading and napping. We are meeting our friends from Jacumba and Merengue at Clarke’s Court Bay marina for a birthday celebration for Mike on Jacumba. We motored over to the marina around 4:30. The group was already there. Much laughing and story telling ensued. I gave Mike one of my books as a present and then sold one to another couple that had joined us. It was the marina’s ‘burger night’ so we stayed for cheeseburgers and fries. Yum. It was also their movie night but we didn’t feel like sitting through a whole movie (National Treasure II). So, back to the mother ship.

It is DEAD calm. That ain’t good. The weather here is really wonderful. It is 86 everyday and 80 every night. That’s all ok as long as there is a cooling breeze. We sat very still out on deck and enjoyed every little breeze that came our way. Some steadier breeze did finally start up and we rigged our wind scoop and called it a day. This vacation is awesome!

Thursday, 11 September

Another hot too still day. We lay low on the the boat, drink water, and take little dips to stay cool. Later in the afternoon we made a trip to Clarke's Court Bay Marina for some internet and ice. Then, back to Enee to drop off the ice and then over to Phar Bleu Resort for happy hour with Mike and Rene on Jacumba. We had burgers and wished Rene well as she is returning to the states tomorrow for a couple of weeks. A pleasant evening on Enee ensued.

Mismo spends the morning making that weird cat chattering sound at the sea birds.

Friday, 12 September

This morning we decided to just stay in this anchorage through next Wednesday. I'm going to try to sell some books at the next burger night and we really like it here. So we won't make it to St. David's on this trip. Hell, it's up wind anyay!


Sally said...

Hi from rainy Ohio! Enjoyed my coffee reading about your vacation this morning. Always a treat for me. Go Cubs! (After all our Indians got left in the dust.)

brian said...

If there's anyone who needs a vacation it gotta be you. You need to rest up before President Palin formalizes your ambassadorship. I wouldn't buy my plane tickets until the Cubs make it past the first round.