Saturday, March 10, 2007

February 28, 2007 - Canouan to Union Island to Grenada

We all got up before dawn to get Eryn and Graham off to the airport. While making breakfast, Sten came across a bad egg. We buy fresh, not refrigerated eggs, and store them in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator. If we turn them once a week or so, they keep for weeks. We have only had a few go bad storing them this way. Unfortunately, this morning Sten hit the jackpot and got two bad eggs, one of which was bloody and green. It was enough to make him TUIHMALB. Nasty.

After that lovely start to the day, I accompanied Eryn and Graham to the airport, to see if I could clear us out of SVG in Canouan. They had arranged for their taxi through the Moorings, and the driver had the audacity to charge them 20EC per person. A week before I'd paid 10 EC to go pick them up, and gave the driver 20 EC to bring all 3 of us back to the Moorings dock. When I tried to negotiate the fee with the Moorings driver, he wasn't interested, so I sent him on his way and figured that I could find another taxi to take me back to the dock.

At this point it was 6am. I asked one of the baggage guys if the customs folks were there yet. He informed me that they wouldn't arrive until 8:30 or 9.

Not really feeling like waiting around with the risk that they wouldn't be able to clear a yacht out, I looked for another driver. Eventually, I noticed a guy dropping off a rather well dressed woman. He was driving the same kind of van as the taxi drivers. So I approached him about taking me back to the dock. He nodded, but kept his attention focused on his passenger, and walked her to the check in counter. As he stood there with his arm around her as she checked in, it started to dawn on me that he wasn't a taxi driver.

A few minutes later the not-a-taxi-driver waived me over to come along. I quickly said goodbye to Graham and Eryn and headed to the not-a-cab. On the way, I explained why I had assumed he was a taxi driver and apologized. He wasn't at all fussed about it, and told me to climb in.

As I climbed into the front seat (because it seemed rude get in the back), and buckled my seatbelt his wife came to my window.

"I turn around to say goodbye, only to discover that he's already replaced me with a younger model," she laughingly said.

"Don't worry, he's taking me straight back to my husband," I responded.

She made her way around to his door to give him another hug and a kiss before heading back into the hanger. During the ride back to the dock, he told me about their business, running a hotel on the island, and their family living in the states. Their son is a doctor and one of their daughters is a nurse practitioner. At the end of the ride, he wouldn't let me pay him.

[UPDATE: Eryn sent the following update:

"[W]e rode to San Juan with the wife you "replaced" and she had a great sense of humor about
the whole thing on the flight to St. Lucia. But on the flight from St. Lucia to San Juan her doubts got the best of her and I seriously had to reassure her that you were in fact married and would be leaving Canouan with your husband that very day.

Poor woman! It's a good thing I didn't tell her how you can charm the fish out of fishermen"

Sten picked me up at the dock, and we quickly raised anchor and headed for Union Island. After a lightning quick stop at Union, over a baguette lunch, we decided that we could make it to the southern tip of Grenada before sunset.

We had the most amazing day sail of our trip. The only transit that was close, was the trip almost two months ago from Antigua to Guadeloupe. The wind was perfect, the boat balanced, and we flew.

At one point, in the flat water in the shadow of Grenada, we hit 9.2 knots. This is a record for Mata'irea, if we don't include the times we've gone faster when surfing downwind or when assisted by current. Sten claims that the whole boat hunkered down a few inches as she hit her groove.

I was just happy to be on the boat again with nobody else but Sten. We've enjoyed having company this past month. Indeed, before Suzy showed up we were both desperate for someone to talk to other than each other. But now that we've had guests aboard for the the past few weeks, we can really appreciate being alone together again.

We arrived at St. George's just around sunset. We briefly nosed around the harbor to look for a spot to anchor, but it was too crowded for us, so we headed back outside to anchor off of the headland protecting the harbor. In the morning we'll go clear in.

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