Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 13, 2007 - Prickly Bay, Grenada

We've been in Grenada for almost two weeks. This is the longest that we've been in one spot since we left St. Maarten two months ago. We've really enjoyed the island. The people are friendly, the public transportation system easy to use, the grocery stores are well stocked and the main language is English. Inertia has started to set in.

We're both anxious about the passage ahead. It will be our first offshore trip since we arrived in St. Maarten in the beginning of December. As we get closer to leaving, we both keep thinking about how much we didn't enjoy the prior passages. Last night Sten turned to me and (in jest) said, "We could just stay in Grenada." But after reviewing the bonefishing and lobster-eating opportunity ahead in Los Roques, we're still planning to leave this morning.

We had been hoping to leave on Sunday, but we needed to have some minor details finished on our new canvas. So on Sunday we motored over to Hog Island, to check out a beach bar and enjoy some BBQ. It was a great excuse to get everything stowed and the boat back in passage condition. We also met some other cruisers and enjoyed hearing their stories. We met one couple who had been in Grenada for four years now. Somehow, this didn't seem as odd to us as the yachties who had spent years in St. Maarten. We just like Grenada that much more.

Our two day delay looks like it will work in our favor. Usually, the wind around here comes from due east. We need to spend the next two days going due west. Mata'irea, like most boats, doesn't do terribly well going dead downwind. Even with a preventer on to reduce the risk of an accidental jibe (the boom swinging from one side to the other), it is a rolly ride. She would much prefer to take the wind over either of her aft quarters, or in other words, on a broad reach. So, we had planned to take a circuitous route to Los Roques - head north west for the first day and then south west for the second - to avoid going dead downwind.

The latest GRIB file shows that the wind is going to back to the northeast over the next 24 hours, so it looks like we'll be able to run a rhumb line course afterall.

The windward and leeward islands have been a great training ground for us. But it is time for us to do some more challenging cruising. As we restrung our jacklines, deflated the dinghy, stowed its anchor and fuel tank in the lazarette, and mounted the dinghy engine on the stern rail, we transitioned from cruising mode to voyaging mode. We both feel like the adventure is really beginning with this upcoming passage west.

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