Cruising Friends

Posted by Grant Headifen on June 17, 2009 under Bareboat Charter | Be the First to Comment

This is an email to me from some friends, Chris and Chris and their kids, who took the plunge and went off cruising in their Catamaran – Stray Kitty. Cool name for a Catamaran by the way. It’s posted here with their permission. We thought that is was such an inspiring story that we wanted to share it. And oh by the way keep an eye out for the NauticEd Catamaran Confidence course that is currently in the works. Follow us on twitter to be informed about it’s launch.

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Subject: Limin’ in Grenada, West Indies

At the beginning of April, we decided to head back North to Martinique
from St. Lucia.  We sailed half the way until we got tired of fighting
the current against us so we motored the rest of the way. Martinique
is another island owned and administered by France so it has very
European feel to it. We rented a car and drove all around the island,
the roads were very nicely paved and they even had round-a-bouts!
Yeah we are back in the land of baguettes and cheese.

We headed back to St. Lucia and picked up our friends Mike and Lynn
who came to visit us from Ottawa for a week. We sailed down to Bequia,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines with them and stayed there for the
week..  We had a great reunion. Thanks again Lynn for the girl guide
cookies and Tim Hortons coffee!!!

After they left we tried to visit all the islands of the Grenadines,
there are eight of them. We almost accomplished it, we stopped at all
of them except Palm Island.   The Tobago Cays were amazing – clear
water, amazing snorkelling, we were able to snorkel with turtles every
day.  We met our friends on sv Pickles and they introduced us to
another family on sv Alouette with two children the same ages as ours.
There really is nothing better than that.

Union Island, one of the Grenadine Islands is where Ryan turned
seven!!!  There were no other kid boats around so we tried extra hard
to make it special for him.  We gave him a children’s recipe book and
asked him to choose what he wanted for his birthday.  We spent the day
eating chocolate chip pancakes, hot dogs, dishes of dirt, and
mudslides!!!  Mike and Lynn brought down gifts from Grandma and
Grandpa and we found him a few things here in the Grenadines, Chris
took him tubing and the kids played in the water for a long time.
Good thing, because the next day there were thousands and thousands
and thousands of large green jelly fish that floated by the boat all
day long, so swimming was absolutely out of the question.

We have been in Grenada now for approximately three weeks and
counting.  We hauled the boat out of the water and survived living on
the hard for five days. We replaced the fixed propellers to feathering
propellers (Kiwis), they turn streamline when sailing so they are not
left spinning.  We also sanded the bottom and repainted it with salt
water anti-fouling as opposed to the fresh water anti-fouling that was
barely there.  We hope to regain our speed now without all the marine
life that was clinging to the bottom of our boat!

There is a large cruising community in Grenada.  A cruising net on the
VHF radio every morning broadcasts the upcoming social activities,the
weather and what people have for sale.  We are exhausted as we are not
used to all these organized activities! So far we have been to a fish
and chips night, taken a two hour bus ride to see leatherback turtles
crawl out of the ocean and lay their eggs on the beach, gone to an oil
down which is the local dish of Grenada where they throw a ton of
locally grown vegetables, pig snouts and chicken in a pot then boil it
down on an open fire with coconut milk that they make themselves.
Everybody helped cut the vegetables and prepare the food.  It was
absolutely delicious and the kids loved it too.  And been to a rasta
organized beach bbq.

We met a few other families with young children.  SV Airbender, a
couple from California have six year old twins on their 60 foot
catamaran.  (We thought we had a lot of room until we saw their boat)!
They are on the same route as us and we plan to buddy boat with them
which will be great as Ryan and Elliot were so happy to make
acquaintances!  SV Heat Wave with six year old Charlotte on board was
another boat we spent time with in Grenada.  SV Wild Vanilla has two
children on board and we spent a couple of afternoons hanging out at
the beach.

June 1st is the official start of hurricane season.  People we have
met here are either staying for the season in one of the protected
anchorages, getting ready to haul out here or in Trinidad (an
overnight sail away) or leaving for the ABC’s (like us).  Charter
boats are nowhere to be seen now, the season is over for another year.

Also while here in Grenada, we are working like mad fiends trying to
finish the school year.  Our goal is to be done by Friday.  Chris had
an alternator repaired and we are getting some sun covers for the
cockpit made.  Once school is done, we plan to go on an island tour as
a celebration.  Then we are very excited to start heading west into
new cruising territory.  We plan to go to the Venezuelan offshore
islands, then the ABC’s which are Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.   We are
getting ready to say good-bye to the Eastern Caribbean!

The big news is that we have booked flights to Ottawa on July 26th.
We will leave the boat in a secure marina in Aruba and fly to Ottawa
for a three week visit.  The kids are so excited.  We have booked them
into camps for two weeks and the rest of the time we just plan to hang
out and spend time with family and friends.

Till next time………
Christine and the crew on Stray Kitty