Diving Grenada

One day last week I was able to do a two-tank dive in Grenada.

Our first site was an area of the reef known as Happy Valley. The vibrant colors and variety of the coral and the sheer numbers of fish on the reef were amazing. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so many fish on a dive. The water clarity was excellent, and the dive, with depths of up to 73-feet, was really nice.

The second site was at the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park Sculpture park, which began construction in 2006 and is situated on the sandy ocean floor in Molinere Bay. Works include a group of children holding hands, a “Lost Correspondent” sitting at a desk with a typewriter, a “Christ of the Deep,” and various other sculptures. My video also caught a shy octopus attempting to avoid my camera among the sculptures. Unfortunately, the water clarity on this shallow sandy bottom was not great. It was further clouded by some very wild medical school students who had skipped class to dive on this beautiful day. They were constantly kicking up sand and spending inordinate amounts of time at every sculpture, making video a little bit of a challenge.

I hope you enjoy this 7-1/2 minute video, edited from two hours of footage:

Back in Port Louis

Last Monday, the 18th of July, we eased back into Grenada’s Port Louis Marina for a few days before returning back to the States. We were unable to reclaim our previous spot along the quay which is supplied with the 60 hertz electrical power (American), so instead we were directed to one of the other docks with 50 hertz power (which we can’t use without a transformer). This meant we would be without electricity for the week. There was very little wind blowing, which meant we were pretty toasty on board. On three of the evenings, we ran the generator for a couple of hours so that we could turn on the air for a respite from the heat and humidity.

Sunset at Port Louis Marina

Sunset at Port Louis Marina

Moonrise at the marina

Moonrise at the marina

Beatitude in her new slip.  We are still med-moored.

Beatitude in her new slip. We are still med-moored.

We’ve performed more boat tasks and maintenance during our time in Grenada than we have at any other time. The work continued as we finally (after several months of effort) were able to complete the repairs on our Garmin electronics. We’ve been without water temperature readings (no big deal) and wind speed and direction readings (bigger deal) since we left the Bahamas. When we replaced our electronics one year ago, we opted for wireless wind instruments. Big mistake! We finally decided to pay the extra labor to run the wiring up the mast to convert to a wired system. Alas! It works!

This, my friends, is wind information on my chart plotter!  Woohoo!

This, my friends, is wind information on my chart plotter! Woohoo!

This, my friends, is a water temperature reading (and wind speed)!

This, my friends, is a water temperature reading (and wind speed)!

Our tables were returned from the woodworking shop at Grenada Marine and they look great! A few years of salt water had weathered them pretty badly. The initial plan was to restore the finish on the old tables, but that didn’t work as planned. So we, in effect, have brand new tables for a the price of a refinish. We’re very happy with the results.

The old dining table.

The old dining table.

Our new dining table.

Our new dining table.

Our new "coffee" table

Our new “coffee” table

We also pulled out our gennaker (a large, light air head sail) and practiced rigging it up for use on coming passages. Now that we have some downwind sailing in front of us, we hope to finally be able to use it. We are committed to becoming better sailors (as opposed to motor-ers) in the future.

The gennaker raised on its halyard.  The sail is enclosed in an outside tube called a snuffer to allow the sail to be deployed and taken in easily.

The gennaker raised on its halyard. The sail is enclosed in an outside tube called a snuffer to allow the sail to be deployed and taken in easily.

Raising the snuffer on the gennaker.

Raising the snuffer on the gennaker.

Otherwise, I spent a couple of days wading through piles of paperwork and red tape, applying for state medical licenses and hospital privileges for future locums work. We walked downtown to have few forms notarized and had lunch at The Nutmeg on the Carenage. We cooled down in the pool on a couple of afternoons. And, one evening, we enjoyed a potluck dinner at the marina for cruisers. Its always nice meeting and mingling with others who share a similar passion.

The Nutmeg Restaurant along the Carenage.

The Nutmeg Restaurant along the Carenage.

The restaurant is located on the second floor of an old building.  From our table we have an excellent view of the carenage and all the activity below.

The restaurant is located on the second floor of an old building. From our table we have an excellent view of the carenage and all the activity below.

Waiting on lunch at the Nutmeg

Waiting on lunch at the Nutmeg

On-the-water living in downtown St. George

On-the-water living in downtown St. George

Learning the ropes.

Learning the ropes.

Potluck time!

Potluck time!

Sitting with a group of Italian sailors (and a couple from Idaho), enjoying the good food.

Sitting with a group of Italian sailors (and a couple from Idaho), enjoying the good food.

While shopping for a few groceries at FoodLand, we witnessed several people who had won a contest go on 2-minute shopping sprees, filling their carts with free groceries!

While shopping for a few groceries at FoodLand, we witnessed several people who had won a contest go on 2-minute shopping sprees, filling their carts with free groceries!

Returning from the grocery store with our faithful wagon, one of our best buys ever.  We bought it at Sam's Club a few years ago and we use it to haul just about anything and everything just about everywhere.

Returning from the grocery store with our faithful wagon, one of our best buys ever. We bought it at Sam’s Club a few years ago and we use it to haul just about anything and everything just about everywhere.

I am now in Maine where I am working for a couple of weeks to keep the cruising kitty replenished. It needs it after the extensive work we’ve had done. Cindy is in Ohio with her family during this time. In eleven days, we’ll return to Beatitude once again.

Interesting-looking mother hen and her chicks

Interesting-looking mother hen and her chicks

Right after I almost face-planted while walking down the dock.

Right after I almost face-planted while walking down the dock.

Two Days in Mt. Hartman Bay

On Friday afternoon, Beatitude splashed back into the water and we made the short trip westward along the southern coast of Grenada to Mt. Hartman Bay. We spent three nights on the hook in this beautiful bay.

Saturday’s grand excursion was a walk over the hill from Mt. Hartman Bay to Prickly Bay. It wasn’t far (about a mile or so), but it was either straight up hill or straight downhill. Nonetheless, it was a nice hike through a very nice neighborhood. We had lunch at the Prickly Bay Marina Tiki Bar, bought some groceries and ice, and hired a taxi to take us back to Secret Harbour Marina, which is the only marina on Mt. Hartman Bay. We luxuriated for most of the evening sitting on the bow deck beneath our triangular sunscreen we recently purchased. We watched sea turtles raise their heads above the water several times before diving for food once again, we basked in the beauty of the surrounding hillside and the mountains off in the distance, and we joyed in the grandeur of God’s great creation. We also enjoyed a refreshing swim in the water around Beatitude.

My beautiful bride in the salon.

My beautiful bride in the salon.

Our cacti in the cockpit

Our cacti in the cockpit

Walking over the hill from Mt. Hartman Bay to Prickly Bay

Walking over the hill from Mt. Hartman Bay to Prickly Bay

One of the very nice homes on our walk over to Prickly Bay

One of the very nice homes on our walk over to Prickly Bay

Relaxing in style on the bow

Relaxing in style on the bow

Since there was no church within easy walking distance on Sunday, we performed the morning prayer of the daily office on-board Beatitude. We decided to go in to the marina for lunch, but upon arriving at the restaurant, we were notified that it was not open. But, fortunately, every Sunday there is an excellent BBQ up by the pool for a very reasonable price. So, we ascended the many steps up to the poolside bar area and sat down to enjoy both the BBQ ribs and the amazing views of the harbour.

Beatitude in Mt. Hartman Bay

Beatitude in Mt. Hartman Bay

Another view of the bay

Another view of the bay

The Mt. Hartman Bay Anchorage taken from the Secret Harbour Marina pool area

The Mt. Hartman Bay Anchorage taken from the Secret Harbour Marina pool area

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Beatitude at anchor

Beatitude at anchor

BBQ Lunch at Secret Harbour Marina

BBQ Lunch at Secret Harbour Marina

Later in the afternoon, we took Dalí out to the edge of the harbour whose entrance is surrounded by several reefs. We dropped anchor near one of them, and I enjoyed snorkeling in the area for a little while, while Cindy stayed on Dalí. I was the guinea pig. If the snorkeling was really nice, she would join me. But, there was nothing spectacular about this area. Still, it was nice to be in the water — and I did see some coral and some fish.

Cacti growing on the hillside - as we make our way to the reef to snorkel

Cacti growing on the hillside – as we make our way to the reef to snorkel

Looking back from the reef

Looking back from the reef

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

We also met another 420 owner! Jeff, and his friend Chris who assisted him in bringing the boat down to Grenada from St. Martin, have been in Grenada for a couple of weeks. He just purchased the boat and has little sailing experience, but is ready to try his hand at cruising. These are the second 420 owners we’ve met in the last few days. I hear there may be another one or two 420s in the area. In the states we saw much fewer catamarans, much less Lagoon 420s. I guess we just needed to come to the Caribbean to find others who are enjoying life aboard a vessel like ours.

In the foreground is the Lagoon 420 Horizons, directly behind is Beatitude

In the foreground is the Lagoon 420 Horizons, directly behind is Beatitude

With Chris and Lagoon 420 owner, Jeff (on right)

With Chris and Lagoon 420 owner, Jeff (on right)

Upon arising on Monday morning, we tackled cleaning out one of the forward lockers which had somehow become flooded with rainwater. It was an exhausting job, but we felt much better with the task accomplished. Shortly after recovering from our manual labor, we weighed anchor and made our way out through the reefs of Mt. Hartman Bay for the 11-nautical mile journey back to the lagoon in St. George and the Port Louis Marina. It was another fine day for boating in the bright sunshine and slight winds.

Pumping the water out of a forward locker

Pumping the water out of a forward locker

The contents of the locker, cleared out so the water can be removed

The contents of the locker, cleared out so the water can be removed

A look at the reef as we leave Mt. Hartman Bay

A look at the reef as we leave Mt. Hartman Bay

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Cindy relaxing on the bow en route from Mt. Hartman Bay to St. George Lagoon

Cindy relaxing on the bow en route from Mt. Hartman Bay to St. George Lagoon

Scenery approaching Port Louis Marina

Scenery approaching Port Louis Marina