Our fun in Grenada continued until February 15. I really enjoyed staying for so long. We were in Grenada for a total of 36 days; 23 of the 36 were spent anchored in Mt. Hartman Bay. I think I would have been happy to stay put for our whole sailing season, but there is so much to experience and discover throughout the Eastern Caribbean that we eventually got on our merry way! We’ll be back to leave Nancy Lu here for hurricane season (AKA Back-to-Texas Season).
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REMAINDER OF OUR TIME IN GRENADA:
Friday nights in “Camp Grenada” mean “Shademan” offers the service of picking up cruisers from the different anchorages and delivering them to the “container park” for dinner. We took advantage of this opportunity one Friday night along with fellow cruisers, and had a delicious meal enjoying the company of fellow cruisers.
Let me explain “Shademan”. “Shademan”, Patrick, is an integral part of “Camp Grenada”. He’s a bus driver that sort of specializes in servicing cruisers in the southern anchorages of Grenada. There are a couple of others that do the same, but “Shademan” is whom we’ve dealt with the most. He comes on the VHF “net” every morning during the local business section, asks if anyone is celebrating a birthday or anniversary that day, and gives them his well wishes. He then tells about all the places and events, for that day, that he could take someone to celebrate, and tells what the fee would be. If anyone wants to take advantage of the ride he’s offering (whether it’s their birthday or not), they wait until after the “net” and give him a call on the radio or phone. His hope is to get a full bus, and he usually does. So Shademan’s weekly Friday evening destination, the “container park”, is like a collection of food trucks in the USA. It is close to St. George’s University, and lots of students hang out there on Friday nights. There is food of every “denomination”, as Shademan advertises(that word choice always made me giggle)! Each container (like you would find on a cargo ship or train) specializes in something different. I had an Indian chicken curry and rice dish that was scrumptious from one container, a smoothie from another, AND coffee from another!
It was a treat to invite Cliff to join us that Friday night. He’s a friend from the “Chat-N-Chill Rat Pack” who arrived in Mt. Hartman earlier that day. Patrick was there at 8:30ish to take us all back to our anchorages. A good time was had by all!
Pretty lily in a “container pond” at the “container park”
Saturdays are Hash days in Grenada! We went on two hashes while we were there. I’ll explain: This is another regular event to which Shademan offers transportation. A Hash is a trail-running/walking event done in many countries around the world put on by the, now, worldwide club called Hash House Harriers. I Googled “What is a hash, Grenada?” to learn enough about it so that I pretty much knew what Mark and I were getting ourselves into. Let me just say, right off the bat, that it has nothing to do with hashish, haha! Basically, anyone is welcome to run or walk in a hash. In Grenada, they meet at a different, pre-determined place each week, have a little opening ceremony, run or walk a trail that takes the participants over hill and dale ending up back where you started, have a closing ceremony, and finally, enjoy food and drink. It’s really more like a trail-following game with special symbols and lingo used to play. Their motto is: “We’re a drinking club with a running problem”. This didn’t stop us nondrinkers. It sounded like fun way to see more of Grenada, and we were assured that there would be nonalcoholic beverages, as well.
Our first hash, which we enjoyed with Nicki and Richard from s/v Hello Texas, was during Grenada’s Independence week. Everyone was encouraged to wear Grenada colors! I had gotten my t-shirt on the Cutty tour, and I safety pinned a Grenada courtesy flag to an old George Town, Bahamas Cruiser’s Regatta t-shirt for Mark!
These ladies looked serious, warming up!
Mark signed us up as walkers, duh.
Part of the opening ceremony dictates that anyone caught wearing new shoes has to drink beer out of their left shoe, ewwwww! The powers-that-be look for new shoes like hawks—unlucky lady!
Off we went on our first hash! The Independence Day hash started near the National Stadium in the capital city, St. George, and went up, up, up through some of the neighborhoods in the city. It seemed to me that there’s a pretty even mix of locals, university students, and tourists who take part in hashes each Saturday. Most of the tourists are probably cruisers.
National Athletics Stadium
The city was decked out in Grenada colors for Independence Day.
The climb began.
A hash is a great way to get an up-close and personal look at where you are! People came out of their homes and encouraged us. These steep dirt trails meandering through the hills are the “sidewalks” of these capital city neighborhoods.
We’d made it up pretty far!
We had further to go!
Great view of the National Stadium!
The little girl and other kids on the other side of the house up ahead were really cheering the hashers on.
When I asked if I could take their picture, they struck their “gangster” poses.
Paper along the way was how they marked the trail on this hash.
Headed down, now, the white paper let us know we were on the right trail.
I was interested to see all the different houses.
Oh man, we were headed up again. It helps with the climb to put your hands on your hips, lol! The volcanic boulders were handy as steps.
Mark was ready for a little water break,
so that gave me time to take more pictures!
This little girl kept running ahead of her mother and then turning around to wait, with her fist on her hip, for mom to catch up!
There’s Mom taking a little rest from doing the hands-on-hips-will-help-me-climb-this-mountain-technique, and smiling up at her daughter and me!
Laundry drying on a rock
We passed these men clearing land.
Their goats are tethered beside the trail.
Grenada proud, and sweaty!
We came out on a main road painted with Grenada pride. My t-shirt color supports the NNP as does the graffiti on this wall.
The paper marked a trail for runners that took them up into that neighborhood. The walkers stayed on the road, Whew!
We passed a game in progress on our way back to the stadium!
Passing through the stadium complex…
A BBQ at the end was our reward. That’s breadfruit salad, not potato salad, but it tastes almost the same, yum!
Here we are at the closing ceremony. I wanted to make sure that I got my certificate of completion for a first-timer, so we gathered with the rest of them. Nicki had warned me that they spray all the first-timers with beer, but I had totally forgotten! So when they instructed us to raise our arms and holler, on their count, I was so enthusiastic, and then AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! We were soaked!
After going back to sit with Nicki and Richard and finish my BBQ dinner, which I had left to go get sprayed with beer, we loaded ourselves back in Shademan’s bus. We were back at Mt. Hartman Bay before dark, ready for a shower, with our first hash under our belt!!
We enjoyed attending Grande Anse Baptist Church the next day! On the way home from the hash, we had asked Shademan if he had any suggestions on how we could get to church the next morning. He told us about a fellow cruiser in our anchorage who he knew of who gets picked up every Sunday. He suggested asking him about it. We just happened to meet that fellow cruiser, Stan, at the dinghy dock that evening, so he told us what time the bus driver would pick us up in the morning! It turns out that the church pays a bus driver, John, to pick people up for free. AWESOME!
We attended Sunday School and worship service. It was really good, and LONG (4 hours)!
First time visitors get served a snack after the service. Stan got to enjoy the treat with us even though he’s a regular.
The sandwich was some sort of yummy meat spread. The pound cake was festive, in national colors, as was most everyone that Sunday. The juice was local golden apple juice—what a nice thing to do for visitors!
We loaded back on the bus to head home. Most of the kids on the bus came by themselves. This little girl is just one example of all the national pride that was on display that Sunday!
After a nap, we went over to Kathe and Gary’s boat, Tribasa Cross for a visit. They are former Rat Packers who had come into the anchorage the day before! We’ve been buddy boating with them ever since.
Independence Day finally came, and Shademan made sure any cruisers that wanted to go to the National Stadium for the military parade would have a way to get there! He came by Secret Harbour Marina at 8:30am where there was a group of us ready to go! He told us, on the way, that he was working on a special treat for us on the way back, but he wouldn’t tell us what it was since it wasn’t a sure thing yet.
People were decked out showing their national pride!
There was much pomp and circumstance! The Governor General (The British representative to the government-Grenada is a British Commonwealth) was invited to inspect the military groups. We watched as she walked by each group. She reminded me of Queen Elizabeth II, herself!
A dog that had wandered into the festivities shot off at top speed across the field when the military did a 21 gun salute to the Prime Minister! Everyone laughed, which made me uncomfortable. I didn’t want the Prime Minister to get miffed. I was pretty sure he had no idea what was happening…that’s just me!
Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell, on the podium
We watched the Prime Minister give his speech on the big screen.
After the speech and the military groups proudly and seriously paraded in front of the Prime minister twice (the first time was slow and the second time was double time—the people clapped and cheered), the dancers came out and performed!
Then the band performed! Things were getting a lot less serious.
There was so much pride in the stands!
We were happy to be there!
The TV station reporter interviewed these cute little twins sitting in front of us, and then she interviewed ME! I wonder if I was on NATIONAL TV that night!!!!
Vendors were selling all kinds of things. Mark got us some avocados.
We saw Mr. Denis Noel whom we had met on the Cutty tour—still not interested in that Noni juice!
Patrick’s surprise for us was a stop here for…
Grenada’s national dish, oildown. It’s like a stew with chicken, pork, callaloo, carrots, breadfruit, dumplings, curry, the kitchen sink, and whatever! No two are the same.
We saw and heard these guys on the street on the way home!
Shademan was in a great mood that day and decided to pick some, I think he called it large tarragon, for us. He said it was good to season chicken and other stuff. It smelled good, but I haven’t used it yet. It’s in water on Nancy Lu. He reminded me of Cutty!
Everybody piled out of the bus for one last stop before we reached the anchorages, at Nimrod’s, for rum punch or, in my case, just to visit some more!
A big part of being at “Camp Grenada” is the shopping bus. I’ve written about catching buses to take you shopping or wherever you want to go. These run all the time and are very much appreciated, but they can take a long time because of the many stops they make to let people on and off. You also need to know which ones go where, and none of them pick up at Secret Harbour, where we were. This means an inconvenient dinghy ride or a walk to where they pick up, sooooo… “Shademan was at our service” again, with the flat fee shopping bus for cruisers!!! There are other’s who provide this service. Different days mean different stores and different combinations of stores including Island Water World, the hardware store, the grocery store, the downtown market, CK’s (Grenada’s Costco on a MUCH smaller scale), etc. It’s usually a 2 or 3 hour trip, and very convenient.
The sight of this landmark on the long dinghy ride from Mt. Hartman Bay to Woburn Bay to catch the #2 bus at Nimrod’s is one that you are happy to miss on a windy day with a lot of shopping on your agenda!
Photos of the downtown market portion of a typical Saturday shopping bus trip with Shademan:
I love to browse through the vegetable stands, ask what’s what, and try new things!
Grenada has French history, and it shows in a lot of the signage. Abattoir is French for slaughter house. I don’t know what Lairs means.
The sign on this building just says Meat Market.
We’ve been enjoying fish tacos made from this yellow fin tuna.
We did lots of other shopping that day,
including a trip to CK’s where I couldn’t resist buying this locally made candy to try. I love it! They’re like natural sour gummy worms—addicting.
Now, I just find a tree, crack open the shell, and eat the tamarind pulp without the added sugar. It tastes sort of like a dried apricot but soft. the seeds are kind of big. The candy I bought had the seeds still in, so eating straight from the tree is not much different from eating the candy.
We also found a shoe store downtown where I got the ugly hiking sandals that I’m wearing in the picture, above, for our second hash later that day.
This one started at Grande Anse Beach, which is also in St. George. Many times hashes are in more rural areas, but not the two we did.
You may be wondering if I had to drink beer out of my new left shoe. Well, no! I wore my old shoes until everyone was signed in and the ceremony was almost over. I then ran back to Shademan’s bus (where he was already sound asleep, BTW), and put on my new sandals. They worked great! I have a hard time with closed toe shoe, especially downhill!
The beach didn’t last for long, and it was back to the hands-on-the-hips-climbing technique and
and more cute, enthusiastic, kids eager to point us in the right direction and cheer us on!
This time, the trail was marked with flour. A circle means you have to choose from two trails, with one of them being false. There are words that you can yell to other hashers that are ahead of you on the trail (I can’t remember what). If they yell back, “On on!”, that means to follow, but “On back!” means take the other trail. There are other “obstacles” that I can’t remember, but it makes for a fun time!
We came to a bottle neck because of…
…this steep, narrow trail. It was slow going!
We enjoyed Grande Anse Baptist Church again the next day. This Sunday, it was 15 minutes shorter than last,
and we were piling back onto the bus.
A few more highlights at “Camp Grenada” included
a little volleyball practice for Mark with Richard from S/V Hello Texas,
watching Nicki and Richard play some “real” matches with university students who come over to Secret Harbour Marina for weekly games. I was impressed with the old folks!
and Valentine’s Day festivities. February 14 was our last full day at “Camp Grenada”.
We pulled anchor the next day and had a beautiful sail to the west side of Grenada, just north of where we did our first hash. This began our buddy boating with Tribasa Cross. We wanted to snorkel at Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park before we headed to the island of Carriacou on the 16th. I was pretty excited, hoping to get some good photos. I think I NAILED IT!
This picture shows part of the most famous of the sculptures by British sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor, in the park. She is part of a circle of children holding hands. The complete sculpture is called “Vicissitudes”, but it is more commonly called “Circle of Children” by locals. Only a few of the children are still standing. It was damaged by a storm surge, and later, replaced with another circle of children, also called “Vicissitudes”. Isn’t she gorgeous?
“The Lost Correspondent”
This and the next five photos are of the newer “Vicissitudes”…
Aren’t they Awesome. I didn’t even find them all. The above photo shows three of 16 statues cast from a local Grenadian woman. They were intended to be lying down on the sea floor. They were the first statues installed in 2006. They’re called “Grace Reef”. I think it’s eerily beautiful.