We started our sailing season late this year because of Mark’s new endeavor in acquiring rental properties and all that entails. Our season will also be shorter than usual because of my commitment to work at Cedar Creek Bible Church’s annual Vacation Bible School (VBS)! Partly due to the short season, we are not planning on going anyplace we haven’t already been. Besides that, the places we have already been are awesome, and we want to visit them again. I like the return visit part of sailing because it feels a little bit like coming home, and I’m a girl that likes a homecoming .
I thought about not writing a blog this season since we’re not going anywhere new, but Mark has talked me into sharing at least a little bit of our life on Nancy Lu in 2018. A few of you back home have encouraged me to do so, as well… So I am happy to oblige.
So far, this season has been somewhat like I imagine a writing sabbatical would be. Before we left, I agreed to write the scripts for five days worth of 25 minute lesson/dramas for VBS, so I’ve spent quite a bit more time indoors than I usually do! It has been rewarding to do the study that I’ve done and to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I pray God’s blessing on my efforts! Day 4 has been submitted to Ken Emerson, my “boss”, for review—I’m near the finish line! Although, a few days after we get back to Texas, I begin directing the rehearsals for the lesson/dramas to be put on the next week. Part of my agreement to write these lesson/dramas is that I am a part of them! AGGGHHH! I’ll be hitting the solid GROUND running when I get back on it!
So what to share “2ufromNancyLu” about our 2018 season that hasn’t been shared before?…
Well, sometimes people ask me about eating and cooking on Nancy Lu. I don’t think I’ve written in depth about that subject before, so that might be a fun thing to share about. I always tell people that we eat mostly just like we do at home, and that’s true. There are things that are unique to cooking and eating on a boat, though.
Let’s just go through the process and compare:
It all starts with a list—same, well, unless you’re provisioning for a place and time that you know access to groceries will be limited. If that were the case, the list would be loooong and there would probably be multiple shopping trips. That wasn’t the case for us anchored in Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada. We were just doing weekly shopping.
Next, comes a dinghy ride to the dinghy dock—not same, well, unless you consider your dinghy analogous to your car, but I think not. A dinghy is too different from a car. A few differences are: you have to climb onto what sometimes feels like a bucking bronco, you manually pull a starter cord to start the engine, you get a little wet even on a sunny day’s drive,
you have to tie up your bucking bronco (er, dinghy) to a dock, etc…you get the idea, so—not same.
From the popular anchorages in Grenada, a shopping trip is a social activity for cruisers, involving the camaraderie of a ride on the shopping bus and,
perhaps, a visit over a smoothie (the IGA grocery store is in a mall) while waiting for everyone to get their shopping done. This little treat takes the edge off of not always being able to find everything that you were in the market for—not same.
Then there’s the piling of EVERYONE’S bags in the bus. On this particular trip, our bags got their own seat in the front by George, our regular driver—not same.
There’s major schlepping involved in a grocery shopping trip, which includes getting bags from the bus to a half way point,
from the half way point to the dinghy dock,
from the dinghy dock to the dinghy,
the dinghy ride to the boat,
getting the bags from the dinghy to the cockpit,
and from the cockpit to the cabin. The arduous job of getting bags back home is definitely— not same!
On Nancy Lu, we repackage most things into ziplock bags. This is what causes the putting away of groceries to take about an hour. I don’t do much repackaging back in Texas, so—not same.
We have identical sets of 3 cabinets on the starboard and port sides of the saloon. That is my pantry, with super easy access for which I am very grateful. The saloon is the equivalent of the living room in Texas, so—not same.
THIS. This is my refrigerator—NOT SAME. This is the source of some bitterness for me. Just look…
FYI, there’s a meat box underneath the CHEESE/DAIRY box, pictured.
The leftovers go shoved in behind the permanent boxes, such as the CHEESE box.
The veggie box goes on top of the Cheese box, holding veggies that need to be refrigerated right away.
The “round box” goes on top of the veggie box, holding veggies that don’t fit in the veggie box + stuff we use more than other stuff (or stuff I forget to put away where it belongs, and I’m too
tired bitter to pull everything out and put it where it belongs).
DONE! EVERYTHING IS IN ITS PLACE. Ah, these pictures represent a great sense of satisfaction!
Oh wait, it’s time for lunch—leftover taco soup…sigh…everything has to come out to get to the goods…THIS is why this refrigerator is a source of bitterness—NOT SAME.
Lunch is ready to be reheated in the little microwave—same.
One more thing: I would never think about doing a photo documentation of a grocery shopping trip back in Texas—not same!
Oh yeah, there’s the cooking and eating of the food:
Sometimes, I cook, well, mostly just prepare food when we’re sailing. Sailing causes the boat to heel over. It’s hard to get a picture that shows the angle of the heel, but the shot of the gimbaled stove and the water coming out of the faucet at an angle comes close—not same!
A side note: I stow the plant that usually sits on the table, in the sink when we’re underway.
Side note #2: Mark installed the gooseneck faucet this year. It makes it much easier to wash big pans!
Side note #3: I wash all dishes by hand on Nancy Lu—not same.
Some dishes we’ve had this season:
Broiled Parmesan Fish—same; Grouper and Bodi Beans—not same
Another dinner of Broiled Parmesan Fish—same; Amberjack and Christophene (light green veggies) –not same,
Chicken and Root Soup—same,
Tuna Salad Polynesian—same; Star fruit and a dollop of natural peanut butter (I didn’t have peanuts)—not same,
These super cute little cantaloupe melons that are soooo yummy—not same,
Baked Parmesan Chicken Breasts—same,
One Pan Cheesy Mexican Chicken Spaghetti (I didn’t think about taking a picture until it was in the leftover container)—same,
Grilled Teriyaki Pork Chops and Bananas with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce—same,
One Pan Mexican Quinoa—same,
Homemade yogurt—not same, and
Imperial Mangoes, like, EVERYDAY (notice the juice running down my hands)— not same.
They make great smoothies!
I promise that this is not all we’ve eaten; I just didn’t take pictures EVERY time we ate—same.
Well, let’s see what else I’ve not shared in previous blogs…Some different experiences in Grenada this year included:
anchoring in rolly Prickly Bay, Grenada, where we got some work done on our rigging.
We got a new dinghy. We decided to go with a new brand—Zar. Mark’s securing it to our dinghy davits.
We did a little dog sitting once we got around to Mt. Hartman Bay; Mark thinks he might want a Jack Russell Terrier, now. I say no because of shedding. I want a toy poodle. We’ve since found a breed that we think we may compromise on—a Bichon.
Desdemona was a good little dog who missed her man the whole time she was with us. She reminded us of how a little dog is a new-friend magnet!
Here’s to you Desi!
We’ve been to the Container Park, a St. George’s Medical School hang-out, before. But this year was the first time we did the approximately 6K round trip on foot both times we went (usually Shademan takes a big group in his taxi).
Walking made for a more guilt-free experience when opting for dessert at Oui Papa’s. SUPER YUM!! They serve delicious homemade ice cream. Mark got mint chocolate chip with real little bits of mint leaves in it—not that green colored stuff he usually gets in Texas! BTW, walking that far (or walking, period) to go out to eat is definitely different from our eating out experiences back in Texas.
Oh, and I got my hair colored PLATINUM!
Scene on the walk over to the Container Park
Scene as we arrived back at our anchorage just as the sun had set and the full moon was rising
We dinghied around for a Hog Island event for the first time—not really our scene, but look at that lobster!!
We sailed up the east side of Grenada on our way to Carriacou instead of the west side like we have in the past. It was a good sail at a good speed!
New experiences in Carriacou included:
checking in at Hillsborough instead of Tyrell Bay as we’ve always done in the past. The process involved filling out paper work at the Immigration Office in the police complex and then more paperwork at Customs, back out at the town dock.
I wanted to skip Tyrell Bay and stay a few days at Sandy Island (can you blame me?), which is why we checked in at Hillsborough.
It was a long dinghy ride into town, but worth it. The foul weather gear was not due to cold. I just didn’t want to get wet on such a windy day.
Just a few scenes from the dinghy ride in:
You can see the little sandy spit that is Sandy Island way in the distance. It’s about 1/2 mile in front of the taller island behind it.
Scenes from town:
I like Hillsborough.
We did a little shopping there after we checked in,
and had an enjoyable lunch with a great view at the Kayak Kafe’,
Scenes from the restaurant—the beach belongs to everyone:
Yes, he’s doing what you think he’s doing. It’s not an uncommon sight.
Mostly we just hung out at Sandy Island and did our first snorkeling of the season.
Then it was on to Bequia, with a little overnight pit stop, along with this cruise ship, in Mayreau, an island we’ve never visited before.
We are glad to be in Bequia. It’s a charming island, part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We’ve been here and enjoyed it every year we’ve been in the Caribbean, but this is the first year we’ve spent more than a week. We still have no firm plans to leave.
Things we’ve done for the first time here along with some beautiful scenes:
We had Grenadine Sails make us some snazzy dinghy chaps for our new dinghy!
We also had them make us slipcovers for our cockpit seat cushions and put a blue patch around the wheel of our helm cover.
We joined some other cruisers for a hike up to Peggy’s Rock. This is partway up.
Ahhh, the view is worth the strenuous hike! on one side, the view is of Admiralty Bay, where Nancy Lu is anchored.
This picture of our hiking buddies shows Friendship Bay on the other side. There is a small airstrip just below.
A plane took off below us while we were there!
We’re headed down to Lower Bay.
Looking back up to Peggy’s Rock—It’s the little black mark jutting up to the left of that big outcropping of rock.
We finally reached flat ground at the beach of Lower Bay.
Then, we headed up and over the headland on our way to Princess Margaret Beach.
The brand new walk way built last year was washed out in a storm, so we went around the old fashioned way.
We ended up at Fig Tree for brunch!
Anina and Charles on S/V Prism are two of the first cruisers we met when we started cruising back in 2011. We met them in Norfolk, VA. It was good to catch up with them.
Fig Tree offered a nice place to relax for some worn out 4 legged creatures as well as us 2 legged ones.
Another day, we walked about a mile up to a nice locally made pottery shop with some other new friends.
We also did some shopping at one of the open-air markets when we came back down into town…
Then we visited the dock to check out the catch of the day.
Fishermen clean the fish at the dock. We chose Amberjack. It is a mild and tasty fish. Mark’s been back to the veggie and fish markets so many times now that they recognize him. The fish guys tease him about the barracuda that he’s afraid of .
BEQUIA IS BOUNTIFUL—our haul for the day!
The island looks so pretty in the evening light!
We enjoyed the pizza at Mac’s one night. It is next door to Fig Tree, where I had learned from the radio net and from the friends that we hiked with…
and from the restroom walls in the restaurant that Cheryl Johnson, the owner, has been hosting a children’s reading club at Fig Tree every Saturday for eleven years. She invites cruisers to volunteer to help, which is right up my alley!
Mrs. Johnson has impressive dreds!
I got to read with two bright little 11 year old girls, Rennai and Kiki. They were very good readers and a lot of fun. Every week, the children read for their listeners, draw a picture of what they read, and then give a report to everyone. After that, Mrs. Johnson serves a snack!
I had a FUN time. My girls and their friends said they would like it if I came back and offered Garden Fantasy Ballet class. Mrs. Johnson said that she would be happy to let me teach there, so I’m looking forward to that in the future!
Mark brought some soursop back to the boat one day. This was my first time to have it. It’s way better than it looks. It tastes like sour candy!
I wonder if the captain of that boat behind us dutifully gets in the water and cleans the bottom like my captain does. Well, my captain did until a barracuda started hanging out underneath!
Goodbye cruise ship. Sorry you couldn’t stay longer!
Mark advertised on the radio net that he had some dinghy wheels and a seat to sell. Unlike most places we’ve been, here in Bequia, the net (morning community information program) is run by a local woman instead of cruisers. Local people listen as well as cruisers. A gentleman was interested in the dinghy accessories. He ended up purchasing them for a bunch of mangoes and a couple of papayas—score!
We sent Roland and Vicki, our new friends on S/V Bella Luna, on their way to continue there journey to Trinidad for hurricane season with a smoothie get-together on Nancy Lu. We really enjoyed getting to know them. They also have a Hallberg Rassy 43 and worked for that company for many years. Mark remembers corresponding with Vicki about ordering parts for Nancy Lu when we first bought her!