Though the composing of this blog update is belated, I know that I will enjoy reliving the memories it will bring to my mind as I write it, and again, as I peruse it through the years. I’ve already appreciated a little trip back in time as I selected photos to include. I hope that those who read this belated update will enjoy my recounting of some of our experiences these last couple of months as much as I enjoy recounting them!
We’ve only done two hashes to share in this blog update, Hashes #1186 and #1187 . The last hash we would have been able to do before we head back to Texas would have been #1194 on June 3. Unfortunately, I was not feeling up to that one. The difference between the last hash we did (1187) and the last one before we leave (1194) shows how belated I am with hash updates and how many we’ve missed since our last one on April 16. It is bitter to think that we’ve had our last hash of this season, but sweet to remember our last two!
Hash #1186, Hope playing field, St. Andrew:
I love seeing the unexpected sights of creativity and joy that we happen upon on many of our hashes!
Hash #1187, Nature’s Way Bar, Laura, St. Davids:
We came upon a boy who was getting ready for Easter by making one of the traditional kites that can be seen and heard around Grenada at that time.
His friends were playing a friendly game of basketball in the yard.
It was a treat to see this cute baby and hear her big sister’s polite and heartfelt wish for us to have a blessed Easter as we passed their house.
I chose the Local Jerk Chicken w/fried breadfruit @$25 ECD (approx.$8.00 USD.) for my post hash meal at Nature’s Way Bar in Laura, St. Davids.
We chose to enjoy the recording of our church’s Easter service rather than stream it live so that we could accept the kind invitation from Jules and Frank, the couple on who’s mooring we are, to have brunch and a game of Bocce Ball at The University Club, which is just about 50 yards in front of us. Along with Frank and Jules on s/v Ever After, we enjoyed the company of Myrna-Leigh and Barry on s/v Amazing Grace and Linda and Carl on s/v Escape Pod. It was a nice time!
We began counting down the days before our beloved daughters and Amy’s girlfriend, Marie, came to join us on Nancy Lu…
I got a much needed trim for my hair and had it blow dried for the first time in at least 17 years! Of course, I cannot keep this up out here! In fact, just hours after my hair appointment, I was headed to Grand Anse Beach to give 4 hours of swim lessons…
Since our girls would be visiting us during Grenada Swim Week, I could only volunteer for the first afternoon of the week-long event hosted by the same organization for which I volunteer every Saturday. It would have been fun to work with Amisha, the little girl I’ve worked with before, who came running toward me with a happy smile on her face, but it worked out that I taught 3 adult women that afternoon.
Although the girls’ visit had the potential to be characterized as a disaster due to Mark’s and my illnesses, which began for Mark, a couple of days before Grenada Swim Week, and for me, the day after. We also had a bit of rainy weather and a brief attack of flying ants. Despite these things…WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME!! How could we not with these 3 beloved girls?!
Of course, we let the girls know that Mark was sick(negative test for Covid) before they came. They decided to come anyway. By the time they got here, I had come down with the same symptoms. As a precaution, we put them up at True Blue Resort for two nights. While there, they enjoyed the wonderful complimentary breakfasts, pool time, and complimentary yoga. They ended up boarding Nancy Lu on the same day as Claire.
I was still under the weather, so Mark took them on the walk that we like to the end of the east point that forms our bay.
On the way back, they stopped to meet Frank and Jules from whom we rent our mooring and their boat cat, Cruiser.
When they got back, Claire performed the task of cleating the dinghy to Nancy Lu. She remembered how from her time living aboard!
The next day, Mark and the girls enjoyed their first adventure without me, also. I’m glad they got to hike to the 7 Sisters and Honeymoon Falls, which Mark and I had done with Penny and George back in March.
I was amused by Amy’s super protective visor that she wore when enjoying a swim off Nancy Lu or relaxing in the hammock that George made and let us borrow. I am glad that she takes care of her fair skin!
Much of the girls’ down time on Nancy Lu was spent playing games up in the cockpit or in the cabin below! They inspired Mark and me to have nightly Rummicub matches after they left!
A couple of days into their visit, we motored away from Prickly Bay to one of our favorite snorkeling spots in Grenada, the underwater statue park in Moliniere Bay. We spent a couple of rainy days there, enjoying the relative seclusion and, as Claire described it, the Jurassic Park-like surroundings. One of the highlights of our time moored near the statue park was forced on us by an unwanted visit by a swarm of flying ants attracted by the lights in our cabin as we settled down for an after-dinner game of Rummicub! We quickly turned out all the lights and scrambled up on the deck to wait for them to leave. When we settled down and looked up, we were treated to a beautiful starry sky that was revealed after a long break in the clouds! We oohed and aahed at the spectacular display of God’s creation before we decided to turn in for the night. The flying ants had gone, and we had a good night’s sleep before waking up to another unexpected nature-provided treat! The girl’s were in the cockpit sipping on their coffees and teas when Claire cried out, “Manta Ray!” Sure enough, one was leisurely cruising the area around Nancy Lu! Too bad we couldn’t get great pictures, but it was a special experience considering we’ve never seen one in all of our years on Nancy Lu!
When we returned to Prickly Bay, some of us were treated to another wonder of nature…
Amy and Marie, the two labor and delivery nurses, and I took Shademan’s bus to Levera Beach in the northeast corner of Grenada to watch the giant leatherback turtles come in from the ocean to lay their eggs! It was an awe-inspiring experience! The girls loved it! It’s always a gamble on whether your visit to the turtles’ nesting beach will coincide with a turtle’s visit, causing you to appreciate even more when one comes in! Something further to appreciate is when mama-turtle comes in early in the night! Ours showed up at 8:45! After watching her for a couple of hours until she made her way back to the ocean and disappeared out of sight and the long ride back to our southwestern bay, we got home around 1:00 a.m., not bad! When Mark, Claire, and I did this excursion a few years ago, Ms. Turtle did not show up until midnight, which made our arrival back on Nancy Lu 4:00am. This is the reason Claire decided to keep her turtle watching adventure to a truly once-in-a-lifetime-experience!
After our night of turtle watching, the three girls went off on their own for a beach day at Grand Anse Beach. We joined them for an early dinner at Umbrella’s!
We got up early the next morning for our reservation on Chico’s free bus to Le Phare Bleu Marina for coffee, juices and teas with macarons (mine was passion fruit and Grenada chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), poolside relaxing, beach admiring, and yummy lunching!
After a little dip in the ocean waters around Nancy Lu, we all took an evening walk together to the point so we could take pictures in the shirts that Ben, another of Amy and Marie’s apartment mates, custom made us for our time together on Nancy Lu! Thank you, Ben!!
Claire returned the favor one of the girls from a group of university girls enjoying a pizza picnic offered us by taking their picture before we made our way back to our dinghy at the University Club dinghy dock.
We took one last selfie during the golden hour before we dinghied back to Nancy Lu floating in the background.
Mark used, for the first time, the super cool, yet kind of nerdy, 360 degree head lamp that he had ordered and sent to Amy’s house for her to bring to Grenada with her when she came, along with other things.
On the morning before Claire’s flight left that afternoon, we all enjoyed a delicious breakfast and a fun game of bocce ball using the set that Frank and Jules so kindly suggested that we borrow to play with the girls.
Marie waved goodbye as Claire jetted away overhead just as they were returning to Prickly Bay after a tour she and Amy took of Belmont Estates while Mark and I said our goodbyes and accompanied Claire to the airport.
Early the next Amy, Marie, and I walked to True Blue to enjoy my regular Monday morning yoga together there. I was glad we got to do that together before they flew back to New York that afternoon. The two of them actually took in a yoga class there the morning they joined us on Nancy Lu 9 days earlier. That morning Mark had picked them up in the dinghy and I wasn’t too sick to do my happy dance for them on deck as I saw them approaching! It was definitely bitter to see all three of our beloved girls go back to their homes, but we cherish the sweet times we had and memories we made during their time with us on Nancy Lu!
After our girls left us, we returned the hammock and bocce ball set with thanks to Frank, Jules, and Cruiser, the boat cat, on Ever After. Cruiser jumped into our dinghy, but he jumped back onto s/v Ever After before we left. I hope that our landlords (more accurately, mooringlords) know how much we appreciate having had them for neighbors in the best spot in Prickly Bay and all the many kindnesses they showed us!
Mark got a much needed haircut and beard trimming at a barber shop close by so he could finish out our remaining month or so in Grenada looking kempt!
We celebrated Mother’s Day with Frank and Jules and other friends we’ve made through them playing Rummicub and bocce ball, eating yummy cheese burgers from the Sand Bar, and making and receiving Mother’s Day phone calls on charming little Calabash Beach at the head of Prickly Bay. I wore the beautiful necklace that all three of my children went in together to give me as a Mother’s Day/birthday gift, which Claire delivered to me when she came. I felt very special!
On my actual birthday I made a splash to commemorate my big 6-0 milestone! I did the same thing a few years back, the last time we were on Nancy Lu for my birthday.
I had to wait until the day after my birthday to receive my gift from Captain Mark. He had made a reservation for me to have a full body massage and facial at the swanky Calabash Boutique Resort. Although our mooring and Calabash Boutique Resort share the same bay, they feel like two different worlds. I luxuriated during my time in this pampering world at the head of the bay!
Later that evening, Mark and I enjoyed an early dinner at Umbrella’s and a sunset stroll on Grand Anse Beach!
FINALLY, Mark got to SAIL from Grenada to her sister island, Carriacou, where we spent a week!
We spent most of that WINDY week moored just off of picturesque Sandy Island.
From there, it was easy to take the complimentary water taxi into Paradise Beach Club where we enjoyed their wonderful cuisine and exceptional service and hospitality on three separate occasions! First, we experienced the special “Sunday Gospel Brunch”! I think my favorite part, besides the uplifting singing was the delicious cocoa tea, which I’ve come to learn is a sweet memory from childhood that most Grenadians share. It is now a sweet memory for me!
A “blood moon” appeared in the sky during our time at Sandy Island. Thankfully, Mark’s dad, David, texted, telling us about it at about 9:30 p.m. just as it was unfolding in the heavens above Nancy Lu! Otherwise, we would have missed the whole glorious sight! We both spent the first hour watching with our heads sticking up from our bedroom hatch, binoculars at the ready to get a more detailed view as it slowly went through different stages until it got to it’s most other-worldly, beautiful, glowing red stage. I must have gazed at it like that for the next hour as I lay in my bed looking up through the hatch as it drifted in and out of view as we swung on our mooring and it slowly returned to its usual full moon appearance while I drifted off to sleep. I was inspired to try and capture my impressions of the different stages I observed of this special occurrence in watercolor! I love God’s beautiful world that he made for us to enjoy and take care of!
Though more common than a lunar eclipse, sunsets at Sandy Island are just as special. I hope we never take them for granted!
We joined some new sailing friends at Paradise Beach Club on our third and last visit for their weekly “Sip and Paint” event. On our second trip to PBC, we had a scrumptious fish and chips lunch while I used their good WiFi to zoom into my weekly neighborhood ladies’ Bible Study and so we could get a taxi into town to extend our visa. Back to our last trip to PBC…We did not end up doing the painting part of “sip and paint” and we changed the “sip” to munch on pizza, but we got to know Benge and Debbie who had just bought our friends Penny and George’s boat, Star Shot. We did; however, see a lot of other cruiser friends’ painted signs from past “sip and paints” which were displayed all around! Hopefully, we’ll paint a Nancy Lu sign next year!
We enjoy the snorkeling scenes at Sandy Island as well as the scene above water! This year it was extra windy!
We spent one night anchored at a northern bay of Carriacou, Anse La Roche, where we enjoyed some more nice snorkeling.
Once we were back in our spot in Prickly Bay, I continued my weekly yoga classes and the nice walk there and back. One of the things I like at True Blue is all the metal sculptures with which they decorate. I don’t know if the ants crawling up the side of one of their buildings, visible from the street outside was new or I was just noticing it, but it caught my attention one morning as I walked back to the dinghy dock where Mark picks me up to dinghy me home!
I had been anticipating the arrival of May 28 ever since we got our tickets to go see my favorite Grenadian (and international) vocal artist, Sabrina Francis in concert! I’ve written about her before. We arranged for Chico to take us along with our new friends Debbie and Benge from s/v Star Shot and George and June from s/v Fathom This to Le Phare Bleu where she was having her first “Wide Open Concert” since Covid. We also met our friends, Steve and Annemarie from s/v FreeBooter with whom we spent Covid lockdown in Martinique, and hadn’t seen since then, at the concert. What a magical night!! The stage was set up in the area behind the beach where the girls and I frolicked and took pictures when we were there during their visit. What a gorgeous and atmospheric place for a concert! She sang her new single, Cocoa Tea, which I appreciated all the more because I had enjoyed the cocoa tea so much at Paradise Beach Club earlier that month! When she sang her love song to Grenada, “This Is Home”, and all of us in the audience waved our cell phone flashlights to the music, I couldn’t help but tear up! I did a fair amount of dancing, as well, to the more upbeat songs!
We had our last pleasant breakfast at the University Club and took lots of pictures featuring Nancy Lu in the background before hauling out for the season.
As I type out these last words of my last blog update for the season, we are high and dry with a forest of other masts in Spice Island Marine boatyard doing the myriad of jobs that are required to leave Nancy Lu for hurricane season.
I’ve had my last yoga class with our excellent teacher, Swati
and my last swimming class with Get Grenada Swimming.
It is truly bittersweet to think that in just 2 days, we will be flying home to Texas! I have really enjoyed staying in one of my favorite countries in the world for this whole season where I established routines such as yoga and swimming lessons. I will really miss that, but I am so looking forward to being back home in our house where the living is so easy and we are soon to be visiting with our beloved friends and family!