Sunday, 20 September 2009

Crisis onboard!

It was a major crisis...our big, brown teapot broke! Nic's shorts brushed it off its perch after breakfast. Considering that Irony is kept running by Nic who in turn runs on a constant supply of tea this constituted a life-threatening disaster. In the hopes of preserving what little sanity we both have left after over 7 years of life on the seas, I decided to set out on a mission to replace it.

Since our dinghy was sitting on deck after being glued again I had a challenge just getting on land let alone to a shop. Step 1 was to swim over 200 metres to shore with some clothes in a waterproof bag. Armed with a small bottle of fresh water to wash off the salt, I got dressed and stashed my wet things in the bushes. After a trek across some grassland I got onto a dirt track leading to a gated bridge across from the island where we are anchored. Having crawled through a miniscule hole under the locked gate, I then embarked on a long walk, having no idea where I was going to end up, through the countryside in the heat of the day to reach a road where I could get a local bus into town. I must have looked rather pink and damp because the Rasta’s at the roadside BBQ where I asked directions offered me a seat in the shade while I waited for the bus! Anyway, I finally got to a hardware shop and found a teapot. Then, of course, I had the long trip back including the return swim to the boat but I did make it back for afternoon tea!

To compound the lunacy, after relaying my adventure to Nic, we decided that the 10 mile round-trip walk was good exercise and set off again on Thursday to do it again together. It is a beautiful walk with millions of multi-coloured butterflies flitting over the bushes, white heron picking their way through the mudflats and horses, cows and goats grazing at the side of the track. The end of the walk reaches a village with characteristic Caribbean wooden houses in brightly painted colours engulfed by lush tropical plants. Some are little more than one room shacks with their inhabitants living incredible primitively with no electricity or running water but they are all immaculately clean and tidy.

The next day we did it all again, this time to meet up with some friends and go up north to Gouyave, the fishing capital of Grenada, where they have a fish fry every Friday. The locals block off a couple of streets, put up stalls and serve fish, fried plantain and breadfruit etc. Our return walk was in the dark under a ceiling of stars and the swim back to the boat was incredible with phosphorescence sparking off every finger.

Generally we have been enjoying a relaxed time here in Grenada. There is a huge community of boats anchored here for the summer and a wealth of activities and social events to get involved with. We even volunteered for a
tutoring programme which is organised by some cruisers here to help island kids with reading and maths. We’re a bit out of practice but thought the kids needed some English accents rather than just American! They were lovely children of ages ranging from 5 to 14 and a couple of local women (with very London accents from previously living there!) run it so we hope the cultural messages being sent out by a group of white yachties doing this are not too negative.