Sunday, January 23, 2011

Barbados to Grenada

We planned to stop in Barbados for just a few days, but ended up staying more than a week. The extended stay was partly due to wind and wave forecasts, but largely because we were enjoying ourselves. Upon arrival (the day before John’s birthday), we found several boats who had left Mindelo a week ahead of us, and while we were there, several who crossed at the same time arrived. Our speedy 14-day crossing was noted and admired.

Solstice at anchor

The beach

The information in the cruising guide about clearing into Barbados didn’t say that you couldn’t anchor and take your dinghy ashore to do the formalities, but a neighboring boat told us that they frown on it. That was after we had anchored. You’re supposed to call the port control and ask for permission first, but we listened to the radio and during our stay permission was never granted. Instead, everyone had to go into the commercial harbor and tie to the wall. Since we didn’t ask permission, we begged forgiveness, and it was granted with a scolding from the immigration and customs officials.

When our friends on Jinja arrived, we showed them where to anchor over by the yacht club to pick up the free wireless Internet signal. We weren’t anchored there yet because it was too crowded when we arrived, but we did move the next day. It’s much farther from the dinghy dock in town, but with our fast dinghy, we didn’t mind. In fact, our dinghy made us quite popular since we’re willing to give rides to people who are nice to us.

Together with Jinja, we rented a car to see the island, and Assaf kindly drove. They drive on the left in Barbados and Grenada, a relic of their colonial past, and we weren’t ready to try that. On our tour we went up the west coast to the northern tip of the island and back south through the middle and along a bit of the east coast. What a difference between the resort-lined west and the wild east! And what a beautiful island!

Wild north point with Liat and Assaf



On our own the next day we visited the Mount Gay Rum factory and enjoyed a tasting. Mount Gay was our rum of choice when we did a bareboat charter in the BVI a few years ago, so it was on our must-see list. We also left well supplied at a good price, thanks to a tip from friends on Juno. Although we managed to buy the rum duty free at Cave Shepherd, we won’t be doing the duty-free thing again. It caused all sorts of confusion and dismay when we checked out.

Rum tasting

When the wind and waves settled down a little, three of the boats who had crossed from Mindelo at the same time headed for Grenada: Solstice, Jinja, and Free Spirit. Maintaining our reputation for speed, we were the last to leave and the first to arrive. The passage was punctuated by squalls and lit by a full moon. There was even a moonlight rainbow. Spectacular!

Jinja and Free Spirit ahead of us in a downpour

So far Grenada is great too, and we’ve reconnected with our friends on Avocette and Alua. We’re having so much fun that it’s hard to find time to catch up on the blog.


Judy and Bill aboard S/V BeBe said...

Hard to believe that you are already back in the Caribbean. Enjoy!

peregrins2 said...

Great you're having so much fun (and safe)!

I remember that whole confusion with the checking in...we also took in the dinghy but we got permission because there were so many vessels coming in at once and the port was having a real problem with swell.

We'd heard another cruiser running into trouble with duty free and "how many" he could buy. So we stuck to just one bottle...