Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Carriacou

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Our first stop in the country of Grenada was the island of Carriacou. We anchored off Hillsborough and went in to clear customs. This was the friendliest and most helpful customs and immigration that we’ve dealt with in ages. Immigration first, across the street from the pier in the police station, then back to the pier for customs. (It turns out that there is a new customs and immigration office around the corner in Tyrrel Bay, so that is probably easier for cruisers – don’t know if they are as friendly).

carriacouIMG_5234 The real reason for this quick blog was to post this picture for my friend Will. He works in the area of saving mangroves, trading for carbon credits and looking for a true love. The crane in the photo is dredging the mangroves on the right, making room for a larger pier/bulkhead area. The white marker in the foreground says “Marine Protection Area”.

carriacuoIMG_5241  The mangroves here in Tyrrel Bay also make good boat parking spots during storms.

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When you first show up in Tyrrel Bay you are likely to be met by Simon in his leaky dinghy. He sells a number of items and offers services for cruisers. One thing he is pushing is a good deal on Chilean white and red wine. Let’s just say the white is something to stay far away from. I’m not known for my refined wine palette, but I knew just smelling it it wasn’t for me. Friends said the red was decent, but we never got to try it as it ended up in the bilge after the bottle broke during an unexpectedly rough passage. We’re told the money is going to a good cause- to buy Simon a new boat.

carriacuoDSCN2221 We anchored off Sandy Island for the day so Chris could get in her beach walk. Too rough to dive, but good swimming and beach time.

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Chris, ever the hunter-gather, did find this giant helmet conch. The resident quickly requested that he be placed back on the bottom.

carriacuoIMG_5259After we left Carriacou we headed for the small island of Ille de Ronde. Very remote with a few fishermen's skiffs and houses onshore, not much else. Good snorkeling, but a rolly night with the swells working around the end of the island.

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One thing interesting about Ronde is that the anchorage is about 5 miles east of the active underwater volcano called Kick ‘em Jenny. The volcano has erupted at least 12 times between 1939 and 2001, sometimes boiling the seas above it, and is heading toward the surface. Its gotta be time for another eruption soon.

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We left Ronde expecting an easy sail down to the NE corner of Grenada. We wanted to try snorkeling on a few of the small islands on the windward side. Above is London Bridge. You can see the arch in the rock. This is about half way between Ronde and Grenada. It may not look like it in the pic, but the winds were just howling and a strong current caused really ugly seas. As we sailed past the Green Island on NE corner the winds were 25kts and the current picked up to 3.5kts against us. There wasn’t any place that looked reasonable to anchor. So we continued on to the south end of Grenada where all the cruisers hang out. We’ll stay here for a few weeks till we take off for the passage to the Dutch Antilles, aka the ABC’s, to spend some quality time diving in Bonaire.

Paul

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