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 Accidental Cruiser in the West Indies


Camp Grenada

This journal is a log of all the messages from Susie & Lance. For pictures, please see the Gallery.

Clark's Court Bay, Grenada 02.09.2010

Hog Island, Grenada

Hog Island

Dear Friends,

i t is still hot. Really hot. It is only 90 degrees or so, but sometimes there is no wind. At that point you rely on a kind of misery index which tells you that 80% humidity feels much hotter. The water is now in the high 80's as well and such hot water is rocket fuel for hurricanes. We are watching tropical waves (generated sometimes in the Sahara or even orginating in the monsoons) come across from Africa in a steady procession like jumbo jets lined up at LAX. Some of them turn into tropical depressions, and some of those turn into tropical storms, and some of those turn into hurricanes. Fortunately, this bunch has been turning north before getting to Grenada. But the tropical waves and etc. tend to bring storms, and sometimes they come right over you and drop a lot of water, or they go just north or south of you, where you can even see them but you don't get the water, and they STEAL ALL THE WIND!!! They usually don't last long, it is not unpleasant. If it rains we have to close up all the windows, but if you are too hot, just go stand in the rain, right?

Rock, Roll and Reggea

Rock, Roll & Reggae aboard S/V Raindancer of San Francisco

It is not so bad on the boat, but on land, all the heat reflects off everything, civilization blocks the wind and it is hot. I have to carry a cloth to keep wiping the sweat off, because I am dripping all over. But then of course, I am wiping off all the sunscreen. Sigh. We especially avoid land at sunset, although there are often nice events, but in addition to hot, it is buggy and right now, there is Dengue fever from mosquitoes which puts people out with fever, aches and pains for a couple of weeks. Yuck! Don't want that.

Phare Bleu lighthouse ship (blue)

Phare Bleu lighthouse ship (blue)

Meanwhile, Grenada has become a vast summer camp for all the cruisers. The cruisers morning radio net runs over 40 minutes with weather, requests for parts, parties, excursions and lessons. Throughout the day, there are further requests for help, dates for lunch, shared excursions and nervous exchanges about the current tropical wave. These "areas of interest" are numbered ("Invest 96L") before they get a name like "Earl" so these conversations can be a little cryptic to the non-initiated. No one wants to be stuck on a boat in a hurricane, so the every tidbit of info gets an avid following. Some of these things move along pretty fast, so the decision to run or to hide must be made a couple of days before arrival. Danielle seems to have missed land completely, the edges of Earl got the Virgin Islands but it sounds like not too badly, and Fiona looks like she will pass above the island chain. The next one will be called Gaston. Since we are down here at about latitude 12, where hurricanes are pretty rare, but bad Ivan in 2004 is still fresh in memory, we are staying prepared to run away.

And then there is lightening. Not much you can do about that, just hope it goes somewhere else. When you see a flash and then hear the noise right away, you know it is close and you get worried. What happens to boats is that they lose all their electronics, and possibly worse. One night there was a storm that consisted of two quick flashes each of which hit a different boat. No injuries but some expensive electronics bricked the old fashioned way.

Robbie and the new windows for the dodger

Robbie and the new windows for the dodger

Our big excitement today was to go pick up our dodger with new window sewed in. Now we can open up the window and let air blow through. We used to have to take down the dodger in order to see when sailing and that folding and reopening the dodger made it really opague. Now we will leave the dodger up and unzip the front window as needed. Yaay!

Tomorrow there is a book and dvd exchange, so I'm gonna take the bus in for that. We went to an oil down, which is a really bad name for Grenada's national dish. Conch, chicken, breadfruit, veggies and lots of other things cooked together in a big curry pot. Quite tasty. Then we went to Roger's beach bar Sunday party. Also quite nice. Roger has constructed a classic beach bar from driftwood (an even a few helicopter parts from Invasion Time). He has a good reputation with Grenadians and cruisers so it makes for a nice mix.

Conch Mounds at Whisper Cove

Conch Mounds, Whisper Cove, Grenada

Roger's Hog Island Beach BBQ

Roger's Beach BBQ



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Squally dinghy ride

Squally dinghy ride

With apologies to Alan Sherman
(and all those I might offend)

Hello Mudda, hello Fadda
Here I am at, Camp Grenada*
Camp is very entertaining
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining

I went running with Hash Harriers
(I don't want that this should scare ya)
Alla dem complain of pain wow!
and are convinced that they all have the Dengue now.

Earl, Fiona, Gaston, 99L

Earl, Fiona, Gaston, 99L

All the campers, fear the 'cane so
and we wish dem, to go north mo'
And we huddle round the wifi
And we look for signs way up in the grey sky.

Well I know, that this sounds frightening,
but two boats were, hit by lightening
And you remember, Anegada
After Earl it really got just a little flatta.

Take me home, oh Mudda, Fadda,
Take me home, enuf Camp Grenada!
Don't leave me in the jungle, Mama
Where I might get hustled by a Rasta.

Wait a minute, it stopped raining,
Guys are swimming, gals are sailing,
Playing cricket, gee that's betta,
Mudda, Fadda, kindly disregard this letter!


*Grenada is actually pronounced with a long A, not like the town in Spain for which it was named.

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