Before leaving Grenada we had to get the wind generator fixed and say goodbye to the friends we have made.

Like all jobs on the boat, fixing on the new wind generator didn’t go smoothly. The plastic mount that goes inside the pole on the back of the boat was just too big to fit, so with the kind assistance of Mike from The Buzzard, Marcus and he set off in his small jeep to get the part milled down to size. Taking an 8ft pole to a machine shop, half way up a set of steps had its own problems and when they got there the machinist swore he had taken enough off and it would definitely fit when it was up!…….  ,so after we had fed all the electrics through the pole and connected the wires, we discovered he was wrong and we had to take it all to pieces again.

The next day Marcus made a return trip and we went through the whole process again. People are so generous with their time and help. Hugh just came over for a chat, but willingly mucked in with our neighbour, Anton and we had offers of help from Mike and Ian……. It’s either kindness or they think we’re incompetent! We like to think the former is the case.

Hugh, a couple of beer crates and our neighbour, Anton, helping with the wind gen.

Hugh, a couple of beer crates and our neighbour, Anton, helping with the wind gen.

With a haul on the halyard,  it's up!

With a haul on the halyard, it’s up!

I had the easy job of hauling on the halyard and documenting the event. Across from our antics, the local kids were using the jetty to jump in and cool off!

Swimming from the jetty next to the marina.

Swimming from the jetty next to the marina.

Every weekday morning, at 8.30,I have been doing aqua-robics with about 15 other men and women. It is not only great exercise,  but also a good way of meeting people. A couple of the group are keen painters, but hadn’t touched their brushes for months, so it was decided to have a painting session by the beach bar at 1100 on Friday.

There were seven of us and we all sat and had a communal session, each in our own little creative bubble. I haven’t done anything since leaving Jacarė in July and I’ve never sat in a group to draw or paint, but the tree stump didn’t feel too threatening and I actually found the all female communal experience supportive, rather than intimidating

'The Stump' ....... my inspiration at Friday morning's art session on Hog Island.

‘The Stump’ ……. my inspiration at Friday morning’s art session on Hog Island.

With the wind generator fixed and our month’s cruising permit about to run out, it was time to say goodbye to Grenada and to our new friends……….inspired by the art session and the help and  kindness we had received, I drew this as a thank you. Leaving new friends is the hardest thing about this cruising life.

Our 'thank-you'  card for Julie and Mike.

Our ‘thank-you’ card for Julie and Mike.

……..so we invited Julie and Mike onboard for a farewell dinner and decided to call Tick to join us. We met Tick a couple of Sundays ago and when we got talking, it turns out that he lived in Edenbridge!! Marcus and he know all the same people, but somehow our paths never crossed.

Marcus and Julie enjoying a cold beer.......

Marcus and Julie enjoying a cold beer…….

Tick, me and Mike enjoying a cold beer!

Tick, me and Mike enjoying a cold beer!

Tick now lives in a house that he has built himself and has gone from working with a formula 1 racing team, to growing vegetables and making ‘Tickles Pickles’  for sale in the local shop/bar and enjoying life.

Ticks house on the hill with boat house at the water' sedge.

Tick’s house on the hill with boat house at the water’ sedge.

Tick on his balcony surveying his domain!

Tick on his balcony surveying his domain!

On Tuesday morning, after a trip to Le Phare Bleu,  to check out and a quick call on Tick, we upped anchor and set off for Carriacou.

Contrary to the weather forecast, the winds were on the nose, so we arrived in Tyrrell Bay in the dark. Luckily our friends, Durita and Stamen, were anchored in the bay. We called them up on the radio and they guided us in with their torch! We narrowly missed a tug and two barges that are anchored in the approach, showing incorrect lights, so we were relieved to drop anchor in what we took to be a safe place. Half an hour after anchoring, Stamen arrived alongside and took us over to their boat for dinner. Fantastic!

With anchoring at night, the thing you never quite know until day light, is if you’ve got it right! I rather like the ‘reveal’ after arriving in the dark. It’s like opening a present in the morning, when you step into the cockpit and look around.

What the morning revealed.

What the morning revealed.

At lunchtime on Wednesday we went ashore and the laid back atmosphere on this island hit us immediately. We thought Grenada was chilled, but Carriacou is even better.

The Carriacou welcoming committee!

The Carriacou welcoming committee!

Sundowners bar and the man we were destined to meet in two days time.

Sundowners bar and the man we were destined to meet in two days time.

I took this photo, not realising we would meet this man again. He was a professional diver who, by his own admission, got too hungry for money and ignored the safety rules and ended up with the bends. At the time they said he would never walk again, but a year or so on, he has graduated from a wheelchair to two crutches and now just the one crutch. No longer able to dive, he has opened a drumming and music school, teaching drumming himself and employing other musicians to teach their instruments. He is a remarkable man.

Looking out towards our anchorage.

Looking out towards our anchorage.

This is near one of the dinghy docks we moor at when coming ashore.

Another place we come ashore is by the small boatyard at the Slipway restaurant and bar. On Saturday night, after a couple of practices with Stamen, I made my public debut playing the saxophone! It was a nervy moment, but Stamen is such a great accompanist, he smoothed over any mistakes and made me look competent!

My debut, with Stamen at the Slipway restaurant.

My debut, with Stamen at the Slipway restaurant.

On Monday we took a bus up to Windward.

Windward ferry terminal.

Windward ferry terminal.

Windward is one of the few places left where wooden boats are built on the beaches. It is a hamlet that time has left alone. Above is the ferry terminal with its home built shelter, immaculately clean and used twice a day when the ferry goes across to the the island of Petite Martinique.

Discard / stored conch shells on the ferry jetty.

Discarded / stored conch shells on the ferry jetty.

On the jetty is the customary pile of conch shells. It turns out that these piles are not rubbish, but storage piles. The old shells are burnt and pulverised and when combined with cement and sand, it makes a very strong building material. Meantime they have a certain artistic natural beauty.

The cemetery squeezed in between houses.

The cemetery squeezed in between houses.

Along the street from the jetty is the cemetery. There are very impressive tombstones in what looks like a front garden. They all have the names of the occupants with their ‘Sunrise’ date and their ‘Sunset’ date. There are a lot of Scottish names on the headstones because there were Scottish estate managers, who employed Scottish boatbuilders to carry goods down to Grenada and trade throughout the grenadines.

The names have been passed down through the years and so too have the wooden boat building skills. We went to see this yard, where they are building a 42 foot sailing boat.

The boat yard at Windward.

The boat yard at Windward.

All the work is done by hand and with minimal modern machinery. Each boat takes six months to complete and when it’s ready to launch, the whole community turns up to haul the boat into the water. There is a beach party with food and drink for all and people from all over the island turn up to ‘help’.

Under construction.

Under construction.

Under sail.

Under sail.

Under the deck.

Under the deck.

This was another boat, along the beach, that is being built by one of the guys we met at the boatyard. He said he was just a helper and not a shipwright, but this looks pretty professional to me. It made me realise just what a big job my brother, Chris, took on when he helped reintroduce boat building skills to the islands off west Africa.

Cactus growing on the aft deck of a boat that came to stay!

Cactus growing on the aft deck of a boat that came to stay!

Clearly the reefs, that give Carriacou it’s native name, are not always benign and this cargo ship must have come to grief years ago. It now makes a good home for cactus on the aft deck.

A home with a great view across to Petite Martinique

A home with a great view across to Petite Martinique

It is hard to believe that we are living in the 21st century.

I only hope we tourists can leave it as untouched as we find it.

The local lawnmowers.

The local lawnmowers.

Back to the hustle and bustle of the ‘big smoke’ that is Hillsborough!

There are loads of little shops like this, as well as a couple of small supermarkets. It is said that if you go to all of the shops you will find a bigger range of goods than can be found in the bigger towns on Grenada!

One f the High Street shops in Hillsborough.

One of the High Street shops in Hillsborough.

I don’t think many stores stock these anywhere north of Brazil!!

Haut couture in Carriacou.

Haut couture in Carriacou.

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