Sunday, February 24, 2013

12 Degrees North

After clearing out of St. Vinent and the Grenadines at Union Island, we sailed to Carriacou where we checked into Grenada.  Our plan to stay at Tyrrel Bay just one night turned into four days, but then our plans are never followed or even taken that seriously.  

From the looks of some of the boats in the bay, Tyrrel Bay is a place where a lot of cruisers arrive... and never leave.  And we can't really blame them. 

The place kind of grows on you with the beach bars; friendly people; and steel band music going most of the time, what's not to like?

But Grenada's other attraction is the Island of Grenada and more particularly South Grenada where there are several beautiful bays and the big town of St. Georges which we passed on our way south.

Observing the resort's wishes not to have yachties too close, we anchored 100 yards from a beautiful semi-circular white beach in Prickly Bay.  

Here we were able to find parts for several repairs and projects needed to keep Moonshadow running tip top, but also took in some sights of downtown St. Georges 

St. Georges has some of the oldest structures in the Caribbean and has a much different look than anyplace we'd seen so far.

Meanwhile back a Prickly Bay, the projects were taking too large a part of our lives so it was time to relax at the beach bar and just enjoy tropical paradise!

One of the boats anchored here was the 73' ketch Stormvogle.  As a 13 year old, John watched the two 73' ketches, Stormy and Big Ti (Tichonderoga), battle to the finish line off Diamond Head Light for first to finish honors in the 1965 Transpacific Yacht Race.  In Honolulu, it was big news because reported positions showed changing leads every day; then both boats had gear breakages; and that last day nobody knew who was in the lead.  From Diamond Head that night, first one then a second light appeared out on the horizon making their way to the finish but it wasn't until Big Ti sailed into the light from Diamond Head Lighthouse, that we all saw who'd won.  After sailing 2300 miles, Stormy finished 5 minutes 48 seconds behind.  We saw Big Ti in Nantucket earlier this year so it was a treat to see both of these legendary yachts still going almost 50 years later.

Next it was off to Clarkes Court Bay just 3 miles to the east where we finally caught up with San Diego Yacht Club friends Chick and Alexis Pyle aboard their Passport 45 Rigole'.  The Pyles are on their fifth season of cruising the Caribbean starting in Antigua where the boat waits out the hurricane season at a boatyard, then island hopping down to Grenada and back for 5-6 months each year.

It was fun having someone who knows the local area to suggest fun activities, like the dinghy concert we attended as part of the kickoff to the South Grenada Regatta Week.

Sadly, Raindancer, a beautiful varnished wooden schooner that was front and center for the dinghy concert went on the reef later that night while attempting to enter the narrow passage into Le Phare Bleu about a mile away.  Attempts to pull Rainbow free of the coral had to be abandoned as the old wooden boat began to break up.

Raindancer will now sit on the reef until nature takes her toll breaking up what was once a proud reminder of a past era.  She also serves a sober reminder of the importance of prudent decision making and careful seamanship.  

Even when navigating an area you know like the back of your hand, as the crew of Raindancer who've sailed her in Grenada for years have done, you only get one chance to do it right.

1 comment:

Jeff and Annie said...

Odd that you should see Stormy, alive and well after such a long life, and then the death of another woodie in such close proximity in space and time. It must have been really bizarre.

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