It’s Been a While
It’s been a while since we did an update. The reason is that we’ve had a lot going on in the last 8+ weeks. We have been doing hashes, the Sunday morning cruisers’ walking club, snorkeling, getting ready for and completing our big solar and lithium upgrade, and preparing for and having a visit from my sister, Lynn, and nephew, Bryan. We will provide a detailed technical description of the solar and lithium upgrade for a few of you who enjoy those types of details. We’ll include lots of photos. It will be long and boring unless you are into that kind of stuff. It will be posted in the next 24 hours. We decided to make it a separate update because most people will not care to get so far into the weeds. The upgrade took virtually our full attention for several weeks.
As we’ve mentioned before, Grenada is a big cruiser destination and there are many cruiser-oriented activities around Woburn Bay, our home away from home. Other than the hashes (hiking through the various landscapes of Grenada) and cruisers’ walks, there are open-mike nights, nine-ball pool tournaments, pizza, and wing specials at Le Phare Blue Resort. It’s interesting, the cruising families always show up in numbers for the buy one, get one free pizza day on Tuesdays, and dollar wings (38 cents U.S.) on Wednesdays. There is one cruising family with four children under 12 on S/V Machete (Clemson boat) so you can imagine that Pizza Tuesday and Wing Wednesday are welcome days! Then there’s just being around other cruisers every day when shopping and doing other day-to-day activities.
We spent several days snorkeling, discovering some nice little reefs in the Woburn Bay area. We went snorkeling with Michele and Paul Grego of S/V Una Vida (One Life) and they clued us into some other nice snorkel spots. Michele and Paul completed a multi-year liveaboard cruise on their previous catamaran several years ago, with two toddlers. They “did” the Caribbean, went through the Panama Canal, and crossed the Pacific. Michele and Paul are doing it again on their 47-foot catamaran now that their kids are grown and out of the nest. It’s amazing to meet people like Michele and Paul who’ve sailed with children in diapers! Now, in semi-retirement (thanks to Starlink) they are doing it again as a cruising couple.
Cruising couples are probably the profile of 75% of the cruisers we meet. Most are retired or semi-retired but there are also younger couples working remotely while living out their sailing dreams. Of course, like other walks of life, every type of person one can imagine is out cruising. Young people sailing single-handed (just one person on the boat), older single-handed sailors, 3 or 4 people (usually very young) living together on a boat, it goes on and on. People are on luxurious sailboats worth several million dollars, then there are sailors on boats that are held together by painters’ tape and bailing wire, and everything in between. Although Ocean Song is not a million-dollar boat, she is probably considered an upper-middle-class boat, in a very eclectic neighborhood.
When meeting other cruisers one of the first questions is: Are you a monohull or catamaran? Once we answer, “catamaran”, then the questions are: Where are you anchored? What’s your boat name? We answer, “Woburn Bay, just behind the reef outside Benji Bay.” “Our boat is a Lagoon 42, Ocean Song”. The response comes back, “We know Ocean Song, are you from North Carolina?” (We have an outline map of the Tar Heel state on our transom.) Of course, we ask, “Which boat is yours?” After identifying respective boats, people associate you with your boat to the degree you are sometimes referred to as your boat name. When we see other cruisers, as often as not, Linda and I will look at each other and say, “Hey there’s Una Vida”, rather than, “there’s Michele and Paul” or “there’s Dahlia”, rather than, “there’s Monty”.
On Tuesday, October 3rd, we moved about 6nm from Woburn Bay to Spice Island Marina and Boatyard in Prickly Bay. We moved because Kenrick at Spice Island Marine was our metal fabricator and he made and installed our solar panel arch. The work was done at the service dock. While Kenrick and crew worked on installing the arch and solar panels, Aaron Downey, owner of Clarity Marine Services, began the lithium installation. The boat was on the dock a couple of days longer than the solar installation took because as always with boat projects some unexpected delays occurred. We moved back to Woburn on Thursday, October 12th. Aaron still had several days of work left to complete but everything was onboard so the work could be finished up on our mooring in Woburn. Also, Aaron lives ashore in Benji Bay, a couple of hundred yards from our mooring, so it was much more convenient for Aaron.
We lived in a one-room apartment at the boatyard for 9 days. There was so much stuff onboard Ocean Song, and the lithium installation was very involved; therefore, it made sense for us to move ashore for a while. Aaron had to cut the electricity for long periods, and it was easier for him to leave it off rather than reconnecting things for us at night. Also, we cleared everything out of our freezer and refrigerators while Aaron was doing his work. We checked in at the boat multiple times a day to keep up with the progress. We also had our sails cleaned, restitched, and some general upgrades made to parts of our running rigging (the ropes, once installed it becomes a line, a rope with a purpose).
We were also getting ready for my sister, Lynn, and our nephew, Bryan, to visit at the end of October for a couple of weeks. They were our first visitors! We had lots of things shipped to them back home that they brought to us. Most things cruisers need are available here in Grenada, but there are things we simply can’t find here. It was like an early Christmas onboard Ocean Song when they arrived. Their visit ended 2 weeks ago. Linda will do a follow-up post about their visit, which was great!
Since Lynn and Bryan left, we’ve been moored outside St. George’s, Grenada’s capital. We will be heading about 8nm back over to Woburn for a day or two to do a couple of (hopefully) minor electrical projects. Sean Mulcahy will be helping us with those projects. We’re installing a new VHF radio and hard-wired handheld at the helm, running Starlink cables, rewiring our anchor windlass, and the hour meter on our water maker. There is never, literally never, a time when there aren’t at least two or three minor boat projects ongoing. Ongoing boat projects are the norm on any liveaboard boat, they never end.
These projects should take no more than 2 days to complete (Ha-ha). Once completed the plan is to head to Tyrell Bay on the island of Carriacou where we’ll check out of Grenada. Then we will sail to Admiralty Bay on the island of Bequia for a few days. Next, we will head farther up-island stopping at a few islands briefly but intending to get to the USVI by mid-December.