Six Months in Paradise

I can’t believe that we’ve been in Grenada for six months already.  Time has flown, as it always seems to do, and we’ve settled into a comfortable daily rhythm. 

It has been restful, both mentally and physically, to be in one spot for an extended period.  Normally we’re all go go go, but COVID travel restrictions have made cruising a complicated affair right now.  So we’ve taken advantage of the situation by sitting still and enjoying daily life in paradise.

A view of St. George’s from the top of the mast. Boat projects never stop, and this one was replacing a block at the top of the mast and running a new halyard.

Before we got to Grenada, I had never scuba dived.  I took the opportunity while we were here to obtain both my PADI Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver certifications from two different dive shops.  The Captain is a diving instructor and a very accomplished diver, and now we can share underwater adventures together.

Diving on the m/v Tyrell Bay, a decommissioned Grenadian Coast Guard boat that was scuttled in 2018 to become a wreck dive site.

We went beach metal detecting a few times, but the beaches here are full of bottle caps, which makes for a very “noisy” hunt.  Drinks in bottles are the norm here, rather than cans, so bottle caps are endemic.  We’re going to save the beach detecting for other countries.  I bought a small handheld underwater metal detector, and I’ve had a blast snorkeling and detecting in the shallows.  I haven’t found any gold yet, but my fingers are crossed . . .

One of my favorite parts of going to the beach to metal detect or look for sea glass is to play with the local pothounds. In the Bahamas, they’d be called potcakes.

One of Grenada’s institutions, the Grenada Hash House Harriers, was able to get authorization from the Ministry of Health to resume a couple of months ago, which thrilled us to no end.  Hashing is a wonderful way to see the countryside, and we’ve been enthusiastically hashing when we can.  A hash is essentially a walk or run along a pre-marked trail; to make it interesting, the trail is usually through the jungle, including ravines, boulders, seemingly vertical hills, and streams. 

Over the river and through the woods . . .

The trail is marked by shredded paper every 50 feet or so, and there can be false trails that mean you have to backtrack and pick a new leg.  Hashes are held rain or shine, and once the trail is done, there’s a big party afterwards with beer and food for sale from the local community.

You get up the mountains any way you can, which can include crawling as the sure-footed goats look on, wondering what all of the fuss is about.

Our time in Grenada hasn’t been all blue skies and palm trees.  The Captain came down with dengue, which has been a particular problem in the Caribbean this year.  Dengue is virus that is transmitted by mosquitos, and if there’s one thing that there’s plenty of here, it’s mosquitos.  He was crippled with all of the expected symptoms:  headache, body aches, high fever, rash, and nausea.  Nights were the worst, as his fever always spiked then, and he would hallucinate and become delirious.  There is no treatment for dengue other than treating the symptoms, and he lived on Tylenol and Gatorade for about five days.  Once he was up and shakily moving, it took him another week to start feeling stronger.  All told, the dengue took him out for about a month.  We now bathe in insect repellent when going out and are fervently hoping that neither of us catches it again.  You know a disease is bad when zika or chikungunya (which are also prevalent here) seem like a walk in the park.

Our newest adventure began yesterday.  We are hauling the boat for a month beginning next week, and living on the hard in this environment is simply untenable.  Instead, we rented an apartment and a car for a month, and it’s already blowing our minds.  Our normal life is not spartan, but it doesn’t include luxuries like air conditioning, our own washer and dryer, and the ability to go anywhere we want, any time we want.  It’s an exciting time!

The quarantine anchorage outside of St. George’s still looks as pretty as ever.