And finally our visitors arrive! My sister Gaby with her partner Markus check in on She San and spend for the first time a holiday on board a sailing vessel. We take it slow and start checking out the area surrounding the Phare Blue Marina by Dinghy and Grenada by car.
Going over to Hog island by dinghy turns out to be a rather wet experience, on the way over it was still ok, but on the way back we are completely soaked with salt water! Luckily it is warm and we have good showers in the Phare Blue, so no problem 😉
On Fridays there is always live music in the Phare bleu but we are extremely lucky to be able to assist the concert of the CD launch of Sabrina Francis. She really is a great singer and we all extremely enjoy watching her most energetic live performance. The next day we listen to her CD at leat 10 times in a row!
Then we check out Grenada by car, luckily Reto is experienced in driving on the left side and to the narrow curvy roads in Switzerland as well, so he manages to not get hit by any of the fast drivers that we encounter in the middle of the road.
After our brunch next to the lower Concorde Water falls we drive all the way to the north of Grenada and back down again to the Rivers distillery on the Antoine River.
Whithfield gives us an excellent tour and explanation of the production process and while we are watching the operators manually feeding the sugar cane mill we are a bit surprised about their safety standards.
Then at the end of the tour of course we get to taste their products and while the high percent rum (69% and even higher) needs to be tasted with caution, we have to taste several time the Fruit punch and even more often the Chocolate Rum.
Since chocolate is a great thing we next visit the Grenada Chocolate Company and drive past it in the first attempt. Of course it does look a bit different than the chocolate factories Reto and I are used to from Nestle times… Finally we find the nice colorful house surrounded by a beautiful garden where we are welcomed by Edmont, who we find out later is the founder of the company.
Edmont explains and shows us the whole process, starting with the roasting of the beans which are previously fermented close by at Belmont estate. The beans come from certified organic local farmers and we understand from Edmont that they are the bottle neck for the production. First of all he needs to convince the farmers to switch over from traditional to organic farming and then they can only get certified once a year, since the people doing the certification have to fly in from Germany…
At the end of the process we admire the operators filling the chocolate mass in the moulds, always two bars at a time, but not spilling one single drop of chocolate mass neither on the moulds nor on the machine or floor. Then they are manually wrapped with foil and paper which is glued with a glue stick!
While all cholates have a rich chocolate taste, we prefer the Nib-a -licious, with small pieces of chocolate nibs and also a bit more sugar 😉
The next few days we move on further west first back to Prickly Bay, then on to St. Georges anchorage where we take our parents on board. Together with them we move on to Dragon bay and visit the underwater sculpture park.
For the first time on a mooring in a marine park, we have to learn that there is always people who want to help you. Already while approaching the bay a guy in a canoe comes out to help us with attaching to the mooring. His name is Moses and he is really friendly. I assume that Moses is the owner of the mooring and ask him for the fee. He says it is not a fee but a tip and confirms that it is 10 USD, well that’s the price that we read in the book. When later in the afternoon an official boat with the park rangers comes by they also want to collect the 10 USD 😉 and as we say that we already have payed them they reply “ah, to a guy in a canoe?”….
We love snorkeling in Dragon bay and close by, it is for the first time, that we have more or less clear water, many different types of corals and a lot of different fish. The underwater sculpture park was also interesting to see, but unfortunately already quite a few sculptures have fallen over.
Then we move up to Carriacou first to Tyrell Bay and then on to Sandy island which is our first post card island with a white sand beach and clear blue water. The whole family enjoys the snorkeling and the calmness of the anchorage – a perfect spot to relax.
Then we have to say goodbye to Gaby and Markus who need to take the ferry back to Grenada and soon fly home.
The rest of us we head on to Clifton on Union Island and check into St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Since the weather forecast shows some more wind for the next days we move on to Saline bay at Mayreaux in order to be a bit protected from the wind. After two nights we move on to the Tobago Cays which are one of the must do targets of sailors in this area: they are well protected from waves by the horseshoe reef, with turkois water, many turtles, palm trees and sandy beaches – we enjoy it!
Next stop is the Admirality bay in Bequia, full with sailing vessels but we do like it. To us it seems a bit like being back in civilisation, with good sorted supermarkets, a good local produce market and a large choice of restaurants and bars…
Then we nevertheless head on to St. Vincent, why nevertheless? Well, only 10 days earlier a german sailing vessel was robbed by two masked man and one person died in the incident, another was injured. We consider the choices, one of which is to sail through and past during the night but then decide to stay in one of the bays and chose the Cumberland bay. While we are surrounded by helping hands and vendors we do feel well quite quickly.
Edson Williams helps us with fixing our boat with the heck to the beach, Jesus who is far more than 70 years gives us tips with which coulor of bait we should be successful to fish around here and the fruit man gives me a good price on the pawpaw and grapefruit I buy from him. In DJ 20 bar we are well fed with grilled chicken and fish and brought back to the boat by Edson.
Then the program is to check out in Chateubelair the next day, what we didn’t know a holiday in St. Vincent. Well, after we asked him nicely the police man gives us the exit stamp in our passports and sends us down to Kingstown for customs, but the American next in the row tells us not to worry, in St. Lucia they would still let us in.
With a good wind and a few reefs in the sails we sail over to Souffriere on St. Lucia and manage to check in the same afternoon, with a few questions, but luckily no problems. Attached to a mooring close to the Petit Piton we find that it does smell like we are close to the seawer pipe of Souffiere, but when we ask the park ranger he gives us the explanation: we are only 3 km away from the vulcano and what we smell is sulphur! Now it becomes clear, Souffriere means sulphur in french! Which reminds me of our visit to Methana in Greece…
The next day we move over to Bat cave and enjoy the snorkeling around the boat. When we find out that another sailing crew was held up nearby with weapons just a couple of days earlier we decide to move on to the well protected Marigot bay.
And again we have to say good by to our family. With some tears in the eyes we drop them off in Castries close to the airport for their flight to Barbados and head on ourselves to Rodney Bay. But there is no time to be sad, we meet with Petra and Ben from the Netherlands/Curaçao who we had met the first time in Gomera before we both crossed the atlantic. Two days later we also meet again Eric from Switzerland/Austria who we have met various times in Spain and the Canaries.
Also we visit the Winwards & Leewards Brewing Company and thanks to Niko and his team we get a good impression of the brewery and of the challenges producing on a small island far away from all of the suppliers. For me it does feel good to be in a brewery again 😉 We are impressed by the safety introduction of the security guard, following safety film and test! Well done! On the way back up to Rodney bay we are lucky to get a ride by the brewery football team and this time we are impressed by the speed and way of driving.
Now we enjoy a few more days here in Rodney bay, before we move on to Martinique – we are curious to check into France in the Caribbean!
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