Grenada is lush in its rainforests, spectacular in its beaches, friendly in its people, and enjoyable in its markets. It is always hot and there is always music playing somewhere nearby. We have made friends here that we treasure, and we have learned to take life slow and easy, if for no other reason than to combat the heat. We love exploring the island by ourselves, but it is even more fun to share our hurricane season home with guests. On October 1st we were thrilled to have our niece, Karen, and her husband, Josh, come aboard for a week. Karen is my brother Jack’s daughter, and Jack and Jean agreed to babysit for Karen and Josh’s three little boys while their parents made the trip to Grenada to spend some time on AfterMath.
Karen and Josh loved the water right away.A gold spotted eel in the water. And no, he was not the least bit scary.
We dropped our dinghy, Tangent, into the water to allow us some freedom around the island’s west side on the Caribbean Sea while our company was here. Our first adventure came the day after they landed when, after our now traditional Sunday morning Bloody Marys and baguettes, we headed out to the beach for some steel drum music and a swim at Coconuts. Coconuts is on Grand Anse, the beach that typically is shown in all of the travel brochures for Grenada. We spent a lot of time in the water, and some time having rum punch, before Karen and Josh spotted what appeared to be a snake in the water. Karen, Josh, and I headed back in to check him out and I was lucky enough to be able to get a picture of this beautiful animal which really turned out to be a gold spotted eel looking for a late afternoon snack.
Monday brought us back to the beach. This time we worked our way down the island all the way south on Tangent. It was farther south on the water than John and I had been before and the scenery was gorgeous. On our way back we stopped at Morne Rouge Beach where we snorkeled and found beautiful and huge sea stars. At first Karen wasn’t sure she wanted to touch one, but before long we were all enjoying holding them, and observing the colors and the symmetry they displayed. We carefully replaced each sea star right where we found it and sent it on its way.
Karen and Josh, such a beautiful couple!This is ginger.A real highlight for me! A juvenile mona monkey. They live in the rainforest on Grenada and sometimes can be found at the Grand Etang Park parking lot. Unfortunately we never found one in the wild and this was someone’s pet, but I was thrilled to see it nevertheless. Karen loved the monkey too. Allendale waterfall, breathtakingly beautiful.Karen taking the plunge.Next up, Josh.And that’s Josh, entering the water.The gang feeling nice and cool. Left to right, Josh, Lynne, Marty, Larry, Debby, and Karen.Lunchtime at school. The children were climbing the cherry tree for a snack.Back at the rum distillery.This old building covered in bougainvillea is so picturesque. The rums to sample. Left to right: Royale is guaranteed to be at least 75% alcohol, the next bottle is made so tourists can take it on a plane and is 69% alcohol (nothing over 70% is allowed on an airplane), then a mango rum punch, and then everyone’s favorite, a chocolate rum punch.John and Marty getting ready to sample the hard stuff.And, Karen takes a taste.I don’t think she liked it!Nope, she really didn’t like it!Petit Anse, another lovely spot.Debby, Larry, Lynne, and MartyThese are cocoa beans being sorted.The grounds on the chocolate factory are just gorgeous.Flowers at the chocolate factory.Petroglyphs along the road
Our neighbors, Debby and Larry on Tropical Blend, had their friends Lynne and Marty visiting at the same time Karen and Josh were here so we arranged another island tour on Tuesday for the eight of us with Cutty, the guide we used with Chris and Sam back in August. Once again we had a wonderful time, seeing the sights and learning about the amazing plants, fruits, and vegetables that grow so freely on Grenada. This time we stopped at Allendale waterfall where some of the group jumped in and took a quick swim in the cool water that travels through the rain forest. We also toured the rum factory again, and for the first time it was running with its 230-year-old water wheel grinding the sugar cane. Probably the highlight of the rum tour was watching Karen sip the rum that is guaranteed to be at least 150 proof. The looks on her face gave everyone something to chuckle about for the rest of the day.
Karen went for a run and some of the locals stopped her to give her a “water nut”. Unripe coconuts are cut open and the water is a popular drink. It is good for hydration, which is so important in the heat of Grenada. Of course, the men opened it for her with their machete.
We met Joseph at the spice market and he made Karen a bracelet out of drift wood using a candle to heat and bend the wood to fit her wrist.
This is sorrel tea. At the market I found sorrel flowers that are boiled with bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon sticks (I used some cinnamon sticks that Cutty had cut from a tree just a few days earlier). The tea is left to steep for several hours, then it is strained, sugar is added to taste and it is served over ice. This is a traditional Christmas time drink here and I was afraid we would leave before I could try it, but my favorite lady at the market had a bag of flowers to sell me. It is delicious and kind of reminds me of a spiced cranberry juice. By the way, you can also add rum to this drink; no surprise in this land of rum! Surrounding the glass is a spice necklace made by a local person. It smells wonderful!
Also, while they were here, we went back to the underwater sculpture park, had lunch at the yacht club nearby a couple of times, enjoyed dinner at the restaurants in the marina, and explored the fish, meat, and produce markets. Karen and Josh took a bus to the rainforest and hiked to Seven Sisters, another beautiful waterfall on Grenada. During their stay, we shared lots of laughs, took lots of pictures, swam in the pool, and sat outside in the evening enjoying the clear night air and the lights on the hills surrounding the marina. Their visit was wonderful; we loved having them here with us and were sad to see them leave very early Saturday morning.
Debby and Larry out on Little BlendYou can see the rain in the distance. That’s John.John and Larry relaxing at the beach.
After a couple of days of getting used to the quiet again we ventured out with Debby and Larry on a snorkeling trip. Unfortunately, all those beautiful sea stars had wandered elsewhere, but we still had fun running our dinghies together. On the way home, though, we were pelted by rain that stung like crazed bees from a hive. Happily, it stopped by the time we tied our dinghies back up at the marina, but we will remember that painful rain for quite a while!
These guys were swimming happily just that morning.
Some Tropical Blends courtesy of Larry.Noi carrying a heavy bowl of lobsters!
Tuesday night found us together with Debby and Larry and Scott and Noi from the sailing vessel Symbiosis for an amazing lobster dinner. Scott and Noi are anchored in Prickly Bay and local fishermen come in every day with lobsters fresh from the sea, so we asked them to pick a few up and come to Port Louis for a fun dinner. Scrounging through our boats for what we had aboard after having guests, Debby and I found green beans, a butternut squash, some potatoes and some other fresh vegetables, and ingredients for brownies. Larry provided rum tropical blends, and I steamed the lobsters while Debby melted butter and set up a borrowed picnic table. Noi grilled Thai tuna that she added to the meal and we had an amazing feast with good friends. We did a good job eating all of the lobster meat, but the carcasses were too good to throw away so I made a huge pot of lobster bisque the next day. Friday night the six of us gathered again for a fun meal of soup, salad and bread and Rice Krispie treats.
It is getting close to time to leave Grenada now. We have ordered a couple of parts that we are expecting to arrive next week and, once they are here and installed, we will start our journey back up the island chain. We have decided to take our time heading north, but we look forward to going back to the states. We have absolutely loved this adventure in the Caribbean, but now we would like to spend some time cruising on the east coast of the states. It will be nice to be closer to family and to be in the US again, but it sure will be hard to leave Grenada.