Dodging a hurricane and hiking in Grenada’s rainforest

Our time in Carriacou and Grenada slowly comes to an end.

In Carriacou we have experienced our first hurricane, named Elsa, which center hit further north and only brought us heavy rain showers and wind shifts. Carefully monitoring the weather forecasts we decided together with other sailors to sit it out at anchor in Tyrell Bay while many other boats took shelter in the mangroves. To prepare for stronger winds, we let out all anchor chain and ensured that we had plenty of swinging room without any obstructions around us. We prepared the boat as we would when we go on longer passages, took down the bimini, stored the dinghy on deck and had everything ready to escape to sea, if needed. Our fuel tanks were filled so we could run the engine if the anchor would have started to drag. In the end it was actually less wind than usual, with short periods of stronger wind gusts but not exceeding 30 knots. Due to the system passing north of us we only had to deal with changing wind directions and swell creeping into the anchorage for a few hours, which wasn’t bad at all. All in all we were lucky to have dodged that one, but still learned a lot from the experience.

We spent most of our time in Carriacou with the Philos Crew (Vera, Jeroen and Bruno), went hiking on the Turtle trail to the North Peak of the island, sailed to beautiful anchorages like Sandy Island and Anse la Roche (aka Anse la Rolly thanks to some northern swell that rocked both boats all night), enjoyed dinners and beach BBQs and many good laughs together. We really hope to see them again soon as we are headed the same way.

Shortly after the hurricane had passed, we sailed in the calmest conditions we have ever seen in the Caribbean Sea to Grenada. With full sails up we averaged 3.8 knots in 6-8 knots of wind with almost no waves at all. We enjoyed the slow and calm sail, which reminded us of sailing on lakes back home.

Porky leaving Carriacou (captured by Philos)

Grenada was very different from our previous stops in the Lesser Antilles with less sailing or moving the boat, but more community and excursions on land.
Most people spend several months here to wait for Hurricane season to be over allowing them to sail to the northern islands again. A few even get stuck and months turn into years, allowing a lively community to form with many regular events taking place. In our few weeks in this country we only scratched the surface and not even participated in half of the many social events that were promoted daily on the cruiser’s net.

Free diving the underwater sculpture park in Moliniere Bay, various hiking trips through exotic rainforests and swimming in refreshing waterfalls were by far our highlights of this stop.
We met inspiring people and got to spend much time with them. Especially Andrea and Alejo from Hakuna, as well as Simone and Ricky from Lady Africa turned our stay in Grenada into a lot of fun. We went out for drinks, joined social events organized amongst cruisers, (unsuccessfully) tried to show the older crowd that we youngsters have common knowledge at the weekly trivia nights (still won a free breakfast though), had an intense bowling battle, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. Weekly beach volleyball meet-ups with a crowd of diverse people also kept us active.

Apart from having most social contact we’ve had since moving onboard, we also got a lot of boat projects done. Having hardware stores and chandleries in dinghy reach, we could finally replaceĀ our leaking exhaust hose. We also rebuild our kitchen cabinets that we had to rip out because of rotten wood partially infested with bugs. We serviced stiff winches, did some engine maintenance, cleaned the transducer, resealed hatches and finished small projects that had accumulated on our todo list. Now Porky is ready and good to go to our next destination.

We’re glad to have seen this beautiful island with its exotic nature and to have met amazing people. Now were looking forward to our passage to the ABC islands and can’t wait to spend some time with Daniel’s family in Bonaire!

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