8 Jan 2011

[Cruise News] Le Phare Bleu Marina, Grenada

Well we've welcomed our first guests on board this week.  We decided to surprise them and meet them at the airport before all travelling back to the boat in a rackety red minibus, suitcases and all.  We're all now happily ensconsed on Pandora sharing the daily jobs and enjoying the delights of Grenada.  Have to say it's lovely to have friends from home join us.

We've not done that much sailing since we returned to Grenada just before New Year - just two or three days sails. All of which makes me think that we're adapting to the cruising lifestyle of staying in places for a few days and not feeling the compulsion to sail somewhere new everyday - it makes for a far more relaxing time.  That said I still can't get my ahead around the long-term cruisers who stay anchored in the same bay for weeks on end.  The number of boats we see still in the same spot when we return to various places is incredible, but I guess it must suit them so each to their own.

In the spirit of our new more relaxed approach we decided to extend our stay in the marina last weekend so that we could go along to a dinghy concert with some new friends we've made.  The marina had anchored an old tug boat in the middle of a neighbouring bay and installed a folk band on board (Madison Violet) to entertain anyone who could get there by dinghy.  Thirty or so dinghies of yachties (plus various ship's dogs) turned up to enjoy the music in the setting sun, all aided by rum punch and ice-cold beer.

It was a great way to spend the late afternoon but it's a good job we'd gone along in our friends' dinghy: The rum punches, made with the local "Jack-Iron" brew, were somewhat lethal and poor Paul was knocked for six.  It's a good job he wasn't needed to navigate our way back through the narrow channel across the reef to the marina!  We all ended up laughing out loud when he fell into the water getting out of the dinghy .... a very wet and bedraggled man wandered down the dock back to Pandora.  And all on only 3 rum punches .... as I say, lethal stuff indeed and a lesson learned.

We became steel band groupies last night when we jumped in the car to follow a fabulous steel band from one venue to another .... they were that good and we were all loving the calypso rhythm and atmosphere.  The second venue was the posh hotel Paul & I stayed at back in 2003 so it was nice to visit it again, albeit it has changed almost beyond recognition following the devestation of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.  The two venues couldn't have been more different: The first very casual and lively whereas the second was far more formal and reserved.  But we thoroughly enjoyed the music in both places and were even treated to an impromptu lesson on the basics of steel drum playing and construction.  All very interesting.

Well we're off to the north of the island today to visit a cocoa plantation and re-visit the old rum distillery.  And we've now got our other camera out here and so photos will be following very soon.  Keep checking in to see what we're up to!