Preparing for the season
It’s getting busy on the vessels in Grenada. The sailing community is waking up from the HSS – the Hurricane Season sleep. Many owners and crews are back and preparing their boats for the next season. The growing impatience is palpable. Upcoming sailing plans have finally replaced Corona as the main topic of conversation.
The most common jobs are rigging/sail work and fresh bottom painting. The underwater painting is supposed to keep the hull(s) clean and free of fouling. To do this, the boats have to be lifted out of the water onto the hard by crane or lift, where they are usually worked on for 5-6 days. A great income for the locals. Good for the one who gets a free appointment with a craftsman. Thats not much difference to the landlubbers life.
Port Louis Marine in St. Georges, Grenada
Rivercafe working list
We were early with our working list and mission is nearly accomplished. The Rivercafe is almost ready to go out again. Our new underwater painting is done, our hulls are tender and clean again.
Our rig check is also done, and the reason for our difficult-to-move mainsail was finally discovered: a Leopard installation mistake. In a few weeks the mainsail would have landed on our heads. As happened on the Leopard 45 of our dock neighbours John and Kim. And while we were at it, we replaced the metal reefing rings in the main with better quality, wear-free reefing lugs. After professionals have been in the mast and eliminated the clutter, setting the sails is a real pleasure. So it works after all.
All we have to do now is take care of a problem with the starter batteries of our engines, because they are constantly losing voltage.
And then we can set sail. That means we can start with the paperwork: Check the current entry regulations, then determine the next island. Send what feels like terabytes of documents to the next destination. Apply for travel authorisation, register on Sailclear, apply for ship quarantine to avoid land based quarantine, reserve PCR test, pay and do it. Of course, all with the correct deadlines recognised by the next destination.
5- 7 days before departure everything must be done. The end of spontaneity. Fortunately, many islands are off the red lists again and in fact, even in Grenada, the numbers are bearable again. That’s important, because the status of the last country determines the entry requirements of the next. The first season cost us €5,000 in PCR tests. I hope the next one will be a bit more favourable.
Before the season started, we treated ourselves to a weekend in a hotel. A short vacation on Tamarind beach in pure luxury. Between us: we finally wanted to have a non-home-cooked dinner later than 5 pm – when the restos have to close because of the curfew. At the Royalton Hotel, we were finally able to dine at 8 pm again. After such luxury, we asked ourselves why we were sailing at all. The Caribbean can also be very comfortable. 🙂
The next plans
You remember the half-life of our “plans”? We’ll try anyway:
Let’s assume that there will be no more depression over the Atlantic: then we would slowly sail north in late October. We want to be in the Virgin Islands at the beginning of the year.
And let’s also assume that we are allowed to call at all the islands of our choice, then our list for the next 2 months includes, in order: St. Vincent with the Tobago Keys, Canouan and Bequia; St. Lucia; Martinique (short); Dominica (very short); Guadeloupe.
In Guadeloupe we will have some electrical work done again at the end of November/beginning of December. We want to spend Christmas in Antigua, where we are looking forward to have dear friend flying in to see us on Rivercafe. And in January, we’ll continue on to the Virgin Islands. We’re just planning ahead boldly in the hope that the half-life for planning will increase. / Holger Binz
Weather in Grenada:
Sunrise: 5:57 h, sunset 17.50 h. Temperatures day 32+ felt 38, night: 28 degrees C. Mostly sunny, rain showers now and then, wind 4-6 Bft. It is hot.
P.S. Karin has finished her fourth children’s book. Now it’s time to find a suitable publisher. If any of you have a tip or recommendation, we would be very happy.