CarriacouHillsborough is the main town. It is a really busy place, the dock is a real hive of activity. From ferries coming and going, traditional Carriacou sloops with a real mix of cargoes to the modern hydrofoil ferry. Yachts checking in and fishing boats buying diesel from an old fuel barge anchored in the harbour.
You can sit here and watch the world go about its business for quite a while.
There are many Pelicans, Boobies, Laughing gulls and Frigate birds and we regularly get to watch their feeding frenzies. One of them spots a school of fish and as soon as it starts diving they all come to join in, dozens of birds at a time. The nasty Frigate birds soar above and dive down to try to take another birds catch. The Boobies know what to do – they just land in the water to enjoy their meal. The Frigate birds cannot take off from the sea so they swerve off and try to take another bird by surprise.
We are anchored close to ‘Exit Strategy’, so the social round of ‘sundowners’ and some water aerobics continued.
While in Hillsborough we took the opportunity to visit the local museam. Although small it was really interesting with artifacts dating back to the Arawaks and the Caribes. The enthusiastic young curator told us that the local population could track their ancestry back to the tribe they came from in Africa from their European surnames which they took from their owners upon the abolition of slavery, and how many African traditions were still preserved on the island.
|View of Pettit Martinique from Windward|
We took the local bus to the village of Windward where the traditional sloops are built. There was no boatbuilding going on at the moment but it was interesting to note the large number of Scots surnames buried in the local graveyard. Many were boatbuilders or schooner captains, some living to well into their 80’s as long ago as the early 19th Century.
|Pizza shop Windward|
Shopping in Hillsborough has pretty much everything you need, including a really nice delicatessen and some interesting souvenir shops, local café’s, and a lovely restaurant run by a South African woman who sailed to Carriacou and just stayed. It is easy to see why.
After a couple of days in Hillsborough we are moving on to Tyrell bay. There is no wind for the 5 mile trip so we motor.
Tyrell bay is one of the most sheltered anchorages in the area, and the mangroves make a good ‘hurricane hole’. There are lots of boats in the anchorage and quite a ‘boaty’ community. People here really make you feel welcome and look after each other. After our first evening here we ended up looking after a lovely Spirit 55 (Spirited Lady) while her owner was away for a few days on a camping trip!
|Laughing Gull sheltering in the Mangroves|
|Wreck in the Mangroves|
Ashore there are a few small grocery stores giving a good selection including frozen meat and chicken and fresh bread every day. There are two vegetable stalls but the best is on Saturday when Rufus brings his own fruit and veg, eggs and fresh chicken. There are also a few souvenir shops, 2 dive shops, 3 laundrys (!!) and several bars. With the boatyard offering quite a range of services and a sailmaker too, it is a good spot to hole up and do repairs as well.
Every morning we listen to the Grenada cruisers net on Ch 66. It is all the usual stuff, the weather, arrivals and departures, sales and wants, social activities and local business giving themselves a plug. We also learn that Grenada seems an endless social whirl – not that sure that we will be able to take the pace!
Not to be outdone, the weekend here is going to be hectic with Friday at the ‘Lambi Queen’ and a steel pan band, Saturday is the ‘Fisherman’s Birthday’ celebrations and Sunday a local ‘Oildown’ cooked by the veg stall. We may miss out on the Sunday as you really can have too much partying!
The steel band at Lambi’s was excellent, attended by locals and yachties alike, as was the fishermens celebrations with excellent fish dishes, tug - o - war and other games just on the street. As Rowena is not keen on fish we walked up the side street to ‘Miss Luckys ‘ a BBQ chicken shop where we met the crew of ‘Sea Schell’, ‘Kaya Moya’ (a South African boat) and ‘Celtic Spray’.
Every evening we seem to be invited to something either on another boat or ashore. We met 2 other South African boats here as well, Lycaen and Stingo. Together we had a great evening on Sweet Chariot (USA) who we had met on Sea Schell (USA) with some great guitar music.
|Rasta Cannon Tyrrell bay|
The talk here is of the first tropical storm to be named in the Caribbean, Chantal is its name and the track is being closely monitored. When in Bequia we met Lubin who used to be a schooner skipper trading under sail, he told us that any storm ‘named’ north of 9 deg north would always miss Bequia. Chantal was named at 9.9 deg north. A few boats here have moved into the mangroves although we are not even on a storm watch let alone a storm warning, windspeed is predicted to be 15-20kts with gusts up to 25+Kts. As it turned out, Chantal passed between St Lucia and Martinique with minimal damage just some heavy rain. A couple of days later the boats that were hiding away crept out of the mangroves, as for the rest of us, well we just continued to party! Looks like Lubin was right.
|Paradise Beach Carriacou|
|Sunset Tyrell Bay|
After a week here we are ready to move on to the main island of Grenada. We will go down the leeward side as we want to spend a few days in St Georges. We have booked into the Grenada yacht club marina where we can get fuel, water and electricity and they have a laundry. Town is a short walk or a dinghy ride away, we can tie our dinghy right outside ‘Foodland’. At EC$54 (£13) a night it is good value and we are right in the centre of town.
|Sailing to Grenada|