Grenada advertises itself as being below the dreaded "hurricane belt". This myth was dispelled when Hurricane Ivan thrashed the island in 2004. Since then, many boat insurance companies (including ours) no longer insure boats in this area for wind damage caused by named or numbered storms. This fact keeps us on our toes and we have a few contingency plans on where to go should a numbered or named storm come our way.
Prior to arriving on the island of Grenada we stopped in Carriacou. Carriacou is part of Grenada and lies approximately 15 miles to the north west. Every year Carriacou hosts Regatta Week during the first week of August. The people of Carriacou are known for their boat building talents. Regatta Week is time to show off.
The traditional small island Work Boat lies ready on the beach. These boats are in a racing class by themselves.
Each boat is hand crafted on the island, beautifully painted and named.
At the start of the race a crew member, dressed with hiking harness, holds the bow of his boat as the race is about to commence.
In a later race, the sloops head downwind and the colorful spinnakers are raised.
The younger sailors have their own race.
With a whole week of racing we saw many beautiful boats.
Rounding the mark.Not interested in sailing? How about a "go fast" piroque?
Staying cool was the name of the game and the locals had the best idea....boat with umbrella.
We did manage to find a cold brewAnd some shadeOf course, if you are among the younger crowd, fashion rules the day. Here Lydia (center) decided this party called for ankle high boots. Vogue, take note. Here are three future fashion princesses. When the party ended we left. There was another party waiting for us in Grenada. Carnival.
Carnival is an annual event in all the Caribbean islands. It is planned for and widely anticipated by residents and visitors. Carnival events can go on for days. There is music and music and music. When there is music there is dancing. There is dancing in costume and dancing without costume. Jouvert (open day in French) begins the first day of the last three days of carnival. We had anchored our boat right downtown, in the thick of things. We were awakened for Jouvert at 4:30am. Large speakers the size of the Empire State Building (OK, I am exagerating) began blaring island music. There are favorite songs for carnival, about 4, that are played over and over and over again. Our boat vibrated. We flew out of bed wondering if the end of the world was near or had a hurricane spontaneously formed overnight? NO, Carnival had begun.
Mayhem as the paraders are getting organized
Fellow boaters decided to brave the crowds. We opted to stay onboard and watch from the bow, with our morning java.This particular parade was about paints and symbolism? I am guessing here but draw you own conclusions. The black shiny body paint is motor oil.....yep, motor oil.
Lots and lots of motor oil. We stayed away from this crowd just in case they wanted to shake our hands or give us a hug.
Maybe yellow is more to your liking? No problem, yellow paint is available.Or maybe green?
The local firemen decided to view the parade from the safety of their dorm rooms.And the local Chinese contingency,watching safely from the upstairs balcony, were not interested in being black, yellow or green (no puns or racial slurring intended here).
And then it was a day later and time for the costume parade. The Moko Jumbies (stilts) are great
All costumes are judged for design and originality.The children are beautiful and they can dance
And the fashion princesses are busy designing their own costumes with tings found during the parade.
Carnival is finished and life is back to normal. On Wednesday nights we go to hambuger night at Clarks Court Marina. Sounds trivial but the burgers are great (no fillers). On Fridays we go to market. Going to market is a treat. Stay tuned for some good photos.
Anne and Steve
S/V Fine Line