Exploring the Caribbean sea, Grenada to Guadeloupe

We had a nice overnight downwind sail from Barbados to Grenada. It was the last one so far as we headed North in the last weeks and with the prevailing Northeasterlies right now this means sailing close-hauled most of the time.

The day we arrived in Grenada, our friend Andreas joined us for three weeks.

Port Louis marina in grenada
Port Louis marina in grenada

We took a minivan with a totally crazy driver to visit the Seven Sisters waterfalls on Grenada. While I’m probably not a slow driver myself, I was really impressed by the speed of this minivan that was completely filled with about 15-20 people. After several experiences like this I start to get the impression that being on land and in a car is possibly the most dangerous thing about a circumnavigation.

Luckily, we made it to the falls without dying and had a nice hike through the woods. On the way back, we got visited by some monkeys that obviously liked climbing on humans very much.

Seven Sisters waterfall on Grenada
Seven Sisters waterfall on Grenada
Mona monkeys, Grenada
Mona monkeys, Grenada
Mona monkeys, Grenada
Mona monkeys, Grenada
Enjoying the Port Louis marina pool. The funny woman in the back is not part of the crew ;)
Enjoying the Port Louis marina pool. The funny woman in the back is not part of the crew 😉

After three days in the marina we were finished with hanging out in the pool, doing the laundry, filling up on water and food and so we went out to the anchorage. While we do have a good, oversized anchor and a heavy oversized chain as we need to have a reliable anchoring system, we had some problems getting our anchor to grip in the St. George anchorage. We tried to find a usable spot for six times but the but never hit a spot with enough sand. The next idea was to dive down and carry the anchor to a better spot, but we were not able to make it all the way down to the six to seven meters depth. Obviously, we do need more diving practice. So far, we are only able to go down about four to five meters.  So we just decided to leave it as it is and not leave the boat alone for a longer period of time.

Sunset in Grenada from the beach bar
Sunset in Grenada from the beach bar

From Grenada, we did an overnight sail to Canouan which is a small island of the Grenadines. It is mostly known for its two luxury resorts for tourists with a lot of money (hotel rooms start at 350€ per night) that come to the island with a small plane and then just stay inside their resort for the whole holiday. Which is a shame, because the rest of Canouan is absolutely beautiful. People are very friendly, and there are loads of turtles, wild dogs, chicken and other animals walking freely around the island. One evening, we went to a party club on the island (probably the only one) and had a nice evening with the locals with cold beer, good food, a live band, karaoke and local comedians.

 

Finally a good sized tuna!
Finally a good sized tuna! Makes a brilliant meal with some potatoes, onions and spices
Canouan anchorage, Mila is somewhere in the back
Canouan anchorage, Mila is somewhere in the back
Teresa made friends with a street dog on Canouan
Teresa made friends with a street dog on Canouan
Turtle on Canouan
Turtle on Canouan
Underwater selfie
Underwater selfie

After three days, we headed over to the Tobago Cays, which is a group of uninhabitated islands with an outside reef protecting them from the atlantic swell. We were unsure about going there because this spot is known for being very crowded and there have been some thefts last year, but we decided to go there and it was totally worth it. There were a lot of boats especially in the small anchorage between the main islands, but there was enough space outside to find a cozy anchor place for Mila.

We went snorkeling every day and saw a lot of fish, turtles (some were quite big), stingrays, and a water snake.

One evening, we made friends with six german guys that sailed a charter catamaran. They invited us over for a nice dinner and some beer, and when we met them again on Martinique before they went back home they kindly gave us their leftovers of food and drink.

Tobago Cays anchorage
Tobago Cays anchorage
Tobago cays
Tobago cays
Tobago Cays wildlife
Tobago Cays wildlife
Paddleboard ropeskipping on Tobago Cays
Paddleboard ropeskipping on Tobago Cays
Tobago Cays beachlife
Tobago Cays beachlife
And the obligatory handstand picture
And the obligatory handstand picture
Tobago cays snorkeling on a reef somewhere between the islands
Tobago cays snorkeling on a reef somewhere between the islands

Next, we headed north again and had another overnight sail to Martinique. Because Andreas had to get to Guadeloupe in time to make it to his flight back home, we did not stay long. Teresa went for a run to see a little bit of the island, but other than that we mainly went to Martinique for provisioning, and bought two shopping carts of food and drinks in the first big supermarket with acceptable prices since we left Gran Canaria in December last year. We only took a short trip with the dinghy into the mangroves and saw some birds and a lot of crabs everywhere.

Mangroves on Martinique near Le Marin
Mangroves on Martinique near Le Marin

And now we’re on Guadeloupe, where Andreas left us this morning to get back home. We’ll be on our own for some days and then Teresas mother will join us.

Yesterday, we went out for Carnival, which started a little bit boring in the beginning but then got very interesting later in the night. In the end, we just joined one of the groups and walked through Pointe-a-Pitre with them. As it is quite a long walk from the city center to the marina, we tried to get a cab but this turned out to be impossible as cab drivers were either all asleep or probably all drunk. Which was not bad in the end, because in the end we found a way to get back to Mila much faster than with a cab, we just asked one of the powerboat guys that was in the process of leaving if he can take us with him and so we were back in less than two minutes thanks to his dual 250hp outboards.

So for now, nearly everything is great onboard Mila. The only problematic thing right now is our dinghy, which is a cheap roll-up-inflatable that is just not up to the task of being used daily and transporting stuff through a choppy anchorage. Everything on board gets completely wet if there is a minimal amount of waves and the transom started to break apart and can’t take the forces of our 5hp outboard anymore. So we are currently planning to get a new one as soon as possible and it will probably be an aluminium RIB that is quite expensive but much more appropriate for us than the current one.

There's not only sun in the Carib, rainfall in the Pointe-a-Pitre marina on Guadeloupe
There’s not only sun in the Carib, rainfall in the Pointe-a-Pitre marina on Guadeloupe

written by Lukas