Back on the boat!

Grenada is a dangerous place…

You might never leave it again. After spending some months in Woburn bay we met so many awesome, chilled out people that became our friends. We enjoyed the regularity of life in Woburn Bay, knowing where we would meet our friends on which day of the week. Especially now, that we came to Grenada for the third time, we felt so much at home that it was very hard to set sail again.

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Sunday fun on hog island
Our favourite rum shop, Nimrods!
Our favourite rum shop, Nimrods!
A hash at the chocolate factory
A hash at the chocolate factory

Our original plan was to fly to Grenada, get the boat ready to float again in 10 days, launch and then leave very soon to the ABCs. So our friend Andreas, who came with us, had his flight back booked from Curaçao. And then the usual thing happened, which happens most of the time when sailors make any plans, things on the boat break, new parts are hard to get, everything takes so much longer than expected. In the end Andreas flew back from Grenada and we stayed on the island for about two months.

Knowing how expensive boat equipment is in the Caribbean, we bought a lot of boat parts and tools in Berlin and had a whole bag of 30 kg just for the boat. We had to leave the bag at the airport with customs and Lukas spend the next day getting everything declared with the help of a broker.

When we first inspected Mila, she looked ok, but then in the V-berth there was a lot of mould, because we forgot to cover up our leaking hatches before we left. So we had to throw out most of our cushions and linens. After several hours of attempting to hand grind the old antifouling, we got some workers with proper grinders to help us with that. They also did the new paint and polishing for a good price. So we had some time to focus on the other projects. Andreas and Lukas found out our windlass was not working anymore and tried to fix it for a day. We had to buy a new one second hand and get an aluminium plate made, in order to make it fit. We had to install our new shaft seal. I washed most of the clothes we left on board, because they were musty. We had to check the left over provisions and buy new supplies and cushions, clean up everything, dry the bilge and so on.

Laundry on Mila
Laundry on Mila
Rabi, who watched the boat for us, taking a hot bath
Rabi, who watched the boat for us, taking a hot bath
Lukas installing the new shaft seal
Lukas installing the new shaft seal
The hulk at work
The hulk at work
A quite fruitless attempt at grinding
A quite fruitless attempt at grinding
Mila's new antifouling
Mila’s new antifouling

By the launch day everything was ready and we were happy the new shaft seal was not leaking.

We ordered new wet cell batteries to the boat shop in the yard. They were slightly damaged from the transport, but after some tests showed they were ok, we decided to take them and installed them.

Another project we wanted to tackle now, was to build a bigger fridge and freezer out of our L-shaped icebox and send our 14 litre Engle cooler into well-deserved retirement after 40 years of service. Andreas and I started to work on insulating the icebox. Lukas’ job would be to install the compressor and evaporator. We thought it wouldn’t be too hard to build a box out of Styrofoam plates around the box, drill some holes into the GRP from the top and fill it up with two part PE foam. Well, it was hard, it was a hell of a project. I had to work in a super uncomfortable position, crawl into a cupboard to reach the box and then we had to cut the plates around all the asymmetrical shapes next to it and adjust to the curve of the hull. The very expensive foam kept running out, so I had to cycle over a mountain to get more from the big boat shop from time to time. Now about 11 weeks passed since we started the project fridge and it is so far finished, that you can get things cold. Some cosmetics still have to be done and the freezer has to be build as well. But we love our new fridge, about 100 litres of space for beer and other stuff!

Fridge insulation in progress / foamparty in the cupboard
Fridge insulation in progress / foamparty in the cupboard
Last touches on the fridge, some epoxy paint
Last touches on the bottom of the fridge, some epoxy paint
Wohoo, our new fridge!
Wohoo, our new fridge!
We also installed two more solar panels on the left and right of the stern, that was an easy project
We also installed two more solar panels on the left and right of the stern, that was an easy project

Besides all the boatwork I took part in a fun triathlon organized by the Grenada Hash House Harriers. Luckily a fellow hasher borrowed me her road bike, so I didn’t have to use our folding bike for that.

Grenada Hash House Harriers Triathlon
Grenada Hash House Harriers Triathlon
Chilling at Hog island
Chilling at Hog island
I hope this guy got his pension!
I hope he got his pension!
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Around easter time there is kite season in Grenada. We found this kite one morning after it was flying over us for about 3 days and nights, sounding like a big mosquito. It’s made out of shopping bags.

One day we went for a nice roadtrip around the coast of Grenada with some friends in their car and saw much more of the island than we already knew.

A visit to the chocolate factory
A visit to the chocolate factory

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Loads of sargassum seaweed on Grenada's East coast
Loads of sargassum seaweed on Grenada’s East coast
A visit to the Westerhall rum distillery
A visit to the Westerhall rum distillery
Some fresh nutmeg found under a tree
Some fresh nutmeg found under a tree

The bad thing about Grenada is, that due to the British influence the only cheese they have is cheddar and the normal bread you get has no crust and tastes a little bit sweet. So out of longing for good cheese and baguette we made the decision to sail to Martinique once more, and stuff the boat with glorious French food. Another advantage of starting the trip further North, is that the distance to Venezuela will be bigger, once we sail to the ABC islands.

On the way to Martinique
On the way to Martinique

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Some dolphins at dawn

So we are back in Le Marin, Martinique now.

We rented a car for some days to explore some more of the island and of course buy lots of stuff for the boat. The landscape is much more cultivated than in Grenada, there is less of wild rainforest. The roads are generally really good maintained. Lukas was happy to drive a car again, even if it was only a Dacia Sandero. While I started some sewing projects, Lukas is working regulary for his client at home. In one or two weeks we want to sail to Bonaire.

Mila in Le Marin, Martinique
Mila in Le Marin, Martinique
Hurricane hole in Le Marin
Hurricane hole in Le Marin

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A beach in the North
A beach in the North
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Lukas et le Diamant
My first project sewing with sunbrella fabric, a rain and sun cover for the front hatch
My first project sewing with sunbrella fabric, a rain and sun cover for the front hatch
We had a nice german backpacker staying with us for some days
We had a nice german backpacker staying with us for some days
Watching Germany's first game in the soccer World Cup, hope the next game will be better
Watching Germany’s first game in the soccer World Cup, hope the next game will be better!