Caribbean, Family, Motherhood, Travel and Adventure

Latitude 12° North – Avoiding potential hurricanes in Grenada

After a 56 hour sail from the BVI to Grenada we arrived in St. George and anchored off Grand Anse beach. The ground below was flat coral shell and difficult to find sand, but once anchored it was good holding. We stayed in this spot for a week to get to know our surroundings, catch up with friends who were in the area and explore the capital of Grenada.

Grenada was spectacular with lush green mountains, beautiful beaches and an array of enchanting waterfalls.

The week we arrived was carnival week. Town was bustling and full of life. We spent two days watching crowds of people dancing through the streets in flamboyant costumes to calypso beats. The atmosphere was electric.

We further explored St. George by visiting Fort Frederick, strolling along Grand Anse beach and checking out the local markets for fresh produce.

After 5 days we decided to head around to the south of the island and get ourselves into a good spot should a hurricane arise. We sailed the south coast spending one night on a mooring ball in True Blue Bay, checking out Prickly Bay, Mount Hartman and finally anchoring in Woburn Bay. We found a good spot close to Calivigny Island. The ground was fairly good holding, but was thick mud and difficult to check the anchor due to zero visibility. Woburn Bay is located 12° north which is where insurance companies draw the line when insuring boats during hurricane season, so we decided to stay here as we were very unlikely to be hit.

We decided to rent a car for a week and explore the island. We circumnavigated the island a couple of times driving both the coastal roads and the central route through the rainforest. We visited the likes of Rivers rum distillery, the sulphur springs, Belmont Estate and trekked a couple of hikes to some wonderful waterfalls. The roads were in great condition and fairly easy to navigate. The only issue we had was driving back through town one day when Gavin misunderstood a police traffic signal and we got into trouble. He was then asked to pull over and produce his temporary drivers licence, however as Léna’s new interest was in daddy’s wallet she seemed to have taken the piece of paper out which we needed. We then needed to make a trip to the local police station the following morning to show his documents.

On a separate occasion whilst driving through town one afternoon we were stationary in the car, when all of a sudden we felt like somebody was shaking us. We wondered what the hell was going on and then we realised there had been an earthquake. It occurred off the coast of Venezuela and was a powerful 7.3 magnitude.

Once we gave the car back, we were pretty much boat based. Our only form of transport was either by dinghy or local taxi.

The area we were based in was full of cruisers also sitting out the summer avoiding any potential hurricanes. We became very much a part of the community and joined in on several of the social events. Every morning we would tune in to the ‘cruisers net’ on channel 68 and listened out for social gatherings and deals on the island. One of the vendors advertising on the net was a French guy selling fresh baguettes and croissants. He would come around to the boat most mornings and it was very difficult to resist his baked goodies.

Every Sunday there was a BBQ based on Hog Island where people would get together and socialise. We attended our first ever dinghy concert, spent days lounging at the pool at both Le Phare Bleu and Secret Harbour Marina and went to a couple of the local bars to listen to live music.

There were 3 Voyage boats in the bay and a couple of other crews on boats we knew that we hung out with on a regular basis. We would snorkel, get together for days out and host dinner parties on each others boats every other evening.

When we didn’t have any exciting activities planned for the day we would clean, do laundry runs, I would bake fresh bread and Gavin would do maintenance on the boat. I even got in the sea a couple of times to clean the water line on the boat to keep myself busy and get my daily exercise. Paddle boarding, yoga and swimming were other ways we would try and stay fit whilst living on the boat.

Gavin and I treated ourselves to a couple of romantic dinners out, ‘romantic’ being the operative word with a one year old joining us, and ate at some of the local restaurants. The three of us would take many dinghy cruises around the local bays to get us off the boat, shop in the local stores such as Meat and Meet (a wonderful little Butchery at Whisper Cove), go fishing to catch our dinner and Gavin would go out snorkelling to catch me lobster. Every Saturday we would catch a taxi who drove us into the center of St. George to the local market for fresh produce. The markets were filled with delicious locally grown fruit and vegetables such as okra, avocados, mangoes, tamarind and soursop. We would do a large shop and stock up for the week.

Living on the boat got somewhat claustrophobic at times and we got a little sea madness occasionally, but the majority of the time it was an amazing experience. Gavin and I love spending time on the water and Léna has definitely got her sea legs. In two months she has grown up so quickly. She has become a little adventurer exploring on the boat and discovering a whole new world around her. She’s met a lot of new people and her confidence is growing. We’ve had many days swimming in the pool and afternoons floating on blow up toys tied to the back of the boat. She is a little water baby in the making. I think her favourite thing must be the dinghy rides. Every day around 5pm when the sun was going down we would take a cruise around the bay. She got so confident, she would stand at the bow and gaze out to sea watching the waves go by and wave hello to all the dogs on the other boats with a huge smile on her face. It was a real highlight for her and a delight for Gavin and I to watch.

Hurricane season this year in the Atlantic was a lot less active in the Caribbean than the previous one. There were a couple of tropical storms brewing, but none that really came of anything. After almost 6 weeks we checked on the weather and decided we would slowly head back up the island chain, visiting a couple of the Windward islands on our way back to the BVI.

Click here for things to see and do in Grenada.

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