Everybody laughs when we say that we live in Grenada, but it feels like home as soon as we enter its waters. We even got used to their way of speaking, and understand close to 70% if we listen carefully.
Since we were going to Tyrrell Bay, Carriacou (they pronounce it as Caricoo), going around Union Island on its lee was logical (instead of cutting through the west side against the mighty current and under wind). Most of the way we had to motor, but it was a very pleasent and windless day, so we entertained ourselves by looking at the resorts peppering the lee side of Union. There are amazing bays, but some are so isolated, they look scary, especially after the incident when one couple was killed on their a solitary boat anchored at the bay next to the village of Union. When one incident is publicized, whole island becomes out of bounds for most. Pity but true, why take a chance?
After staying one night at Tyrrell Bay, we headed to St George's, Grenada. Winds were fine, and we made good time until we reached the northern edge of the island (Sauter area) , we had to fire up the engines, since the winds in the lee of Grenada are erratic, changing direction at times, or dying down completely.
I suggested staying the night at Moliniere Point, where we know that two mooring balls are available. Since it is a marine protected area, anchoring is not allowed, and if the two overnight balls are not available, the daytime balls (red in colour) can be used; however during the day the commercial tourist boats have precedence.
Anyway, when we approached the Moliniere, we saw that the area around the point where several red balls are located, (the diving mecca of Grenada), was loosely sorrounded by some information bouoys. After we turned around the point to get to the over-night balls, we detected 8-10 new balls placed instead of the two, very sturdy looking and clean. Wow, after the ones we had used with a lot of trepidation, these balls welcomed us home. The ranger came around, very official looking young islander with a big smile, and charged us 27 EC (US$10). I was glad to give it, since it is such an important service, giving us the peace of mind to sleep well at night! I was sorry that there were not more people moored there. I remember people racing towards the balls in more crowded times, but nowadays the island is quiet. In about a month or so, people who leave their boats in the safe harbours of Grenada for the hurricane season will start coming back.
Next morning, we headed to St George's lagoon to fill our water tanks at the Yacht club. It was so nice to see our friend Kiran, who welcomed us and chatted with Al.
It is uncanny, how even the people on the streets recognized us, let alone the vendors of the grocery stores that we fequent. We saw some clean-up and face-lifting on te downtown area. It appears that the new government, which was elected last spring right before we left, started to spend some money. When we asked Richard (our taxi driver and friend) before we left this season, he had complained that the government was bringing new legislation about a personal tax, the first time in Grenada history.
We were surprised that it took them so long to think about it. Richard did not vote for them, so he was not happy. I guess it is inevitable to collect some taxes to perform the services required. Last year, we had been forced to listen to one politician during his day-long speech blurted to the whole neighbourhood by powerful loudspeakers. He mostly talked in slogans, one he repeated periodically "JOBS,JOBS,JOBS!" Well, jobs mean money, wherever it comes from.
Grenada is an enigma. We see cargo ships coming into the harbour every day, occationally three-four at a time, and leaving with the empty containers (visible by the displacement of the ship hulls)! So, always buying and selling what in return? All I see are the spices, rum and some cocao; not much of any enterprise or tourism. I have to inquire about the source of the stream that turnss the mills when we come back the next season.