Little Boat in the Big City

Sanitas spent the month of August in Port Louis Marina in St George’s – the capital of Grenada. You know what a stay in a marina means, right? Shore power! Air conditioning! Real showers! A swimming pool! Ooh la la! We blinked, and the month flew by.

For the first time ever, we docked Sanitas stern-to a stone wall on the “Village Dock”. That should be easy, except Sanitas is “canoe-sterned”, aka a “double-ender.” While our pointy rear end is great for managing following seas, it doesn’t make it easy for her crew to step off the transom onto a dock. I worried about the situation for several days, but we bought a 10 inch wide, 12 foot long plank from Hubbard’s lumber yard, added some chafe protection and a few good knots, and several times a day I screwed up my courage and dashed across the narrow plank. So far, I haven’t fallen in, knock on wood!

The marina staff does a great job of making life here easy. Jenny’s Farmers’ market sets up shop each Friday selling produce, local coffee, beef, and juices. Convenient Market shows up in a big van full of produce every Monday selling a wide variety of whatever’s in season. It’s definitely on island time though – the super nice driver shows up sometime between noon and three o’clock – unless it’s one of the many Monday Grenadian holidays, when he doesn’t come at all.

Every afternoon around 5:00, marina-folk meet at the small swimming pool with insulated cocktail mugs in hand to float and chat until security kicks us out at 6:30. This ends up being a great way to meet new people and to learn about all the social events and hot spots in the area. One of my favorite hot spots is Grenada Yacht club, just a short dinghy ride across the harbor. This yacht club is our kind of place – casual, open air, overlooking the harbor with a lovely breeze, and a great place to meet up with cruisers and locals on Wednesday jerk chicken night or Friday barbecue. You can’t beat the 20ecd price (about $7.50) for a quarter chicken, rice and salad, with the best jerk sauce on the island. After our second Wednesday visit in a row, Capt. Mike submitted his membership application because, come on! Haven’t you always wanted to be a member of a yacht club? Dues also go to a good cause – sailing lessons for local Grenadian kids. (How do you like the Captain’s salty sailor shirt?)

I know I’ve only talked about fun events so far, but we actually got a lot of work done in the marina. We reversed our anchor chain – so the part we never use in shallow anchorages is now the part we use first all the time! This maneuver should let us get a few more years out of the galvanized chain. And we hired a local guy, Patrick, to repair some gel coat damage. Lesson learned for next time – negotiate the job price in advance, instead of agreeing to pay by the hour. AND… approve the color of the gel coat before each layer goes on, so you can prevent the mint-toothpaste-green debacle BEFORE it’s applied all over your boat. We also had several doctor appointments (that’s another blog post in and of itself), and researched sea freight shipping companies (yet another blog post), defrosted the fridge, and bought a new solar panel.

We really enjoyed our time in the well-run, secure marina, and it’s going to be a bit of an adjustment to return to living off grid! But that’s what this sailing life is all about, right?

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