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Back to the Windwards - December 2007
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Grenada is getting more and more like home and it seems to get harder to drag ourselves away. However, this is our last visit for a while. Once we leave, we will be heading West to Panama and leaving the Caribbean behind us for a few years as we carry on our Adventure out into the Pacific – well, that’s the present plan !!


Having exported Monty safely from the USA, we now needed to get him used to living aboard a Boat and certain important aspects relating thereto ie. Using a Litter Tray. This has proved to be not as easy as we first thought and, although he is doing pretty well, we do still find the odd message where it shouldn’t be…


When we got back from Colorado, Jeff & Jeanette were staying with True Colours and heading up to Carriacou. We saw them briefly but, before we could go anywhere, Roger needed to fit the new Manifold and Heat Exchanger which we had had imported from Vetus whilst in the US. He completed this quite easily and, within a couple of days, we were mobile again…


We had arranged to meet up with True Colours in St David’s so set sail with Monty for the first time with some trepidation. We needn’t have worried, he slept most of the way !!

We have now taken him on a few short sails along the Southern Coast and, so far, his Sea legs seem pretty good.

He loves being in the dinghy and although he quite likes playing on the beach he still runs away from the waves - we have yet to teach him to swim. Mind you, he is only 14 weeks old and still quite small !!!


It was lovely weather in St David’s and just enough wind to put the sail on the dinghy so we held an impromptu “Hardway Caribbean Dinghy Regatta”.

Needless to say, Jeff took the whole event very seriously and was the only Sailor who managed to capsize !!!

Fi won the first race and Dave Dog the second with the fastest overall time. Roger had the most fun although, if we had included a Handicapping system, he would probably have taken third place away from Jeff…


We headed around to Roger’s bar on Hog Island for the usual Sunday BBQ and Band as J & J hadn’t been there before and you can’t visit Grenada and not go… Unfortunately, Jeff cannot remember anything about the afternoon – I guess it may have been the Rum he consumed beforehand when watching the Rugby at Clarkes’ Court !! Suffice to say, we all had a great afternoon …


It seemed only too soon when we had to say goodbye to True Colours who were finally leaving Grenada and heading North. Their friends, Bill & Liz, flew out for a month a couple of days after J & J left so their plan is to sail to Antigua with them and then try and grab a spot as crew in the Antigua Classics Regatta. Sadly, it is a time for goodbyes as John (Durban Dancer) has now flown back to the UK for his Daughter’s wedding. Roger has lost his Chess partner and it will be a long time before our paths cross again.


We are now trying to get El Vagabond Shipshape and ready for the Pacific. Roger flew back to the UK on 1st April to see family and friends leaving Vicki behind (safely tucked up in a Marina) Puppy sitting, scrubbing and oiling decks, getting rid of excess baggage and other such chores….

Curiously, the Puppy sitting seems to be taking priority at the moment !!!


When he returns, we are due to ‘Haul Out’ for a Bottom scrub and antifoul and then we should be on our way….

Roger returned rather jaded from his Whistle Stop tour of the UK & Spain and we had a few days’ rest before hauling out El Vagabond at the Spice Island Marine Boatyard in Grenada on 20th April.

Luckily, the ‘Old Girl’ was looking in pretty good shape and there were no nasty surprises awaiting us. We gave her a good bottom scrub, applied 3 coats of anti-foul and polished the topsides so, with her freshly oiled decks (which Vicki did actually finish amid her Puppy sitting duties in the Marina), she looked pretty good when she was relaunched a week later.


Now, it was just a matter of stocking up with those last minute things before heading West. We took Monty to the Vet for his “leaving” Health Certificate on the 30th and planned to leave on either Tuesday/Wednesday of the following week.

We cooked a “Farewell Dinner” for Adonde and then had another “GoodBye Meal” with them at “De Big Fish” so that Monty could say goodbye to his Uncle Neil & Aunty Tracy – they left Prickly Bay for Carriacou on the 3rd May.


All was looking good for us to leave Prickly Bay on the 6th May until we were awoken by shouts of “El Vagabond” at about 2.30am. We had only been dozing as the wind had been increasing during the night and we had been listening to the howls in the rigging for the previous hour or so.


We sprang into life, looking out of the hatch as we did so and thoughts of “Oh sh*t, we are dragging” came into mind as we saw a Catamaran pass by on our Port side. Once we were up in the Cockpit, we realised that it wasn’t us that were dragging but the Catamaran which appeared to have nobody aboard and was heading straight onto the nearby rocks. Rog leapt into the dinghy and joined the other dinghy which was trying to tow the Catamaran away from the shore. Sadly, our little 3.5HP Outboard was of little use but another couple of dinghies soon turned up to assist with the mission.


It turned out that the Cat had broken its mooring line to a buoy on the other side of Prickly Bay, hit a boat which awoke the Skipper of the boat astern (Wild Vanilla) who jumped into his dinghy with his 2 young children and who managed to manoeuvre the Cat completely across the Bay without hitting anybody else en route – quite an achievement. Apparently, they missed us by a whisker hence the ‘wake up’ call. The following day we did donate a bottle of Rum to Wild Vanilla as we would have been rather displeased (to put it mildly) if we had been damaged just as we were ready to leave. Eventually, they managed to get the Yacht tied onto another Mooring Buoy but, as a result, we didn’t get back to bed until gone 4.30am so a 24 hour sail didn’t hold much appeal………


Luckily, this delay also meant that we could nip over to the Island Water World Book swap before we left (not that that fact affected our decision in the slightest………).