Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A New Age

A boat on land is asleep and in water she is awake and alive. I feel liberated and alive on Earthling now. All the bottom jobs are finally over. I got intoxicated enough with fiber glass debris, anti-fouling paint, thinner, acetone, and mesquite bites.  The first day in water had a few special highlights. Well, I got a spot right up front the boat yard on the new dock. There are only two docks to tie up at Grenada Marine and only two to four boats can stay tied up at the time. I was lucky to get the “Presidential spot” as I referred to it in my previous venture. In Valet Parking business in Chicago, there were always guest that wanted their cars parked upfront. These were customers that usually had nice cars, Porches, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Benz, and BMW. Additionally, these customers knew the right person and usually dropped at least a Jackson for the presidential spot in front of the establishment. Earthling might not be a Ferrari but certainly my Mercedes :-) She will stay at the dock here till most of the other projects are accomplished!

The other highlight was the Christmas party at the boat yard. A whole pig was roasting on the fire throughout the day and everybody indulged themselves with great food and drinks the entire evening, thanks to Jason Fletcher and the staff at Grenada Marine.
Watchie and his family
Eric & Jackie Aborad "Makai"
Andy & Marius
Raquel and Mrs Oliver Burris

Furthermore, December 22nd was a special day according to many ancient calendars. The calendars such as the Mayans, Aztecs, Egyptians, and others were more in tune with the universe and our solar system. Unfortunately today, most citizens of Earth don’t really have a clear understanding of this age transformation. Which makes sense, it happens every 3150 years and it’s not like Christmas or New Years that would come around every year throughout our life. Some might know this date as the end of the world, we know for sure that nothing ended! But the world as we know it will change in a rapid pace in our life times.
The planet earth goes through a new age every 3150 years. At the end and beginning of each age, the planet and it’s citizens go through a rapid change. Till December 21st 2012, we lived in the age of Pieces, which is referred to as the age of Darkness. During Pieces a vail has been covering the truth and only a fraction of the truth has been revealed. As of Dec 22nd, we entered the age of Aquarius, which is supposed to be the age of enlightenment. Humanity is becoming enlightened and entering a new dimension gradually. I feel very lucky and happy to be alive and part of these transition. Let’s look forward brighter days to come in the near future.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Age

Love from Grenada    

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Back on Earthling

First of all I want to apologize to all followers and friends that I have not updated the blog for such a long time. Life on land has been tense and full of actions. Actions that I’ve been wanting to write about but never found the peaceful alone time. I am neither a writer nor a reader. Writing to me has always been like homework. I am still working on my writing skills and this blog has surely helped me to overcome some of the difficulties. Aboard Earthling, I always had someone to help me fix my writing. Many thanks to Kelly, Nico, and Katherine. Kelly is up in the Rocky Mountains/Aspen working in her field as a hair stylist. Nico is traveling in Israel and then South East Asia for the next few months, and Katherine is coming to visit Earthling for New Years.

In the last five months, I have been working in Chicago, visited my parents, grand parents, and family in Iran, and visited my siblings and family in Sweden.
Now, I am back on Earthling on the hard, alone. I came back to a fried lizard and a fried battery. Unfortunately It was difficult to tell if it was Lizzy or Quickie, but I believe it was Lizzy and I think Quickie was fast enough to get away. The first house battery had to be thrown out and single cells in a couple of the other batteries are bad. Otherwise Earthling is in fine condition, no mice or cockroaches.

Blisters along the old water line
My full time/overtime job now is to give Earthling lots of love and attention, so she can keep me and crew safe at sea. The biggest project is to raise the water line two to four inches. She is a heavy girl and now she has even more toys. A new Lofran Tigres windlass with a wireless remote control along with 150ft of 10mm chain. Only the chain weighs 400 to 450 pounds! She got a new Wirie wifi booster/router, an arch for the antennas and solar panels, new spinnaker (thanks to Donna Hastings), truough-hull for salt water at the sink (in the past we washed dishes with salt water in a bucket), new galley faucet, radar reflector, halyards, lines, and many other small upgrades. The plan is to launch on Thursday Dec 20th and the goal is to finish most of the projects. I wish I could just pay someone to do all the work. To raise the water line cost $2700, approximately 40 hours of labor. Well if I'm lucky It takes me 70 hours to make $2700 and this job will not take me more than 70 hours, logically, I should do it myself. It’s like going to work but for yourself and it is absolutely more rewarding. 

Love from Earthling

Saturday, July 28, 2012

104th Chicago-Mackinac Race

Once again it was time for one of the highlights of the summer in Chicago, the “Mac raceaboard Joie De Vie. The crew aboard this were Ken and Randy Hastings, Jim, Kerry, Elizabeth, Susan, Garret, and I. Unfortunately, Marty Hastings is no longer with us but his spirit was alive aboard and even more since the whole Hastings family were participating. This race was in the honor of Marty and his ashes were spread under the Mackinac bridge. A big thanks to Donna Hastings to keep Joie De Vie, so we all can get together and relive the memories from the time Marty was with us. I also missed my foredeck pal, Lee. He could not join us on the race because of health condition, but he did drive up to the Island for a couple of days.
In this race Joie De Vie with Jim Clauser at helm had the best start in the section.   
This year was also the warmest ever. I didn’t wear the foul weather gear at all, not even during night shifts, which is unusual. But no worries, Jim, John and I had to pay back on the way back. Right after departure from Mackinac, a weather front came through with high winds and heavy rain. The rain drops felt like bullet in the face. Seas were steep and short and with the wind (25-30) on the nose. On top of that I had a few rum drinks too many the night before! The rain and high winds lasted the whole day. So the gear I brought all the way from Earthling came to use.     
Mackinac is a beautiful island with a history to it, read last year’s blog input. Ken and I rented two bicycles and biked around the island, which reminded me of the first time I visited Mackinac 14 years ago.
The second highlight of the mac race is to deliver Joie De Vie back to Chicago, which usually takes five days. This year we stopped at Charlevoix and Manestee in Michigan and Shaboygan and Racine on the Wisconsin side. One of Marty’s highschool friends, John joined us back for the delivery.
I also replaced my Iphone right before the race and have been handicapped and out of touch. I was really hoping the phone could be returned and it almost did! Somebody found it, called us, and returned it to Burnham Harbor. But there are no traces of it at the marina office!  
The 104th race to Mackinac took Joie De Vie 46hrs 24min to finish.
 Sunrises and sunsets are other parts of this event that I certainly enjoy. In the last 9 days Ive seen five sunrises and five sunsets. 
Sunset first night
Sunrise second day

Spinnaker flying the whole race

Sunset, second night
Sunrise 3rd day

Ken And Randy spreading Marty's ashes under the Mackinac Bridge

18 boats in 36.7 design rafted up
Joie De Vie Crew

Love from the Mac Race

Check the full photo album on facebook page, click here

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Unexpected visit to Barbados

Wharf River Front, Bridgetown
On my birthday June 27th, Katherine and I had tickets to fly from Grenada to Miami and from there I was going to Chicago and Katherine to New York. American Airline flight was scheduled for 8:50 am and we checked in at the desk at 6:30 am. In the last couple of weeks, I have been stressed out and concerned about my U.S residency card, which is expired. A new card has been applied for and it was send out to my address in Chicago but the post office don’t have any records of delivery.
At the airport in Grenada, I was asked to present a residency card. The lady at the desk  revealed that since the card is expired she has to get a permission to board me from the immigration in Miami. She called the office in Miami airport, but their computer system was down and they could not check my residency status, they asked to call back in 30 min. At 7:30 am, AA agent called Miami again, system still down, call back later. The time for boarding is getting closer and I have no permission to board the flight. Katherine and I decided that she should go ahead and board the plane and hopefully I will be getting a clearance to board last minute. At 8:45 am, I asked the agent to make one more call to Miami, she stated that it’s too late to board the plane but she will call! At this point I already had encountered with most of AA agents. They are not that many in Grenada, since there is only one flight a day. If I missed the flight on my birthday then I had to wait till the following day. Once again the officers in Miami declared the computer system was down. It’s after 9 am and the airplane is about to take off. I went to second floor to witness the flight taking off before I was able to come up with plan B. It seemed like this Boeing 737 was not moving, I waited 30 min by the window looking outside and it wasn’t moving. I went back to the desk and it seemed that all American Airline employees were stressed, the co-pilot was outside the terminal smoking a cigarette. It appeared that the airplane had mechanical problems and it couldn’t take off.
There is no airplane mechanic in Grenada, an engineer had to fly in from Barbados or Puerto Rico. The one in Barbados was not available since he was out fishing flying fish and the next person in Puerto Rico would take at least a couple hours to come to Grenada. Suddenly, I’m so happy the airplane can’t take off. Now I was hopeful again, it must be a miracle I thought, I’m supposed to be on this plane. But now the agents are so busy rerouting all passengers, they don’t have time to assist me, in addition they stated that boarding cards could not be issued after scheduled departure. But kindly I asked John to make a last call.
At 10:30, John called Miami and reported that the flight is delayed and they are going to try to board me if they get a clearance. The computer system worked now and within few minutes the officer in Miami said NEGATIVE! The officer described that I have to go to a U.S Embassy to get a “letter of transportation”. There is a U.S embassy in Grenada, but I already have been in contact with them and they don’t deal with residency issues so the only way is to go to Barbados. Well, I have to fly to Barbados then! Next flight to Barbados is at 14:45 with Liat (Caribbean Airlines). The lady at the Liat desk had seen me walking around the airport frustrated and concerned. I told her the whole story and she was very helpful and sold me a ticket at lowest price it could be sold at the counter. It’s 11 am and the original flight has not taken off yet. I’m concerned that Katherine might miss her connection and she probably has to stay overnight in Miami. There is no way to communicate with her on the other side and she doesn’t know what happen to me. The airport is pretty empty and nothing is going on. All of a sudden, I see somebody coming out from the gate, it’s Katherine. She decided to stay since she would miss her connection. The staff were digging for her luggage on the airplane and she cancelled her flight. Katherine bought a one way ticket to Barbados as well. Great, now I have my mate with me too! 
An hour before the flight to Barbados at the check in, we got to know that you can not fly on a one way ticket to Barbados unless you are connecting. We had to present tickets to our final destination, which we don’t have. They refused to board the two of us even though we told them the story. We had to get a permission from the immigration in Barbados. At this point I am furious. What’s going on today? Is it time to pay back for all the good times I’ve had in the last 8 months? Finally the supervisor agreed to call the immigration in Barbados on our behalf and was able to get permission to board us 20 min before departure. What a day! 
The view from highest elevation

Blue Orchid Beach
Barbados has been a destination of places to visit on my list since the first Mount Gay hat I obtained. Most sailing races in the U.S are sponsored by Mount Gay Rum from Barbados. Within the last five years, I’ve earned a few red Mount Gay hats with the map of Barbados embroidered on them. Therefore, I have been interested to see the Island of Barbados. This island is off the beaten path and it is not a destination many cruisers sail to. In matter of fact there are less than 300 cruising boats that check in Barbados and most of them land here after an atlantic crossing. In addition, there are no protected anchorages around the Island, but there are plenty of pristine pinkish beaches. The visit to Barbados was unexpected. I guess since the thought of visiting this Island has been send to the universe for a long time, now it’s attracting me and I have to visit it for above mentioned reason. This Island has surprised us in many ways. After all, Earthling has sailed and Island hoped almost all the Leeward and Windward islands in the last eight months and I have a understanding of the differences.
Barbados is a relative flat island, the highest peak in the middle is 1135 ft. It is well developed and it’s evident that tourist have been visiting this island for many decades. There are plenty of hotels, resorts, and villas to choose from. We stayed at Rose Apartments, which is small but it has a pool, jacuzzi and the rooms are clean and spacious. The owner of Rose Apartments, George, was very nice and kind to us and we had a great experience the days we spent there. I have not seen any other Caribbean island aside the French islands that have so many cars and traffic. This Island must also have the highest gas stations per square feet, many of them are 24/7. There are real highways that stretches to the north and around. The public transportation includes government busses that cover the entire island, private busses, and there are zillions of taxis. I would think, out of 285 thousand in population, half are taxi drivers. Don’t be annoyed if locals offer you taxi every few steps you take on the streets by the gap. Locals are friendly here, but after all their economy is dependent on tourism and they will try to sell you products and services. One observation about most local men here is the fashion of gold tooth. It also could be status in society, some have one gold tooth and some gold teeth.
Animal Flower Bay/Cave

Katherine and I got to explore the Island and drove to the caves on most northern part and got a taste of the nature of Barbados. We came across monkeys which was a surprise. Out of all the Islands, I have seen monkeys only in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Unlike other Caribbean islands, Barbados has it’s own currency, Barbados Dollar BBD, $1US is equal to $2 BBD. Furthermore, “No smoking permitted” signs are everywhere and even in some outdoor facilities, smoking laws are not enforced in most Islands in West Indies. Since there are so many tourist in Barbados, there are lots of entertainment, night clubs, live music, Reggie, house music and entertainment for every day of the week. Furthermore, tons of small and big establishments have slot machines and gambling. Right now is the low season, but still there are more tourist here than most other islands in the WI. The majority of visitors are from Trinidad, Brazil, Italy, Canada, U.S, and believe it or not Venezuela. 
Barbados has great sea food, Katherine and I indulged ourselves with Marlins, Swordfish, tuna, and what Barbados is most known for, flying fish. There is also an open diverse culture in Barbados, where we noticed more Asians, homosexuals, and Muslims than any other Island as one of the oldest synagogues in Western hemisphere is located in Bridgetown.
The economy of Barbados is mostly tourism and the Nation is considered one of the wealthiest in the West Indies. Barbados was a little too much for our cruising routine, however it got us ready and prepared for the chaos in Chicago and New York.

Love from Barbados
View the Barbados photo album on fb page, click here

Saturday, June 30, 2012

20 Steps on How to Store Your Boat

Earthling has been hauled out twice in the last three years and every time I have experienced certain challenges and mistakes that could have been prevented. Now I have a list on how to prepare my home unattended on land for a few months. In the cold climates I winterized her, in the Caribbean I call it “hurricanizing”. 

1. Mark the chain plates on the hull so you can tell the yard staff where to set the stands. Make sure your boat is leveled and not leaning more to one side than the other.  I have experienced the hull being pushed in from one of the stands in the past. Ideally you want to rest your boat on a cradle. Earthling’s cradle is in Chicago.

2. Fill water tanks to full, add a capful of bleach to every 30 gallon tank. Fill the fuel tank and add biocide. Keeping the tanks full prevents growth in the tanks and additionally makes the boat heavier so it doesn’t fly away in case of high winds.

3. Strap the boat down, also known as chocking. Four straps should be sufficient, two at the bow and two on the stern. Chain the screw jacks together. On the straps put upside down cones which makes it difficult for rodents to go up the strap.

4. Remove all the canvas; sails, bimini, and dodger. Also uninstall the wind generator blades and solar panels. Anything that can use windage and can become loose on deck such as stanchions or a horseshoe, grill, and solar lights should be removed.

5. Put all electronics away in sealed containers or zip lock bags. If any of the electronics have batteries, remove them and put them in a sealed box. Last year the cd player was damaged from humidity, and batteries in flash lights were corroded. I’ve learned it the hard way, It’s easier to prevent than clean it up!  Also put blankets, pillows, books, and anything that can mold in large sealed space bags. Apply a layer of oil on the vinyl cushions so they don’t crack.

6. Clean and dry the bilge. Put a spoon full of vegetable oil in the head, so it keeps the seals lubricated.

Running the outboard
7. Run the inboard and outboard with fresh water for a few minutes. On the inboard, stick the water hose into the raw water intake, start the engine and wait till the water comes out the exhaust. Then run it for a few minutes till it gets rid of all the salt water in the system, and shut it down. On the outboard, put the prop in a fresh water bucket, run it for a couple minutes, detach the fuel line and wait till the fuel in the system is used up and the engine shuts off. Ideally change the oil, fuel filter, and oil filter and move the impeller on the inboard. Last season the gas in the outboard dried in the carburetor and our Chrysler 6hp outboard didn’t work for a couple months. 

8. Spray protective anti corrosion wax (CRC SP400) on the engine parts such as hose clamps, battery terminals, and anything else that can corrode.

9. Turn battery switch off, but leave the bilge pump. Keep some kind of trickle charge so batteries are topped off! I kept one of the solar panels connected on deck.

Thru hulls covered
10. Tie down the boom. Tie and secure all the halyards and lines on deck. Be sure to have no loose lines on deck!

11. Get rid of any flammables, dinghy gas, lighter fluid and so forth.

12. Close all sea cocks and cover it from below. Don’t cover the cockpit drainage!

13. Cover hatches and windows with canvas. Put aluminum foil on the windows from inside to avoid UV damage and heat inside the cabin.

14. Spray all locks with anti corrosion. I have had to cut at least a few locks upon return to Earthling in the past.

15. Cover or apply a layer of varnish on the exterior wood trims. On the interior wood trims apply some kind of wood oil, we use WD40.

16. Seal places that might leak, such as stanchions, tow rail, hatches, anchor carrier, and so forth. You don’t want any water inside the boat, especially since there is no ventilation. Put some kind of moisture product, humidifier in the cabin to prevent mold.

17. Do not leave any food on the boat. Give away all food including flour, grains, cans, and so forth.
Foil in the windows 

18. Put rat poison in various hidden places. 

19. Right before you leave the boat put a bug bomb in the cabin. You can not return back for hours so that’s the last thing to do. We came back to the boat in Virgin Gorda and had visitors, a family of mice that ate grains through the plastic container, drank some of the fresh water in bottles, and had a party all over the boat. Their poop was evident everywhere. Mice can chew on and destroy boat wires which can be difficult to find in case of electric failure.

20. Earthing does not have a water maker but if you do have one, it should be pickled.
If you feel there is any other important point that is missed, please feel free to advice.

Right now we are unexpectedly in Barbados. This story will be updated within the next few days.

Love from Barbados

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The last sail of the season was from Carriacou to Grenada. After an hour into the passage winds picked up to 20+ and suddenly the main sail snapped and teared apart at the reefing point. The sail had to come down and we continued only with the Genoa. Earthling’s sails are old and we have no spare sails. Hopefully by next season I can get a new main sail and patch the old one and keep it as a spare. If someone out there has an old main sail or Genoa for an Islander 36’ that is laying around with no use, Earthling would love to obtain it.      
St. Georges

Grenada is one prominent Island that offers a little bit of everything. This is a place where all cruisers come together. Many stay anchored in one of the quite few bays for the entire hurricane season, like our friends Mike and Rebecca that we have had the pleasure to cruise with since February. Moreover, you will not be bored here, there are tons of activities to participate in for everyday of the week. You name it, beach volleyball, dinghy concert, yoga seasons, jam seasons, hashes, fish Fridays, hamburger nights, pizza nights, trivia nights, and many many more. Since arriving in Grenada, we have united with couple dozens of cruisers that we met in various Islands since George Town in the Bahamas. Incidentally, the capital of Grenada is St. George, which I consider one of the prettiest cities in the West Indies, not only because we have the same name but St. George has a vintage charming look and feel to it. The city is build over several rolling hills, driving up and down the steep narrow streets could remind one of San Francisco.
St. Georges

 Cruisers reunite, Prickly bay
Unfortunately, we have not had the opportunity to explore the wild and unspoiled part of Grenada yet, but there are many water falls, rivers, and golden beaches. Mount St. Catherine is the highest point of the Island, which I would love to hike up to. There are several large and small marinas, marine stores, and haul out facilities as well as a variety of supermarkets, hardware stores and plenty of restaurants and hotels to choose from. The locals we have met are friendly and welcoming. We have been anchored off Hog Island, which is a delightful calm anchorage. Five to fifteen-minute dinghy ride with the outboard brings us to Clarkes Court Bay and Whisper Cove Marina to the East and Secret Harbor Marina and Prickly bay to the West. Grenada could be considered the friendliest developed big island of the West Indies.      
I'm quick, the captain named me Quickie
I'm Lizzy & looking for bugs
Recently insects like cockroaches have been spotted aboard. Most likely they have been brought on with the cardboard boxes that come with groceries. One common way to get rid of them is to mix boric acid with fresh water and set it around the boat. We have not been able to find boric acid but there are plenty of Lizards on land. Lizards eat bugs, roaches, and the eggs of them. We have been successful to catch a couple of these reptiles and bring them aboard to help us clean up cockroaches. Lizzie & Quickie will live on Earthling to keep the bugs off while we are gone.

The time for this leg of Earthling adventure is winding down. In two days Earthling will be hauled out for the hurricane season and in a week we are flying back to land-life in the U.S. Stay tuned for hurricane dry storage tips!

Thanks to everyone for following

Love from Grenada

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Island

Happy Island
The last stop in the nation of St. Vincent and Grenadines was Union Island. One of the most interesting sites to visit here is the Happy Island. The proprietor, Janti, has created an Island out of Conch shells. He collected shells during an environmental clean up in Union Island by stacking the shells into a small Island. Happy Island is like a utopia. Janti catches rain water, he has installed solar panels, a wind generator, and everything is self made. He certainly has done a professional job and made a great business and home out of it. Everything on his drink menu is 10EC, even the local beer “Hairoun”, but don’t worry Janti will serve you at least one complimentary drink throughout the night. He was very generous to us!
Here is a video from Anthony Bourdain’s visit to Happy Island, click here.
Katherine, Janti, and Sven, Happy Island
I thought groceries would be cheaper in Union than the next Island, however that was not the case. Union Island is slightly more expensive than St. Vincent or even Mayreau. A dozen of eggs cost 12EC in Union, 10EC in Mayreau, and 8EC in the main Island St. Vincent. The difference is not significant but in the long run 3EC here and there adds up. Large mangos in Union cost 4-5EC each, which is crazy and none of them were as good as those picked from Gary’s farm in Cumberland. 

New Looks
The first Island in the Grenada Nation Southbound is Carriacou. The day we arrived, both Katherine and I decided to get a new look from the local barbers. I got a full cut and shave and Katherine got her entire head braided. The plan was to stay in Carriacou just for a couple of days, but you never know who you will meet and what your experience will turn out like. The first day, Earthling anchored in a relatively rolly anchorage in Hillsborough Bay, we met Annie. She was barbecuing for the Friday party in town. The chickens on the grill looked and smelled so good that our stomachs would not let us pass by without a taste. The stop at the grill turned into a great relationship with Annie.

The following day the Dahon folding bikes had to come out of their tote bags for a spin around the Island. Carriacou is a good island for biking,
most of the roads are not as hilly as many other Caribbean Islands. We were informed that the road around the Northern part of the Island is closed for through traffic. Later we realized the gravel road was blocked since big trees had fallen blocking the road. This didn’t stop us from continuing through.
Katherine flying over the tree
In Windward, our paths crossed again with Annie in front of her mother’s house. She was grilling for the locals this Saturday and a nice vibe was present. One conversation led to another and she invited us to her house by Tyrrel bay for dinner the next day. Long story short, Annie and her partner Nigel have served us excellent home made Caribbean dishes the last five days. Last night we invited them aboard and served dishes from the Earthling galley. Apparently today June 7th is a local planting holiday. Katherine and I are going for lunch to their home along with their family and will visit their farm to celebrate and plant for the occasion.
Nigel, Annie, Katherine, and I
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, high point
Tyrrel Bay, low point

Now in Terryl Bay, it might look busy because of the 70 or so boats anchored here, but it’s very quiet, maybe less than half of the boats are live aboard. There are only a couple restaurants and markets. Nothing much is really going on here, but we have met some interesting people such as Paul Earling Johnson and Eddie. Paul is a legendary sailor, he has been sailing for 65+ years. He has done 39 Atlantic crossings, his first solo crossing on a 19 footer, he’s been a boat builder, and he has tons of never ending sailing stories. Paul and Eddie were talking about Earthling as we walked by. They noticed that the top starboard spreader was slightly upward and not even, that’s how Eddie lost his mast a few years ago! Scary, but good thing they spotted it. Eddie offered to help and went up the mast and evened the spreader out. Eddie is Dominican and he has been living aboard a 22 ft sailboat without an inboard or outboard for ten years. One thing we all have in common is that we row our dinghies to shore!  
Boat building, Winward
Carriacou is also known for it’s boat building. There is not as much boat building done here as in the past but most smaller boats and dinghies are still made here. In Tyrrel Bay, there are many unique looking sailboats as well as a small boat yard of which Earthling might be hauled out in for the Hurricane season. The original plan was to store her in Trinidad, since it’s cheap and below the hurricane belt. However, there are other risks involved of storing in Trinidad so a better deal might work out in Carriacou or Granada. In 20 days, this leg of Earthling adventure will come to an end and I have to fly back to Chicago to earn dinero for the next leg.     

Love from Carriacou

See the photo album of Grenada here!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Saline Beach 
In the last seven days, Earthling has been to three destinations in the Grenadines, Canouan, Mayreau, and Tobago Cays! These tiny Islands are just a few miles from each other and still so different. 
The anchorage in Charlestown Bay, Canouan is large enough for many boats. Tamarind hotel and resort is just a row away and their open WIFI is great, but the local beers cost twice as much than regular bars. So we used the internet and passed on having any beer! Canouan is a beautiful island but some of its people have been defaced by the couple resorts and a casino that have been built here. Areas on this island such as Mountain Royal is fenced off by the resort and casino and you can’t hike up the mountain unless you are a guest. This creates a tension for people that are born and have lived here all their life. If I was from here and suddenly a part of the Island would be fenced off by outsiders, I would be frustrated as well! I would be concerned if the outsiders would take over the rest of my Island! That issue can change the culture of inhabitants of a certain place.  
At Charlestown Bay anchorage we got to know some cool cruisers such as Pat and Colleen on “Cool Change”. They invited us for sunset drinks on their catamaran and special Earthling Conch fritters were prepared and brought on as a snack!

Windward, Canouan
Mayreau has two anchorages, the more pretty one is Salt Whistle bay. It’s small, but scenic. Saline is the other good place to anchor, it’s bigger, closer to town and less rolly. There is a good trail that goes around the Island by several deserted beaches and it’s an easy hike. Fruit trees are absent on both Mayreau and Canouan. All foods, vegetables, and fruits are brought in from the main Island, St. Vincent. However, many locals engage their time in fishing, which is the major industry along with tourism. 

In Salt Whislte bay we got connected with Richard and Medina, who run “The Last Bar Before The Jungle”. They have been friendly, loving, and giving to us. Richard is an excellent cook and made various meals for us the last few days. He has learned some of his cooking skills from Owen Mackintosh, who got married last weekend. Katherine and I were invited to the rehearsal and reception. It was a pleasant experience to celebrate and party with the locals, great food and drinks were served for everyone both nights. In general, the citizens of Mayreau are one of the friendliest. Approximately 400 people live here; there are seven cars, four scooters, no airport, no cruise lines, and therefore less traveled! One of the four wheelers on the Island is Richard’s and he has been kind enough to let us borrow it to go to town and play around. Even dogs are well behaved and friendly here. The whole time walking around the Island we had at least one dog escorting us and sometimes for hours. Richard says “dogs in Mayreau, they are like humans”!

Tobago Cays

The four of us, Katherine, Medina, Richard, and I sailed Earthling to the Tobago Cays National Park, which should not be missed by anyone sailing these waters. Snorkeling is “best” as my friends Marty & Donna Hastings noted in the guide book being used on Earthling now - Rest In Peace Marty! 
We have seen sharks, stingrays, big turtles, old conch, blow fish, and tons of other fish while snorkeling. The water surrounding us is crystal clear and has many layers of blue, which reminds me of the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas. 

BBQ on Petite Bateau

Last night all of us were invited to a local beach BBQ on the unpopulated Island of Petit Bateau. Mandy and his family have been working and running services for boaters in the Cays for many years. They put an outstanding dinner together  for this group of Earthlings! We were served steamed conch, grilled guar fillets, roasted potatoes, fried plantains and a fruit bowl for desert. 

"Cool Change"
Snapper on the grill 
Deserted beach, Mayreau 
Richard, Mackintosh, and I, wedding night
Ladies are looking pretty for the wedding
Snorkeling time
Katherine swimming with the turtles

Medina braided Katherine's hair

The Last Bar Before the Jungle

Love from Grenadines

View the complete photo album of Grenadines here