Goodbye Grenada, Hello Cruising Season!

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 10/29/2023 – 11/5/2023

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Last Sunday, we helped a friend dock his boat at a nearby marina. He was solo sailing and was assigned a tricky slip. We met him outside the channel on our dinghy. I boarded his boat and helped set up his lines and fenders. Ray met us at the slip, still in the dinghy, to make sure he was clear of the boat next to his spot, opposite his helm. He expertly maneuvered the boat while I tossed the lines to the staff on the dock, and we had everything secured shortly after that- no drama! The three of us had some cold beers to celebrate.

We went from the beach bar to dinner, paying some local kids in Coca-Cola to keep our dinghy safe while we enjoyed the evening…

Monday morning, I went grocery shopping. I did a big haul at IGA, then spent the afternoon washing, drying, and putting everything away. We had decided to leave Grenada on Thursday, so we spent the next couple of days running errands and saying goodbye to the friends we’ve made here. It’s strange to call an island home for a season just to leave. We’ve fallen in love with Grenada: the people, the culture, and the spectacular views. Leaving feels bittersweet! We watched our last Grenadian sunset from our cockpit on Wednesday night.

We left Thursday morning. We started with 15kn of wind just off our nose, so we didn’t bother hoisting the sails. We were disappointed we weren’t sailing but happy to be moving regardless! About an hour in, we encountered a squall that brought an additional 10kn of wind and choppy seas. Unfortunately, the angle still didn’t shift. So, we continued motoring into the wind and waves for a couple of hours.

As we approached our anchorage, the sea state finally flattened out. We cruised into Ronde Island and dropped our anchor.

The holding in that area can be tricky, so I jumped in to dive our anchor. It was buried! We enjoyed the quiet afternoon until a storm rolled in that evening.

It got pretty breezy, but everyone held strong. As we were sitting down for dinner, a catamaran came in with its sails still up. It was dark, and they were overpowered. The wind carried them within a boat length of another anchored vessel. They were able to maneuver away and get their sail down, but it was nerve-racking to watch! We decided to eat our dinner in the cockpit so we could keep an eye on them. We watched as they tried and failed to anchor several times before finally settling in a spot at the front of the anchorage. We cleaned up after our meal and started watching a TV show. We looked up and saw the same boat dragging anchor. They were coming close to hitting the boat in front of us. We saw headlamps turn on and heard them pull up their chain just in time.

They reset their anchor back in the same spot they had dragged from. We stayed up for a few more hours, making sure they held. When we woke up the next morning, we realized they didn’t have an anchor bridle, and they had thrown out their emergency anchor to stay put overnight. Thankfully, they left first thing in the morning because the wind and rain worsened shortly after. 

We tried to wait for the weather to subside, but we ended up pulling our anchor and motoring in the rain to Carriacou. We anchored off Paradise Beach Club and ate tacos in our PJs while the rain continued. The cool air gave me goosebumps for the first time in months. Is this what fall is like?! I’ve forgotten! 😂 

The heat returned by morning. The sun was out, and my jaw dropped. Look at this view!

After chatting about how we are two of the luckiest people in the world over a few cups of coffee, we saw a mooring ball open up at Sandy Island, so we hopped on. Sandy Island is a small sliver of perfection, with glowing white sand and lush green palm trees.

I spent the afternoon snorkeling the diverse array of coral off the northeastern point. I saw lots of lobed star coral, lettuce coral, a large colpophyllia or dyploria (some sort of brain coral), and some sea grapes!

You can see the effects of coral bleaching here. Coral bleaching occurs when the water temperature is too high. The coral releases the algae that live in its tissue, leaving it white. This doesn’t always kill coral, but it puts it under more stress and can often lead to death.

I took a stroll along the beach before taking the dinghy back to Sabado. Ray washed and hung our clothes out to dry and spent the evening fixing up a few busted odds and ends and tracking down some parts we needed to order. We had made reservations at the Beach Club for dinner, but 20mins before we were meant to leave, dark clouds enveloped us, followed by a steady downpour of rain.

We decided to stay home (and dry!) instead. So far, today is still pretty gray. I’m planning on taking advantage of the cooler temperature and doing a deep clean of Sabado, and maybe we’ll make it over to the Beach Club later! 

I hope you had a great week. ❤️

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