Well lets get started I will tell you of our travels in a very weird order, so you have to pay close attention.
I’m going to start in Grenada.
In Grenada we arrived at three in the morning. I had the middle watch so I was awake, but actually it was during the last watch that we arrived and that was Marike’s watch. But I just didn’t go to bed till we arrived and dropped anchor. I was very full of energy for some reason or other, but went to sleep like the rest of my family.
I woke up at nine in the morning ready for breakfast. We ate in the cockpit that morning. and we were looking around us at the other boats, when in the middle of breakfast someone called us on the radio, we did not recognise the voice but we answered, (the hailing channel in the Caribbean so far is 68). it turned out to be the French family we met in Rio:
They live on a boat named Mambala. The Mom and Dad both have long French names that English people struggle to pronounce. But their names sort of sound like the English names Mark and Anna (but he spells his name Marc).
Well, they have three kids: Basil a boy of about 9-10 and twin girls as alike as Logan and Jedi. They look very the same at first glance but if you look closer you can suddenly see the obvious differences. I could honestly not tell the difference between them (Logan and Jedi) for a very long period. Well I think Lila and Anet are about 7 years old. The kids can’t speak English which isn’t very nice, but since they are way younger than us its not that bad, but if they were our ages we would definitely have put in more of an effort.
The day went on. We went ashore to clear in, It was a Saturday so it was slightly more expensive but it was ok.
After we cleared in we decided to go look around on land, so we went to another dingy dock. This dingy dock was right next to a restaurant with glass walls so that you could see in and out of the building. We went to the mall because my mom wanted some pens, and as always we were looking around for postcards. It wasn’t very entertaining. But there were a lot of odds and ends shops. My mom got her pens and we went on. We ate lunch at the mall – these small sandwiches.
We headed back to the boat and got a Taxi bus back. A Taxi Bus, as I have decided to call them, is as big as one of those taxies in south Africa but the locals call them busses. When we got back the taxi dropped us at the top of the driveway, (I don’t think that is the appropriate word for it but that is what it seemed to be.) It is a very down hill road leading to the restaurant parking lot. As we were turning to go down the hill another one came past us and went down the little hill. The people inside it were shouting their hellos to us and waving their arms through the windows. The car stopped in the parking lot, before they started piling out we saw that they were the French people from Mambala! We went down the hill and greeted them. They had gone to the airport t get Anna’s parents, who had come over to cruise with them for a while. So they hired a Taxi. (Explaining why theirs went down the hill but why ours didn’t).
I don’t like he way the French greet. They come over to you say hello and kiss you on each cheek. Thank goodness the kids don’t have to but that doesn’t stop the adults from greeting you. Franci keeps trying to persuade me that it is not that bad and that our relatives kisses one on the mouth when greeting, but my standpoint is at least its only the relatives that do that, and not everybody.
Well we went back to our boat after that while the French people went to the restaurant.
That afternoon my Dad, Sophia and Marike swam over to their boat and socialised, because Mambala had to leave the next morning early to go to Martinique, since they wanted to spend Christmas there. (And seriously since they are French and Martinique is a French island it totally makes sense to me.) That was the Saturday, the 28th of November.
Tuesday we went on a island tour and it was really nice. We went to a rum factory and to a farm where they grow the cocoa beans which they send off to the place where they make the chocolate. At the end of the tour they gave us some chocolate to taste. (it wasn’t as nice as Cadbury but very nice.) I liked the 61% cocoa chocolate more than the 70% cocoa.
Well, when we came back from the tour, we climbed out of the car, paid the driver and everything and as we were walking next to the restaurant to our dingy, I saw five people sitting at the corner table. Two children and three adults. The memory of randomly meeting the French people there was still fresh in our minds, so we were kind of looking about.
I wondered if the people at the table were yachties and if they were, on what boat they lived? Where do they come from? How old are he kids? Can they speak English? This was going through my mind when the boy…. (I could see that one of the children was a boy, and the other one a girl, although I could only see her back, since she wasn’t facing the window, but the boy was facing the window.)…. craned his neck to get a better look at us. I had just decided that the kids were both younger than us when a surprised look came over the boys face and he said something to the rest of the people at the table. They all jumped up and came running out!
I was in front and kept on walking to the dingy. I put my backpack inside it and came walking back hesitantly. Turns out that they were the Yoshimas, who we met in Rio. The third adult was just a friend who was sailing with them for a short while.
The reason I didn’t recognise the boy, Juca, was because when we saw him in Rio he had recently had a hair cut with an electric razor so his hair was very short. But when I saw him then (in Grenada), his hair had grown. and he needs a hair cut once again.
Well their boat, AmarSemfim, was anchored in another bay called Secret harbour, and we were anchored in Prickly bay. The two harbours were quite far from each other, so we couldn’t just go over in our dingy. The only reason we stayed in Prickly bay was because my dad wanted to dive at Grenada and we weren’t allowed to dive without a group. Meaning that you had to pay for each dive. Which is what you usually have to do, but since we have our own kit, and my dad was a dive master when he was young we can dive on our own. But we weren’t allowed.
There was a dive shop place in Prickly bay – it was sort of part of this super fancy Hotel kind of place but we were allowed to dive with them. We ended up doing two “Lionfish-Hunt” dives (that cost us a fortune). We chose those because they would have hunted them anyway we just had the choice to try and kill the fish or not. You see the Lionfish is a pest here in the Caribbean where they eat the smaller reef fishes and have no natural predators. (On the coast of South Africa they are not pests at all. We have sharks and groupers that eat them and keep them in order.)
The dives were really nice, I didn’t catch any Lionfish but at least my sisters did so we had plenty of lunch. Sophia caught a bunch of small ones and Marike and Franci caught at least one big one each. (I only spotted about 2 in the first dive but a lot on the next dive).
After we did the dive, we moved Shang Du over to Hog Island. The bay is just next to Secret harbour and can easily be reached by dingy. It was a really tough ride to Hog Island – mainly because the wind was against us. We had to keep the engine running and we were making slow progress.
As usual I didn’t take any sea sick pills – I have a strong stomach and I don’t remember throwing up even once this year. Or to be exact since we started sailing. Although I’ve felt really feel ill. (Even though everybody tells me that it’s best to let it out, for some reason I’ll see it as a disgrace if I ever vomit because of sea sickness).
Well, to make matters worse I was reading (which never helps). I was also lying in the wrong direction. If the boat is rocking from side to side (Like a cradle) and you are lying in the cradle the way you should (parallel to the sides of the cradle), then your insides will only be going from your one side to your other side (from right to left). But if you lie in the wrong way, your insides will go to your head and then to your toes and back again, making you feel terrible. So I wasn’t feeling too good.
The first thing I did was go into Marike’s room and lie on her bed. This made me feel a whole lot better since my insides weren’t going haywire. After ten minutes the boat stopped tossing so badly and it was getting calmer. I ventured out into the cockpit, and found that we were going into the harbour. It was a lot more peaceful in there and I was glad to be there.
Hogs Island is quite a nice place. It doesn’t specifically have a marina so that meant the anchorage was free! (This is always good news to a yachties). Secret harbour was right next door and we weren’t too far away from our friends. We had some other friends anchored in Hogs Island, but unfortunately they didn’t have any kids. They were, however, South Africans. We met in Trinidad. Their boat name is ‘Out of Africa’, although their boat has been registered in England. The people living on board ‘Out of Africa’ (uncle John and Aunty Joanne) are both Christians as well and are very nice. Uncle John is a very social guy who I believe can get along with anybody. They have been to Grenada before and knew of a little church there. So we went to it. We invited the Yoshima’s along (The friend that was sailing with them had flown back to Brazil by now). It was quite a walk to the church but it was a nice one. We got there first and had to wait for everyone to come in before the sermon started. It was very interesting. At the church there were actually children but the older ones (that looked my age and older) all went to the corner of the church to practice singing “Mary did you know”. It sounded quite pretty. The younger kids (mostly boys) went outside to play soccer, Juca joined them while we listened to adult conversations. (I didn’t find the conversations very interesting). We were planning to go for a walk afterward at some dove sanctuary which wasn’t bad.
A few days after ‘Out of Africa’ left (they wanted to spend Christmas in Martinique). It seemed as if everybody wanted to spend Christmas in Martinique. We also left to go to another anchorage in Grenada called St George. We left in the morning and the Yoshima’s followed late in the afternoon. The water was a lot cleaner than I expected it to be. And we could swim off the boat.
We always anchored way at the back of all the boats so that if we drag we won’t go into any of them. At first the Yoshima’s anchored next to us, but they prefer to anchor closer to the shore. So they moved. We were quite content where we were so we didn’t move. We had a nice time there. We went to a ‘Fish Friday’ thing where they sold a lot of different types of seafood. They also had really strong Ginger beer and this Sorrel drink. I never tasted the Sorrel drink, but I absolutely loved the Ginger beer.
We also went diving at St. George which was fun because we could dive on our own. Uncle Ricardo came diving with us and it was really nice. His English may not be the best but he’s a really nice guy.