Feb. 2: Grenada
I grabbed a bus to the Port Louis Marina to get some breakfast, the setting here is very nice and they seemed to have made more improvements since last year. The Grenada sailing Festival is in progress so there was a lot of activity as the crews gathered at their boats. This regatta isn’t as big as the others, the results list was only a page and a half long. After breakfast I continued on to St. Georges to stop at the outdoor market for some fruit, I went to visit my favorite spice lady and we chatted about the past year. Once I had my share of goodies I went back to the hotel and got ready for the beach and the Work Boat Regatta which is being held in conjunction with the sailing festival. I walked down to the spice and craft market on the beach, but it was pretty empty, all the vendors having set up down the beach where the action was. I met a couple from San Deigo, Norm and Lulu, they are in their eighties and Norm is a Korean War veteran. They are renting an apartment near the golf course they found on VRBO for $600 a month; everyday they walk down the steep hill to the main road and then either walk to the beach or take a bus the rest of the way. Norm is an old surfer from the 60’s and occasionally writes articles for a sailing magazine, if they use his article they pay his expense. It was their first time to Grenada so I told them about some of my favorite places, they already found the Creole Shack, and encouraged them to go down the beach to the regatta. I had been overcast in the morning and now it started to rain, I walked further down the beach to where the tents were set up for the regatta. There are a lot of food stands so I picked up a bowl of oil down, the national dish of Grenada. The work boat regatta is a blast, they race their little boats with all manner of rigging and sails, repairs are made on shore with whatever piece of twine is at hand. The rain continued on and off, getting very heavy at times, it made eating outside a little difficult trying to keep your food from getting soggy. I did run into Norm and Lulu again, eating chicken rotis, Norm said “these are only $2 US!”, excited at finding such a bargain, I thought this could be me in another 30 years if I’m lucky. Finally having enough of getting soaked, I walked over to the Spiceland Mall to pick up some groceries. With bag in hand I caught a bus back to the hotel to relax and change out of my wet clothes. For dinner I went into St. Georges to the Creole Shack, you can’t beat the value there, a dinner with a beer is only about $8 US. After dinner it was back to the hotel for a little rum and then a night time stroll down the beach before going to bed.
Today started out much nicer then yesterday, the sky was clear and the air already warm. I made myself some breakfast then went out for a morning swim. I noticed that there were beach chairs spread out along part of the beach and looked over to St. Georges to see a huge ship in port. The nice thing about Grand Anse beach is even with the regatta going on and a ship in port there are still many places where you can relax, it’s such a long beach it never gets crowded. I went back down to see the work boats, there were many more people here today since it was so nice out. I tried a bowl of pigs foot souse, sort of like pickled pigs feet but not as sour, the brine was full of cucumber and tasted heavy of garlic. This is the day of the finals, when it is parish against parish for the championship. The announcer makes the racing sound very exciting and the DJ keeps the music going all day long. There were a lot of students from the medical school enjoying the scene, I don’t know where these young ladies go to practice medicine after they graduate, but I have to find out, it would make my yearly prostrate exam easier to take. I stayed around for the finals; it’s great to hear the folks cheer for their local team, especially in a close finish. After the races were over I went back to the hotel to relax and take a shower. I decided to go to Umbrellas to watch the Super Bowl, the food there is good and they get a lot of students so it would be a lively time. I only stayed till half time, I haven’t watched much football the last few years since I’m always sailing at the end of the season, but coming from an AFC town I was glad to see the Ravens do so good. I grabbed a bus back to the hotel and as I was sitting on the balcony having a rum, when Sharon came to the door to say my bags had arrived. That was certainly a welcome surprise; I was finally able to get out of the shorts I had been wearing for 3 days. Sleep was easy that night, the sound of the waves breaking outside the room a very soothing lullaby.