All Work and No Play…

…Could make Sailor Jack a dull boy

Life on a boat could become incredibly dull just like life spent on land despite all the wonderful places you can sail to. Cruising from place to place on a daily or weekly basis could soon become monotonous as harbours and islands blend together. Additionally a sailing boat requires perhaps more frequent care and maintenance than a bricks and mortar home but there is no escaping the chores of laundry, cleaning the heads (bathrooms), hoovering the floors and dusting plus as our walls are lined with teak we substitute decorating for a regular emptying of cabin shelves and lockers then washing down with soapy wood cleaner to ensure the collecting dust doesn’t gather mould too. All work for the crew.

It is what you make of every day that makes life interesting so, following the lovely time we spent around Easter in Bequia, we decided Temptress would spend a few weeks anchored in one spot place once again so we can indulge in some shore-based activities. This time Grenada’s Prickly Bay with easy access to chandleries and buses and thence to shops for food etc. Grenada’s cruising community has an active social life which is perhaps a bit holiday-campish with yoga, chess, cooking classes and bingo amongst the activities on offer but it does provide us with the chance to get to know our fellow cruisers as well as some of those rooted in bricks and mortar.

Our first opt in was to a resource that has provided us with much help and knowledge since our arrival, the Grenada Cruisers Net broadcast at 07:30 Monday to Saturday on VHF 66. Our friends Geoff and Pat on Beach House in Tyrell Bay are heading back to Canada for the summer so Kevin volunteered to take over Geoffs Friday spot as net coordinator. He has some way to go to eclipse to the wonderful style of Morgan who seems to have elevated Saturday’s net edition to an entertaining art form but hopefully Kevin’s “international” accent will be as informative and clear as Geoff’s professional broadcasting voice.

Meanwhile we managed with a bit of help from Belgian’s Kathy and Roger on Mockingbird, to manage a third place on our debut in the Tikki Bar’s Trivia night. This despite our team mates’ lack of English skills in a quiz where the first ten questions seemed to depend on knowledge of UK regional vernacular. Piped at the post by a much larger team of American student vets and a family of pizza-loving Irish! Friday Nights are band night and from next week the same bar, the only bar currently in Prickly Bay, will be holding Battle of the Bands, a competition for a 52 week contract to be their resident band. Being anchored nearby we will have no alternative but to hear each week’s four contestants so we may as well do it over a few beers!

View over Prickly Bay

Mount Airy Young Readers scheme was devised in 2006 by Jeanne Pascal, a lovely Grenadian lady who spent many years living in the UK. Once a week a group of cruisers are picked up by taxi-bus from the various harbours to join a few local adult volunteers; the drive up through the rainforest with views over the bays and St Georges is spectacular. About three dozen youngsters from five to teenage attend on Saturday mornings during term time. Susie volunteered last Saturday and had a wonderful if exhausting morning with a small group of five to nine year olds and Ladybird book 3a “Things We Like”. Amazing that today’s kids still love the pictures of red London buses, wooden rowing boats and Hornby trainsets so familiar from my own and my children’s childhood and probably less so the fact that I almost recalled all the words that accompany them without looking at the pages! They read in groups, practise spelling new words then play a board game in their group before a mass times-table rendition “one two is two, two into two goes once”. This is followed by a longer story that the children and teens take in turns to read aloud before finishing off with washing their hands and lining up in size order for a soft drink and a piece of cake. As with most of the kids we’ve met here this crowd are polite and well behaved with unprompted pleases and thank-you’s, keen to say hello, to find out your name and which country you are from but with all the exuberance and enthusiasm of similarly aged children and teens anywhere. They eagerly wave a hand in the air bouncing on their chair wanting to answer a question, fidget if things get a bit boring and have to be coaxed to read aloud in voices everyone can hear. A really worthwhile venture that I hope to be contributing too as much as I can whilst we are here in Grenada.

Already we have caught up with several of the boats we have met elsewhere in the Caribbean, Morocco or Europe and are getting to know a few new faces as well. Volunteering and a bit of play will keep us amused and entertained during our sojourn. This afternoon, Sunday, Temptress’ crew are off to play Mexican Grenadian Train Dominoes, our second session in a week of our latest passion!