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July 1, 2013

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Charter Boat Crew Goes to a Grenada Oildown

July 20, 2010

Mike and Bev, the charter boat crew, attended a Grenada Oildown recently together with a whole party of sailors.

The bus collected us at 2.00 p.m. and took us up into the southern hills of the island, high above the sea. The views were spectacular. As we met and talked with the local people they showed us their steeply terraced gardens with great pride. At this time of year (the rainy season), the trees are heavy with ripening fruits – avocados, grapefruit, mangoes, French cashews, star-fruit (locally known as five-fingers) and, of course, bananas.

In the Caribbean the men like to cook and as the Grenada Carnival approaches the traditional feast called Oildown is very popular.

Last Saturday, in the garden of the rum shop next door to Mr. Cutty’s house, an enormous cast-iron pot was packed with meat, fish, dumplings and an abundance of vegetables and cooked in the open on a wood fire.  The pot fed fifty people, including charter boat guests who were intrigued and many of the local community who each had a tip or two for the cook. All the participants were encouraged to get involved with the preparation of the food, peeling and chopping the vegetables, grating a mound of coconut and a large helping of turmeric.

For cruisers like us it makes a refreshing change to journey inland and get a different perspective on the island. Excursions like this add considerably to the interest and enjoyment of a charter boat holiday. Even though it is the rainy season, it doesn’t rain every day, temperatures are still high and the occasional rain shower can be a cooling blessing – one soon dries off!

As the cooking progressed, we were invited to taste test for seasoning with hot pepper sauce (a Caribbean must in cooking, with extra heat added from the bottle at the table) and salt. Cooking took a couple of hours after which the starving horde, including the charter boat crew, was mightily satisfied by the tasty feast.

Sailing in the Caribbean

June 24, 2010

Sailing in the Caribbean the crew of Whitebird have found many delightful palm tree fringed white sand beaches and spectacular coral reefs but the Grenadines are firm favourites with crew and visitors alike.

The Grenadines are the group of small islands between Grenada and St. Vincent, between 12 degrees 30 minutes and 13 degrees north.

They are constantly swept by warm easterly trade winds coming off the Atlantic at 15 to 20 knots and have a stable weather pattern of dry season (November to June) and rainy season (July to October).  The temperature is a litle over 30 degrees all year round, however in the rainy season winds are generally lighter and it is more humid.  Typically though, wave heights are less than 2 metres and the surface water temperature is around 28 degrees.

This makes sailing in the Caribbean a delight all year round.

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