I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


It's very cloudy this morning but there is blue sky to the south-west. I hope it is headed here.

The plan today is to go to shore to the town of Clifton for a bit and then to Happy Island again this afternoon.

I make myself some toast and jam for breakfast. I eat it slowly, hoping I can keep it down.

Rick is on the computer again so I sit out in the cockpit and check online to see if there are any restaurants in Clifton that we can have lunch at. I find one called Big Citi. They serve a lunch buffet, apparently, and judging by the comments on Trip Advisor, it is really good and really reasonable. I run it past everyone and they like the idea. Rick is still on the computer so I settle in on one of the cushioned seats, with my feet up, and read.

I am getting antsy as its been a few hours and there is no sign of Rick getting off that thing. He is editing a short video of clips he has taken over the years of Grenada. He is hoping that the Grenadian tourism board will like it and hire him to do more. I get that he wants to do this, but he has a guest - me - and I want to get going. I can't stand sitting around when we have plans. I finally say as much and we are underway in about 45 minutes.

 Heading in to Clifton

Welcome to Union Island!

The town is so tiny! Just one very narrow road with a couple of tiny shops, the restaurant we are going to, and a little market area comprised of small colourful huts in a semi circle on hard-packed dirt and a few trees at the street with a couple of picnic tables under in the shade.  The sun has come out, the sky is blue, and it is so so hot!

Looking down the main street in the direction we came from 
(the restaurant is on the right edge of frame, Rick and Alessandra
on the left)

Looking down the main street in the other direction

We head around the back of a white building and then up some stairs to the restaurant.  The whole place is open on the street side and we take a table right at the rail overlooking the road. The 'buffet' is about 10 dishes under glass near the till. We walk over and tell the girl behind the counter what we want. She seems surprised that we want to try almost all of it. I pass on the pigs tails and try the turkey leg stew, chicken wings, veggie dish with christophene - first time I have had that and I love it; sort of cross between a turnip and broccoli stem in consistency and flavour, rice, chow mien, and half a roasted potato. It was delicious although there were a lot of bone fragments in the stew as they just chop the entire thing with a cleaver into bite-sized chunks. With drinks it came to $76 EC (Eastern Caribbean Dollars) with a $10 tip which works out to $29 Canadian - a great deal. I pay the bill as that is what one is expected to do when you go out for a meal on a crewed charter.

View from our lunch table down to the main street

My meal

After lunch, we walk along the street and stalls. I buy two christophenes to cook up at some point, and a Caribbean flip doll for Malia, my granddaughter.

Locally grown fruit and vegetables

 The lovely lady who sold me christophenes and told 
me how to prepare them

Bright clothing at the stall where I bought the Caribbean doll

Looking out over the anchorage from the shore of Clifton

We hop in the dinghy and head over to Happy Island for a drink. Janti is much more subdued today. We walk through the room in the back (not his house) and see pictures of the progress of the island over the years.

With Janti before we leave

Back at the boat, we change into bathing suits and then dinghy over to Palm Island, it is a very bumpy ride. Palm Island is a gorgeous place but for guests of the resort only. Too bad because I would have loved to go ashore and look around and maybe have a drink at the beach bar.

Palm Island

We go looking for another beach and end up at the reef. We have to drop anchor in waist-high water and then walk to the reef. The bottom is very rocky and hard to walk on. I keep my flip flops on which makes it harder and I am wishing I had worn my water shoes which are back on the boat. Once we get to the beach on the reef, there are loads of anemone shells, my favourite shell. I gather as many as I can, using my tankini top to hold them by holding the hem up to make a pocket. As I am stumbling my way back to the dinghy I have a premonition I will drop them all in the water and as soon as I get there and try to take them out of my swim suit, that is exactly what happens - every last one of them. I spend the next fifteen minutes getting them all off of the sea floor and into the dinghy. When Rick and Alessandra join me (they were exploring a little island at the end of the reef) I have a hard time getting in the dinghy and have to get in from the back using the engine and Rick's hand to get up and in. I hate how hard it is for me.

The reef

I take a quick shower when we get back and the hatch is open above my head. I look up at one point and Lucky, the resident parrot, is peering down at me and makes like he wants to hop down. I kind of freak out. This bird bites. I don't want to be bit. I try to push him away from the hatch so I can close it but he is having none of it. I try to scare him with my towel but he hops onto the towel which really freaks me out. It takes me 5 minutes to get him to move so I can close the hatch and I am not happy.

We don't have dinner that night as I guess no one is hungry enough although I could eat something so I have some ginger snaps and lay out under the stars in the cockpit and read till quite late.  I love this time of day as much as the sunshine and only head to bed when I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

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