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28 January 2016

A New Raconteur Season Begins

A new Raconteur season begins

We had routed our flights to Grenada through Trinidad, which gave us the bonus of some pleasant hours with our friends Kenneth and Indra in Arima. We enjoyed pepper chicken, roti, homemade rum punch and an impromptu calypso guitar session by Kenneth. Thank you for your hospitality and kindness, it really made the (long) trip a pleasant event.

We had assigned three workdays between arriving at the boatyard and "splashing" - putting the boat in the water. This was wildly optimistic given the fact that we had made major systems modifications during the summer that were not complete. The new wind generator turbine still needed electrical connections, and some of the standing rigging needed modifications. However, through sheer doggedness and with great help of the teams at SIMS and Turbulence, the boat was ready on time - then a leak developed in the plumbing. 
An emergency team came onboard, we rerouted the plumbing, and we were hanging from the slings on the appointed Friday - now the last boat of the day near closing time. But OH NO - the engine will not start and a big leak is streaming through the propeller axle. Another emergency team comes onboard and these problems are fixed by 16:10. 

We stayed at the dock on Saturday to put the boat back together and go half a mile Sunday to anchor in Prickly Bay, to wait Monday for our watermaker specialist, Raymond McTear, to complete the installation and testing of the system. 

The connector parts brought from the US luckily fit, and by end morning, we were producing our first glass of pure water from the ocean WOW! Raymond was as usual super efficient and extremely informative, and helped us get over new systems fear. Thank you Ray!

Now we are waiting for a weather window to start our trip North, en route to hopefully meet Leigh in Saint Lucia early February. 

We spend the time cooking and freezing some goodies such as callaloo soup, pumpkin soup, goat curry and catching up on pizza and rum punches.

On Saturday we pre-position ourselves in Grande Anse, looking forward to our crossing to Carriacou.

Here's a note from Leigh - I was in the middle of a giant snowstorm over the weekend, and JP sent me this picture on Saturday night. This is Raconteur at anchor near Port Louis marina on the west coast of Grenada, before they headed out the next day.

And this was our sundial in the front yard in Chester (on Sunday)

Tyrell Bay Jan 24

The winds turned southeast as expected on Sunday, giving us a good angle in brisk conditions. We started at 7:00 and were anchoring by 13:00 in Tyrell, after going between London Bridge and Caille Island. 

Tyrell anchorage is very busy and new bars and mini markets have opened - the yachting economy is growing in an island where the traditional boat building activity is slowly disappearing - wooden boats cannot be insured anymore.

 We are expecting a good blow and plan to stay a few days before going to Union or Bequia. 

A trip to Hillsboro, the main "city" to find a post office reveals a very nice new juice bar and restaurant, Kayak. The city is decorated for the upcoming Independence Day festivities, and fairly animated.