The Voyage of Vagus V
Year 1
Clarkes Court Bay Marina, Grenada
Start Date: December 6th, 2004 Location: Clarkes Court Bay Marina, Grenada
End Date: December 6th, 2004

The Grenadians have a wonderful philosophy when they encounter bad luck or misfortunate. Basically, they say "that is the way it is - so get on with it". We see signs of them "getting on with it" throughout our travels. We rode from St. David's to St George's the other day. This trip took us through the mountains and previously lush rain forests. That was before Ivan. Now it was like traveling through a wilderness area in Northern Ontario or B.C. that had been through a forest fire the previous year. The few tres left standing were denuded and the brush is just starting to come back. Houses that were previously invisible in the forest can now be clearly seen. People were busy cleaning up the yards and planting gardens. There was a large lot where people had deposited twisted galvanize roofing panels that had taken flight. Many houses still have plastic tarpaulin over their roofs to keep out the daily shower (downpours). Everywhere you see people working on roofs although roofing material is still in short supply. Also there is still limited or no electrical power to the outlying regions. Power line crews are prevalent along the road ways. St. Georges was busy with the normal traffic jams. Many shops are open and several cruise ships a week are bringing in much need tourist dollars. Christmas songs with a calypso beat fill the air waves and you can feel the spirit of these proud people as they rebuild their country. They do appear to be getting on with it.

We also have some good news about our friends on Rasi - the boat that was washed up on a reef by the airport. Finally the weather and tides were right and, most important, the tug's motor was fixed. So a week ago Saturday, a group of us went with the tug to free Rasi. There were three couples. The women stayed on the tug to keep the Captain company (he was on his best behaviour throughout the day) while the men went to shore to help secure tow ropes to Rasi and move rocks out of her path. It was a long day but in the end, with much black smoke belching from the tug, and the tug almost running aground as well, Rasi came off. Rasi was moved back to Prickly Bay and we retired to De Big Fish bar to celebrate. It was a happy day for Graham and Ann.

We are still at Clarkes Court Bay Marina. Vagus has been cleaned up and still has various pieces missing. We have been busy dealing with surveyors (our first one quit) and getting quotes for different parts of the work. This activity is harder than you might imagine as most people are so busy that they cannot be bothered to quote. We have finally got all our quotes in and have passed the information onto the insurance company. We actually got our first replacement part - a new anchor roller. Boy, were we excited (at least I was but then I get excited easily). So now we will be able to anchor in the future. Peter at HMP in Toronto has been super. He got our toe rails (plus a few other parts), crated them, organized their shipment and gave us instructions on their installation. He has been a great help. They should arrive by boat any day. The fiberglass repair work is going to be done by a Canadian from Saltspring Island - it is a small world. He is down here for a year to work on boat repair and used to work for Nonsuch in Ontario. The work will take about four weeks and we will be lifted out to start the work on January 10th. We cannot live aboard as we have to change the damaged toe rails as well. To get at the toe rails, all the interior furniture will have to be removed - a fun job. Fortunately, we were able to work a monthly rate at True Blue Bay resort (see their web site) which is about a ten minute walk from the marina. This resort is beautiful, has been mostly restored since Ivan and will give us a nice break from boat stuff - more holiday, less adventure. I will be able to walk to the marina during the day and play at boat repair and Karen can preside over the pool with her cross stitch - life is good. I am trying to convince her to come to the marina at noon with a sandwich and water for me but we will see.

We will be spending Christmas in Grenada. It will be our first Christmas in the Caribbean and I can guarantee that it will be 30C during the day so that will be interesting. There should be quite a few cruisers in the same boat (sorry) doing boat repairs over the holidays so I am sure there will be a few pot lucks and get togethers springing up. Our thoughts, however, will be with all our family and friends that we cannot be with. At this special time of year, Karen and I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Copyright © 2003-2005 Jim and Karen Lait
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