|Kevin's Father Noel in Jo'berg - Jan 2006|
|Another spectacular Caribbean sunset|
The trip between Trinidad and Grenada is for most Brits like crossing the Channel to France or the Channel Islands, momentous the first time you make such a crossing but after that well you know where you are going, you’ll see some shipping, some fishing boats and a few oil installations and the boat must point a bit east of north to make the destination. The glow of Trini just about fades by the time the gloam of Grenada appears over the horizon. For the first few hours Temptress motored in light winds, the crew taking two hour watches. Eventually north of the Hibiscus Oil Platform and clear of Trini’s wind shadow the south easterly trade was sufficiently strong to sail. A bit of jib was unfurled to add to the reefed mainsail and as the wind rose Temptress began to romp downwind – she was in her element and her crew were enjoying actually sailing somewhere. It was a dark old night with the sliver of new moon mostly hidden by the clouds, although the lightning flashes to both east and west were a little unsettling but those storms failed to reach us. It was warm and pleasant sailing; we’d tucked in the first reef as we set off and soon had to put in a second. However the cooling breeze failed to reach below decks; the off watch was grateful for the fan stirring the air in the aft cabin whilst they tried to rest.
Having made good time, at around 3am, we furled the jib to continue more slowly under the reefed main alone, not wanting to arrive until daybreak so we could easily pick our way through the reefs that feature strongly off Grenada’s south coast. The entrance to Prickly Bay is lit but with the Porpoise rocks to the east and a strong current prudence is called for. We’d booked a berth in the marina to make the laying up tasks easier and planned to tie up to the diesel pontoon to wait for the marina and customs offices to open so were somewhat bemused to see a huge superyacht over 120 feet long moored stern to our intended destination! A motor round to the far side showed us that this blue hulled sleek monster had a beam pretty much the same as the length of the dock so no room for Temptress’s mere 46 feet alongside. We dropped the hook a few yards further south and waited for Grenada to wake up.
In the short month we’d been away Customs and Immigration have finally implemented the Eastern Caribbean’s SeaClear system providing online clearance for cruising yachts and their crew. A friendly giant of a customs official explained how to create an account and left us to it – the system is extremely easy to use; create a boat record supplying all the miscellaneous info from our ships papers, then a record for each crew member including passport numbers etc. Finally create a Notification, in our case of arrival, adding the boat record and both crew records with clicks of the button and inserting our last and intended next port of call plus the reason for our visit and save it. All the same info in fact as the original paperwork but no carbon paper and no pen required and one set serves both immigration and customs – the customs man printed out three or four copies, stamped and signed them. Immigration had not yet arrived at the office so customs took our passports on his behalf. Kevin anyway would have to make the trip to the ATM to extract some EC$ to pay the various fees.
|Father and Son Dubai 2011|
Temptress will be hauled out on Tuesday 2 September and we fly out bound for Gatwick the following Saturday, the earliest date there is a direct flight to the UK. Then after the overnight flight we change terminals for Belfast. We are sad to leave but being with family at this time is more important and all being well later this year the cruising kitty will start to receive a much needed boost in the form of a regular income for Kevin; another adventure in our wanderings to look forward to.