S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hog Heaven

October 21

Hog Island, Grenada

Writer's Note: Dean informed me, after reading this blog, that part of it is nearly identical to one he wrote last week. Since I slept through that experience, I thought it was really interesting that I would have one so similar myself. For that reason, and in spite of the fact that you might wonder if you've already read this blog, I'm posting my version.

We have put on hold our plans to take the bus to town for groceries today, as the wind is howling and the rain is coming down in buckets. Now I just hope it comes down INTO the buckets I've strewn about on deck. Any extra water that we get for free and without lugging jerry jugs in the dinghy makes it that much easier to do such extravagant chores as shower, wash dishes and clothing, flush the toilet with fresh water (salt water makes things stink), and rinse off the boat. But it's all worth the extra work for the solitude we have here in this anchorage.

The heavy rain also means there will be no brush fires on Hog Island today. The island is being stripped of vegetation before our very eyes, in preparation for the development of a Four Seasons resort. It is common practice all over the Caribbean to burn brush, and we have seen or smelled the small, controlled fires everywhere we've gone. Strangely enough, the burning wood and brush smell to me like a peat fire, so I find it comforting--except when the fire is close by and directly upwind, choking us and dropping ash on the boat, as it has been for the past two days.

It had rained heavily yesterday too, but we had been ashore at Whisper Cove Marina (the "marina" part is a major overstatement), helping the new managers, who were trying to get their Internet service running again. No luck, but we did watch from the office balcony on the hill as a dark wall of towering rainclouds swept toward us, drenching everything in sight. It was beautiful, and since we haven't had rain in almost two weeks, it was welcome too.

The rain ended by midafternoon yesterday, so we were able to return to Whisper Cove for dinner and to be serenaded by our neighbor, who plays classical guitar. I always enjoy taking the dinghy out at night here, as the water is extremely phosphorescent (see my blog from New Jersey or Vieques for an explanation). If you run your hand through the water at night here in the anchorage, you not only see bright pinpoints of light, but all the water that's been disturbed glows for a second. Something as big as a motorized dinghy, therefore, leaves a bright wake like a comet's tail.

The sky had cleared by about one AM, and since I had been startled awake by a brief nightmare, I went outside to relax, cool off, and look around. There was no moon, so the stars were bright and numerous, and where the wind was blowing the water in our normally-calm anchorage into wavelets, the phytoplankton were lighting up in small bursts on the surface, echoing the stars above us. To the south, an enormous and silent lightning storm was taking place on the horizon, illuminating the cloudbank that held it every second or two. I looked away for a moment, back up at the stars overhead, just in time to watch a meteor streak through the sky, leaving a long trail behind it. What a show!


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