S/V Delilah

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

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Tuesday, November 6
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

N 12 degrees, 27.34 minutes
W 061 degrees, 29.30 minutes

Carriacou is a little island north of Grenada where we spent about ten days relaxing last June. Quite a few cruising boats come in here, as well as some charter boats, but the island has kept its sleepy charm. There are a couple of dive shops, a pizza place, a few restaurants and bars, and a few places to buy basic groceries. But this kind of bar and pizza place and grocery store is NOT what you might picture when you think these words. Instead, think of a single lightbulb, unfinished walls, ceilings, and cement floors, smaller buildings, and lots of resident cats to ward off the beasties. The result is decidedly more laid back and sometimes quite charming. Yesterday, for instance, I bought a T-shirt from a souvenir store made from a shipping container. But the container had been turned into a little room, painted bright colors and adorned with all sorts of local artwork and T-shirt designs. The whimsical effect compelled me to part with my money.

The best business in the Bay, however, is run out of a small skiff. When you arrive in Carriacou, Simon pays a visit to your boat to see if you need any wine. Chilean wine is his specialty, and the price is significantly lower than what you'll find in the grocery stores. You place your order, and Simon delivers by the afternoon cocktail hour. If he doesn't have just what you want, he makes a suggestion for something similar. We are not sure how Simon manages to charge such low prices, given the enormous import tax in Grenada, but we suspect that his little fishing boat and the proximity of the tiny Grenadine islands (part of St. Vincent, which has no tax) play a role.

And then there's the free stuff. The scuba diving is alleged to be quite good just a quarter mile outside the harbor, but I have been content to snorkel near the boat for now. Though the water in Hog Island was clean, it was made murky by the mangroves that surrounded the anchorage. And the lagoon was downright polluted. And don't even REMIND me of the filth in Chaguaramas. So it's refreshing to set the hook in fifteen feet of water, and then jump in with a snorkel to watch the anchor bury itself in the sand below you through beautifully clear water.

Yesterday we also did some sightseeing by dinghy in the mangrove swamp next to Tyrrel Bay. A number of boats rode out Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005) there. The mangroves' complicated root system and the windy path that the water takes among them make the swamp the best location, we are told, to avoid the high winds and rough seas during a major storm. The wind was only blowing fifteen knots or so yesterday, but inside the mangrove swamp it was calm. Fortunately for us, it looks like we won't have to find out firsthand how well the swamp works. Hurricane season officially ends at the end of this month, but the weather forecasters have declared it long gone. This year, the eastern Caribbean lucked out.


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