Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New Year Celebrations

In Grenada the locals refer to the 31st of December as Old Years Day/night, which many of the older folk in the North Tyne valley do, so it was home from home for Darrell. 
While we were sitting in the cockpit drinking a cup tea a dinghy zoomed past, did what only can be classed as a handbrake turn and came alongside Stream. Standing in the middle of the dinghy was a rather tall Dutchman. He exuded enthusiasm as he proclaimed what a beautiful boat Stream is. For five minutes he didn't take any breathes as he listed all the positives about the boat and then added his was exactly the same model! He went on to say he kisses it every day as he can't believe how lucky he is to have such a fantastic boat. He was quite surprised when Darrell replied that he didn't kiss Stream every morning. He only bought the boat last May and then sailed single handed across the Atlantic. Darrell invited him aboard so they could compare and contrast. The Dutchman eagerly toured the boat appreciating some differences and sharing ideas with Darrell. We were then invited over to his boat so we could see the improvements/alterations he had made. This mainly included him turning it into a successful mobile solar power station and many things to make sailing and living aboard on a circumnavigation as easy as possible, especially as he is new to sailing and has difficulty knowing which is east and west. But he has a SAT phone and is reassured that people can track him and tell him which way to go if he gets into difficulty. He did end up on a reef recently in the Grenadines and was amazed that the boat suffered little damage apart from some scrapes on the rudder and keel. To prevent this happening again, he is fitting forward facing sonar. His enthusiasm, energy and obvious love for his boat was a tonic. 

While we have been spending time on Grenada, we have kept bumping into the same people and have built up a small group of friends, who are mainly American, within the cruiser circle that we socialise with. This is the group that we spent New Years Eve with, despite the fact none of us were convinced that we could stay awake until midnight based on the fact that we were usually asleep by 9 pm. There were lots of formal events for yachties on the island, which if you were not married to a fussy vegetarian who doesn't drink alcohol, may have been good value for money. So we all got together on one of the groups catamarans for nibbles and drinks, which was good fun. We were all back on our own boats for midnight, which was marked with several firework displays. We were lucky that our position in the bay meant that we had the best view of five different spectacular and very loud displays which lasted to gone 12:30. A great way to see the new year in together.
Locals and yachties alike partied on long into the night, while we headed to bed. The next day the island seemed to sleep in, there was no one around until late afternoon. So we had a long and peaceful walk to the headland of True Blue Bay.
 One of the few Grenadian inhabitants up and out on New Year's Day.

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