Carriacou turned out to be our meeting place.
Our first stop this winter cruising season is the small island of Carriacou. This is the most northern island in the Grenada chain and home to about 8,000 people. We anchored off the capital city of Hillsborough across the bay toward Sandy Island. Most cruising sailors opt to anchor in Tyrell Bay just south of Sandy Island but we wanted to snorkel and swim (more on this in our next post). We decided to pass on Tyrell Bay and avoid the crowd of boats and opted to anchor in the marine park. There is a small fee of EC$50 (US$18.50, €16) per day to stay in the park but the fee means less boats and more isolation. We were craving a bit of isolation after spending the past few months of hurricane season in a marina. Sandy Island did not disappoint. We had the added benefit of running into some other cruisers we know and meet a couple of very neat local characters.
The first people to hail us on the VHF radio were Tammy and Bruce from Dos Libras. Cindy, Tammy and Bruce all share the same birthday. Shortly after, we saw our friends Paul and Anna Marie on Rita Kathryn sail into the park. Cindy offered to make up a batch of her world famous margaritas and a pot-luck was the event of the day aboard the Puffster.
After paying for the park fees we discovered we were a little low on funds. The ATM at the marina was out of cash when we left Port Louis in Grenada. In our eagerness to get going again, we both forgot to get cash from the bank down the street. The Park Rangers come to the boat to collect mooring fees. We asked the Park Ranger if there was an ATM in town and he told us there are in fact two. A short dinghy ride to the ferry dock at Hillsborough was called for. It was here we met Nigel. Nigel greeted us with his introduction as the “official dinghy watcher”. It is not unusual in the islands for a person to man the dinghy dock and offer to watch over the dinghy while we are ashore for a small fee. Some of the people on Caribbean islands are very poor and try to earn an honest living however they can. Nigel helped us tie up and assured us our boat would be there when we got back.
Hillsborough is a small one street town with bright colored buildings and narrow streets. We discovered Patty’s Deli. This is a gem of a small shop selling gourmet foods, meat and cheese. A pastry in the warm display case caught my eye and I asked what it was. It was a bacon and egg muffin. I had a feeling it was going to taste as good as it looked. I had to try it. I took a nibble before going to the cash register. It was so good Cindy and I ate it immediately. It never made it out of the store. We were teased by a very nice English lady waiting at the counter.
Further down the street we notice an odd looking structure. Perhaps the best way to describe this is a huge tank with a path down the side leading to white wooden gates. Well, curiosity is a trait very dominant in my personality. I walked down the path and peeked in the back determined to find out more. It turned out to be the coolest beach restaurant and bar we have encountered. I was waived in by the owner, Cuthbert Snagg. I asked him what he served. He said he made awesome rum punches and the best lemonade in the world. Have you heard me tell you about how hot it is here during previous posts? When someone says they make the best lemonade in the world, how can I possibly pass that up? I told him I would be right back and went to get Cindy. Cuthbert introduced himself to Cindy. She said, “I hear you make the best lemonade in the world”. He replied with a big smile, “I only told your husband that to sell him on coming in”. I like this guy already. We ordered two lemonades.
As we waited, we notice the nice English lady from Patty’s Deli sitting at a table. We waived and said hello again. We chatted with Cuthbert as we sipped on our delicious pink lemonade. He told us of his love for boats and how he would arrive at work and look out over the water every day. Honestly, how do you ever get tired of this view? He was especially interested in our travels and listened intensely as we told him some of our favorite stops.
During our walk back through town, we decided to buy some more bacon and egg muffins from Patty’s deli. They were sold out. However, we once again met the English lady. This time she gave us directions to a bakery where we purchased a loaf of freshly baked still warm bread.
We decided it was time to head back to Cream Puff and made our way to the ferry dock. We were expecting some friends, Rob and Regina from Ramble On, to arrive from the Tobago Cays later in the day and wanted to make sure we didn’t miss them. I didn’t see Nigel right away. But, as we went down the rickety staircase we found Nigel sitting in the shade under the dock. He had a set of small chisels and was working on a carving a ship in a block of wood. He was about halfway through but we could already see the intricate details of the rigging. Our dinghy was still there. Nigel earned a good tip from us.