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London to Prickly Bay, Grenada

I woke up at six o’clock and it slowly dawned on me that I was in a hotel near Gatwick about to fly out to Grenada to start a new life on a yacht – blimey!

Glenys and I had a quick breakfast and lugged our six heavy bags onto a bus to the airport.  We arrived at the check in desk at quarter to eight and joined the back of the long snaking queue.  No worries, our flight didn’t leave until half past nine so we had loads of time.  Then we saw the check-in people were weighing the hand luggage - we were only allowed 5 kg for each bag, so we had ten minutes of panicking while we got out of the queue, commandeered an unused weigh machine and had to repack our bags - very embarrassing.

The flight was a typical steerage flight – babies crying, people pushing past and a little girl behind me kicking the seat as she moved about.  However, the worst part was sitting next to a huge lady who overflowed across the arm rest between us so much that I had to lean to the left to avoid her.  I eventually found that I could slide my arms onto the armrest behind her if I reclined my seat - the lady was so rotund that her shoulders couldn’t touch the seat back.  She was dressed completely in black and even had black fingernail polish which I thought was a little odd. After a short while, she leaned towards me and told me that she had just lost her husband and was going to Trinidad to bury him - that put a stop to any further conversation!

We arrived at Pointe Saline airport at quarter past two in the afternoon with a temperature of 29 degrees, blue skies and fluffy white clouds – perfect trade wind weather.  A taxi was waiting for us and took us to the apartments which were nice. I immediately dug out my binoculars and could see Alba at anchor - very exciting. By three o’clock, we’d rung Sergio and arranged for him to pick us up at half past five. 

Rather than hanging about for two hours, we decided to go for a walk to the Prickly Bay Marina to buy some food for breakfast and a peaked cap for me - I’d had a senior moment and packed all of my peaked caps into the three crates that are being shipped out on a “banana” boat arriving Monday.

When we were last here fifteen years ago, Prickly Bay Marina was a pretty little marina with a small chandlers and a small haul out area.  The marina pontoons are still there, but the boat yard is now a rough looking restaurant and they’ve built some $1 million apartments hoping to attract rich yacht owners.  It doesn’t look like it has worked – I believe that most of the apartments are empty.  There’s an “essentials” store at the marina that hasn’t changed in the past 15 years.  It’s a small shop with a few runs of shelves, is incredibly dingy and (errr…) they only have essentials.  We bought a few bread rolls, cheese, fruit juice and four cans of Carib beer, but no peaked cap. 

While Glenys was browsing the vast array of goods on sale, I had a quick look at a map in the Doyle pilot book for Grenada to get my bearings.  I decided that we should go for a longer walk and went to check out the local restaurants at the Calabash Hotel and the Red Crab just up the road. I then dragged Glenys through the lanes and up a steep hill to Spice Island Marine about ½ mile away to continue my search for a peaked cap.

Spice Island Marine used to be a tiny little marina for small local boats, but now it’s a thriving boat yard catering for foreign yachties - a vast change compared to Prickly Bay Marina. They have a huge area for hauled out boats and a yachtie bar. There’s also an excellent chandlers, but the only peaked cap was a $25US Gill technical hat – I don’t think so…

We were very hot and sweaty by the time that we had walked back, so we had a quick beer and a shower and went to meet Sergio.
I could hardly contain my excitement as we zipped out to Alba in the RIB dinghy.  She looked just as I had imagined – in fantastic condition both outside and inside.  Sergio immediately wanted to show us the equipment on the boat, but I persuaded him to get out some beer and we could just have a quick look about.  We chatted for about an hour and arranged to meet him for a pizza at Prickly Bay Marina at seven o’clock, which was surprisingly good.

We went to bed excited.
Tagged in: alba grenada

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