Grenada

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” 

Jawaharlal Nehru

Ava’s 12th Birthday – 2/11/2017 – Ava

We started my 12th birthday with a cooked breakfast that consisted of bacon, hash-browns, baked-beans and eggs.

After that we went to shore to the volleyball courts to play volley-ball, all my friends where there: Nina, Erin, Mairen, Michael, Bianca, Arianna, Marina, Siobhan and Zoe, along with their siblings and of course my family too and our volley-ball teacher, Cindy and her husband, Scott.  We all played for about an hour and by then the sand was really hot and burning our feet.

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Coach Cindy with the Volleyball team.

Volley-ball Serves in a clockwise direction from the top, Me, Arianna, Nina and dad.

We went up to the pool to cool off, while mum and dad went back to cook the sausages and bring the food.  We had lunch of chips, sausages in bread and Bianca’s mum bought a spinach pie she had made and Behan bought my favourite, CORNBREAD.  It was delicious. Mum and Tristan had to go back to the boat to get the cake, the candles would stay lit because of the wind, but the cake was good.

 Cutting Cake: Clockwise direction from the left, Michael, Tristan, Siobhan, Nina, Mairen, Bianca, Arianna, Marina, Erin, Seamus, Zoe and me in the middle next to the cake.

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Big thanks to Venessa for taking this family photo on Ava’s birthday.

The boys went swiming and my friends ambushed me with presents and cards. One of the presents I got was a basil plant, that I named MS, which stood for my two best friends Marina and Siobhan, sadly it died soon after. We went back swimming while the parents went back to the boats, mum had to get ready for pizza night.  So just the kids left to play.

 The Girls Eating Cake: Clockwise Direction from Left Bianca, Marina, Me and Arianna. Photo 2: Bianca, Marina, Me, Arianna, Siobhan and Mairen. Photo 3:  Arianna. Photo 4:  Me and Marina.

 Swimming: Clockwise direction: Photo 1: from the left, Elliott, Michael, Niall and Tristan. Photo 2: from the left, Max, Tristan, Michael and Seamus. Photo 3: from the top: Tristan, Niall and Elliott.

All of the Kids Doing a Conga Line: Bianca, Max, Michael, Elliott, Tristan, Niall, Siobhan, Me, Mairen and Arianna.

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Me and Dad

We had to leave because it was getting dark and because we were having a pizza night with Totem on our boat.  I had a sleepover on my boat to finish of my birthday with my best friends Siobhan and Marina.  For breakfast the next morning I had stuffed french-toast which is where you have jam and cream cheese which is made into a sandwich and fried like french-toast.

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Avicci Sleepover: Me on the Left, Marina in the Middle and Siobhan on the Right.

Halloween – 30/10/2017 – Max

One of the mum’s off a boat in the Prickly Bay anchorage had organised ahead of time for a dinghy trick or treat on Halloween.  She organised a list of the kid boats participating and the boats giving out treats, there was even a map of the Prickly Bay anchorage with the boats with treats marked on it.  We had been out on a catamaran for our friend Elliot’s birthday with Marina, Zoe, Ava, Tristan and I, we got changed in the Catamaran so we were ready.  We arrived at the Prickly Bay marina which was filled with kids in costumes, we were all given a map and the kids were divided up into the dinghies. The dinghies went off and collected lots of treats.

The history of trick or treating began in the middle ages when children and sometime poor adults would dress up in white costumes with blackened masks (to symbolize the dead) and go around knocking on doors to beg for food or money in exchange for prayers or songs, this was called souling and the children were called soulers. The trick or treating that we know today, came from North America in the early 1900’s when Irish and Scottish Americans revived their old traditions.  Trick or treating did stop during World War II due to sugar shortages.  After the war, trick or treating was a standard practice for millions of children as there was no longer sugar rationing.  Candy companies have capitalized on Halloween and Americans now spend around $6 billion a year on Halloween candy.

 Us already in our costumes on the boat.

 Dinghies leaving the dock to begin trick or treating.

The exodus from the dinghy dock for trick or treating.

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Kids in costumes posing for photo.

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The post costume candy feast or sugar high

Catamaran Day Trip/Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park – 30/10/2017 – Karen

This was the final celebration of Elliot’s 18th birthday.  Gary’s (Elliot’s father) place of employment gave Elliot a free day on one of the charter catamarans.  We along with Mike and Lesley and Venessa, Gary, Elliot and Marina went out for the day.  We sailed down to the sculpture garden where we snorkeled and admired the sculptures.

Tristan and Elliot helped out with the sails and driving the boat while most of the adults relaxed.  Elliot’s last birthday cake he shared with Ava as its her birthday in a couple of days.

In 2004, a dive instructor named Jason deCaires Taylor (click on the link to read more) who had studied scultpure in college approached the government and the dive center he worked for and also marine biologists about the idea of doing an underwater sculpture garden.  Hurricane Ivan had destroyed a lot of the nearby reef structure that attracted divers, so he though that his sculpture park would offer an alternative but also encourage new reef growth.  Taylor over a period of a decade created 8 projects where he cast giant cement sculptures that were sunk into the seabeds.  Each of his projects tells a story, for example the sculpture of a man at a typewriter at his desk, was made after Taylor’s grandfather died, his grandfather was an avid letter writer, so he created the sculpture as his last letter to his grandfather.  Vicissitudes one of the 8 projects is a circle of 26 children holding hands and forming a circle, took 6 months to complete and weighs about 15 tonnes, which he installed in sections.

Tristan took all of the underwater photos as my ears would not clear for me to dive down.  He did a great job.

 These are four of the 14 Amerindian petroglyphs that was made by local Troy Lewis and was influenced by the ceremonial carvings of the early Amerindian tribes that were in Grenada.

Vicissitudes is one area of the sculpture garden which has 26 life-size children from different ethnic background, all holding hands and facing outwards.

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This is called the lost correspondent and is a man typing on his typewriter.  Its purpose is to show the change from how we now communicate and that the lost correspondent is a relic in today’s society. 

Photo on the left is of the sculpture from 2011 called, ‘Christ of the Deep’ and was done by local artist Troy Lewis.  It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the Bianca C in 1961, locals and fishermen rescued 600 people and opened their homes to them.  Photo on the right is of a woman praying.

The photo on the left is a sculpture that was done in 2016 of the Nutmeg princess by Norwegian artist, Lene Kilde and is inspired by a book by Richardo Keens-Douglas called ‘The Nutmeg Princess’ in 1992. The photo on the right is called unstill life, unlike the traditional paintings of still life objects this one changes as coral and growth takes over.

Jason deCaires Taylor Information

Information on Jason deCaires Taylor’s other sculpture projects he has done in Cancun (Mexico), Nassau (Bahamas), River Thames and Kent (Britain) and Las Coloradas, Lanzarote. Website: http://www.underwatersculpture.com

Halloween Party – 27/10/2017 – Tristan

On Friday the 27th of October, the local Halloween party up at the pool of the Secret Harbour Marina raged in full swing. Loud music blared from speakers, and hundreds of participants wandered, danced, and drank all around the floors. Among our friends and family, some of the most interesting costumes had to be channel markers, Emperor Nero, a priest, skeletons, vampires, the works. I went as a goth girl (minus black lipstick, though; supplies were low). Many of the kids danced on the dancefloor until around 9, when the DJ asked all the kids to move so the adults could dance. Most of the kids and their families left around then, but I stayed a while longer with my friends Elliott (who went as Ghostface, from Scream) and Niall (a pirate, though without his machete, thanks to the security guards). Many college students came in later in the evening, though not many danced. Many had full costumes and make-up, and ranged from the very scary (grotesque monsters and characters from horror movies) to the near ridiculous (men in tutus, one person dressed as a bed-stand.) Everyone enjoyed themselves greatly, and most drank their way through the night with rum punches. My legs crushed by the stockings, I eventually headed back to the boat before my fake breasts broke too much.

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Above: Some well-founded, dubious looks regarding cling wrap really doing anything to heat the dye in my hair; come on, Mum!   Didn’t work, of course.

 Clockwise from top left: 1. Marina and Elliott, as a dead cheerleader and Ghostface. 2. Elliott and a South African man from Simonstown, dressed in skins. 3. Max in all his priestly holiness. 4. Gary and Venessa as a dead bride and groom.

 Clockwise from top left: 1. Elliott and the Simonstown man; 2. Scott and Cindy dressed as several superheroes rolled into one, 3. Mum dressed as the queen of hearts, in a simple costume that took a surprisingly long time and I know because I helped, 4. Scott and Mum play in the latest movie crossover; Superman vs Queen of Hearts, 5. Rhonda dressed as a green channel marker and me and 6. Most of the bartenders dressed as police officers.

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 Above: Elliott, Niall and I. Niall’s having trouble keeping his hands to himself.

Above (clockwise from top left): 1. All the kids in costume. 2. Scott, Mum, and an enthusiastic Marina. 3. Gary, Scott, Cindy and Mum all having fun at the party.

Clockwise from top left: 1. Mum, Niall, Michael and I all slumped against the wall after hard dancing. 2. Nina and Maxwell (Emperor Nero) doing some crazy dancing on the dancefloor. 3. All the kids in costume; Maxwell is drinking the Kool-Aid that will soon result in a sugar-propelled dance craze.

River Tubing – 26/10/2017 – Karen

After two failed attempts to go rafting for our friend, Elliot’s 18th birthday, the rain finally let up and the river went down enough that we could go.  Venessa organised a bus to take us up to the Balthazar estate where we went rafting with the Adventure River Tubing company.

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Our group of river tubers: Elliot, Gary, Marina, Venessa, Dad, Tristan, Mum, Ava and Cindy

Buddies: Ava and Marina, Tristan and Elliot

We were geared up with all the safety equipment, helmets and life jackets before being taken down to the river where we were given a quick run down on the rules before we were individually launched into the river.  Because there had been a lot of rain, the river was high and the trip was actually quite fast, probably only 20 minutes.

Photos in a clockwise direction: Cindy, Ava, Elliot and Venessa

Photos in a clockwise direction: Photo 1: Andrew, photo 2: Venessa, Photo 3: Venessa, Gary and Cindy, Photo 4: Max and Photo 5: Gary

The Deeley Boys

It was a lot of fun, but over very quickly.  The staff were polite but I wouldn’t say exuberantly friendly, however they were very watchful of all of us in the water and quick to act if someone was stuck on a rock or tipped out of the tube (that only happened to one person).   Our friends Venessa and Marina had done this trip before and had taken cconsiderably longer, partly due to a slower running river and because they stopped part way to swim and the guides jumped off the rocks and did somersaults etc.  I’m unsure whether that didn’t occur on our trip because of the high level of the river.  Would I do it again?  I’m not sure it was value for money by the time you pay for a bus up there and then a 25 minute tube ride I would do it again elsewhere if at a cheaper cost or a longer trip.

Adventure River Tubing

Cost – $45 US a person

The river trip runs at 9, 11.30 and 2 pm

Contact Details: Website: http://www.adventuregrenada.com/ email:  adventure@spiceisle.com phone: (473) 3974

Bowling – 22/10/2017

As the river rafting trip that was planned for today for our friend, Elliot’s 18th birthday was cancelled due to rain, we instead went bowling at Lavo Lanes Bowling.  As there was 10 of us we divided into two groups, the kids/young adults in one lane and the older adults in another lane.

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Everyone finally has their shoes on.

It was a lot of fun.  In the adults game Gary won, followed by Andrew.  In the kids game Tristan won, followed by Marina.  We followed up the game of bowling with burgers, wraps and salads at a local restaurant.

Clockwise from top left: Elliot, Max, Ava, Siobhan and Marina

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And the winner is …… Tristan, followed by Marina.

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It was a bit of a squash to get everyone into Gary’s car.

Lavo Lanes:

Cost: $20 for 12 and under, adults are $30, lane for 1 hour for up to 8 people $180

Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs – 4 pm – 12 midnight, Friday – 4 pm to 2 am, Sat – 1 pm to 2 am, Sun – 1 pm to 12 midnight

Contact: Phone – 473 439, web:http://lavolanes.com/

Kids and Volleyball – September/October 2017 – Ava

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Seven Sisters Waterfall – September 2017

After our Grenada tour we decided to do another waterfall while the kids were on school holidays.  So we did the hour long bus trip to the entrance of the Seven Sisters.  After paying our entrance, the local man insisted that we needed to take one of the sticks to help us with the hike.  We must have looked unfit? Well I know I am, but I’m not so sure about everyone else.  The hike down was easy it was the hike back up that I found tough.

 

The kids and most of the adults had a swim in the refreshing water, followed by a picnic, before the long hike back up to the top.

Grenada Island Tour

Venessa (Neptune 2) organised for us to do an island tour with Cutty, a local and all knowledgeable on both the history and fauna of Grenada.

One of our stops was to a warehouse which holds all of the cocoa beans.  Bags from different areas of Grenada are labeled and kept together as buyers will often request beans from specific areas.  We tried several beans from some of the areas and surprisingly they do all have their own unique taste.  You can see the cocoa fruit in the first photo below.

We also learnt about the nutmeg industry when touring through a nutmeg factory.  Local farmers bring their nutmeg in which is sorted so the light empty ones are thrown and the rest weighed, to which the farmers receive $3 EC or $1.50 AUD a pound.  From there they soak them in water and if they sink they are better value nutmeg and are separated from the floaters which are still sold but are more likely to end up as ground nutmeg. The nutmeg are bagged and sold whole and sold to different countries who then process it.  They sell nutmeg in the local markets here, you crack them like a nut and can then grate it and add it to your meals or desserts.

The red stuff is the first photo below is mace.  The nutmeg is an orange fruit which looks a bit like an apricot, the fruit is removed and the mace then surrounds the nut.  The farmers are paid according to the quality of the mace if its grade 1 like in the photo its $5 EC ($2.50 AUD), 2 was $4 ($2AUD) and grade 3 was about $3 EC or $1.50 a pound.

Hurricane Ivan in 2003 destroyed 90% of the nutmeg trees in Grenada their biggest export.  Although the industry is improving it is still only about 15% of the original production.  Grenada had been the second biggest nutmeg exporter after Indonesia.

Our next stop before lunch, I think was everyone’s favourite, the chocolate factories.  We did a tour through a factory learning how the chocolate is taken from coca beans to chocolate.  We continued on down the road to another factory where the kids (and adults) all indulged by spending some of their hard earned pocket money on the different varieties of dark chocolate made there, after tasting all of the samplers.

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Marina, Ava, Siobhan and Maren waiting for our rum tour

I will attempt to explain the rum making process, possibly very badly.  Photo 1 is of the 17th century water wheel, which when turned on, powers the machine in photo 2.  The machine is then manually fed sugar cane and it crushes it to extract it’s juice which is fed into another shed and added to water.  The liquid is left to ferment in large vats, as can be seen in photo 3 until the bubbles disappear (usually about 7 days).  The final step is the distilling in photo 4.  If the proof of the rum is not high enough then they distill it again.  It is then bottled.  Pretty simple, huh?  I did not try the strongest but Andrew said it was strong.

Our final stop for the day was at the waterfall, the kids went swimming and enjoyed their refreshing swim.

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Fort George

We had some time to kill so we decided to have a look at Fort George, built by the french in 1705.  The fort itself is fairly unimpressive and there is no information about it at the site, however it does have a bloody history.  In 1983, Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, his supporters and some of the general public were assassinated within the fort by the Marxist wing of their party the only remnants of this event is a plaque which you will need to look closely to find.

The fort does have a beautiful view of the water and the Carenage area of St George

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On the walk up to the fort you pass a church missing walls and the ceiling, apparently severely damaged during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Pretty mas – (spicemas) – day 2 – 16/8/2017

Another great day at the Pretty mas and the costumes were beautiful. A very inclusive parade doesn’t matter whether your male or female, young or old, large or small, all participated with big smiles and having a ball.  The kids thought the costumes were great, but the music very loud.

Don’t they look beautiful!

Sensational costumes!

Even the boys go the whole hog and dress in costumes and dance in the parade

 

Lightmas (Spicemas) – Day 1 – J’ouvert Grenada – 15/8/2017

Just the adult cruisers went to the light mas last night and joined those participating in the parade of lights, filled with hats, tutus, head bands and swords all with flashing lights and very loud music.

Venessa having a ball with all the revelers

 

Carnival (Spicemas) – Day 1 – J’ouvert Grenada – 15/8/2017

Began the morning at 3.30 am to get the 4.30 bus for the start of carnival. Today is not the traditional costumed parade that comes tomorrow. Today is about Jab Jab, where people dress with devil horns, chains and cover themselves in used car engine oil or varying colours of paint. As they dance through the street, they hug onlookers or dab oil and paint on them. Max approached them and asked for it, it wasn’t long before everyone joined in, some of us more reluctantly than others. By dawn the party was in full swing, the kids and adults alike were painted and enjoying themselves.

From what I can find out J’ouvert it started in Grenada/Trinidad by locals, who were banned from participating in masquerade balls of the french settlers.  So they started there own form of masquerade street party.

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Us by the end of j’ouvert

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Our bright and colourful kids by the end of the morning.

The cruising community enjoying j’ouvert

The locals enjoying J’ouvert, I love the little guy at the end with his bike chain and grease covered clothes.