Monday, June 26, 2006

Steel Pan Band

June 26, 2006   Monday                    

Saturday night was the steel pan band and barbeque over in Prickly Bay.  Five of us shared a taxi from our marina.  None of us would have gone because a taxi would be too expensive for one or two people, but the trip becomes financially reasonable with five people sharing the cost of the taxi.  The pan band was very good.  Bill and I chose to eat a plain pizza rather than the barbeque, although their barbequed chicken and sides did look good.  The restaurant is owned by an Italian guy and they cook wonderful pizza.

We had a very pleasant evening, mostly visiting with an interesting woman named Greta.  She owns Enza Marine and the Prodive Shop in Prickly Bay.  Her husband is a pilot back in the states and is under contract to work a bit longer, so she is on her own most of the time locally.  They only get to see one another every few months.  But when his contract is up then they plan to go back to living on a boat, so they can deal with this temporary arrangement.

Sunday morning someone was trying to launch a smaller power boat here at the marina and everything went wrong.  Judy took a few photos and will link them to this posting.  They eventually got the boat into the water, but the trailer suffered a broken axle and a flat tire.  But at least the boat was not damaged. 

Also, the Diesel Duck arrived at the marina yesterday.  This boat was built in Canada at the dock factory that is also owned by the marina owner.  It is owned by friends of the marina owner.  Diesel Duck is an adorable trawler that can also sail without engine; only at speed of 4 kts, but they can actually sail that boat as long as the winds are 15 kts or higher.  It looks like Puff ‘N Toot from the children’s books.

Later in the afternoon we took the dinghy over to visit Aubrey and Judy on S/V Veleda IV.  Their Ontario 32 is an interesting little boat.  The manufacturer basically figured out how to get the interior of a 36-ft boat into the hull of a 32-ft boat.  Actually a comfortable boat with a home-like feeling to it.  None of the fancy things like self-tailing winches, but a well-built and very well-designed boat.  But they are far braver than us because neither of us would want to cross an ocean in that small of a boat, and they have crossed the Atlantic twice in it.

Then we went over to Hog Island.  A local guy sets up a barbeque and bar on the beach there for cruisers on Sunday afternoons.  Bill and I just split a Coke and each ate a single piece of chicken.  We are very low on EC currency and didn’t have enough cash to purchase a whole meal, besides we weren’t that hungry in the heat.  Did not find the group in attendance to be particularly interesting or entertaining.  One man talked a great deal about how he had ridden out Hurricane Ivan on his boat, so now is the ultimate expert on that topic.  Not too sure that these beach gatherings of cruisers will be of much interest to Bill and me in the long term, but we will give it a few more tries before writing off that activity altogether.

 We have deliberately let ourselves dwindle down our supply of EC currency because we aren’t sure just how much longer we will stay here in Grenada.   Trinidad does not use EC, so we want to spend all our EC before we leave Grenada.  But this morning we committed to attend the Fishermen’s Birthday on Thursday, so we will need to make another trip to the bank ATM in St. George’s this week as we now know that we will be here at least until Friday.

We have paid for this marina through July 3, but our actual date of departure will depend on the weather.  We have been watching carefully for the past week.  This afternoon would be an excellent time to depart for the passage to Trinidad, but we want to visit the “fishing capital of Grenada” for their annual celebration on Thursday.  Should be a touch of local culture and has been highly recommended by others who have seen this in years past.

Oh yeah, last week we met an incredibly interesting guy; neither of us remembers his name.  He owns The Albatross, which looks just like it sounds.  He does all kinds of salvage work and is quite a character.  He is a German/Russian; speaks 7 languages; and he has been all over this world.  We nicknamed him Tiger; because he was actually born in a Tiger tank in 1943.  He may be the only person in the world who was born inside a Tiger tank.  Bombs were falling all over the little town in Germany and his mother went into labor.  The safest place she could think of was inside a Tiger tank, so that is where he was born.  His father (whom he never met) was a submarine commander and was killed when his boat was torpedoed in Africa.  His uncle was also aboard that submarine and he survived the sinking.  Tiger later went to Africa and actually found the remnants of the submarine in which his father died.  It is still lying in a river in Africa.  He would love to salvage it but it isn’t practical because there is a very strong current in that river and the salvage job would be very costly.

Tiger has a collection of 4 boats, 3 of which he salvaged after Hurricane Ivan and now owns.  One that he has owned for some time is a very large Ferro cement sailboat.  It is an exact duplicate of the one that the author Robinson sailed to that South Pacific island many years ago.    Tiger reminds Judy of her father; so very alike in so many ways.  Tiger is the son that Norman Fisher should have had.  Tiger asked Judy if she was German and learned that her fraternal family had originated in Hamburg, where he also has family.  Judy told him that her grandfather’s name was William Frederick August von Herzig, and that the US immigration changed his name to William Frederick Fisher when he entered the US about 1898.  Tiger thinks Judy should visit Hamburg and research the family because he thinks that name is of aristocratic origins.  Judy doesn’t believe in that crap, but a trip to Hamburg might be nice someday.

Bill is wiring our alarm system today in preparation of our upcoming trip to Trinidad and then to Venezuela.  We have an alarm system that has pressure sensors that are being placed under the deck at 8 locations around the boat.  When we activate the alarm, then a 120dB two-tone siren sounds whenever someone steps within 3-4 feet of one of these pressure sensors.  We also want to wire it to the deck lights, but that might be somewhat of a challenge because the alarm system is 12V and the deck lights are 24V.  We might try it anyway, our thinking being that the lights would still come on but they just wouldn’t be as bright.  We need to think about that a little more and see if we can devise a solution.

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