Wednesday, July 5, 2006

July 4th in Grenada

Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

We celebrated 4th of July here in Clarkes Court Bay with a few dozen cruisers.  There was a little gathering hosted by a bar as their grand opening.  They plan to build a marina, but so far there is just one floating dock in place.  Marinas often are planned down in these islands but never manage to be built.  This one is called Whisper Cove Marina.  It appears to have very limited water space so I don’t see how they will have room to build much of a marina.  It is across the bay from the marina in which we are currently docked.  We didn’t stay very long.  As someone else said, celebrating 4th of July outside the USA just seems strange.

We planned to leave this marina today and move to another bay where we could clear out of customs.  We hoped to leave Grenada about 4:00 a.m. tomorrow for the passage to Trinidad.  Weather predictions for tomorrow are winds at 20 knots and seas of 8-feet at 7 second intervals.  All the other cruisers who want to go to Trinidad are planning to wait for better weather, but we felt comfortable with that prediction for this passage.  We even paid our marina bill and cast off the dock lines – were really looking forward to sailing again. 

But as soon as we backed out of our slip, the trouble started.

The boat backed out okay; but when put into forward gear, not much happened.  Bill thought for a moment that we might have to drop the anchor to stop our backward motion and to keep us off the rocks.  But Bill powered down in forward gear (red lined it) and the boat barely inched forward.  He managed to make a circle using the bow thruster and we docked again; this time at the end of the main T-dock.

Obviously the auto-prop is fouled.  Probably has barnacles growing on it since we have not moved in a month.  Or maybe the prop is fouled by the awning bungee strap that Bill dropped overboard last week.  A diver is supposed to come out tomorrow and check it out.   We are really hoping that it is something simple like the bungee cord or marine growth; that can be solved by a diver in the water.  If it is a more serious problem, then we must manage to get to a travel lift and have the boat hauled again.  The prop cannot be removed while the boat is in the water.  Removing that auto-prop is a tough job.  Not at all sure that we could even get out of this bay without good forward power, as the entrance is a narrow space between reefs and dead into the 20 knot wind and waves.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that this is an easy fix by the diver.

While at the 4th of July celebration, we met up with another couple that we had met way back in St. Kitts.  We learned from them that the volcano on Montserrat erupted again just 4 days after Bill and I toured in the restricted zone.  We were there on May 16 and it erupted on May 20.  It threw up so much ash that airline flights were cancelled as far north as Puerto Rico.  Glad it didn’t happen while we were there.  Then, it erupted again in June.  Here is a news article about the May 20 eruption:

Montserrat Volcano Eruption May 20, 2006
MVO reported that on the morning of 20 May a major lava-dome collapse at Soufriére Hills occurred over a time period of less than three hours. Approximately 90 million cubic meters of the lava dome material was shed from the summit leaving a broad, deep, eastward-sloping crater. Pyroclastic flows traveled E down the Tar River Valley and were estimated to extend out to 3 km over the sea. Lahars due to excessive rain were produced NW in the Belham River Valley, N in the Trants area, and to the NE. An ash cloud reached 16.8 km (55,000 ft) a.s.l. by 0740, the highest reported ash cloud during the 10 years of the eruption, and traveled NW. Lithics (average size of 3.5 cm across) fell NW of the volcano. On 21 May, ash and mud fell on the northern parts of the island. Prior to the lava-dome collapse, during 12 May and 19 May, lava extrusion had continued.
The Washington VAAC reported that the ash plume from the 20 May dome collapse initiated at approximately 0700. On 21 May, the remnant ash cloud from 20 May was at a height of ~11.3 km (37,000 ft) a.s.l. along the northern coast of South America and the Southern Caribbean. An ash cloud at a height of ~7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. extended S of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. According to news reports, the ash cloud on 20 May forced the suspension of some international flights in areas of the Caribbean through 21 May. On 22 May, multi-spectral imagery indicated that an ash plume at a height of ~3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. extended over the islands of Anguilla, St. Martin, and St. Kitts. On 23 May, a thin ash plume was visible on satellite imagery and moved WNW.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be posted after we confirm that you are not a cyber stalker.