On Thursday we had a fast 5-hour sail down from Sandy Isle to Prickly Bay on the southwest side of the big island of Grenada. Prickly Bay is a large popular anchorage with a variety of boat services available including a marina and boatyard. We dropped anchor in the middle of the bay and have been here every since. We plan to do a number of boat projects while here in Grenada including fixing our furler, installing some fans, new LED nav lights, and a variety of other tasks. We want to be in fit shape before we head west and marine stores and services are harder to find.
We had a nice italian-style pizza at the marina restaurant the first night. On Friday we went to Budget Marine – a marine chandlery – and bought a bunch of little items for the boat including a tricolor LED light bulb for the mast light. We also bought some charts for the ABCs, pump parts, courtesy flags, and solvents. You can view the GPS tracks of the recent passages: Sandy Isle and Prickly Bay.
We had planned to do some sightseeing on the weekend, but decided to make sure our boat tasks were worked on first. On Saturday, I found out some medicine we had ordered had arrived at the Marina late Friday. We went to pick it up with no hassles, but opened the box to find the company we bought it from put the wrong dosage. It’s a problem that we hope we can get them to fix quickly (we’ll find out Monday). We next went into St. Georges by bus to go to a marine chandlery.
The bus ride was kind of interesting. We walked down the street from the boatyard to a round-about. Before we could find the bus stop some guys in a van (that looked like one of the buses) swerved over opened the door and a guy said “Get in!”. I said: “Is this the number 1 bus to St. Georges?”. He pointed at the front and said “Yeah, get in!”. We got in and the bus zoomed around and went up a back street. I was a bit nervous thinking we were picked up by thieves or something. They backed up across another street and another van/bus zoomed by. Our driver yelled at that bus and took off and passed him. Then the guy who opened the door made a cell phone call. As we drove down this back street the door guy was yelling out the window “Bus?”. One guy stopped walking and jumped inside. Then we picked up some girl walking down the street. We then turned on a street I recognized and I finally felt like this was a legitimate bus. The buses were actually competing for business. Times are tough down here.
At the chandlery we found an LED anchor lightbulb to go along with the tricolor light we had purchased Friday. We also got a few other misc items for the boat including a new set of GPRS walkie talkies which come in handy when we split up to run errands.
On Sunday we worked on several projects. Karen did some sewing projects – working on a seat cushion and some oven mitts. I decided to perform a service on a winch (there are all kinds of sailor jokes about their winches – just watch out for the spelling). One of our main electric winches has been acting up, and it was time to do maintenance anyway. So, I disassembled the unit, cleaned up the gears, checked and oiled the pawls and springs, re-greased the gears, and re-assembled the winch. It took a little long since this was the first time for this sized winch. And, it made a big mess (see the bigger picture in the slideshow below). But, it worked fine mechanically once I got it re-installed. Unfortunately, there’s an electrical problem still.
I also went up the mast twice. First to take down the anchor light assembly. Then I spent an hour taking out the bulbs and installing a custom socket for the new tricolor bulb. It took so long because the bulb receptacle was larger than the original, so I had to file it larger. I also was unsure of the correct orientation of the unit towards the bow. But, I managed to deduce what I thought was right. Went back up the mast, and everything looked right. So, I put it in place and we turned it on to test. Guess what? It actually worked! While up the mast, I took several photos of the anchorage and nearby boats. Two nice things about the LED bulbs: 1) they use far less energy during the long hours of the night – so less drain on the batteries, and 2) they last much longer, so don’t need to be replaced often (incandescents last as little as 6 months).
We did a variety of smaller maintenance items as well during the weekend. You can see photos from the weekend in this slideshow of photos including the mast shots, fireworks we saw one night at a house behind us, and the work on the winch:
View full-sized slideshow