So far, I’ve divided the adventure into three phases:
- Phase 1 (April to mid-May) : Preparing us and the boat to leave Fort Lauderdale.
- Phase 2 (mid-May to July 9th) : Sailing the boat from Fort Lauderdale to Grenada. Grenada was a big destination because while we were north of Grenada, the boat was not insured against named storms (like Alberto, Beryl, Chris, and Debby).
- Phase 3 (now until TBD) : Working on the boat in Grenada and Trinidad. We’re in the second round of repairs and maintenance, fixing and improving things that we discovered during our 2700 miles of sailing in phase 2.
One of our goals for phase 3 is to become more social. Cruisers say that a big part of the cruising experience is getting to know other cruisers. In all of phase 2, I only chatted with one other boat; P, T, and G didn’t do any better.
Our first attempt at socialization was a bust. The restaurant at the resort/marina where we are staying does “Friendship Table” every Wednesday night. They set a long communal table and food is served family-style in larger dishes to be passed along the table. On Wednesday evening, we dressed up and went to the restaurant, looking forward to meeting new people, maybe our neighbours from the other boats in the marina. We sat in the middle of the long table and no one else showed up. It was the four of us eating our dinner at a long table. The food was delicious and the service excellent, but it was not the evening we anticipated.
Our second attempt at socialization was attending a cooking demonstration at the Dodgy Dock restaurant in a nearby marina. This socialization experiment was much better. The demo was well attended by other cruisers, mostly women. We each talked to at least one different person, and we came away with two email addresses. The cooking demo was fun; we learned how to make chicken roti (a sort of Grenadian burrito: a roti filled with a simple chicken and potato curry).
Grenada cruisers net
We’ve started listening to the Grenadia cruisers net each morning at 7:30. The local cruisers gather on VHF channel 68 to discuss issues and events related to cruisers (that’s how we learned about the cooking demo). On Friday, we made Gayle introduce us to the net as the new boat in town. She gave the boat name and gave our names. The moderator then asked how old our children were. Gayle explained that we are two couples. Then, after the morning net, a woman hailed us to ask the same question: she’d heard our names but not the answer to the child question. She has two children and was hoping for playmates. Gayle handled it beautifully and offered up Pete and Tony for play dates with her husband. I think that four adults on a boat is rare. People tend to do a double-take or raise their eyebrows when we tell them.