The gentle lull of the barely definable waves on the shoreline of BBC beach plays as a soft tempo to the completely chaotic first week in Grenada. We arrived in storm, or rather in a storm, that persisted for several days. Warm and wet, we moved in our loads of boxes, bags, lovies, snorkels, water and wine to the hotel last Saturday. The things that were important were properly packed: school books, laptops, and e-readers, but we had to rip open those boxes at customs to show we were not smuggling any contraband, nor looking to profit with bringing coveted items to the island. So even the organized “stuff” was in the end rather a mess.
The storms passed, though the days are often met with afternoon showers. Hard rain dumps suddenly and fiercely from the sky, after the sun has baked this lush land filled with the bright greens of confident vegetation, and then leaves as quickly as it started. Song birds greet the morning and linger all the day. The water is kind. Its warmth, still refreshing, is in stark contrast to the cold of the heart-shocking pre-polar bear plunge Justin and I took just prior to our departure from the states (and that was in South Carolina!).Kelly and Justin after the S.C. polar bear plunge.
Our land time has been aided by a rental car. With Justin firmly at the wheel (no way am I driving these roads!), and me confidently at the “go right here, watch out for that goat/man/car/tyre” position, we travel the chipped up, narrow roads into the heart of the island. The tours are curvy and steep, with plummeting cliffs on one side and jutting rock face on the other. I clench everything on these rides, secretly hoping that Justin doesn’t see how incredibly gorgeous this ravine or that forest, and his distraction becomes our demise. Luckily, Justin has become quite the island driver, sounding the horn at the tight turns, passing the oncoming vehicles with only centimeters to spare, with precision, all the while providing detailed information about the surrounding area. Our differences are in fact our strengths.
In this moment, with the kids reading inside (or sleeping), and Justin taking his (hopefully) first hot shower all week, and me sitting on the porch, there is a great peace. Still, we are all crammed into one hotel room, with a barely cooling fridge and no stove top. All our meals have been ‘out’ and our frustration at how precisely our children can articulate their unwillingness to in fact eat out has been, how do you say, evident.
In brilliant Grenadian fashion, the locals can elude even the most sensible desires in a fine, good cheer. Justin came in late yesterday (5:50 pm), after buttoning up the boat, to announce that he found a Chinese restaurant that delivers! The thought of simply dining in and watching a movie was fondly on each person’s mind. We promptly rallied, marked up the menu, and called. The cell connection was poor. The fellow who answered the phone could barely hear me so I promised to call back on another line. Several calls were met with no more response so Justin drove back to the restaurant, only to find it closed. When he checked things out at 5:40 pm, and was told that the restaurant delivered, they never mentioned that they closed at 6:00 pm. And so another night out…and a plan to order Chinese tonight at 5:30 pm!
The boat is fully ripped apart. But that is a good thing. We have the canvas back up, and the bow thruster plate back on. The electricians, while replacing our 30 amp service with a 50 amp service, discovered that the existing wires were never properly connected. So the various issues (fire in the cockpit, burnt out Wirie (the amplifier for cell and wi-fi) were likely due to that failure. I can honestly say I am just glad that we have a solution and they are remedying today. The floor boards are off, the bilge exposed, as grounding lines are being run as well. Justin says Madame Geneva looks as though a giant took hold of her hull and shook her vigorously. We splash tomorrow…maybe (it’s island time, mon).
We are ready. Very ready. Ready to be back on board, to pull Madame Geneva back together, organizing and cleaning, provisioning, and sleeping and cooking with a bit of space. Not a lot of space but enough…