We left Union Island fairly early and shortly after setting sail Magic slid alongside us. We paced each other until the wind died later in the day a little ways north of Fort George. Magic had moved offshore a bit and was still able to make good time sailing, but we’d stayed in close where the wind completely died. So I furled the Genoa, woke Perky from his slumber, and motored the rest of the way. I knew once we turned the corner at Point Saline we’d be headed east directly into the wind and would motor anyways, so another half hour would make no difference.
We took quite a while finding a place to anchor in Prickly Bay, trying a couple times to get in close to shore for protection from the roll, but for the first two days, we ended up rolling like crazy out in the middle of the bay. Gary called from Native Dancer sometime later the second morning to let us know that a boat left opening a spot near the reef, and he thought we might want to try it. So we quickly weighed anchor, then motored over to the protection of the eastern shore and the southern reef.
Look at the photo below and you can get a feel for the conditions here. We might actually enjoy staying in Prickly Bay if we could anchor in this location every year. Just a gentle roll and an occasional passing boat wake.
While anchored mid bay the day before we relocated to this small cove, we noticed a boat that appeared to be anchoring right in the middle of the channel, and I commented on his foolhardiness. Just a minute or two later, we looked again and Joy said, I think that guy’s dragging. Sure enough, with no one aboard, the large yacht was dragging rapidly towards the reef on the west side of the bay. I was about to take action when I noticed first two, then five dinghies headed towards the vessel. A few minutes later the boat was motoring towards Prickly Bay Marina.
I learned later that Ken and Gary had been one of the first two dinghies to respond when another sailor came alongside Native Dancer to ask for help rescuing the boat that was dragging. Gary said the boat was less than 100 feet from foundering on the reef when they finally got the engine running. The owner, who later discovered his near misfortune, never thanked anyone for rescuing his U.S. flagged boat. How to give your country a bad name.
Our initial plan had us staying in Grenada for two or three weeks to explore. But it’s time for me step back to mention one unpleasant aspect of life you can’t avoid even when cruising – health problems.
Back on January 9th, one day we flew to Trinidad for the season, I discovered a small bulge in my lower abdomen. After a few anxious days hoping the bulge would disappear on is own, I finally gave up and saw a doctor at West Shore Medical Center. He confirmed my fear that I had a hernia but he said I’d probably be OK if I was careful, and if it were him, that’s what he’d do. So, I figured I’d live with it. Heck, my grandfather had lived with one for years. But as the weeks wore on, the pain and bulging became worse. Some days I really hurt. By the time we reached Grenada, I knew I’d nursed the little devil for as long as I could.
So our plans for time in Grenada changed. A good weather window was opening in less than a week, and our three boat buddies joined us in deciding it was time to head back to Trinidad. One morning on the Grenada Cruiser’s Net, we heard of a lady needing a ride back to Trinidad. John and Genie dinghied me ashore to meet Erika, the German lady, and after learning that not only had she sailed from Germany to Trinidad by way of Brazil, she was also a nurse, I told her my situation, and after a few words, we both agreed, it was a match meant to be for this trip. Just in case I became incapacitated. The gang was all for it.