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  • Writer's picturetheblacksprayhood

Carriacou Calling

Updated: May 29, 2022

“We’ve planned the route, but we haven’t left yet. Maybe tomorrow, or the day after or we may leave it until the day we MUST leave. ”

We’ve been in Carriacou for three weeks now and to be honest we’re finding it really hard to leave. By the terms of our insurance policy we must be south of latitude 12.07 degrees north by the first of June, which is when hurricane season starts. The latitude line of 12.07 degrees north cuts across the island of Grenada, so we must be in the south of Grenada by then. We need to start boat work while we are at anchor to prepare the boat to be hauled out in July before we fly home to work for a few months. Although we’re still going to take two days a week to explore Grenada, we know that we are almost at the end of our life of leisure and are trying to draw it out as long as possible. Plus, we just love Carriacou. The people, the unspoilt natural beauty and the vibrant culture and laidback vibe.

We saw some good live reggae music at a bar called Crazy Beach Corner. The rum punches were the best we have had so far and reminded us of Barbados as they had grated nutmeg on top. As we arrived during the two hour happy hour period when they were two for one, we may have overdone it a bit and we felt it the next day. We decided to chill out on Paradise Beach. Paradise Beach faces Sandy Island and it is totally natural and unspoilt. There are some simple unobtrusive bars and restaurants set back in the trees. The sand is white and the water is warm. We read and swam. Bliss. We walked along and came across a bar called Off the Hook and decided to have a beer before heading back to the boat. We lounged in the giant hammock overlooking the water. Eventually the bar owner came over. “Hi guys. Sorry, you can stay here but I have to lock up the bar as my girlfriend is in hospital having a baby right now. Just put your bottles on the bar before you leave.” Then he jumped in his car and off he went. We bumped into him a couple of days later and learned he had a baby girl - mum and baby doing well.

The next day we met Howie McLeod, a drummer we had met at the maroon ceremony. We have interviewed Howie for our podcast which will be published this week. Howie was born in Carriacou and moved to the UK at the age of 10. He became a drummer in the Scottish soul-disco-funk band Rokotto, which was huge in the 1970s and is now in the reggae and ska band Buffalo Soldiers. In the podcast, Howie discusses what it was like to be on Top of the Pops and to perform in front of thousands of people; his creative process; what it was like to move from the Caribbean to the UK in the 1960s; and why he loves his first home - Carriacou, as well as his second home - Scotland. Luciano drew him a picture of a Buffalo Soldier as a present, as seen in the picture above.

It’s been a sociable week, we met up with Howie again and his cousin Frankie and had a great evening. Luciano has been loving talking about drumming with a professional! We’ve also met up again with some Australian sailors, Mike and Nicki from the sailboat Zen Again who we last saw in the Canary Islands! Experienced sailors Mike and Nicki were very generous at sharing their knowledge when we were back in Europe and even accompanied us from Madeira to the Canary Islands when we had frayed steering cables. It’s been great to see them again especially now we have crossed the Atlantic and are feeling more confident - in no small part due to them and other sailors who have shared what they know. We had a lot of fun painting our boat signs at the Paradise Beach Club which displays the boat names of all the sailors who visit them. I had been pestering Luciano to paint an elephant on our sign. The first owners of our boat had a Zimbabwean connection and the name Matusadona comes from a Zimbabwean national park that is known for its elephants - my favourite animal. He painted a very good elephant and just needed to paint the eye, but like a typical temperamental artist, decided it didn’t look like an elephant and painted over it! So we only have a very boring sign there now. Never mind.

So we prepared to leave, we topped up our fuel, we bought lots of food. The bay we are planning to anchor in in Grenada is supposed to be quite well protected and has lots of boat chandleries, but doesn’t appear to have anywhere to buy food, so we want to be well prepared so that we can make the most of our time when we get there. We’ve planned the route, but we haven’t left yet. Maybe tomorrow, or the day after or we may leave it until the day we MUST leave. Either way, next time we see you we will be on the Spice Island of Grenada. So long Carriacou, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for making us so welcome and we hope to be back soon.

This week's Vlog.

You can find our PODCAST episodes at the links below



YOUTUBE (for video version)

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