Grenada: our stay on this island – by Lena

schueler.lenaStrong winds brought us to our aim too fast. After sailing the whole night with about 7 knots, we had to take in the sails and wait for the pilot who was expected to join us on Friday 18.12. at 9 a.m. After a short breakfast, everyone appeared on deck because of hearing the noise of Signal K., took his harness and was welcomed by the first drops of Caribbean rain. Wet from head to toe, we were finally ready to arrive in Grenada. Seeing Port Louis Marina for the first time and knowing that this was the Thor’s new home for the next few days surprised us: luxurious yachts everywhere and expensive-looking landing stages. Everything that we hadn’t seen since we left Falmouth was there: free WI-FI (which unfortunately didn’t work as well as we hoped), big washrooms and showers, even a pool existed which everyone was allowed to use. When the whole ship was cleaned at about 7 p.m., we had the opportunity to have a look at St. George but I think most of us rather wanted to use the WI-FI first. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean and not hearing anything from your family or your friends for almost a month was hard for us all, so it was a good feeling to be able to call them again.

The next day we had some free time. The dinghy captains brought all of us (except the watch) over to St. George where we discovered the little city in groups. Everything was very new to me, the streets were really full and from everywhere I could hear market women scream their offers. Typical Grenadian fresh fruits and vegetables like bananas, nutmegs, ripe coconuts or oranges were sold by almost every market stall. As the “Island of Spice“, Grenadas markets were full of spices of all kinds. It was a really interesting experience for everyone of us. Getting to know the Caribbean culture and the inhabitants of this island was great. Even if the people were all very poor, they looked happy and were really friendly to us. When we arrived at the Thor in the evening, we planned excursions to the different parts of Grenada. In order to choose groups of three to four persons there were drawn lots for the adult and the region to explore.

My group consisted of Fabian, Leonie, Uri, Friederike and me and we were the lucky ones to spend our Sunday in St. John, an interesting small region on the west coast of the island. Right after cleaning and breakfast we were ready to start our expedition. The first problem that appeared, was that there were no regular buses on Sunday, but as we started worrying about this, we found a nice bus driver who gave us some extra information about the island while driving along the coast. Thirty minutes later, we arrived at our first stop: the Concord Falls. After leaving the main street we went deeper and deeper into the Grenadian rainforest. Dark rainclouds appeared as soon as we got out of the bus and we decided to trek through the forest until we would reach the Fontainbleu Falls. A boy named Njemar guided us across rivers and through dense vegetation. We were wet and muddy, our shoes looked really dirty but we had a lot of fun. It was a great journey and the highlight was swimming in the falls. On our way back, we saw some goats and found cocoa fruits growing in the rainforest. Before we left St. John, we decided to visit the Black Bay – a black-sanded beach of volcanic origin on the rim of the forest. It was really fascinating and definitely worth the extra miles we had to walk to see it. We all were very tired after this trip, therefore we took a bus to leave St. John and head back to Port Louis Marina. But against our expectation, the bus first took us around half of the island before driving to the Marina. This was great: we had the opportunity to see so much more of Grenada. Finally we met another group and went home with them together. The bus ride was fun, we were really fast, the music was loud and in the mini bus there were twenty two people! The atmosphere was great and we all enjoyed this successfull day.

Monday was shipswork day and I had the pleasure to go shopping on the fish- and vegetable market with Detlef and a few other KUSis. After that, we helped Marta and Friederike to store all the food. The day was demanding but we also had a lot of fun! Everyone used his or her last evening in Grenada to shower or to jump into the pool for the last time, the last calls were made and the last messages were sent. On Tuesday morning we finished everything on the Thor for leaving Grenada. The pilot arrived at 12 a.m. and at the time of our departure the Grenadian raindrops also said goodbye to us. It was a great and really interesting stay – full of experiences. I liked it a lot and I’m already looking forward to visit Panama!