After those well-earned sundowners we mentioned before, and flights back to the UK, Pipistrelle is now ‘relaxing’. Chocked up and strapped down on land at Grenada Marine, St David’s to the east of Prickly Bay, it could be worse. Staying on board would have been most uncomfortable with the heat, humidity and mosquitoes, so the nearby resort of La Sagesse is absolutely ideal with its good accommodation, quiet clean bay, sandy beach and ‘shuttle’ service running to and from the boat yard more or less on demand. And the staff are exceptional, almost like a family, with most of them having worked there for over 10 years, all thanks to the owners Jerry and Mike, who have created a great team. We’re already booked in there when we return in November.
In fact, of the three yards providing haul out services in Grenada we chose Grenada Marine over Spice Island and Clarke’s Court because we felt it was a safer place to layup and the trades on site are superior. Mothballing Pipistrelle for over 5 months of the hurricane season is no trivial exercise – it’s not simply a question of ‘lock-up-and-leave’. What seemed like – and was – weeks of preparation gradually ticking off tasks from a seemingly never-ending list, ranged from serious engine and generator maintenance, winch servicing to ensuring all laundry was done and the fridge / freezer emptied and defrosted, as well as cleaning all interior surfaces, finishing with white vinegar, removing all deck equipment, sails, lowering the anchor and chain to a trestle on the ground, and removing all running rigging … to name but a few.
But we have had some experience of tropical lay-ups, notably in Thailand when we left Pipistrelle in Krabi for the monsoon season. Click ‘And So To Bed‘ to see the article.
One highlight amongst all the hard graft was a night excursion to see leatherback turtles laying eggs at Levera Beach which is on the north east coast of Grenada, immediately to the south west of Sugar Loaf island. Well worth the 90 ECD combined cost of travel and entry fee to the National Park. Flash photography was not allowed so these are the two best shots. See too the account of our unique experience nearly six years ago in Testigos, the Venezuelan Islands.