Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Whiling Away Time At Grand Anse Beach - Grenada

There are many beaches in the Caribbean and depending upon what you're looking for, there is something for everyone.  Today we were looking for soft white sand, crystal clear water, a lounge chair in the shade of a sea grape tree, and lunch!  This is our beach perfection today!

Grand Anse Beach is almost two miles long and it's all you could ask for in a beach.  There are stretches where you can be nearly alone, and there are bits with vendors and restaurants. We chose a portion near the middle where we could rent some beach lounges in a primo spot in the shade.

Bruce and Ron settled in while Mindy and I took to the cooling water for some girl time!

Bathtub CLEAR!
This being our first time visiting this part of the beach, we were unaware that a vendor would soon come and offer us lunch, brought to us from one of the nearby hotels... so when we got hungry we set off up the beach to find some inexpensive local lunch.  We trekked all the way to the Spice Market where we found several vendors open for business, even though there were no cruise ships in port today.  This means that we had the place literally, all to ourselves!

Fishermen bringing in their catch on the beach
The fish had already been picked from the nets and placed into the huge "live well" just off the beach
Fishermen checking out their catch in the "live well"
There are several of these tiny little kitchens in the Spice and Craft Market.  They serve a limited, but delicious menu!
They seemed almost reluctant to have to heat the kitchen up for us, but they did!
All. To. Ourselves.
Just hanging out, hoping for more customers
This is what I like to see! A man walking my way with libations!
Chickens playing dead?

We lingered at lunch until the sun was high and beginning its descent.  All was calm.  Gentle waves lapped the pristine, almost pink sandy shore.  It was hot.  We walked a long way to get our lunch, and we had a long way to get back to our chairs in the shade. But we knew that the chair vendor was keeping our stuff safe for us!

We stopped along the way to visit a vendor who tried to entice us into buying her rum punches when we passed earlier.  We returned as promised and bought those drinks to take back to our chairs.  Gotta say though, the punches at the Spice Market were WAY better!

All settled in for the afternoon.
This does not suck!
Under the Sea Grape Tree
The four of us spent the afternoon relaxing, taking a dip in the cool water, dozing and picking out goodies from various passing vendors.

One lad came by with a menu from one of the aforementioned hotels.  Had we known we could just sit here and food would come, we sure would not have made that hot trek to the Spice Mall.

The chair vendor also sells ice cold water and beer for the asking!  There was a guy selling palm frond baskets and another selling jewellery, but the BEST was the guy selling CAKE!

CAKE ON THE BEACH!  I'm in heaven!  WHY don't we do this more often???  That's going to have to change!  Today was one of those times when I sit gazing up at the blue sky through the sea grape leaves and wonder what my old coworkers were doing.  It's a time when I realize how fortunate I am and how much I love this life.  I don't know what the future holds, but today is pretty darned good!

Is that cake or are you just happy to see me?

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Snorkelling Prickly Bay

Finally the winds are beginning to come down and Prickly Bay is calming.  Since we got here many months ago, we have wanted to snorkel the surrounding reefy areas but the waters have just been too murky.  Today we could see the bottom of the anchorage.  Today is the day to try the outer reef.

We dinghied to a place on the southeastern side of the anchorage and dropped the dinghy anchor in a sandy spot just behind a shallow reef.  When we took a look under the dinghy we realized that these sandy patches were actually holes in the reef surrounded by a bank with overhangs where creatures could lurk!

The visibility wasn't as good as we hoped due to a considerable amount of surge, even in these light winds and protected by the reef.  It was difficult to hold position and there was just a lot of stuff in the water, but it was still fun to be in the cool water.

The shallow water allowed us to get close to the bottom where we could hang still to let the fish come out.  These little Damsels were everywhere and MAN are they brave!  I always get a kick out of how they stand their ground, no matter the invader's size!

Lots of empty conch shells...
A moulted lobster husk - I though I had found one!
Mysterious ledges that hide creatures
Healthy seagrass beds!
Then I found a LIVE Lobster!

Once my eyes grew accustomed to identifying the lobsters, I saw them everywhere!!!  Bruce even tried to grab one, but without gloves, they are just too fast!  They were all very small.  They looked much bigger until I saw Bruce's hand near one to provide scale... MUCH too small to eat.  And later, back at the boat, I looked up the dates for Lobster Season and found that they are out of season anyway...  Oh well.  It was fun seeing them staring back at us from the murk!

There were a few interesting fishes and a lot of 
We decided to check out a couple of other spots in the Bay so we took a little buzz around.  There's some deep rocky areas on the southwest side near the entrance but it was a little too wavy over there.  There was one more spot we wanted to check out.

Hard coral growing over itself 
Some time ago we spotted a strange looking coral growth near the point between the two halves of the bay.  We decided to go and search for it so that we could take a look - underwater! We found lots more interesting things as well!  Again the visibility wasn't great and there was way too much surge, but it's always fun to see what's beneath the waves we've been dinghying over for weeks!

Urchins providing cover for thousands of tiny fish babies!
And FINALLY!  I found that strange thing I was looking for! Flower coral?
New polyps spreading?

More sponges
Fuzzy nubbies!
MORE sponges!
Every time we go snorkelling we find something we've never seen before  Why do we let so much time pass between snorkel expeditions?  And every time we tell ourselves that we're going to do this more often...  Lesson learned.  Even though Prickly Bay is a busy anchorage with lots of boats making it their home, it still hides a fascinating underwater world for us to explore right off the transom!  I swear!  We're going to do this more often!!!