Monday, October 29, 2018

Escape To Calypso Island

Fortunate are those who can call this "commonplace"
Spend a year on an island in the Carribbean and you might find yourself looking for new and interesting things to do...  Life here in Grenada has become our new normal.  The thrill of exploring is gone... we've seen it all!  But wait!  There's something new here!  The company that revealed the inner artist in me this September, is at it again!  Only this time, they've gone all out and added a lovely daysail to a tiny little island called Calypso.

Wall-to-wall sunshine and balmy breezes today!
Unfavourable weather on the originally scheduled day, caused the lovely people at Sip&Paint Grenada to reschedule it.  They are always trying to come up with unique and special things, and I have to say that with this one, they have set the bar pretty high. I couldn't believe my luck when this Sold-Out event got rescheduled and new spots opened up for us!

It's nice to be a passenger and let someone else do the work!
There is an anchorage near Calypso Island, but I've heard that the island is privately owned and that their upscale restaurant is open for special events only.  I jumped at the opportunity to see it with friends, and of course my second painting lesson ~ Spice Island Rocks! Add to that, a relaxed coastal sail on a catamaran and the stage was set for a fabulous day being spoiled and treated like a regular tourist!

Bottomless wine glasses!
We took the public van to Grenada's beautiful and historic Carenage and boarded the light catamaran in the mid-morning sunshine!  The bar was open and the drinks poured for the short motorsail along Grenada's stunning western coastline.

Small villages dot the coastline 
The sun-dappled the mountainsides for a dramatic effect

Thanks for the photo Maureen!

Soon our destination appeared as a tiny bump on the coastline
Coming around to the landing side, we could see that this bump WAS an island separate from the mainland
We were glad we were not in charge of manoeuvring this vessel to the dock!
Tricky currents and shifting winds did not deter our dauntless captain and crew!
Soon we were secured and ready to disembark!

A steep stairway leads from the landing dock to the top of the rock where the lovely and rustic restaurant awaits

It really is just a pointy rock mound!  It's like being in a treehouse, only on a ROCK!
With shaky legs, we reached the first landing of this lovely Private Island Eco Resort.  The tables below were laid out in readiness for our painting session, but first... we were treated to an open bar, a lovely buffet snack and a swim in this beautiful little lagoon.  We were feeling pretty special already...

Did someone say "Open Bar"???
Healthy and fresh snacks, beautifully laid out and all for us!

We enjoyed the shaded deck and the food, then one-by-one, we splashed into the crystal waters below

The snorkelling was refreshing!  We explored our little cove, then got out and showered with a freshwater rinse.  There are facilities for changing clothes, and then we made our way back up to the treehouse for more drinks... AND a beautiful lunch!
Feeling unbelievably pampered right now!

The camaraderie, the food, the VIEWS!  It would be enough if we went home right now...

But it's not over yet!  As the sun began her downward trek, it was time for us to retire to the lower deck for a quick lesson in rock painting!

We were each given two rocks and a palette... oh, and wine.  More wine!

Instructions and supplies were doled out.  We would first paint the rocks with a white layer to help the colors to adhere to the porous rock surfaces.  Bruce declined to paint rocks, so I had four instead of two.

We were given a guide for a nice sunset scene, and a blank sheet of paper to use in creating our second, individual rock masterpiece.  I've gotta say that I did OK in reproducing the copied piece, but I was completely inept when it came to coming up with my own creation.

Bruce hiding out in the treehouse near the bar!
Maureen might have helped me with my creative block...

It was such fun painting the rocks, even if I did feel completely stumped.  The rocks are to be left somewhere on the island for others to find.  They have labels on the back and hopefully, when they are found, their new owner will post about it on the Spice Island Rocks website.  So considering that these would be keepsakes for someone... I made my rock into a nutmeg to represent Grenada, the Spice Island!  My second extra rock - well I drew a blank.  So Maureen painted our logo on it!

If you're in Grenada, be on the lookout for these rocks!

All of the rocks were displayed when we were done!
The setting sun marked the end of our special day.  One last surprise, a raffle with lovely prizes topped off a perfectly wonderful event.  We all took our rocks and retired to the top deck for another glass of wine while we awaited the return of our catamaran.
We were scheduled for a "sunset sail" back to St. Georges... but what's up?  The sun has already set!
Could this be them???
We chit-chatted and we drank and we waited...
And. Waited.

Darkness fell and people were beginning to get jittery.  We stared out into the darkness looking for a light that might be our boat.  Things got a little silly (open bar) and we really felt badly for the organisers of this event.  They were very professional and very apologetic about the fact that our boat was not coming!  Some people were irritated, but we are used to changes in plans, especially when it comes to boats!

It had been a long day and people were beginning to get really tired.  The organisers were in contact with the boat and kept telling us they were on their way.  At some point we almost stopped believing them.  Bruce and I were done drinking and went down to the dock to wait.  We joined our friends who were having a wonderful time laughing and talking...  Eventually the boat did come.  We boarded and it was a more somber sail, but we made it back to St. George's.  Unfortunately for us, there were no more public busses running and we had to impose on another tired traveler for a ride back to our dinghy.  Thanks to Vanessa (and Vanessa's husband) for the lift!

Like a space ship, the boat came out of the dark night
Funny how our "Escape TO Calypso Island" sort of became an "Escape FROM Calypso Island"!  But all's well that ends well.  The nice people at Sip & Paint Grenada did a wonderful job of putting this event together and we were completely pleased with the value and the venue.  Maybe some kinks need to be worked out with the transportation, but it's a boat... and you can't trust them!

What a wonderful day!  We got home very late, but it was a grand adventure!  And oh yeah, there was a drone flying over us throughout the day!  You can see it by clicking Sip, Sail & Paint!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Trick-Or-Treat Island Style

Q-flag flying to signify our readiness for the onslaught!
Holidays can be a bit subdued here in the Caribbean.  It's not that people don't celebrate, but more likely the lack of availability of all of the commercial accoutrements that we're used to in the States.  That isn't entirely bad, and it sure didn't stop a group of Cruiser Moms from making sure that their Boat-Kids had a great Halloween here in Prickly Bay!

The festivities were announced on the morning Net well in advance to give everyone time to stock up and prepare. Bruce and I haven't had a Trick-or-Treater since moving onto the boat and we were super excited about this! Candy is pricey here, but we had a guest arriving shortly before Halloween! He agreed to bring us a couple of bags of Halloween candy from the States so were ready! Boats in the Bay were to raise their yellow Quarantine flag if they had candy or other treats to give out.  The parents made sure to notify the local Coasties so that the appearance of dozens of Q-flags wouldn't cause an international incident!  Good thinking Boat Moms!

They stopped at each boat flying the Q-flag
The kids gathered on nearby Calabash Beach by mid-afternoon to share makeup and ideas and get themselves ready.  Boat-Kids from the other bays arrived on the beach by land to join the Prickly kids in their dinghies, and shortly before sunset they were off!

We sat patiently waiting and watched as the dinghies spread out across the anchorage.  They seemed to have different strategies of attack!

Some sped out to the far reaches of the Bay where we were anchored, while others methodically picked off the boats one-by-one, beginning with those closest to the beach.  It certainly made it more manageable for us to have them spaced out!
The first arrivals with painted faces and coloured hair... or not!

That FACE!!!
They arrived by the dinghy-load, holding out their makeshift bags and baskets with their little faces upturned and hopeful.

Young and old, no matter!  Keeps 'em out of bars!

They kept on coming well after sunset!
The candy is still holding out, but it's getting low as this boat sneaks around the bow!

Not a great picture, but this girl on the right was my favorite!  CREEPY!

Good Job kids - using your dinghy light!  Some adults could take a lesson from these young sailors!

I heard someone say that there were nearly 60 kids participating in this event.  What a great turnout!  I'm SO glad we bought those extra couple of bags of candy or we would have run out way too soon!

The kids didn't just go out and buy a costume.  They had to gather whatever bits and pieces they could to make their own.  Our expectations were far exceeded!

What fun to be able to do something "normal" but with an Island flair!