Grand Etang National Park and Mono Monkeys!

Take a look at some of the photos from our trip up to the Grand Etang National Park in Grenada…

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The Annadale Waterfalls were cool and refreshing.

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On the windy road up into the mountains we caught a spectacular view overlooking St. George. A heavy rainstorm moved swiftly off the hills and we were glad we weren’t down there.

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We stopped at Grand Etang Lake, a one of the two crater lakes produced by the extinct volcano in the center of Grenada. Rumor has it this lake is connected to Kick ’em Jenny, the underwater active volcano just North of Grenada. When Kick Em Jenny was observed bubbling, so too were the waters in Grand Etang Lake.

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Just up the road from the lake was one of the adorable Mono Monkeys. Yes, mono means monkey in Spanish, but in Grenada they call them the Mono Monkeys! 🙂 This little guy was too cute I couldn’t decide on just one photo…

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We’re enjoying time with family up in the Virgin Islands! Stay tuned as we catch up on photos from our last few months in the Grenadines…

Dinghy Skurfing in Grenada

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Not too long after we arrived in Grenada and got settled in at the anchorage in Mt. Hartman Bay, our friends Steve and Janet arrived on their boat, Lunacy. She’s got different colors and is outfitted a bit differently, but she is essentially the same boat as ours! It’s always fun to meet up with fellow Whitby owners and talk about our sisterships.

It’s not all boat projects all the time. Though we work hard, we play hard too.

Steve upgraded his outboard motor to a 25hp and the guys couldn’t WAIT to go skurfing to test it out!

Skurfing is when you take a skimboard or surfboard and ride it behind a boat like a wakeboard. Unlike a wakeboard, you are not strapped to the board. Skateboarding + Surfing OR Skimboarding = Skurfing

They went flying through the anchorage and had a great time!

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I tried to get some shots of Steve but they were always too far away…

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What are your favorite watersports?

Tiny House Blog: Boat Life Isn’t Easy

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New on Tiny House Blog!

I’ve talked about this on here before but for those of you that have never lived on a boat, it might be difficult to understand just how different boat life is. Take a look at my latest article on Tiny House Blog, “Boat Life Isn’t Easy.”

Please leave a comment with your thoughts… I’d love to hear from you!

Belmont Estate Part 3: The Goat Dairy

goat dairy-22 One of our favorite parts of the Belmont Estate Tour was The Goat Dairy.

The Grenada Goat Dairy is a small non-profit organization that began as a grassroots effort led by Christine Curry in 2007. It is run solely by volunteers and has grown to “support and empower the local farmers of Grenada by providing a living example and training facility for quality goat dairy farming and production.” This project supports sustainable farming and economic growth for the people of Grenada and was purposefully built up in the mountains of St. Patrick’s parish, the parish with the most poverty and highest unemployment. Over the years it has literally changed the lives of the local farmers.

The Goat Dairy opened its doors and started selling fresh goat cheese five years ago along with locally spiced milk, pudding, yogurt and ice cream. Composted fertilizer is also a byproduct of this operation and sold to local farmers, gardeners and landscapers. These items alone are enough to sustain only 50% of the operation. Though it’s not nearly enough, but for a young business in the West Indies, that’s actually pretty remarkable.

TGD has partnered with St. Patrick’s Anglican Public School for what is called The Kid to Kid Program. Healthy kids (baby goats) from The Goat Dairy are moved up to the St. Anglican Public School, where they will remain for a year or so. They have created a fully functioning goat farm at the school, complete with barn and milk production capacity. The facility provides both hands-on and classroom activities, where the students learn the responsibilities associated with animal care, growing their own food, composting and record-keeping. goat dairy-3 goat dairy-4 Meet the residents of The Goat Dairy at Belmont Estate: goat dairy-5 goat dairy-6 goat dairy-7 goat dairy-8 goat dairy-9 goat dairy-11 goat dairy-12 goat dairy-13 goat dairy-14 goat dairy-15 goat dairy-16 goat dairy-17 goat dairy-18 goat dairy-19 goat dairy-20 goat dairy-21  goat dairy-23 goat dairy-24goat dairy-10 goat dairy-25 goat dairy-26goat dairy-27 goat dairy-28 goat dairy-1goat dairy-2 During our short stay in Grenada we had the opportunity to meet many of the wonderful locals that live here year-round. Marti, now a very dear friend, is what you could call a ‘surrogate nanny’ for the babies from TGD. She and her husband Danny have many years worth of practical livestock experience and they have volunteered their time, their home and their love to care for the kids in need. They also care for older goats that are failing to thrive which might need hands-on TLC. They always try to step in before a bad condition worsens.

Baby C, their most recent baby, was a bit of a special case. She and her sister were born outside of the normal kidding time this past July. Christine had just gotten back to the island a month earlier and called Marti because she felt that the biggest one, Baby C, just wasn’t “right.”

She couldn’t walk or stand very well and they suspected she had either been stepped on accidentally by Mama Rudy or had been born with or picked up a bacterial infection at birth. It happens fairly frequently, unfortunately.

So, Marti took her home.

In October we had the pleasure of joining Marti as she returned Baby C to the farm and said her goodbyes. Baby C had grown to literally be her ‘baby’ from the age of one month to three. marti-1 We got to see Baby C run around Marti’s property like a wound-up puppy. She darted across the trails that led up the hillside and bounced all around with an incredible amount of energy! She was fully nursed back to good health. marti-2 The long ride up to The Goat Dairy required quite a few stops along the way. Baby C rode in a large dog crate where she was safe, but she DID NOT like the motion. She was on the verge of getting car sick. She didn’t have any accidents in the car and politely waited until she was outside to do her business. She sure enjoyed all the pit-stops! marti-3 marti-4 marti-6 marti-7 marti-8 marti-9 marti-10 marti-11 marti-12 When we arrived, there were a lot of good smells. She must have heard ‘the songs of her people’ as Marti would say. Very inquisitively, Baby C set out to investigate though she didn’t stray too far from Marti. marti-15 marti-16 marti-17 Baby C’s real mama and Marti had a very heartfelt moment as the baby was brought home. marti-18 Of course everyone else got some treats… marti-19 marti-20 marti-21 marti-23 marti-25 Several other babies were there, though MUCH smaller than Baby C. marti-26 marti-27marti-40 These little guys were just one week old! marti-28 marti-29 marti-30 marti-31 marti-32 How cute is this little tongue? marti-33 marti-34 marti-36 marti-37 marti-38 marti-39 Marti and Danny also started connecting with the vet school students at SGU, especially those that are interested in large animal care. SGU is the local university with a Medical program as well as a fantastic Vet program.

Each term, there is often a group of students interested in the Kid Foster Program. Marti and Danny will host a class at their home to go over what a human goat nanny does in the course of the day. If it’s not too overwhelming for them by the end of the session, the students can sign up to be foster nannies. Last year there was a total of three foster nannies for The Goat Dairy kids.

Soon, Marti and Danny will only be in Grenada during the kidding season. Because of this, volunteer support for The Goat Dairy and the Kid Foster Program will be desperately needed. Not only do they need financial support, but they need boots on the ground helping out.

Please take a few moments to watch this video that tells all about The Goat Dairy. It’s narrated by our friend Thelma, the Cheesemaker!

If you would like to show some support to this wonderful non-profit organization, please visit their website at

To see our tour of Belmont Estate Part 1 (The Scenery), click HERE.

To see our tour of Belmont Estate Part 2 (Cocoa Beans and Nutmeg), click HERE.

Tiny House Blog: Dos Libras!

This morning my newest post was published on Tiny House Blog. This is the first of many similar posts to come where I have an opportunity to feature fellow cruisers and their Tiny Floating Homes while expanding the Tiny House concept and introducing the Tiny House community to our style of simple living!

imagecourtesy of Tammy Swart, www.thingswedidtoday.blogspot.com

First up is Tammy and Bruce aboard S/V Dos Libras!

Follow the link for a tour of their tiny home: http://tinyhouseblog.com/?p=34493

You can follow Tammy and Bruce on their Facebook Page and read more about their adventures on their blog, Things We Did Today.

Do you have a Tiny House that you would like to see featured? Contact me!

Tiny House Blog: Favorite Things

New on Tiny House Blog!

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My article “FAVORITE THINGS” was published on Tiny House Blog last week while we were out in the middle of the Caribbean Sea making our way North from Grenada to USVI. Please check it out, click the link below, and leave a comment! I appreciate your support!

Favorite Things

The Belmont Estate Part 2: Cocoa Beans and Nutmeg

The Grenada Chocolate Company makes delicious chocolate ‘from tree to bar’ right here in Grenada!

We took a tour of Belmont Estate with our friends David, Toutou, Maya and Tyler on Four Coconuts during the island’s annual Chocolate Week in July.

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We learned about how the cocoa beans are processed…

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And also how mace and nutmeg are processed.

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We sampled an EXCELLENT local chocolate drink that’s 10-times better than the hot chocolate we grew up with from the U.S.

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And we tried samples of the final product… locally made gourmet dark chocolate!

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Kelly was our excellent and cheery guide.

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And of course we had to take home a few souvenirs 🙂

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Up next… The Goat Dairy!!!

The Belmont Estate Part 1: The Scenery

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One of the first adventures we took upon arrival to Grenada was a tour of Belmont Estate during the island’s “Chocolate Week”. Grenada is famous for making delicious chocolate from the plentiful cocoa beans that grow all over the island. Our friends David, Toutou, Maya and Tyler on Four Coconuts shared an hour-long bus ride (16-person van) up into the mountains of Grenada to visit Belmont Estate.

I took so many beautiful photos that I’ll have to split up the posts. Scroll down to see some shots of just the gorgeous grounds…

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Many colorful flowers were in bloom…

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There are vegetable and herb gardens on the Estate…

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The Red-Footed Tortoise is native to Central and South America but has been introduced to several Caribbean islands, including Grenada. There is a significant population in Carriacou and many of the islands in the Grenadines.

The kids had fun meeting the tortoises that live at Belmont Estate…

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We saw talking parrots…

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Butterflies were everywhere!

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I think they do weddings here too 😉

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My favorite photo… Maya and Toutou!

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Up next… a lot of cocoa beans and nutmeg!!!

Welcome to Carriacou: A Wild Ride

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The morning of July 18th Peter and I had almost made it to Carriacou, one of the three main islands that make up the Country of Grenada. It was a gorgeous sail and our night passage had gone smoothly. We approached the Northern coast of Carriacou just as a dark and ominous group of clouds were quickly building over the center of the island.

Within minutes we could see a wall of rain cover the island pushing West toward the entrance to our charted anchorage, Tyrell Bay. This was our first time entering this anchorage and the comments on Active Captain already had our nerves on edge about the exact course to take when entering to avoid the reefs. We were prepared for careful navigation around the hazards described on the charts but we were not prepared for what happened next…

We were already approaching the coast and our course was plotted to go between The Sisters rocks and Carriacou for a left turn into Tyrell Bay. We had a gap of about 1 nautical mile to safely cross through.

With heavy rains approaching like a Tsunami, Peter and I raced to get the big 135% Genoa furled in. We didn’t have time to close up the isinglass surrounding our cockpit AND get both sails down. Our Mizzen sail was just going to remain up. It’s all we could do.

Just then, a crazy gust ripped off the hills of Carriacou and barreled at us in what was now a very angry squall. We watched with frightened eyes as the wind gauge clocked 45+ knots of sustained wind and practically knocked us down on the starboard side. Our rail was in the water and I was hanging on from a vertical perch on the port side while keeping a watchful eye on the confused dogs. It was a moment I felt very grateful for a fully enclosed cockpit!

Still a little shaken up from the last nightmare squall and ferry incident in St. Kitts, it was instinct to immediately turn the engine on and restart the chartplotter as quickly as possible. We flipped through the touchscreen dialog and raced to get the radar turned on. Unfortunately the rain was so heavy it blocked all radar signatures of land even with the gain set to minimum. We could only rely on the GPS readings on the chartplotter to guide ourselves away from The Sisters.

The Mizzen sail immediately wanted to point us up wind toward Carriacou but the rain was so heavy we could only see less than two boat lengths in all directions. The wind and currents were not providing safe conditions to allow the boat to point to wind or heave-to since we were exactly between The Sisters rocks and Carriacou by then. We were SOO close from our destination, yet it felt so far away.

With the rudder pinned hard right and the wind trying to turn us back left, we were pushed a total of 4 miles off shore GOING SIDEWAYS at a whopping 7 knots!! The bad news was that we were being carried nearly as fast as the squall was moving so it really wasn’t passing over us. The good news was that as long as we were clear of The Sisters, it was okay that we were headed out to sea; a much safer place than near invisible land masses and treacherous rock formations.

A least an hour passed before it wasn’t ‘too dangerous’ for Peter to go out on deck and drop the Mizzen so we could motor back on course. Weakened from the adrenaline rush, we motored straight for Tyrell Bay and dropped the hook in the back of the anchorage, made sure it was set well, took the dogs potty on deck and then got some much needed rest.

“WELCOME TO CARRIACOU!!”

Later in the afternoon Peter went to shore to check us in before we treated ourselves to some snorkeling at the nearby Saline Island with our friends Susan and LA on Genesis. (Thanks Susan for the photos!!)

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We saw a nurse shark hiding under the coral…

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And lobster and fishies…

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We got back just in time to see a spectacular sunset. The next several days were spent relaxing and feeling accomplished that we had actually made it ALL THE WAY down to Grenada!

The fun wasn’t over, however. On both the second AND third day after our terrifying arrival, we were hit by two more 45+ knot squalls while at anchor. Our holding was excellent so we just watched intently to make sure no one in front of us was dragging, and rode out the storms. We later found out that boats down on the South side of Grenada were clocking 65 knots! I guess we’d rather take 45 than 65.

How’s that for a warm and fuzzy ‘WELCOME TO CARRIACOU’!!

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St. Lucia: Dolphins and the Pitons

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After Dominica, we sailed into St. Lucia’s Northwestern port of Rodney Bay to rest up. Our stay was relatively non-eventful.

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July 17th we set out for our last passage to Windward en route to Carriacou. A pod of playful dolphins swam out to wish us farewell.

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The Pitons on the Southern end of St. Lucia are a spectacular sight to see.

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Maybe next season we’ll stop to experience The Pitons up close and personal. Next stop… Carriacou!

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Even Gunner was excited. He snuck in a kiss for his daddy when he thought I wasn’t looking 🙂

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We are currently preparing to leave Grenada and head back North to spend the Winter in the Virgin Islands! Stay tuned for all the pictures from our adventures in Grenada and the Grenadines!