15 March 2009

True Blue Bay, Grenada

True Blue Bay
Caribbean Sea
300 miles from S/V Christa
(Click Photo To Enlage)

Still in Grenada…The winds we were hoping that would veer to the east still have not shown up. So Amy came up with the brilliant idea of motoring out of Prickly Bay where we have been for the past couple weeks and motor over to the next bay to anchor in front of the True Blue Bay Resort and crash their facilities. After a short phone call to ask them if it was OK, they told us "No problem" and we could do whatever we wanted in their facilities. So we cranked up the engine and steamed out of Prickly Bay for this short one-mile passage.

It has been our experience that our shortest passages are the worst and this proved to be true once again. As soon as we cleared the reefs outside Prickly Bay and were turning right to enter True Blue Bay the engines temperature gauge started rising quite fast. This threw me into a panic as we were motoring right through the reefs at the bay entrance, and we had about a half mile more to go to get to the anchorage. As our normal drill, Amy grabbed the helm and I ran into the engine room trying to figure out what had happened. The water was boiling over and we could not shut down the engine till we got into the anchorage straight upwind. So all I could do was pour cool water into the engine's reservoir until we got inside the bay enough to drop the hook and access the situation.

I thought I had it fixed. So we picked up the hook and started into the anchorage. And once again the engine temperature started rising quite fast. So we got behind the nearest boat, threw out the hook, and shut the engine down before the anchor even hit the bottom. Once again I went inside the engine room where I determined that the impeller that pumps the fresh water through the engine had decided to tear itself into shreds. What to do next? We could have stayed aboard all day pulling the pump off to make repairs. But we decided the best course of action was to paddle to the resort and jump into their pool instead.

True Blue Bay Resort is not exactly a resort, but more of a grouping of bungalows with a bar right on the water where we parked our dinghy-‘510’. We spent the day splashing around in their pool, and Amy got out of the pool long enough to get a one hour massage, her first since Thailand. We decided the next best course of action would be to hit happy hour at the water front bar where beers are 2 for 1.

During our one hour beer fest we met Mr. & Mrs. Gary Alexander who are from Seattle. He is a mystery book author and was on the island doing research for his next book. We asked if we could be guest characters in his next book and he said sure. So lets all make sure to buy his next book!

The next morning I took the engines water pump off and found the fresh water impellor in shreds as I had suspected. And I found that the seawater impeller was starting to crack off as well. Although as inconvenient as it was to have this fail where it did, we are quite happy it happened here in a calm anchorage before our next leg north. We have a ways to go and this would have been very inconvenient to attempt repair at sea.

A lot is happening with Friends of Sandpiper. Links are over to the lower right, so check them out!
  • S/V Blue Sky has almost completed a very difficult passage from Malaysia across the Indian Ocean to the Maldives and hopefully will be anchored safely in the calm clear waters there before this posts.
  • S/V Shiraz has just done an extended land adventure across Turkey, and then through Syria to Jordan. It reads as quite an adventure.
  • S/V Camelot has just departed the Galapagos Islands on their Pacific crossing. That is the longest stretch of ocean in the world between landfalls. We took 28 days to get from Mexico to Marquesas in French Polynesia, which will be their first landfall on this passage.
  • S/V Moorea is getting ready to transit the Panama Canal on March 24th & 25th and you will be able to see them via web cam.
  • And lastly, S/V Christa is southbound thru the Windward Islands where we are planning a grand reunion in St. Lucia just weeks away. Our two boats have not seen each other since being next to each other under the Golden Gate Bridge many years ago when Cap’n Chris and I were both active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard. We also had the pleasure of each others company in a very small stateroom on USCGC Morgenthau were we both served as Chief Boatswains Mates for several years.
Sandpiper’s current plans are to stay anchored just feet away from True Blue Bay’s dinghy dock/bar for one more day and splash around in their pool till first light on Tuesday. It is predicted, amazingly for the first time since we have arrived in the Caribbean, that the winds are going to lay down a bit and come from the east, versus the normal northeast.

Once last note, since arrival in Grenada bandwidth has been very slow. As result we have been unable to update photos and videos. We are hoping St Lucia will have better connections so we can make updates.

Hopefully Next Entry Is From St Lucia!!
Tom and Amy

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