Ken and Kyle stayed one more week and closed up the boat the best they could considering it would sit on land from end of May until mid-November. Can’t even imagine what we will find when we return.
Both Ken and I took separate trips back to Grenada to check on progress of off-season repair, upgrades and maintanence. I was pleased at how the boat looked after Ken and Kyle had done the final cleaning.
At Gordie’s urging Ken agreed to sail from Grenada to Union Island in November – the Kopke Greenhouse offseason – and the southern Grenadine Islands plus Gordie brought his buddy Gary. The fearsome threesome descended on the Spice Island marina with only one mission ……. Splash the Grateful Red for the 2013 season. As always a million issues needed to be remedied before splashing. Gordie and Gary worked liked like dogs ….. but met new friends with a catamaran. He was 88 and his co commander Kim was 40 something, quite a pair and entertaining.
After a couple days finally splashed …… the fearsome threesome was sailing to the Grenadines. First night was a revisit to Union Island, inside the reef looking east ….. ocean all the way to Africa. Plus new crew Gary doesn’t drink …… the perfect dingy driver! Day two was an anchor off in the Tobago Cays – only one other boat. Gary and Gordie went snorkeling; was difficult given the strong current away from the boat. Plus an old issue reappeared the Grateful Red diesel would not go into reverse. Supposedly Volvo and Spice Island had repaired this issue in the off season maintenance. Using only forward and sails the Grateful Red was sailed to Mayreau and anchored off for the evening. Gary drove the dingy into shore for a dinner and night on the town. Food was good, the people fun but the music was incredibly loud and Gary got us back to the Grateful Red without altercation. Next morning we pulled anchor and headed back to Port Louis in Grenada. Now the Grateful Red diesel didn’t go in reverse and would not change speeds – it was 4.5 knot or turn the engine off. No reverse, no neutral and no speed changes allowed. Great sail to St. George but the motor into Port Louis is another story.
With only one speed, no neutral and no reverse docking is more problematic. In addition we arrived …… as usual …. at sunset and the harbor master didn’t understand the issue. The assigned dock location was between two large boats. What is …. Is, so we lined up the Grateful Red, foresail only and turned the engine off. We successfully glided in- luckily a couple of younger Aussies stepped in and helped stop the 18,000 pounds of Grateful red from hitting the two large parked boats. Another successful dock and another reason to have rum drinks at the Port Louis bar!
Have to thank Gordie and Gary for getting the Grateful Red splashed with a shakedown sail …. in the end a new sail drive had to be sent via Federal Express from the US to Grenada and installed before the Grateful Red could begin the 2013 season.