The prediction 24 hours ago was that Invest 97L would form a tropical storm just before arriving over Grenada and would become a Category 1 Hurricane. After spending the last three days prepping for the worst scenario, The center of Invest 97L moved a little north in the last 12 hours and formed into Tropical Storm Matthew as it passed over St. Lucia. It is highly likely to become a Cat 3 or 4 as it continues to travel west and north. We are on the southern end of Matthew and will be getting high winds and lots of rain but nothing close to anything a full blown hurricane could produce. Everyone here relieved. After it settles down I have to undo all the things I did in the last few days. Exhausting! Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers!
Looks like we will get at least a Category 1 hurricane through Grenada. We are in a marina that was totally wiped out by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. One choice was to make a run south for Trinidad (several boats around us did that). Decided to stay here. Good decision for us since latest says Trinidad will be hit as well. Spent our day prepping for the storm. Took off and stowed anything that could be ripped from the boat by 70-100 mph winds, doubling and tripling our lines, making a run for the supermarket, filling our tanks with fresh water, topping off our diesel fuel. (If we lose shore power, we can make our own power with diesel generator, solar panels and wind generator (assuming the wind vanes don't get ripped off). We will stay on the boat unless it becomes a Category 2 or 3 or 4 in which case we will follow the Grenadians to safety on the high ground per their evacuation plan. Storm will hit us on Tuesday night. Woe are the folks west of us--Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao where, after it passes Grenada, will likely strengthen and turn into something far worse. More to come...
Now things are getting much more interesting! Invest 97L is a disorganized low off the coast of Africa that now has a 60% chance of turning into Hurricane Matthew (I said "Lisa" below but Lisa has come and gone). The old salts around us are getting worried ergo we are getting worried...The current weather models have the storm making a direct pass over Rascal (we're in Grenada). Normally, the storm would turn north but there is a high that is north of 97L that is apparently continuing to keep it on a westerly track...more to come...
Here in Grenada, we are allegedly below the hurricane belt where it is rare for a hurricane to hit. However, the meteorologists are projecting that Tropical Storm Lisa could turn into a hurricane--and she's headed straight for us. We're not too worried right now because what usually happens is a low pressure starts near Africa, turns into a tropical storm and moves directly west towards us. Then, due to other weather factors, the tropical storm (which may turn into a hurricane) turns due north and goes into the Atlantic, or it turns northwest and hits islands north of us or skips those islands and goes directly to Florida and the East Coast of the US. At least that's what usually happens. Hmmm...What will be our fate?
We keep promising our friends and family to take them on a video tour of S/V Rascal but we just haven't pulled it together yet. So in the interim we offer up a substitute: A tour of a boat that is the same model as ours: S/V Delos. The guy who owns this boat apparently got tired of the 9-5 life, bought the boat, and took off on a voyage around the world. Last I checked he was in South Africa. He has made a ton of fabulous videos recording his ventures and has a few hundred thousand followers--most of whom wish they were him!
So except for the bikini-clad girls, S/V Delos looks almost exactly like S/V Rascal. Here is the S/V Delos website (that we envy so much) and the tour is below!
Okay. I"ve been back on Rascal for about a week. She is in Port St Louis Marina in Grenada. Linda will join me next week. Today, I took our dinghy over to St. Georges across the bay and went to the market. Saturday is a big day...May try to introduce this blog on Facebook....Hmmm. Will it work?
This was a mural on the wall of an open area in the market place. Sort of captures the atmosphere though there were more cars than buses.
This is just part of the fruit and vegetable market. Bananas, coconuts, avocado, etc.
There are lots of little kiosks with lots of people selling spices. All these spices are grown on Grenada; the whole market smelled wonderfully spicy.
This nice lady sold me some saffron and nutmeg. She explained how the saffron is prepared; one bag was coarse, another was medium, a third was a fine powder. $5EC each (5 Eastern Caribbean Dollars = $1.85US.)
Rick and Linda Grimes bought a sailboat and left the U S of A for the Caribbean in 2015.