Graham completed his PADI Open Water Diver course on Wednesday with two consecutive dives (to about 17m and 11m) with his brilliant instructor Conny. Apart from having to undertake more skills tests (including the simulation of running out of air),the dives provided ample opportunity to see two Hawskbill Turtles at close quarters, a Nurse Shark and a huge variety of fish and lobsters. It was great fun and the very structured leaning process of the course seemed to work very well. If you are ever in Carriacou, we can heartily recommend Conny and Georg at Arawak Divers - their underwater photos are amazing too and there are a few brilliant ones on their website
With a final day in Tyrrel bay to recover from all the excitement and to snorkel around the boat to scrub off the weed that was growing on the propeller in the nice warm water) we had a really wonderful 30 mile sail south to Grenada in pretty much perfect conditions. The route takes you within a couple of miles of an active underwater volcano called Kick 'em Jenny which last erupted in 1939 but has rumbled every now and again ever since. We saw no bubbles or steam so made it safely to the capital port of St George's.
The anchorage outside the port looked very calm but, after a month of anchoring we actually fancied the novelty of a couple of nights in a marina so motored into the very smart Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Marina. By Caribbean standards it's a bit pricey but is still cheaper than most UK marinas and is very well run. It was nice to be able to step ashore without inflating the dinghy, fitting the outboard and finding somewhere safe to tie up and we had an excellent and relaxed supper of some very good stone-baked pizzas.
Today we've been into town to explore and to buy fresh fruit and veg from the vibrant, noisy but very friendly market (above). Lunch at a little Italian-run bistro (where we were the only customers) was delicious and the National Museum was fascinating, if a bit shabby and lacking in any modern history information (the US invasion is limited to a glass case containing a few spent rounds of ammunition and a paratrooper's beret).
The town has been comprehensively rebuilt after if was hit by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 but there are still buildings with no roofs and lots of damage as a reminder. However today it's busy, noisy and great fun - a nice change after all the quiet anchorages of the past few weeks. We'll stay a couple of days then go back to anchoring in one of the many deep, sheltered bays at the south of the island. Our plan is to leave around the 12th (having re-provisioned and completed a few maintenance jobs) head to Bonaire (fantastic diving!!) and on to Panama.
A few photos of St George's follow.