Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Marina Life

"Secret Harbor" - one of the many harbors Grenada has to offer
Inspired by a recent post by our friends over at Zero to Cruising, I thought I'd share some of our thoughts on being at a marina versus being at anchor.

First of all, we chose to come to a marina for a few reasons:

  1. We were leaving the boat for five weeks (leaving your boat on a mooring or anchor for that length of time is a big, fat "no no"
  2. Carnival is here (yeah, that giant party made famous by the Brazilians) and this particular marina just happens to be on the main drag of the festivities... and, oh yeah 
  3. We don't have a dinghy* (you remember this story, right?  We finally gave it away - full disclosure - to a particularly friendly Rasta named Ashley and he's been fixing it up for himself).  
So here we are, dock-bound.

Port Louis Marina, I'll have you know, is top of the line.  It's beautiful, it's protected, there are loads of friendly folks around, there's a pool, a private beach, a restaurant that serves one heck of a pizza, it's walking distance to Grand Anse beach and the showers, oh the showers!...(sigh)...they are 'rain' showers and you can just stand under them and scrub a dub-dub to your little heart's desire...but I digress...

Despite all these wonderful amenities (along with shore power, super fast Internet and all that) there is something just...I don't know...different about being at a marina.  It doesn't really feel like cruising.  In fact, it feels a little tiny bit like cheating.  Everything is so convenient and easy - no monitoring the batteries, no having to run the watermaker, no need to angle our solar panel, no need for me to be a light/power Nazi as I obsessive-compulsively check our battery meter (yeah, I admit it) - things are just hunky dory over here.

So what don't we get?

Well, privacy for one.  They are squeezing three where there would typically be two boats at the moment (lots of people down here avoiding hurricanes and such).  Right now, we are anchored stern-to the dock and the boat next to us (and I mean, right next to us) is bow-to.  This morning I awoke to them having a conversation in their cockpit and, if I could understand what they were saying (which I couldn't as they speak French ), I would've heard every. single. word.  Clear as a bell.  It's weird when I, half asleep (and half dressed), push open our forward hatch with a yawn and lock eyes with our neighbor drinking his morning coffee.

Breeze is also scarce.  No breeze means it's hotter than a tamale down here!  When we are at anchor we are (almost) always pointing into the wind and there is almost always a constant belt of fresh air travelling through the cabin.  Not here.  You know what else comes when there is no breeze?  Bugs. Mosquitoes and flies, specifically (they are evil winged beasts, I tell you!).  You do not know annoying until you sleep in a boat with a mosquito buzzing around your face.

We also find we spend a more money when at a marina.  The restaurant is just a little too close (and the pizza is oh-so good), the grocery store's $2 pre-made sandwiches beckon daily (I'm lazy in the galley) and finally, Island Water World is a hop skip and a jump away, and who the heck can turn down a marine store?  We can't.

Overall, we miss the peacefulness of being at anchor;  being able to jump in the water to cool off, watching the sun set or rise from the cockpit, hearing someone on a distant boat strum their guitar, the solitude, the stillness.  Life at anchor is just, well, nice.

For now - we love our home here at Port Louis Marina and we'll probably be back and forth between here and other places, but we look forward to checking out some other coves and anchorages around Grenada.  This might be one island, but there's still a lot of exploring to do!

Brittany & Scott

* We will be picking up our new one tomorrow from Island Water World!!  Am I excited?  Like a little girl at Christmas!


Dave said...

Marina life without A/C can be miserable. My boat's AC sucked up a plastic bag the day we set out on a week long trip on the Chesapeake over the 4th of July. My wife and I had my parents along for the trip which necessitated visiting a lot of marinas and omg was it miserable without AC in the 95+ deg F heat.

Dave said...

But the Smörgåsbord of slushy rum drinks made it bearable :)

Windtraveler said...

Agreed Dave!! Rum *does* tend to do that ; )

Lisa Hanneman said...

I feel refreshed imagining how good that rain shower feels. Ahhhh.

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