Still here !

We haven’t dropped off the edge of the world, staying at anchor in the same spot for 4 months doesn’t make for interesting posts!

It has given us the opportunity to do some minor work, however don’t you just love it when the item you’re looking for is at the bottom of a locker !

If you have to stop somewhere for a considerable length of time, Grenada is pretty hard to beat with plenty going on whether its social activities or not. I can confirm however it’s really hot and humid every day, but not as much rain as I was led to believe. This is hurricane season however, which started off pretty slow but activity increased as time went by. Our first possible hit was tropical storm Dorian on 21st August, but in the end it passed north of the island with no damage at all. In fact we had literally no wind as the storm took it away. The same couldn’t be said further up the chain and Dorian continued to build into a catagory 5 hurricane, the most powerful. The Bahamas took a direct hit with wind speeds up to 295 km/h (185mph) which devastated the islands.

Tropical storm Karen arrived on the 21st September making a direct hit on Grenada and our bay with little notice. The winds were around 40-50 kts but the damage was done by the power of the sea with yachts breaking out from their moorings and anchors, pin balling through the anchorage ending up on reefs or beaches. Caroline & Charlotte flew back to the UK at the beginning of August leaving me to look after Silhouette. As the waves hit the boat together with the wind, it was the first time I was worried. With that statement you have to bear in mind this was a fairly small tropical storm… I cannot even begin to imagine what a full blown hurricane must be like, & I don’t want to! Luckily Silhouette’s anchor held firm and no damage, just a very tired skipper.

As I write this Hurricane Lorenzo has just hit the Azores full on & continues to track towards the UK. It is officially the strongest hurricane to develop so far east in the Atlantic reaching once again catagory 5. I remember watching it as a depression as it was on the coast of Africa thinking if it developed into a storm before it even reached the Cape Verdes it was going to be a problem. Here we are all grateful it went north but feel desperately sad for anyone in its path.

Our batteries have been on borrowed time & probably should’ve been replaced before we crossed the Atlantic, but you know how it is when cruising… “they’ll last a bit longer!” In the end we had to make a decision which was aided by the ever helpful Steve & Helen on Allegrini. We decided to change over to Lithium technology which is quite a leap. Steve changed a few months previously and with him having done all the research (which he’s great at) we opted for ReLion. We spoke to the main distributor on the island who gave us a price which we weren’t happy about. He simply said if you think you can buy cheaper good luck. That was red rag to a bull for me! Enter Sherri @ Wholesale yacht parts, based in Grenada who buys marine products in the USA and ship them to the island. The gamble was paying in advance but WOW was she good. The price including freight, customs, tax & delivery to the dinghy dock was 30% cheaper than the main dealer who said it wasn’t possible. Delivery was on time and comms were regular.

So compact !!!

There will no doubt be purists out there who will start screaming about safety and charging problems, what I can say is that each battery has its own battery management system and is steel cased. Despite that they are a third of the weight and half the size, charge twice as quick as lead acid batteries and pack more volts all the way through. As conventional batteries drain the volts drop but not with lithiums. They’ve been in now for 2 months and get a huge thumbs up. They are drop in batteries, the only thing I did was upgrade all the cables, making them the same length for even charging, add a victron battery monitor & change the settings over on the charging equipment onboard. The only thing that currently doesn’t work is the Rutland 1200 system as it constantly puts the mppt in “float” as the batteries show high voltage all the time. If I’m honest we’ve pretty much given up on the Rutland system & rely on solar power which most cruisers do over here.

Our only other purchase whilst we’ve been here is a Highfield RiB to replace our foldable one. Build quality is amazing and the tubes are bigger making for a dry ride and more stable too.

My brother is flying out in 10 days time to spend a month sailing with me, ending up in St Lucia which is where the ladies will be flying back to. It’s the longest we’ve been apart in over 30 years & has not been easy. It will be good to get moving again, we have a little over 3 weeks to go until our full insurance cover returns, & I’m looking forward to showing Steve how to sail and the southern windward islands.

Our plans have changed dramatically over the summer… more on that next time with new adventures and challenges ahead. Remember now, all plans are made in pencil.

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