Well here we are sailing toward Cariacou. This trip has been a complete whirlwind so far. I’m having a wonderful time, and learning more than I thought was possible in just a few days. Grenada was incredible. I got there on Thursday morning before most of the MHC crew got on board. They promptly gave me a tour and got me to work. We were painting the foredeck (the very front part of the boat at the bow). It was fun for a while until the puking commenced. Yep. We were sitting in the harbour and I managed to get seasick just sitting there. I’m blaming it on the paint fumes. I was sick all the rest of the day, but still tried my best to work as much as possible. So far, since that day, I haven’t gotten seasick again, but I’m also swearing by the less drowsy kind of seasick tablets.
The next day I had the day off. Yay!!! A few of us decided to run some errands in town and then go explore the island. All the locals were incredibly friendly, and we got a tour in a cab (cabs in Grenada are basically vans, and tons of people will pile in to get to various places. Think the exact opposite of New York City) for only $US10!!! It was great. We went to the rainforest, saw some waterfalls, and got serenaded by a local man with a guitar who made up a song on the spot about each of us. Some guys were jumping off this 60 foot cliff into the waterfall (which was gorgeous; see the pictures on the flicker website) for tips. On our way around the island, we stopped at this shack on the side of the road. The cab drivers (Andy and Desmond, two of my favorite people in the world now) knew the owner and took us in. The guy was making his own rum in a tub in this shack! Well, of course, I bought some. It was pretty delicious. We stopped at another rum distillery on the way back, where they made rum professionally and marketed it, but I personally thought that the rum from the tub in the shack was better.
I learned so much about the island that day. I got two marriage proposals (don’t worry, Mom and Dad, I turned them down, I’m coming home later) and got to know the crew a lot better. We all went to a bar later that night and got to socialize in a more informal atmosphere. The crew is awesome. There are 14 professional crew members, and then a ton of trainees, including the Mount Holyoke crew. It’s surprisingly eclectic too. There are people from Canada, Wisconsin, Ireland, Scotland, England, and Spain, and those are just the places I can think of off the top of my head! The pro crew is, well, professional. They all know exactly what they’re doing, and are fantastic instructors. They’re all very patient and soft-spoken and positive. I feel completely safe and know that I’m going to learn a lot on this trip because they make it a lot of fun. We’re getting to participate a lot more in the actual setting of sails and daily life of the ship a lot more than I expected, which is a good thing. Sometimes, since there are so many trainees, it feels a little like the “too many cooks in the kitchen” syndrome, but I’m having a lot of fun. I’m getting to know people and new skills that I never would have encountered if I hadn’t done this trip.
I should sign off now. I have a muster (that’s where my watch gets together and finds out what’s coming next) in a few minutes, and I need to put on sunscreen. We should be at Cariacou by mid- to late-afternoon, and we’re going to be doing workshops, learning new skills until then. So far, this trip has been amazing. I can hardly believe it’s only been a few days. It feels like I’ve been on here for so much longer because the routines have become ingrained in me already. I can’t wait to see what comes next.