This was one of the most incredible hikes i have ever gone on.
So my buddy Michel kept telling me about how dope the mountains were in Grenada. So the best idea was for me to take him up on it and do a hike...
Yup and when to better see the island than in a monsoon.
I left Grenada marine where Meercat was moored and grabbed a Reggae bus to Prickly bay where Bravehart the boat with James, Jodie and Michel was docked. Grabbed Michel who had said he would be waiting at the side of the road for me to pass by and pick him up. He wasn't there obviously...
He was finishing up breakfast and getting his shit together. I was stoked to put my Vibram Fivefinger shoes to the test on the mountain.
I laughed at him when he came out with his fottie boots (soccer cleats) but i would soon see just what we were in for...
So we left the dock and grabbed another reggae bus to the town square where we could catch a bus up to the base of the mountain. We got in and waited. The buses here are vans and they don't leave the bus depot until it is completely packed im sayin four or five deep in each row of seats...yes its crammed but its what its all about.
As we made our way to the spot we would enter the trail we were flyin up these roads with a very steep cliff on the opposite side. I looked at the locals to judge their fear of the drive and they seemed cool so i decided to say f' it and just chill out. hey this guy does this every day...right?
We get to the little bar where most people end their trek and do a little warm up stretch for the hike/run.
And we were off.
Running at a steady jog or yog not really sure any more, we entered the trail. with a little drizzle.
The more we ran the stronger the rain became. With steep inclines and nice downhill bits I was really utilizing the versatility of these damn shoes. The floor itself was more of a swampy river than the floor of a trail. but nevertheless we ran on. Michel led the way but as I got some speed I went ahead.
The scenery was spectacular I could see the little lake that the Grenadians call a lagoon and...not much more. The rain was coming down hard but we kept at it. As we got higher up into the clouds the rain began to come down horizontally due to the strong wind at the top portion of the mountain. I was loving it.
Cool rain when your workin out sweating is like having ac on a hot day but more like the way mothernature intended it.
As we reached the peak there was an odd looking triangle at the top with some clothes hangin from it and a massive boulder that sat on the highest point of this mountain. I looked back to see the trail we had just come from and could barely see more than maybe 100 feet out.
The rain and wind was howling and it felt glorious!
Just then as im hanging off the ledge Michel turns and says
" aight now for the interesting bit"
"Alright!" I exclaimed with enthusiasm.
We headed back the way we came and turned left at the fork instead of making the right which took us to the top. Heading downward the trail began to get narrow. I mean relay narrow where I could not see my feet below me nor Michel who I was following. After a little bit I asked Michel half expecting not to get a response.
"you still there bro ...We goin the right way?"
"yeah mate keep up!"
"if i could see you I might."
We both chuckled and kept on.
We scaled down cliffs and stopped every once and a while as he checked to see weather we were going the right way and evey now and again he would turn to me and say i dont think this is it.
I looked at him puzzled and he would laugh and keep running.
The punk ass got me again.
I was stoked that i wore the shoes i had on since i could feel the ground below me and still have realy good grip. If you hike or jog or do anything outdoors you need yourself some of these Vibram Fivefinger shoes they are DOPE!
Thats when we got to a section where we were literally walking through a river. I thought about the chances of getting bit by a snake and brushed them off...they cant be too high, I thought.
As we got down farther we had to cross not one not two or three or four but something like 8 or 9 rageing rivers. and when i say rageing i mean like pulling a bender for 5 days straight rageing...
If you lost your footing while crossing you were going for a long swim to who knows where.
I nor Michel lost our footing.
We were heading for a waterfall that was suppose to be one of the best on the Island.
I figured with all this rain this waterfall was going to be epic.
We reached it and stood in aw of its majestic flow of sheer power and force. if i was to walk under this thing i would surly be crushed to bits. It was huge.
Michel and I contemplated about just how much water was flowing through it in a given minute.
A shit ton we both exclaimed.
From there we ended up walking the rest of the way as a cool down and as the sun set. We walked down the last bit of the trail to find a bus back to the depot.
Talking about how great the hike was and how funny it is that we two random blokes met up with some similar interests and decided to take on what mothernature could dish out.
Honestly Ive done a great deal of hiking and this far surpassed a large number of them.
I hope you enjoyed this here story and hopefully i was able to convey it in a coherent and interesting way.
Cheers and stay tuned till next time. Who knows whats up the Caribbean sea.
Right now I'm in St. Lucia waiting for the boat to get some work done so I've got some extra time on my hands and am going through a recap of my trip so far. Just incase this wasn't makeing sence to you... Enjoy!
So after being in Prickly Bay for a few days I realised just how much of a community the bay consisted of. It was great, around 8am on the VHF radio channel 68 there would be the weather forecast(very important to us sailors) and a daily update of what was going on in the area and who was having happy hour on what yacht. I found this to be hilarious. It was like a open air craigslist where people could ask for things they needed or sell things they didn't need. It is called the NET.
I was ready to get out and see what Grenada had to offer. Getting in touch with Michal was easy he was on a boat near by and came for some drinks on Meercat. He told me about a few other boats in the area with some good young people to chill with so i did just that.
Braveheart a beautiful monohull sloop had a real good crew that consisted of James and Jodie both from the UK and both up for a good time. They became along with Michal, Georgan, and Oliver (British Oli) my contacts for a good time out. We got together on numerous occasions to hit up the local happy hour and make our way to the club called Bananas.
Now bananas was probably the most established bar/club on the island with four bars and a night club dance hall. Honestly it was more of a SGU bar than anything else. On Friday nights and weekends you could get in for 25 EC and see nothing but SGU students out raging since they have constant tests all week long.
It was nice to meet some heads from the states and it was funny because I met a large number of people from the tristate area and Florida who decided to come here for school. I let them know I thought they made the right decision since this is a perfect place for post grad studies.
But other than getting all pissed up it was fun to have some like minded people around to enjoy the night life.
I decided to do some fishing while I was there to occupy my time and maybe catch some dinner...
I caught a little fish maybe a jac not sure and cut him up for bait. Set a good hook into the slice of fish and threw it into the sea. I managed to get it right outside of a reef so I figured it was a good spot to try. I made myself a rum punch and sat back watching the reel. Out of nowhere i was a quarter done with my rum punch when I saw the reel start bending like a palm tree in high winds. I jumped up and yelled to Ged "Got One!!!" as I reeled it in I thought "whats it gonna beee mmmmmmm hopefully something good. that's when this small black tip reef shark came out of the depths from beneth the Meercat. I was so stoked I caught a frickin shark on my first cast in Grenada. Mind you I have been on a few shark fishing trips with no luck, normally getting drunk to make up for the absence of sharks. But on this day it was a totally different story. I got em good. I must say that they are truly majestic and stunning creatures of the sea. So perfectly built for their environment yet even I can catch them with a bit of meat on a hook. Sucks for them. This guy must have been shitting himself I could see it in his eyes. I managed to work the hook free and just like in the Natgeo shows I held him by his tail and rocked him back and forth in the water. He started trying to swim and I let him free. I'm not sure why I let him go since after telling a few people my catch of the day I was told they make for very good eating. Oh well it was the catch that mattered and maybe he'll (the shark) go back and tell his friends they are not all that bad. hahaha yeah right.
It was now time to sit back finish my rum punch and enjoy.
During our stay in Prickly we were fortunate enough to get some swell caused by the hurricane passing north of us and this brought in a 5-6 meter swell from the north east. Although I didn't get to go to where they were breaking the largest I did get out on my 5'8 Global Fish...much tooo small for these waves but all in all I was out amongst them. Michal and i met out at the break and caught some of the epicness that was flowing through the reef. I struggled with my board to stay in front of the waves but since I was getting up and riding even if it was short I was havin' a great time. But it wasn't until Michal let me use his 6'2 that I really caught a wave. Honestly I've had good rides in Brazil Surfing with Alex in front of Windtown, but this was one of the best rides I have ever gotten in my life...thus far.
I dropped into a substantial wave chest high (i know i know) and got speed, did a bottom turn and cut back up the lip "slap", turning back down the face I did a bottom turn once more before I cut back the face and lost speed. The entire time i was looking into perfectly clear water with reef less than a foot beneath me. I was completely taken back by the tremendous beauty below me as well as the fact that the sun was setting leaving the sky a brilliant shade of pinkpurplerednblue.
When we set off from Union Island I had a good feeling about Grenada since one of my friends Kiki from back home is from Grenada. He told me to link up with some of his fam and gave me some tips on some places to see. I also got in touch with a friend from Eckerd, Julie who is going to Vet School at SGU. I could sense that this island would be a bit younger than the last few I was at.
So we set sail from Union and made our way to Grenada. The norther coast of Grenada is gorgeous rocky rigelines with some pretty high peaks, a very breathtaking view from the sea. The ocean wasn't tooo choppy with some good rollers for meercat to surf down so we made good time. I must admit I'm pretty happy I dont get seasick since getting on this I have never felt sick at sea...Although a hangover does not feel good while in rough seas.
As we pulled into Prickely Bay I saw a relatively small but clean break in the entrance of the harbour.
I thought to myself this might have some potential...
Dropping anchor is one of the things i have learned is all about timing. Since we were coming in at sunset I knew we needed to drop the anchor relatively quick to make sure it was all good before it was dark. No one wants to be dropping anchor at night its as the British would put it a bolleg, Us translation( pain in the Ass). Luckily for us this time it was nice and simple the anchor held first attempt and we settled down in the outside cockpit for a beer and a perfect view of the setting sun.
Ged had told me about a member of the Meercats crew who sailed her from France across the Atlantic and that he was a person I should get a hold of while we are in Grenada.
So Ged hit up the radio and called out if anyone out there had seen or knew which boat a skinny Scottish bloak was on. With probably a second of lee time there was a voice on the radio that said he knew what boat Michel was on and told us he had just dropped him off at the Big Fish a bar and restaurant that is right on the water edge of the harbour. The funny thing is that this guy closed with "Magnum. out" the three of us had a laugh.
So this is a rough recollection of what happened on the way from Union Island to Grenada. Stay tuned for more as I dive deep into the mountainous terrain that Grenada has to offer and do some kiting in a little private beach only for guests...we were not.
So I have been on board for close to two months now island hopping in the Caribbean.
I flew in from JFK to St. Lucia, took a ferry/small boston wailer over to the French Isle of Martinique where i met up with Ged and Susy who then took me aboard my new home on Meercat. I had spent some time on boats but up until this point it was never more than a month. While I was living in Brazil I had the opportunity to stay aboard my aunts boat Top Gun in Ilhia Bella, state of Sao Paulo. This was a power yacht and we would kite from the beach onto the boat or go out on the dinghy and launch at sea. My time spent there was great Tia Ligia and Marechao are tremendous people.
Back to Meercat...
As we made our way from the dock in Martinique to the boat I was yamming out in anticipation. I could hardly wait to see the boat having been traveling for the last 10 hours. As we approached the Meercat the sun was setting behind her creating an incredible red orange glow on the hull. I knew this was going to be a great ride!
That night we went out for dinner at a dockside restaurant where Ged told me we would be sailing early the next morning. I was stoked, not only had i just arrived but I would be able to sail within the first 24 hours of being on Board...Dank.
Our destination Bequia. A very nice harbor with a great pirate burger joint that supposedly was the set for a scene in pirates of the Caribbean. The burger there was great, with a few pitons and hairouns i was feelin' real good vibes man.
From Bequia we sailed to Tobago Cays where i got to see a great deal of Sea Turtles and one of the nicest surf breaks i have seen in a while. Perfect reef break with some decent sized waves. It was a shame there was no wind while we were there but we made a vow to return when the wind would be better and also make this a destination for our trips.
Two days later we went to Union Island...
This place is legit the island is cool but in Clifton Harbor there is a horseshoe reef with a little bar made out of conch shells and reef. Janti the establishments owner and creator made the island and decided to call it Happy Island. Perfect.
During the 4 days we were there I spent a great deal of time there talking to him about life, tourism and where the best places to fish are... I'm always lookin'.
Alright this is a great deal of info on the trip and this was only the first week and a half on board. I will post later on the weeks that followed.
I want to give a big ups to Ulyburger who i was talking to on skype while I wrote this and thought about how sweet it is that hes out in the Colorado Rockies and I'm here in the sunny HOT Caribbean.
Alright guys and gals this is a way for me to show you and the world where the magnificent Meercat is taking me. The spots we will ride are some of the most pristine in the world with crystalline Caribbean water I know I will see a great deal of life beneath the sea as well and above.
I have always traveled and since graduating I have spent very little time back home in the states. I think this is due to the fact that once you start traveling its hard to stop like a great deal of other things in life this is a far better vice.
Right now I am in the island of St. Lucia in a place in the norther part of the island called Rodney Bay hopefully the wind will pick up soon so we can ride the spot known as Cas En Bas... Lets seeeee