Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Grenada is our Ithaka

Grenada has been our goal for many months now. We launched Rhapsody in November with the general plan of heading to Grenada for the hurricane season.  We have been reading about Grenada as a place that many people leave their boats during hurricane season, sometimes staying with their boats and sometimes flying to other places to return during the next cruising season. A large part of the reason that people do this is insurance. Many insurance companies have rules about where you have to be during hurricane season.  In the Caribbean there is a "hurricane box", the area in which you are not covered by insurance.  

What is "the box"? Most insurance companies won’t insure you if your boat will be within the Caribbean geographical box of  23.5 degrees North (Tropic of Cancer, Florida Keys) down to 12.4 degrees North latitude (Grenadines) and from 55 to 87 degrees West in effect between June 1 and November 1.

Each insurance company can define their own box, but by General consensus,  Grenada is out of the box. This does not mean that Granada never gets hurricanes, it just means that the likelihood is much lower, and being in Grenada will make your insurers happier. 

As it happens, our insurance does not have a "box", so we are free to sail up and down the Caribbean chain as we choose during the season.  So why Grenada? 

Several reasons.

1) Very high on the list is the decreased chances of hurricanes here. We are not fans of having Rhapsody in a hurricane, so that was a big consideration for us. 

2)The support for cruisers is strong here. Good grocery stores, Marine services, chandleries, Grenada is stronger in these areas than many of the countries that we have been passing through lately.

3) There is a strong cruising community in Grenada. This is a bonus for us. People to learn from, people to share stories with,  and many cruiser organized activities. Grenada has earned the nickname  of "Camp Grenada" because of all the activities available, hiking, running, music, dominoes, trivia, poker, to name just a few.

Arriving in Grenada in June and waiting out the hurricane season here is a long time to be in one spot.  We do have guests arriving this summer and I am looking forward to having them here, but I don't expect that we will remain here for the entire season (which lasts until November). That is a long time to not be moving. 

While sailing toward Grenada we have heard so many stories about it,  it becomes hard for us to form a picture in our minds.  What will it be like? What will the terrain be? The weather? The water? The anchorages? Where will we settle? How will we connect with the people? Are we expecting too much of Grenada? 

In all of our discussions about what Grenada will be like, I am continually drawn to the poem below:


Related Poem Content Details

As you set out for Ithaka 
hope your road is a long one, 
full of adventure, full of discovery. 
Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: 
you’ll never find things like that on your way 
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, 
as long as a rare excitement 
stirs your spirit and your body. 
Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them 
unless you bring them along inside your soul, 
unless your soul sets them up in front of you. 

Hope your road is a long one. 
May there be many summer mornings when, 
with what pleasure, what joy, 
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time; 
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations 
to buy fine things, 
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, 
sensual perfume of every kind— 
as many sensual perfumes as you can; 
and may you visit many Egyptian cities 
to learn and go on learning from their scholars. 

Keep Ithaka always in your mind. 
Arriving there is what you’re destined for. 
But don’t hurry the journey at all. 
Better if it lasts for years, 
so you’re old by the time you reach the island, 
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way, 
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. 

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. 
Without her you wouldn't have set out. 
She has nothing left to give you now. 

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. 
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, 
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
I don't think that we will find Grenada poor (as in the poem), and she has certainly given us a marvelous journey by being a goal to aim for. It is not the end of our journey, and now we will need to find our next goal.

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