Having a 15 year old on board when you’ve never had your own children can be an overwhelming prospect. Especially knowing this kid is very active, both mentally and physically. I am happy to report that we kept up with her for 13 days (although after we found out she and her dad made their flight yesterday we instantly fell asleep for a few hours. Woke up in time to have a little dinner then fell asleep again at about 8 p.m.). I love my niece, Sage. She’s smart and sassy, happy and witty, full of energy and open to adventure. She and her dad, Paul, were flying standby so they ended up “stuck” for 2 days in Antigua before getting a flight to Grenada (from the sounds of it, getting “stuck” on Antigua was a lot of fun). They arrived in time to experience about 2 hours of Carnival. We dinghied over to St. George’s Carenage as soon as we jumped out of the taxi at Port Louis Marina to see the craziness that is Carnival. Sage had really wanted to experience J’Ouvert and the Jab Jabs, but flights into Grenada before and during Carnival are impossible for those flying standby. So a small sampling of the loud music, both very big and very tiny costumes, crowds, dancing and twerking was all she got.
The next day Sage and I went on an island tour with Cutty while Paul and Stan did their own walking tour of the rum shacks around St. George’s. It was a great start to her time on Grenada—she jumped off a waterfall, went to a chocolate factory (she thinks cocoa seeds taste like bleu cheese and has done several taste tests/comparisons between Jouvay chocolate and Grenada Chocolate Company—I think GCC nibs wins for her), toured a rum factory where we faked a photo of her doing a rum shot for her mom. The next day her dad had to get a flight out so he sat at the airport most of the day, but he was able to make it to the jerk chicken shack with us before taking the bus to the airport. We stopped at the little restaurant at the roundabout where you turn for Prickly Bay and had oil down—didn’t know if there’d be another opportunity for her to try it. I don’t think she was overly impressed, but she’s a good sport and had a few bites. We swam and snorkeled on the beach outside Port Louis Marina. The snorkeling was surprisingly good. We saw a wide variety of fish as well as a school of squid. I enjoyed our stay in the marina during carnival. It’s a short walk to everything and Stan and Sage stayed up late swimming in the pool every night. Stan knew that once we left the marina there’d be little to occupy her time after dark. He had not thought about all the 70’s and 80’s movies he’d force her to sit through.
We didn’t see Mona monkeys on Cutty’s tour and this was at the top of her list of things to do, so we took a bus to Grand Etang and hiked around Mt Qua Qua looking for them. At about 1 ½ hours we were tired of walking and looking for the elusive monkey and decided to wait for the bus back to St. George’s where we were shocked to see a monkey sitting in the parking lot. We have one picture where Sage is holding the banana and he’s looking up at her getting her picture taken. We like to put words in his mouth such as, “Hey, white girl, wipe that grin off your face and give me the banana.” We bought chin ups/skin ups from a sidewalk vendor. These are a small green fruit with a large seed inside. You cut the skin of the fruit in half with your teeth and pop the fruit and seed out. The locals will leave them in their mouth for a long time, but they get slimy very quickly. It has a citrusy taste, very sweet, but the texture would take some getting used to. On the bus ride back to Port Louis, Sage has to sit up front in the middle seat next to the bus driver. He makes small talk asking about her vacation. Then he pops the question, “You looking for a husband?” “No.” They ride in awkward silence for the next 10 minutes.
Next we head up to Carriacou. It was a rough sail (motor sail) part of the way. Sage slept through it. We arrive on a Sunday and attempt to take a bus to Paradise Beach to snorkel, but in Carriacou, a local man tells us, the buses only stop for those going to “meetings”. I don’t think we look dressed for church, so the buses do, in fact, roar past us. We had a nice snorkel off the beach. Saw lots of balloon fish, eels, the largest scorpion fish I’ve ever seen and the tail and eyes of a ray. Sage plays dominoes at the Iguana Bar with other cruisers. She is developing a taste for Ting.
On Tuesday we head to Petite St. Vincent and Petite Martinique. The water is a beautiful blue. PSV is a private island, part of St. Vincent and The Grenadines. We’re there illegally, but apparently we’re told no one really cares. PM is part of Grenada. We use the GoPro to get photos of ourselves jumping off the boat together. Sage looks so cute and I look like an alien. But it was fun and made us laugh a lot. We saw an electric ray! I had never seen one before and wouldn’t have known what it was except that Sage has gone through every single page of the Reef Fish Identification book (Stan stayed up with her until midnight while she pointed out all the fish in the book to him . . . .).
At this point, we decide to start watching Season 13 of Project Runway. But we know our time is limited, so we’re going to have to binge watch. Sage has already done a Star Wars marathon with Stan (because I can’t make it past about 9:30 p.m.). So we watch 3 episodes a night for 3 nights and 4 episodes on the 4th night. Stan is thrilled!
We head back to Carriacou after a nice walk on the beach of Petite St. Vincent. Sage seems to need a day to do nothing. We play dominoes and watch Project Runway. Sometimes you just need a day of nothingness.
Back to Grenada as we know her dad is heading back to get her, we stop at the Underwater Sculpture Park in Dragon Bay (Moliniere Park). It’s very clear water and we see a lot of the sculptures as well as a lot of fish. It’s a little deep and I find it a little creepy, too. But I’m glad we stopped. Next day we motor over to St. George’s anchorage where we rush to find souvenirs. To the cruise ship mall, then to Spice Island mall then back to the cruise ship mall. I think she got something for everyone and now knows the bus system better than any other tourist. Paul arrives at about 9 p.m. and after a dinghy ride to the boat he and Sage go for a swim at 11 p.m. She is so excited to see her dad. Sage didn’t seem to have any problem adjusting to boat life so I think she’d do a vacation like this again. I asked her what was the best and worst part of a boat vacation? She said the worst part is that you feel sticky all the time. The best part is all the places you get to go.