Our last week in mainland Grenada was a flurry of activity for us. Not only did we have to get Ocean’s documentation up to date for the trip but we wanted to make sure we had enough of our “convenience provisions”. What are those? Simply, they are the things we use daily or might need in a pinch. For us, it includes enough basic boat supplies, house supplies, dog food, drinks and stored food to last a month plus some extra Eastern Caribbean Dollars. While all of this is available as we travel through the Eastern Caribbean islands, they may not be easily accessible. For instance, we love walking so would cheerfully go several blocks from the dinghy dock to a grocery store. But, do we want to carry back large bags of dog food or big packages of toilet paper in the sweltering heat? Likely no. Or, do we want to run out of a favourite brand of something and be searching island after island for more? Surely no. And running out of beer? Hell no! Stocking up in Grenada while we have access to cheap taxis to transport us just makes sense to us. Plus, having a few extra Eastern Caribbean Dollars on hand also makes things a little less stressful. Not every place takes credit cards and sometimes, more often than I would like, the only accessible ATM is out of money.
We also spent quite a bit of time getting Ocean’s papers ready for our trip north. Normally, it is an easy process to visit the Veterinarian to get an updated “health certificate” (summary of the dog’s vaccinations, tests and medications that meet pet travel requirements) for the countries we will be visiting. Going to the Veterinarian this week, however, was anything but easy. Keep in mind that this was a “this week” issue and not a “Grenada” issue.
What happened? Well, we booked Ocean’s appointment at The Small Animal Clinic at St. George’s University for Friday October 20. The Clinic is too far away to walk so we got a taxi with our favourite driver “Squeezo” (so nicknamed because he is famous for squeezing in every last kid on his school drop off and pick up runs).
At the Clinic, the Veterinarian was ready to see us right away. Actually, it was an entourage of Veterinarians. This is a teaching hospital so we had no less than six people in our appointment room – the main Veterinarian, four students and a Veterinary Technician. Ocean loved all the attention! Her appointment went very well …except they didn’t have any Heartworm tests left. Oh. We would have to go to another Veterinary office for the test and then send the results back to The Small Animal Clinic so that they could complete the paperwork for endorsement by the Government Veterinarian. Yeesh!
Thankfully there is “Vets to Go”. This is a mobile Veterinarian that travels to the different bays in southern Grenada. They would come directly to our boat? Amazing! It is a little pricier than the regular Veterinarian but we loved that the service existed. We booked the next available appointment which ended up being on Monday October 23. Perfect! Well, perfect except that it was pouring rain that day and the Veterinarian works out of her small car which has no space for 2 additional people plus a large dog.
We got soaked taking the dinghy into the dock but were able to find refuge in one of the garages at the Secret Harbour Marina. The Veterinarian completed the required test (it was negative, of course) and hand wrote the formal documentation. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think Ocean would have a Veterinary appointment in the garage of a marina in the pouring rain but there we were!
With the testing completed, we had just one more step – to get the endorsed health certificate from the government veterinarian. The Small Animal Clinic submitted all of our documentation and voila! We had everything we needed to start visiting other countries. Well, almost. Many countries also require a pet permit but we need to request that authorization from each country just before we visit them.
We were now ready to weigh anchor and start heading north. At 0830 on Saturday October 28th, Caretta and Wild Horses left Secret Harbour and started the 40 nautical mile sail north to Carriacou, Grenada, following just a little over an hour behind Kemana who had left at 0715. The sea was rolly as we crossed westward along the southern coastline of Grenada but as soon as we pointed our bow north to start our way along the western coastline of Grenada we had both favourable seas and wind. It was a glorious one tack sail. The wind died about mid-island and caused us to turn on our motor but we thankfully shut it off again when the wind picked up just after we passed the northern tip of mainland Grenada.
After a great day on the water, we were happy to arrive in Tyrell Bay just after 1600 hours. We will be here for about a week, taking care of a few boat things and waiting for our pet permit to be approved by the government Veterinarian for St. Vincent. And, yes, one of those “boat things” we needed to get done was removing the stripped zinc screw from our propeller and installing a new zinc and screw. Stop me if you have heard this before but the solution ended up being our boat buddy Barry 😊. Yes, in addition to being a master electrician, he is also an awesome diver. Yesterday morning, he came over to Wild Horses and after no more than 15 minutes, he had the old screw and zinc off and the new one installed. Yes, people, he is just that good!
Last night, the four of us went to one of our favourite Carriacou haunts “The Paradise Beach Club” so we could treat Barry and Andrea to a fabulous “thank you for being amazing at everything” dinner. The water taxi picked up both crews (plus Ocean) at Tyrell Bay and took us around the point to Paradise Beach for a great taco dinner. What a wonderful way to end a successful day!
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Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.