So just when you think you are finally on the way, your transmission goes out!

When we left Georgia back in February 2019 we started to notice a slip in our transmission.  However, we were already out in the ocean heading down the coast of Florida in order to make Lake Worth inlet in 54 hours. We traveled all season through the Bahamas and the Caribbean to our final destination in Grenada where we left 5KNOTS for hurricane season. Since we are technically a sailboat, we do not use the engine the entire time. Therefore, the transmission issue wasn’t as obvious.

After splashing in November we motored 6 miles to Woburn Bay, Grenada where we would wait for our buddy Tim to arrive. While here the issue became very apparent and we realized that we would not be able to continue without having the Tranny looked at.  Renée said I had two options, 1 – buy her a ticket back to the United States and go the rest of the trip alone or 2 – get the transmission fixed!

So being the smart guy I am, we decided to head back to Grenada Marine and have 5KNOTS hauled out again so the transmission can be removed and checked. The good news is that the yard hauled us out the following day and had the transmission apart by noon. Turns out that the cones and damper plate needed to be replaced. All-In-All, not so bad considering we could have needed the entire transmission replaced. While the transmission was out and apart, we decided to replace all the seals and gaskets which will fix a valve cover and lower unit leak that we had. The entire parts ordering and shipment from the USA, rebuild and installation took just under two weeks. This coincided nicely with Tim’s projects on Belle Marie and we were both back in the water in just under two weeks. The leaks are gone and transmission is working perfectly.

Just back in the water we decided to spend a couple of weeks visiting other anchorages on the south of Grenada and take this time to provision 5KNOTS for the next few months. Several of the larger anchorages have a Cruiser’s Net where boaters can tune in their VHF radio to a specific channel and listen to weather, new arrivals and departures, what’s happening locally, swap/sell parts, ask for assistance with projects and any other news worthy topics that cruisers would be interested in. In the past when we have taken guided tours of the islands we were always very pleased and felt it was a good use of our time. It enabled us to visit many sights and have the benefit of getting local knowledge that we otherwise would not have gotten if we were sightseeing on our own. We decided to take a tour of Grenada with Cutty Island Tours (473) 407-5153. Renée got on the VHF for the cruisers net and asked if anybody would be interested in going on an Island Tour with us. It is always easy to find eager cruisers that want to come and she arranged for 12 of us to take the tour.

The tour lasted all day and included a visit to Annandale Falls, the jungle to see the monkeys, had lunch at the rum distillery and the chocolate and nutmeg factories.  Along the route we stopped several times to visit historical sites and visit some of the local roadside vendors. Grenada is known as The Spice Island due to the number of spices that grow locally. In addition to spices there are numerous plants and fruit that are native to the island. The locals have a saying, “You will never go hungry on Grenada”. This is because fruits grow wild and are found everywhere.

We stopped to have a swim in the falls and enjoy the coolness of the bush. Some of the vegetation is so large that it reminds me of the movie Jurassic Park. As you climb in elevation you can see the vegetation change and feel the cool damp air.

Grenada was the largest exporter of nutmeg until hurricane Ivan hit in 2004. Ivan just about wiped out all of the nutmeg trees and today there is only a small amount of nutmeg being exported. The factories are almost deserted and what use to support hundreds of workers now only support a handful. The good news is that since Ivan, the number of nutmeg trees are increasing and Grenada is seeing an increase in their nutmeg harvest.

After three years of full-time cruising we are use to the fact that weather is king and when it is too rough we just stay put in a safe anchorage and wait for our turn to go. You do not get extra points for leaving a perfectly good anchorage in 22-25 knot winds, gusts to 33 knots and waves 7 to 10 feet. Plus, that’s when your rigging and other components seem to break. Anxious to get moving but knowing better, we stayed another week in Woburn Bay, enjoying the convenience of this anchorage, hiking and swimming on Hog Island and visiting with our old and new friends.