February 18, 2019

Feb 17, Granada

Breakfast in the Solarium, then back to the room to gather my camera, ID, and some cash. My tour meets on shore at the end of the pier. As I start down the pier it all comes back to me, yes I have been here before, and I have been telling everyone this would be a new port. Oh well, I still remember where I left my keys, (in my car) and where my cabin is (on the ship).

The last time I was here I took the same tour to a nutmeg factory and the Diamond Chocolate facility. At least I am consistant in my thinking.

I am quickly reminded why I forgot about this, there is not too much to remember.  Narrow streets, very poor living conditions, and another struggling economy.  It is Sunday and most shops are closed, so the economy looks even worse as there is no activity.

Our tour guide is French Canadian and traveled here with his wife in his sailboat from Northern Lake Champlain about 6 years ago. It took him a year to get here, and they still live on the boat. The local government is very supportive of people that arrive by boat as opposed to those that arrive by plane. Arrive by plane and your maximum stay is 4 months, by boat, indefinite.

I purchase about a pound of chocolate. A reasonable way to support the local economy.  Presently unemployment is about 30%, a major improvement from a few years ago when it neared 50%. 

A  few other tour guide facts. Bring a car to the island and the import duty is 150% of the cost of the vehicle. No building codes for wood structures, just if you use concrete. Government services are nearly nonexistant. When asked what does the government spend money on, the guide refused to answer. The local medical college supplies 2% of all medical doctors in the US. When hurricanes closed many Caribbean ports recently, Granada was over whelmed with 4 and 5 ships a day resulting in more tourists than locals.  Tourism is the main economic force.

The weather is perfect with the air and water temperature both about 78 or 79 degrees. The skies are mostly clear with an occasional patch of clouds passing by in the strong easterly trade winds. 

By midafternoon the pools are busy.

The lounge is full tonight, but not over crowded. It has become very obvious that David is the best bartender in the lounge. He works circles around the others that sometimes are more of a hinderance than a help. Especially when one drops a tray of glasses over the bar wells. Shattered glass everywhere that brings all service to a halt for 15 minutes.

Overnight we cruise to Barbados where we arrive for an 8:00 AM disembarkation.