We recently spent two days at Le Phare Bleu marina here in Grenada, marking the first time we have tied Brilliant to a marina dock and plugged in to shore power since we left Jacksonville, almost 3,000 miles and 10 months ago. We needed solid, consistent electric power to Equalize our battery bank, a process that batteries require occasionally to remove sulfate deposits that build up and degrade their performance. It’s a process that takes several days and a strong consistent power source.
Being August here in Grenada Le Phare Bleu, which is French for “the Blue Lighthouse”, was running a special to attract boaters to their facility. Besides an already reasonable dockage rate there was no extra charge for water or power, making for an enticing incentive to stay at the dock for a while.
The friendly Dock master was a young Grenadian who came out in his dinghy and helped us tie our mooring lines in what’s called a Med Moor, where the stern of the boat is tied to the dock while the bow is secured to underwater pilings. The method is used in places where dock space is scarce to accommodate more boats.
As we plugged in we said hello to our dock neighbors we were promptly invited to a Potluck gathering for dinner, where we met the rest of our neighbors. They were all surprised when we told them we would only stay two nights; most of them have been at the dock all summer and planned to stay until they leave the island in the fall. We just smiled.
The first night we let the shore power fully charge the batteries up, something we are unable to do at anchor, and the second night we completed the Equalizing process. We have to disconnect the batteries from all equipment to prevent any damage from the high voltage required over a 4-hour period.
The following morning we filled our water tanks, paid our bill, said goodbye to our neighbors, and left. In about two hours we were back at anchor, and swimming in the ocean water behind the boat.
Why did we leave so soon? Why did we not lounge by the beautiful swimming pool once during our stay, but swam in the ocean as soon as we secured the boat at anchor? Because we enjoy living “off the grid”. Our bow is always pointed into any wind while at anchor, there are no dock lines squeaking as we bob with the ocean swells, the salt water is clean, and we have space of our own all around us.
The Cruisers we met at the Marina were very pleasant folks, but they enjoy being at the dock. It’s where they’ll probably stay the entire season. We like being at anchor. This is Cruising for us.