Queasy does it Fish and ship chop

Woke up on Monday feeling wretched. It was about 1.45am and I was absolutely drenched in sweat, hoist by Sunday's "I think I'm finally acclimatising" petard. Head was fine though, helped by the glorious Threes achievement of the previous night.

Two hours awake, another three asleep, and we're up and about: today, we make another fist of getting the boat to Carriacou. Some folk back home on a WhatsApp group are bemoaning their own holidays coming to an end, so like a bragging twat I let them know what I've just woken up to.

Up on the road a bus doesn't so much hail as kidnap us, like a scene from a movie: van brakes suddenly, door is flung open, we're virtually dragged inside.

Being early on a weekday most of the rest of the customers are schoolkids, who all get off a couple of stops before we do down by the Carenage. There are far, far fewer people and items of cargo by the boat than on Saturday morning and Helen enters full on smug mode, entirely justified by her decision to wait until today.

We pay our cash and get on, it's only about 8.15am and this doesn't leave until 9am. Slowly it fills up, about 40% of the seats are taken by the time we go, and the front and centre of the boat are full of boxes of fruit, sacks of post, suitcases, large crates and chiller boxes, all kinds of stuff. Going on skin colour alone there seem to be just 6 or so tourists including us.

We're sat downstairs, in the only cabin. The boat is insalubrious and smells of diesel. As with all previous days it's tough - basically, we refuse - to take photos because we read it's culturally insensitive to take photos of people around here (hence no pics of the markets or bus rides etc). The windows are no good for taking photos through either, and we don't fancy going up to the open deck because it's viciously hot and there's no cover up there at all.

There's a huge TV at the front showing a looping video of adverts plus the onboard menu. It's quite hypnotising, simply beause we haven't seen a TV for a week at this point. Soon after we leave, about 15 minutes late, one guy goes up and buys a beer. Good skills!

The other English couple across the way are having a chat with the lady behind them, who is telling them how rough the ride can be. About a quarter of an hour into the journey a bloke walks through offering everyone sick bags. Hang on, what? I mean, I know Helen had tried putting me off by pointing out the reviews saying "it's rough!" the previous night – one even said "if the weather's bad, fly", which seems like awful advice – but they were limited to "... in winter" reviews. Had I properly understood it's bad enough they even offer the locals sick bags, perhaps I'd not have been so keen on this ride.

Oh well, we can't back out now. As we go up the west coast of Grenada it's pretty bumpy, and actually quite enjoyable. I keep asking Helen "am I meant to be feeling sick yet? Is this 'choppy' yet?" because despite hating turbulence in the air, she's fine with this on the sea. Repeatedly I'm told no, this is nothing yet, but keep the bag handy and anyway, don't watch the TV or dick around on your phone: stay looking out at the horizon and it keeps things in check better.

"That's just an underwater volcano, nothing to worry about"

So, of course, I dick around on my phone. The journey is quite boring, tbh. It's getting bumpier all the time, up down left right, and at least one person does throw up, I see a crew member put on rubber gloves and take away a full bag and hand over a replacement. But I'm just more annoyed by it than anything.

With the engine so loud it's not even particularly easy to have conversation, so I spend a significant chunk of the bumpiest part of the ride writing the whole of the "we went to a brewery!" post on my phone. Only once, for about 2 seconds, do I feel something in the back of my throat. Coke Zero, I think. But the sickbags go completely unused, which feels like victory.

Once, when I look up, most of the passengers to my left have disappeared – they've all laid down for a kip. Outside the surf is splashing high with each bump, and a guy who had ventured upstairs returns to his seat behind us covered in seawater. I feel justified in staying put.

The adverts are frustrating in their repetitiveness. We now know which website to use to job hunt in Grenada, what TV show to watch (if we had a TV) to catch up with what "the young people" are watching, where to eat, shop, stay, and dive in Carriacou, and how to subscribe to a flat-fee monthly deliveroo-esque service on the main island. Also the Grenada Pavement Construction Company are very proud of having built a resort's tennis court, and Carriacou airport's runway.

There's also an advert for the company whose boat we're riding, Osprey Lines. Their slogan is "always on time". We'd left St George's 15 minutes late, and our 90-120 minute journey took 150 minutes. Hello, Carriacou.

Can't help but stop and take a couple of pics from the jetty. It does look pretty wonderful around here.

Still part of the nation of Grenada, this is the largest Grenadine, the chain of islands that spreads north from here up to St Vincent. We had thought about getting a driver to take us on a tour, but after the long and bumpy ride we neither of us particularly fancy 2.5hrs in a car/van. So, we politely decline all the offers from the waiting cab drivers; they're fine with this, but would like us to take their business cards and call them anyway.

We're hungry and thirsty, so fuck it, we'll go to Kayak Kafe just up the way. It's visible in that last photo above, and this is the view from our table.

An old Englishwoman greets, seats, and serves us. She's admonishing us for only daytripping, and delivering us the wrong flavour juice drink to what we ordered. No matter. For food Helen goes for a chicken roti, and I finally get to try some lion fish.

The fish is MAGNIFICENT. Nom nom nom. We're joined by a bird who had been flying around inside the kitchen trying for scraps, and now is eyeing our plates up constantly.

There's a huge cargo ship also at the jetty, seemingly too big to be so close to shore but what do we know. Numerous cars/vans reverse quickly down to pick up goods and then zoom back inland. The kafe fills up with other groups of people, all of whom are white. Why are there so many white people here when we've seen virtually fuck all on the main island?

Our boat buggers off to its next stop, Petite Martinique.

We pay and bugger off. Our pocket map had led me to believe the Anglican rectory garden and botanical gardens were not far away, so we could head up there and loop back to the museum. Of course, I'm wrong, it's much further than anticipated.

The sun is absolutely beating down on us. As usual there are stray dogs and rogue goats along the way. Some of the goats bleat loudly at us, others are content just to keep eating. Beyond Deefer Diving and "John's Unique Resort" we give up and turn back, having reached neither garden. As we do so, a pair of goats (or sheep?) approach us from a side road, making a hell of a racket. They've seemingly escaped their tethers and would like everyone to know about it.

Constantly they bleat as a pair, the larger one first and the other one like an echo. It's very loud. Briefly, they change from walking into a bit of a jog, almost chasing us, but ducking into an alleyway rather than catch us up.

Back in Hillsborough – that's the settlement's name, and it bears no resemblance to Sheffield – we go to the Carracou museum. It's about 40% the size of the Grenada National Museum, but costs 2.5 times as much to visit. Huh. It's not apparent what they spend their income on, because it definitely isn't cabinets in which to host the tons of pottery that's all DO NOT TOUCH on shelves.

I don't find it particularly interesting, tbh, except for the stuff about traces of African tribes on the island and the musical instruments used in the Carriacou carnival. But unlike on the main island, there is something worth buying in the gift shop.

Back on the main drag we pop to Patty's Deli, an advert for which we'd seen tons of times on the boat, but buy nothing. There's nothing touristy of welcoming, it's just a shop that sells international produce like Nutella and Lea & Perrins. Further up, and desperately hot and thirsty, we go into one of the beach front bars.

It's hot and muggy and cloudy. I have a beer, Helen has a can of coke, then we walk along the beach a bit, doubling back when we get a bit too close to another couple we'd seen on the boat who are going for a swim near the rocks which would require clambering anyway.

Moored out to sea is the Mandalay, a big posh ship presumably doing some island hopping. We'd been asked at the museum if we were from it, not knowing what she meant.

Continuing on the street away from the centre, we're searching for a bit of seclusion because Helen's desperate for a nice long vape. A derelict building on the edge of town totally catches my eye.

Now there's just a handful of buildings more spread out on one side, and bushland on the right between the road and the beach. There's a way to the sand at one spot, so we go and enjoy the kinda bleak seclusion.

It's not secluded for a huge amount of time because that other couple turn up again, damn it. But we were on our way out anyway, especially as it's starting to rain. It's not a pleasant, cold, respite rain but nasty warm rain. Yuck. It carries on all the way back into town. By now it's about an hour until the boat is due back, and despite having seen not much we're still glad we didn't bother with a driver and a lightning tour.

Next to the jetty we go into another hut for a beer and some water. I'm a little nervous, not panicky but definitely nervous. This shitty weather surely has the ability to turn a bumpy journey into a properly rough one. And while I coped, even staring at my phone, on the way here, I wasn't so confident I'd keep things down on the way back. Still, it is what it is.

A load of schoolkids are hanging around at the far end of the jetty. A few dinghies ferry people back to the Mandalay, and the large cargo ship ups anchor and buggers off.

Taken earlier in the day.

There's no sign of our Osprey boat, which we'd expected to be there like 45 or so minutes before the 3.30pm scheduled departure. Always on time, right? But there's a cat to keep us company for a bit.

With the cargo ship barely away from the jetty, and people loading into dinghies still, the Osprey Express shows up so I pay for our drinks and another water, and we bugger off up the jetty. Surely all these schoolkids can't be getting the boat back to Grenada? No, they're not, they're getting on our boat in order to then go through the central door and onto a smaller vessel – presumably this does the rounds of smaller communities on the island, or Petite Martinique, or both.

We're sat there for 20 minutes or so while the kids lark about, a couple of them making themselves useful as they ferry goods from the smaller boat onto ours: we're couriers as well, as usual. Eventually we're about as full as we were in the morning, of passengers if not cargo, and heading away from Carriacou. The weather has brightened up since the rain, maybe this crossing won't be so bad?

It's really not, actually. In fact it's much much smoother than on the way out, which makes me a little confused – not to mention a remorselessly piss-taking arsehole – when Helen asks me for a sick bag. Just as insurance, you understand. But it goes unused, and in fact we're now both so OK with the journey I head up front to buy two of the coldest cans of Carib in history, which we enjoy while watching a rainbow form over the mainland.

Towards the end there's a loo break, enabling me to grab a window seat and see just how bad photos taken through these shitty windows are.

Pretty bad. This is the cricket stadium.

We're back at St George's later than we should be, in fact we're in danger of missing sunset. Oh no! Having debated our evening (and Tuesday) plans at length, we opt for "dive into the supermarket, buy stuff, go back to apartment, see how we feel". Pulling in, our white faces at the harbourside windows make us the centre of attraction for waiting taxi drivers all tapping on the window and making steering wheel motions.

But, no, we don't need a cab thanks. We're going straight to the supermarket across the road, "where good food costs less" and buying some rum, coke, beer, bread, and what have you. Stepping out of the supermarket we're barely even down on the pavement before a bus kidnaps us again. At our apartment we arrive just as the light is dying.

We're both really quite hungry and decide, after a couple of reviews on Facebook seemed decent, to go to Cuisine Spice Isle just up the road. It's virtually empty, the waitress is friendly; they have no sparkling wine so regular white wine will have to do for Helen, while I have a Clarkes Court woodland rum and HOLY SHIT that's vicious. I temper it with a bunch of ice and water, and that's much much nicer. Yes.

We both order the same main dish, a stuffed chicken breast with rice and stuff.

I've never had a plate where the main event is so different in quality to everything else. I thought the chicken was delicious, but the rice, potatoes and carrots all pretty damn average. Since we'd ordered the same we hadn't needed to share so I assumed Helen's was the same, but she said her chicken was dry – and when I snarf the leftovers, I agree. Damn, she should've had some of mine!

Back at the apartment it's time to open the fridge.

Though I have one of the remaining West Indies Beer Co bottles – the vanilla stout, which is fantastic – while finishing up the stuff I wrote on the boat and posting it. Aptly, Andrei pops up on Facebook messenger again, to discuss flying and American stouts/porters.

Upstairs, someone's listening to very loud dreadful music. I play Threes while Helen drifts off to sleep, but cannot repeat my glorious victory of the previous night.

Created By
Darren Foreman

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