Ever since I left Delos in Grenada 4 days ago, I haven’t been able to focus on anything but the memories of that incredible experience.
I discovered Delos on YouTube last year while day dreaming about sailing away to exotic places. I was drawn in immediately and it didn’t take long for my husband Colin to become addicted too.
Back story……. Colin and I have been sailing our 36 foot Dufour “Euphoria” on Lake Ontario for 15 years and bare boating in the Caribbean whenever possible. Colin is a true sailor and has always talked about sailing away and crossing oceans. Me, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love sailing too but crossing an ocean simply scared the crap out of me. The Delos crew made it look easy. Again, don’t get me wrong, I get it, it’s not “easy” but they showed me that it is not impossible and there is so much of our beautiful planet to be explored and enjoyed. In short, they have inspired us to take the plunge and make a plan to sail the seas. And not only that, they also inspired me to complete my PADI diving certification. Which I did earlier this winter in Bequia.
It wasn’t long before I also discovered Patreon and started supporting Delos. The thought of having a chance to experience a slice of “Life on Delos” gave me goose bumps all over. I felt alive and I truly believed that it would happen. AND IT DID!!! A few months later a crew contest came up, I entered and I won. I can’t even explain to you how incredibly exciting this was for me!!!
The original lucky winner of this crew contest was Eric Despotovic and to my great fortune, Eric happened to join Delos alone. So that allowed for a second name to be drawn…and that is where I came in. Thank you Eric!!!
So, there I was, getting ready to embark on an Adventure on Delos by myself. Without my husband of 20 years accompanying me. My solo adventure!!! Along with all of the excitement also came insecurities. Are they going to like me??? And who am I kidding, I’m not 30 anymore…I’m going to be the “old lady” on the boat!! But I pushed those thoughts aside. This is an opportunity of a lifetime that is only a week long and I am going to embrace every single moment with wonderful like-minded people and make my grandchildren proud ? That’s when I coined it “Nana Mo’s Excellent Adventure on Delos”.
The plan was to meet in Trinidad where Delos had been tied up for a couple of weeks already and sail to Grenada. There we would spend the next few days exploring the anchorages, dive sights and beauty of Grenada. This was the perfect timing and plan for me and I was super pumped for this epic adventure. An 80 nautical mile passage was perfect for a newbie offshore sailor. I had great anticipation of participating in all aspects of the voyage. Especially night watch and navigation as I have never experienced overnight sailing before.
I arrived at Coral Cove Marina in Trinidad in the early hours of Sunday morning and was greeted by the Delos crew and few of their Trinidadian friends. What an amazing feeling to finally meet them all in person!!! From the minute I stepped onto to Delos for the very first time I felt comfortable and welcomed.
First order of business was to present the crew with the “Delos Goodie Bag”. Seeing how I was the first Canadian Crew on Board I had to make sure I brought as much goodness from Canada as possible. Packed ever so carefully into the bag was organic ice wine and red and white wine from Frog Pond Farm Winery in Niagara on the Lake, Wayne Gretzky Whiskey, Maple Syrup & Pancake Mix, Canadian flag, Niagara on the Lake Sailing Club Burgee, Nova Scotia Rum, Bacon Marmalade, ice wine chocolate and lovingly hand knitted dish cloths by my Mother. Aside from bringing Canadian Bacon, Tim Hortons donuts and a hockey stick, that’s about as Canadian as you can get.
The next day was spent relaxing and preparing for our sail to Grenada. The welcoming spirits of the Delos crew made it easy to feel at home and relaxed on the boat. I especially loved hearing Eric’s story of how he had never sailed before and how he was inspired by Delos to give it a try. And here he was in Trinidad on Delos getting ready to embark on an 80-mile sail to Grenada. Now that’s an adventure! So proud of you Eric!
When Monday arrived, we checked out of Trinidad, loaded up on Doubles from a roadside vendor, (snacks for the voyage) untied Delos and left Coral Cove Marina. We dropped the anchor in a little bay just outside of Chaguaramas for the afternoon. Captain Brian gave Eric and I the safety briefing and planned our watches. We then swam and relaxed for a few hours before pulling up anchor and heading north to Grenada. Here I go!
10 Minutes into our sail to Grenada we were surrounded by dolphins and had a view of an amazing rainbow off the bow of the boat. A perfect way to start the journey!! Our course had us heading into about 35 knot winds with big swells and strong currents. Delos handled the conditions with ease. What a beautiful sailing vessel! Me however, not so much. Thankfully the sea sickness medication I took before we set sail was helping me keep my lunch down. After watching the sun set I retired to my bunk below to rest up for the long-anticipated night watch shift that I would be doing with Alex. 11pm – 2am was our shift. Sadly, since the conditions hadn’t improved, I was useless on night watch and had to retreat to my bunk after only a few minutes. The crew said they hadn’t seen conditions like this since the Indian Ocean! Thank goodness the rest of the crew were rock stars and handled their shifts with ease. All night Delos rocked and rolled with squalls hitting us sporadically. Thankfully Delos is a dream to reef in rough conditions.
The 80-nautical mile sail, turned into 110 nautical miles and took us nearly 22 hours to reach La Phare Bleu Marina in Grenada where we met up with Rick Moore and his crew on Sophisticated Lady. In perfect Captain Rick style, Sophisticated Lady sailed out to meet us on our way in and we were greeted by a drone flying in 30knot winds and lots of fanfare. On ricks boat was my husband who had arrived that morning to surprise me and surprise me he did!!! Not only was I incredibly fortunate to be enjoying this experience on Delos but now I was also part of this momentous occasion where Sailing Sophisticated Lady meets SV Delos and my husband is here also!! Crazy!!!
On shore it was a wonderful celebration!! All kinds of amazing people meeting in person for the first time. We all had an enjoyable afternoon and evening of getting to know each other and sharing stories. The next few days were adventure packed full of hiking to waterfalls, day sailing snorkeling, scuba diving, chilling and enjoying our time with each other. Before we knew it, a week had come to an end and it was time to fly home. In many ways it felt like I had been gone for a month, we had done and seen so much, and, in another way, it seemed to have flown by much too quickly. There were so many questions I had but didn’t have the chance to ask. I felt like I was just finally finding my groove and now it’s time to go. Although it was just a week on Delos, every single minute of this experience was amazing and memorable. It was adventure therapy in every sense!!
Karin, Alex, Brian & Brady…Thank you.
Thank you for being you, the beautiful and genuine souls that you are. Getting to know each of you in person was refreshing and delightful. Thank you for sharing your home with me and your wisdom, experience, humour and sense of adventure. You guys radiate awesomeness and are all naturals at having a good time and making people smile and feel good. Combine all of that with your incredible talents and creative minds it explains your massive popularity and success. We will continue to follow your adventures and be inspired, entertained and educated. I hope that our paths will cross once again out there on that big beautiful ocean somewhere.
Thank you for this amazing experience, I feel truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to share a “Slice of Life on Delos” with you all.