Friday, October 14, 2011

Where is the Cheapest Fuel in Grenada?

On October 10th, Irie’s preparations to go west, started with a sailing trip north! Mark and I were anchored in Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, and had been trying to find out where the cheapest fuel in the area was. Petite Martinique (PM) is said to be the best place and we gave them a call. When we found out that they are overcharging (about EC$2, almost US$1, a gallon), just like Prickly Bay Marina does on the south coast, we came up with an alternative. But, that wasn’t until we unsuccessfully exhausted our efforts in trying to get the folks at PM to lower their prices to what they were supposed to charge by calling them (B&C Fuels Enterprise) and the government’s Consumer Affair Unit. In Grenada, fuel prices are set by the government ( and anybody is encouraged to call them about any price discrepancies: “Furthermore, consumers are encouraged to immediately notify the Price Control/Consumer Affairs Unit in the Ministry of Finance of any instance of overpricing at telephone number 440-1369.”

Since we wanted to fill up our 33 gallon diesel tank and store a few extra jerry cans, it was worth going through the effort to find a better price. PM is still the cheapest place to find fuel in Grenada, but we decided to sail to Union Island first, to see whether Joyce was present. This cargo vessel stocks up on diesel in Venezuela and then sells it, legitimately, to anyone swinging by the boat. She usually hangs out in Clifton (or Bequia) when she is not “down south”.  Mark and I wanted to have some sailing fun and tacked upwind to Union in about three hours to arrive right in between two squalls.

Joyce, unfortunately, wasn’t around, but – after lunch break – we managed to obtain about 40 gallons of fuel from a gas station ashore (diesel: EC$ 11.31; gasoline: EC$ 13.77 per US gallon). It took us two dinghy rides to fill Irie up and have spare jerry cans. When we arrived back in Tyrrel Bay, after a slow downwind sail, the sun was about to set. It took us a full day to fulfill our quest, but we are one step closer to leaving on our sailing trip west now!

One of the squalls passed just north of us once we arrived at the reef entrance of Clifton Harbour.

The blue boat looked like Joyce upon our approach, but wasn't.

We had to go to the fuel dock ashore, and walk to the street, since the diesel pump at the dock was broken.

Each time we put diesel in our tank, we pour it through a Baja filter.

Mark takes care of the second run ashore. Now we are full!

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