Warrior and the Mangrove Oysters

The Elburys dressed for Halloween. ©2011 Cheryl Crockett Lezovich

We sailed Happy Times from Hog Island, Grenada, to Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, in tandem with Dena, Kevin and Connor Elbury, our friends aboard Sabbaticus, a Lagoon 410. It was a quick shakedown cruise to test the new upgrades we’ve made to our Manta over the past couple of months.

Many boats heading north due to the end of hurricane season crowded the bay. We found a spot at the back of the pack and proceeded to put down our new Rocna anchor, still shiny from its first splash in Hog Bay. As usual, the local vendors flocked around our boat. They can’t wait to offer their goods and services even though setting the anchor requires our complete attention.

A couple of locals in a pockmarked dinghy offered to sell us oysters and take away our garbage. Another named Simon offered to take us on a tour of the island and sell us wine as well as oysters. Later we learned that his sailboat had sunk in the bay on 9/11/11. Had we known about his loss, we probably would have done business with him.

Another fellow appeared in the twilight who was rowing a small wooden dinghy. He also wanted to sell us oysters, bivalves that grow on the roots of mangroves and a local delicacy. Mike declined diplomatically. The fellow went away and we set about putting the boat in order following the day’s sail.

But, no, he hadn’t left. He simply hung out off our stern and started chatting up Mike. The fellow offered his oysters again and this time Mike agreed to buy some. They would be delivered the next day.

“What’s your name?” asked Mike.

“Warrior,” he replied and rowed away in the gathering darkness.

A local oyster vendor. ©2011 Cheryl Crockett Lezovich

Warrior arrived late the next afternoon, and Mike tied his painter off on a cleat. Warrior’s wooden dinghy held a pile of oyster shells that he immediately began cracking open and serving. His presentation was quite acceptable considering the circumstances. He had brought his own serving platter and spread the oysters out on top.

Mike displays our appetizer. ©2011 Cheryl Crockett Lezovich

Mike had agreed to buy a dozen and a half oysters at $17US per dozen. That worked out to about $60EC. It wasn’t the best deal on oysters that we’ve ever run across, nor were they the best that we’ve ever tasted. Those would have to be oysters from Apalachicola Bay, Florida. They’re usually big enough to cover two saltine crackers. Warrior’s oysters looked tiny on their shells and had a woodsy flavor. A Carib quickly washed away the aftertaste and later we could say that we supported the local economy, a common practice among cruisers.

“How did you happen to get the name Warrior?” I asked, gesturing with upraised arms and growling.

“That’s not my name,” replied our host. “It’s Worryer.”

He earned his nickname from the other locals because he worries his buyers. The others give up when they can’t make a sale. Worryer persists until his buyers say yes. Zig Ziglar himself could do no better.


About Cheryl Crockett Lezovich

Mom, first mate and writer aboard a 40' Manta catamaran, S/V Happy Times.
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