Land Ho!!! Grenada

Posted February 14th, 2012 by Nick and filed in Uncategorized

Swimming under the falls, originally uploaded by melandnick.

To say we were relieved when we finally put down the anchor in Prickly Bay, would be an understatement. Our last 6 hours sailing on the approach to Grenada was pretty stormy and both of us were very pleased to have reached safe harbour after 27 days at sea.

The first thing we did was make a cup of tea, (something that we’d only attempted once during the crossing, and I pretty much succeeded in redecorating the boat in hot tea that time, so we didn’t bother again after that)! Our next mission was to find warm, fresh, delicious food!

Before heading ashore we needed to sort out ourselves and the boat, and get online to phone our parents to say we’d made it (we had no comms during the crossing).

Just as we were ready to head ashore, a small yacht entered the harbour, we were in the dingy by the time they were close enough for us to see the name, and we were delighted to find that our friends from Germany, who we’d previously met in Portugal and Gomera, Anna and Robert had come to see if we’d arrived!

We said a brief hello and arranged to meet up on shore later for food and a drink! We ate burgers and fries for dinner which is terribly unsophisticated, but is what Nick and I had been dreaming and talking about eating for the previous two weeks whilst sailing, and our appetites were at last satisfied!

Anna and Robert had been on Grenada for 10 days already. We visited St George, Grenada’s capital with them where we stocked up on food, and Nick acquired some fine duty free rum, and they told us about how to get around the island and what’s good to see.

A couple of things that struck me about Grenada in the first 24 hours, firstly, the beautiful birds that flutter about making lovely noises, secondly the never before tried or seen fruit and vegetables, and finally, the bus system. The bus system is really quite amazing. The fares are set centrally, but the buses themselves are owned and driven by private individuals who get the equivalent of a large people carrier and convert it to seat nearly 20 people (in England you’d get no more than 8). There is usually a second person assisting the driver who calls out to anyone on the route strolling along to see if they want a ride, and they respond with a nod or shake of the head. There is no central isle on these buses, so if someone at the back needs to get out of a packed bus, then around 8 people need to crawl out first, wait, and then get back in. The great thing is that there are lots of buses going past all the time, so it’s normally only a matter of minutes before you can catch one, and they are very good value for money. Not only do they get you there, but they always play very load local music and even sometimes play the corresponding video to keep passengers entertained!

After a few days at Prickly Bay, we sailed a couple of bays east (upwind) to a place recommended to us called Hog Island. This is a smallish bay sandwiched between a small island (reportedly now owned by Four Seasons) and the main island of Grenada. There is a bridge in-between to the adjoining Clarkes Court Bay which is bigger with a couple of marinas, one of which called Whisper Cove run by a French couple offering a beautiful view from their bar/restaurant as well as their own butchers/shop and wifi! One of the barmaids at Whisper Cove was fascinated with Nicks hair, and asked him if he gets a hairdresser to dye it grey for him (because she thought he was so much younger than he is apparently)! It was very funny & Nick was thrilled!

Hog Island itself has a small beach, with only one building, a ram shackled but perfect bar with it’s own stage which comes alive on Sunday evenings. All drinks cost the same, and everyone from the anchorage is treated to a wonderful reggae concert and local food – it was fantastic! In addition to the great entertainment, our Dutch friends we met in Gomera, Daan and Maarten and Bouka and Ronne arrived with their two young daughters, so we had lots of fun with them.

Whilst we were anchored there, we decided to take Daan and Maarten to visit a place called Seven Sisters Falls (recommended by Robert and Anna). This involved two buses, one to St George, and the other up into the centre of the island (on a bus with questionable suspension). Eventually we hopped off and started up a track indicated by a sign post. After a few feet we found a bar/office where we were charged a small fee to visit the falls, and were provided with sticks to aid us on the short hike there. The walk there was pretty steep in places, but well worth the effort. The falls were stunning, and after we ate lunch (homemade pate with French bread from Whisper Cove) we all jumped in for a swim. The water was cool and refreshing and it was so lovely to swim in fresh water for a change. The boys had fun jumping off the falls into the pool below whilst Daan and I posed for photos! It was a good day.

After a few more days of chilling and BBQs at Hog Island, we decided it was time to move on, so we sailed around to St George to allow us to stock up on food again before leaving Grenada, during which time our M&S plates decided to fly across the boat and about a third got smashed. We arrived rather wet and hungry so quickly dingy’d over to the swanky Port Louis marina for a well deserved Pizza and Salad.

The next day we sailed a few miles north and anchored in Grand Mal Bay, to the north of which is a wonderful underwater sculpture park in a sheltered area perfect for snorkelling. We took some underwater cams and got some great pics of the sculptures and saw some pretty cool fish too.

After two nights we headed north, again into the wind, towards Carriacou, a small island part of Grenada. It took 12 hours of motor sailing to get there and we were taken some ways off course for a time by a strong westerly current (our fault for ignoring Doyle’s recommendations). Eventually we got there, but then in the harbour managed to touch bottom whilst trying to find a suitable spot to anchor, a heart stopping moment. It wasn’t the best sailing day of our lives! Finally we anchored and went to shore for dinner, we both had Lambi (which is conch shellfish), not bad, but not amazing either in our opinion.

After a good night’s sleep we went ashore again, and I fell in love with a local called Bandit…A Labrador-cross puppy. He was gorgeous and we played with him for a few hours whilst drinking lethal rum punch on the beach. I was very drunk, and Nick was well on the way too by the time we got back to the boat and the next day was challenging to say the least.

The rest of our time in Carriacou was marred by bad weather, the normally idyllic Sandy Island was grey and wet, so we decided to move on to a Union island and a new country, St Vincent & the Grenadines….

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