Our departure from Tobago was a bit delayed
because of an other rudder problem; this time it was the trimrudder that
bounced softly against the keel. But from where the noise originated, we
discovered only after days of searching and sleepless nights. We quickly put
on our diving gear and fixed the trimrudder with wooden wedges. In the
meantime the weather had become unstable and with so much rain that the
beaches were completely deserted. So we waited a couple of days and stayed for a while on the W-side of
Tobago, where the sea is turquoise and the beaches are snowy white,
even when it rains. Did some snorkeling between the showers and
fixed the rudder with more wedges to be absolutely safe.
The fun of the sailing to Grenada (75 miles) was provided by dolphins
and flying fish. Apart from that it was a long day with fluky winds
hence fights with sails that had to go up and down all the time. It took
us 17 hours to cover the distance of only 75 miles, which is on average 4.4 kts. In the meantime we
(P!) also decided that next year Miep
will be fitted out with a furling genoa .
Arrival on Grenada in Prickly Bay. Customs & Immigration are here,
despite negative news in various pilot guides, very relaxed, so we
didn't have to inflate our dinghy in the middle of the night to report
ourselves instantly. Navigation fees to be paid in EC (East
Caribbean dollars), which we obviously didn't have. When we finally
found an ATM in operation, we explored Prickly
Bay completely. Very pretty, all those big homes and
gardens with blossoming bougainvilleas
and oleanders, but dull. So after checking in with Customs, we
immediately sailed to St.George’s, the bustling capital.
This city appeared to be extremely attractive. We found an excellent anchor spot in “The Lagoon”,
some kind of hurricane hole. The old inner city is next to the lagoon and
is shaped around a natural very protected harbour
with pretty old houses; it reminds slightly of Kopenhagens Nyhaven. Very
busy and colourful with narrow streets packed with small shops, markets
and many, many people.
And almost every day a cruiseship coming in.
This kind of tourism has a strange effect on the island as the ships come
in in the morning and in the evening they are gone and the town is
Prices are reasonable here, but the more
northerly we sail, the higher they will be. On Tobago we paid 7 euros
for a permit to stay one month, on Grenada this cost already 18 euros.
Gasoline on Tobago:
18 eurocents per liter; petrol a bit more expensive. Food is on Grenada
slightly more expensive than on Tobago and
50% more expensive compared to Surinam… But the variety to choose from!
We are not used to this anymore and actually the urge to luxury has
vanished completely from our system. After one and a half years we found roasted
red peppers again, sundried tomatoes and even French cheeses... One
would expect that we would take our chance and grab what we could get,
but no, we were satisfied with only a few things. (Great, isnt't it?!)
And we visited a real chandlery again. Our
eyes popped, also because of the prices but we could buy
duty-free which made a small difference. On top of this, one more new
invention that slept already for over a year in our laptop:
WiFi. Wireless internet on the boat as parasites on the chandler's server.
But we are not yet as infantile as our Austrian neighbour who balanced
with headset and laptop on his foredeck while skyping, and when this didn't work
stepped into his dinghy to get a better connection closer to the source.
The history of Grenada in a nutshell: vulcanic origin 30
million years ago; first inhabitants were indians who came from
South-America to the north in their canoes. Columbus
named it Concepción but the island reminded Spanish sailors of Andalusia
thus gave it the name of Granada. This name stuck to the island when the British
took over, although spelling and pronounciation were changed into the
more English form of “Gre-NAY-da”.
Grenada carries the nickname “Spice Island”. In 1843 the nutmeg was
clandestinely imported from the Dutch-Indies and in those days nutmeg
was a precious seasoning and even more important it has healing qualities.
The nutmeg gave the island a gigantic economic boost and nowadays Grenada is
worldwide the second largest supplier of this spice. The nutmeg is even
a symbol in the flag.
Export product #2 is tourism and the
Grenadians do a lot
of marketing. Focused on Grenada’s #1 product
the innocent tourist has to bring home nutmeg jam, nutmeg syrup and liquor.
They also do nutmeg icecream but this is less easy to take home. The taste
is good, actually.
Public transport is well organized here. Mini vans all around, hooting their
horns and the drivers shouting at you inquiring if you wanna have a ride. There are
more or less scheduled bus services, similar to the wild buses system in Surinam,
and there are taxi buses. For example Felix, who has the yachtclub as a taxi
rank, and we made a 5-hours tour with him.
First we drove along the west coast and saw many picturesque villages where
houses are painted in the national colours.
We visited a “spice
factory” dating from the 18th century where cocoa beans were dried
and cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were processed. The mace that we use in the
kitchen is the pulverized “netting” around the inner nut and it gives a
We drove on to the
and many flowers) and saw the nutmegtree live.
There are still a lot of nutmegs but their number is diminished by hurricane
Ivan who swept over the island in 2004; and Emily following in 2005. The sad
remainders of the disaster are still visible: there are many ruïns but there
is also a lot re-built and renovated. Many roofs on Grenada are new, and the
roof of the catholic church is still under restoration. People now prefer
concrete over wood to build their homes. Nevertheless Grenada is not located
in the hurricane area...???...!!!
The top of the island is formed by a
crater with a lake at 1740ft height.
Quite cool high up there (26 degrees C). More cooling down when we took a
shower under one of the many waterfalls; a lovely back massage and extremely
It was a very nice trip, Felix was a good guide and we all had an enjoyable
day. And Grenada moved up on our list of islands that are worth a second