P celebrated her birthday on Grenada and
we even had a special guest: Peter (“Leviathan”), with whom we sailed
along for some time in the Canaries area two years ago. Unfortunately he was two
days late because one cannot dictate the wind and from Curaçao (425 nml)
against wind and current means a week of fighting and playing
submarine. In Peter's case nine days and he already began hearing voices
in the shower drain. So for the moment we stick to the windward islands.
From Grenada to Carriacou is a trip of 30 nm. The weather was quiet and
for the first time since two years we had a great sail in 15kts of
wind, with the main and the #3 high-aspect; the perfect combination
for this wind direction and strength. The spectacular part of the trip
is that you pass Kick’em Jenny. This is an active vulcano, recently
erupted in 1990. The top is 100m below sea level and rises slowly; and
when you are lucky it even smokes. But when we passed, the sea was only
a bit choppy because of the current. The approach of Carriacou was beautiful
and typical, as the island is a collection of many small vulcano's.
Carriacou is only a small island (appr. 18 km2) but it is well known as
“the island with over a hundred rum shops and only one gasoline
station”. A perfect characterisation and we immediately
tried a few during our walk from Tyrrel Bay to Hillsborough
(5km). The track leads along many colourful painted homes
via L’Esterre Bay alias Paradise Beach.
No cruise ships, no big hotels, no appartment buildings, almost no
tourists and only the backpacker type. A completely relaxed Caribbean atmosphere,
maybe even more authentic than on
But it won't last long. On the NE side of Tyrrel Bay a marina is under
construction, judging by the work that is already done.
Surrounding the site is an enormous
graveyard of coral that is slashed away (a piece of 300x200m of
coralreef down the drain) and replaced by concrete foundation. They also sacrificed part of the mangrove woods. But there is still a
lot of it left
and you are allowed to sail into it with your dinghy. The locals do that
too, to pick oysters. They grow between the mangrove roots, together
with hundreds of small but pretty sea anemones.
Carriacou is Carib(indian) language and it means “island surrounded by
reefs”. Indeed there are plenty. There was a reef right next to the boat
and on the first day already P found three conchas, those giant shells.
With Peter's dinghy we dashed again to L’Esterre
Bay to snorkel on the reef to the northside of the idyllic Sandy Island
located in the center of the bay. Of stunning beauty and very lively!
Extensive coral fields and waving coral trees and leaves in every colour
of the rainbow. All this beauty populated by many fish and we even swam
with a sea turtle who didn't notice us. In the meantime P found many
conchas and corals, which are going to get a nice
spot in our garden.
We noticed that fishermen sailing around in small plywood boats,
carry a large battery of Yamaha-horsepower on the transom. Guess what?
The Japanese whale industry bribed these fishers to vote positive in
favor of whalecatching, and in return they received from Japan those big
fat machines on their transoms.
A medium sized open fishboat with a length of 8 meters carries generally
two outboard engines of 75 HP. The peak was a somewhat bigger boat with 3x 275
HP. If you have to buy these you pay the equivalent of 3 middleclass
The West-Indian people are not only fascinated by big engines (this is
really a hype here); the worldchampionships cricket are the talk of the
day. TV sets and radio’s are switched on continuously and the children
are enthousiastically batting and bowling on the streets with plastic or
home made plywood bats.
Geographically the Caribbean is a bit
confusing. The Grenadines do not belong to Grenada but to
St.Vincent and the Tobago Cays don't belong to Tobago but are part of the Grenadines
two states further north. And Petite Martinique is part of...
Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique form a “tri island
state”. As we are proved to be as slow as snails and to stick for some time
in every port, and we liked the first two very much, we decided to pay PM a
visit as well. PM is situated to the NE of Carriacou, together with
Petit St.Vincent (part of the Grenadines) and an extensive reef surrounding
the islands. This combination results in great inland water like sailing as
we haven't experienced for at least three years; the sea is flat and the
sailing to the protected anchor bay is like a present.
Petite Martinique is the biggest of the two petite islands and measures 1x1
mile. We dropped anchor right in front of the beach and after a walk around
the island we descended into Palm Beach restaurant with view on Miep and to
P's delight they served lambi fritters, from those big conchas.
The great thing about Petite Martinique is that there is nothing but really
nothing to do. The goats keep up the land, the inhabitants fish or hang
around, play cricket or play with kites. We bought five langousts for 12
euro's and P was the only one who dared touching them.
Petit St.Vincent was visited by dinghy with Peter. The island is over all
one big and luxurious resort. Everywhere alongside the beach are little huts
with hammocks and beach beds, icewater in coolers and glasses on a tray.
Although used by no one (there weren't too many guests in the resort), we
didn't touch the stuff. Furthermore the story gets boring because these two
spoilt yachties snorkeled again in crystal clear water, saw lots of fish and
coral, had fun, splendid.