Still enjoying Grenada and Carriacou   Click for the chartlet
Click the photo's in the film to enlarge them; or click the photo banners in the text

   `    

Property developer Peter de Savary, among sailors also known as sponsor of Victory in the America’s Cup in the ’80s, stroke again in St.George and now a supermarina is under construction (by Volker Stevin). Imagine that only one year ago we floated peacefully behind our anchor on the very same spot. The intention is to attract more super yachts to Grenada, with as a result that the provincial atmosphere disappears as snow in summer and Grenada will metamorphose itself in the wake of Antigua into another exorbitant tourist resort. We do hope that the locals will benefit, but as always they will eventually get the dead-end jobs while from the US imported managers will get all the money.

So things go wrong in Grenada, in our opinion. But this year we could still enjoy its pleasures and St.George is not without any reason called “the Caribbean pearl” with its colourful city centre, formed around the bustling old carenage upon which many cafés provide a good view.
After eight unsuccessful attempts with the Delta anchor and the Fortress, we ended up on the yachtclub's pontoon; quite practical once in a while. St.George is disreputable for its poor holding ground, but because of the new marina dredging work is done and the upper layer of sand has vanished. Remains mud only and the outcome is predictable.
On the pontoon we walked into the arms of many acquaintances, so a drink in the club was inevitable and the subsequent dinner was perfect, and we also arranged for “de big tour” with Felix (the taxidriver who also drove us around last year).

We specifically asked to including the petroglyphs of the Carib indians near Mount Rich in the tour, and the River Antoine Rum Distillery, the oldest rum factory in the whole Caribbean still functioning on water power.

The petroglyphs are Grenada's oldest and historically most valuable cultural heritage and they are almost unfindable. Felix had never ever heard of these things and we had to ask several locals numerous times for directions. Finally we were told: “Just past the bus stop behind a little shed.” And yes: on a ramshackled building a text was scribbled: “Stone Face - Carib Stone - Look”. And there was the stone in the abyss behind the structure. A huge piece of rock covered with faces. Unbelievable that they treat their cultural heritage like this, while on Leaper’s Hill a huge monument was erected in memory of the last Carib indians, who 400 years ago jumped over the side rather than surrender to the French. Obviously this appeals more to the average cruiseship-tourist, who believe that Grenada’s culture consists of carnival and spices: the cinnamon and nutmeg tree imported from the Dutch Indies, and their products widely available in tourist shops where more crap such as coconut soap is sold, hats and baskets plaited from palm leaves (the production in itself quite picturesque)), etc.

The rum distillery was also rather special, i.e. it is of course special that a factory is already this old (1785) and even more special is that it is still powered by water energy and furthermore that they still make the rhum out of sugar cane rather than on a chemical base, like in Surinam.

The tour around the distillery was not very inspired but the rhum tasting cleared all our ambivalent feelings. We definitely wanted to buy a few bottles of this superior 75% rhum. But they were out of stock and we were referred to any supermarket. In short: Grenada's north and eastcoast are not yet completely developed for tourists. Which is good, as in the south things seem to be totally different already.

So we left quickly for Carriacou, where life trudges along in the pace of a snail chased by a rasta. L’Esterre Bay is the ultimate in peacefulness and on Sandy Island happens even less. This is in fact - as the name already indicates - nothing more than a sandbar. Four years ago hurricane Ivan dealt summarily with the few trees, and the young coconut palms have to struggle for life without any protection against the strong wind.
But surrounded by splendid snorkel and dive spots it is an idyllic place to anchor off. The seas are turquoise because of the white coral sand and in the background you see the méringue named Union Island, with sun and clouds hovering over it and playing their shadow dance. Below sea level the landscape is absolutely amazing: beautiful coral formations nibbled on by fish in all colours of the rainbow and if you are lucky you can swim along with a couple of turtles.

But to all things comes an end and also the northerly swell makes many anchor spots (like this one) quite “rolly”. So we spent the night anchored off Hillsborough (quite rolly), cleared with immigration and customs the following day and left for Union to clear one hour later into the Grenadines. Whaddayamean bureaucracy.

Grenada and Carriacou/travel stories 2007       Previous    Next