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
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
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)),
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
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
(quite rolly), cleared with immigration and customs the following day and
left for Union to clear one hour later into the Grenadines. Whaddayamean