We had heard so much about Grenada, the cruisers summer hideout.
|Entering St Georges|
We had taken a berth in the yacht club marina, an ideal place to refuel, water up, do our laundry,
|Yacht club Marina from the Bar terrace|
St Georges is an interesting town, many of the Georgian waterfront buildings have been restored – it reminds us a lot of Royal Clarence in Gosport.
The harbour is separated from ‘downtown’ by a steep hill. . In the late 1800’s a tunnel was dug to enable traffic to access both sides without having to climb the hill, but only women were allowed to walk through it. We walked through a few times, no pavement or anything so when a larger truck comes you have to flatten yourself against the wall! I found it quite scary, but the locals just stroll through quite nonchalantly. The tunnel is still very much in use today although much of the town is a one way traffic scheme. It must have been chaos 100 years ago! It is still very hilly!
For us Grenada was never going to be a long term summer stay (some never go away). We were always going to move on to the ABC islands (a little bit of Holland in the Caribbean
|Dock at the Careenage|
We spent a couple of days exploring St Georges, the fort and the town, markets and Supermarkets, chandleries and hardware stores, finally moving to the bays on the south coast.
There are several good anchorages and marinas to choose from. Prickly bay is popular with easy access to buses to town and local shopping plus many restaurants, bars etc. Mount Hartman bay is a little more secluded as is the anchorage off Hog Island (a favourite hurricane hole). We chose Clarkes Court Bay, partly because ‘Vivace’ were there but also because it seemed to be a little quieter with a bit less of the hectic social whirl that seems to be the cruisers Grenada.
Every day the morning cruisers ‘net’ would announce social activities ranging from ‘Mexican train dominoes’, water aerobics, yoga, to tai chi, even a cricket match! Shopping buses every other day to take you to the town or out of town shopping malls, wherever you needed to go. In addition there were half price pizza nights, various ‘happy hours’ lunchtime specials, evening entertainments galore. Sometimes It was exhausting just listening.
We managed to avoid most of the activities but did use the shopping bus which was very good and also the local bus from the nearby village of Woburn to St Georges. It is a good service Monday to Saturday during the day.
We arranged an historic sightseeing tour of the island with CB Historical tours - at US$20 per head for the day it was good value. Clement Baptiste was very knowledgeable about the islands history and he shared some of his personal experiences in the events that lead to the murder of Maurice Bishop, the then Prime Minister, and the US invasion in 1983.These events are still very close to the hearts of most Grenadians and Maurice Bishop still remains a hero of democracy.
The Rivers rum factory was very much as it would have been 300 years ago with a water wheel used for crushing the cane and wood and cane stalks used in the furnace for the boilers. The 50% ABV and 75% ABV white rum they produce is lethal! It is a drink you inhale rather than sip as it vaporises before you can swallow.
The day was finished off with a drive through the rain forest and a visit to a waterfall surrounded by many coloured flowering plants and trees.
|View from the rainforest|
We finally managed to learn how to play Mexican train dominoes, (any thanks ‘Secret Smile’) so we now feel like real ‘Grenada cruisers’!
Grenada is a real meeting place for those cruising the Caribbean, we managed to meet up with people we hadn’t seen since the Canary islands along with new friends we had met out here. We had plenty of stories to swap over several beers! Whisper Cove is a tiny marina which was closest to us. They have a good butcher on sight in a tiny well stocked shop, laundry, water and daily lunch specials, Happy Hour every evening with free wifi and quite often, live music. A really pleasant little hide away.We had heard so many good stories of the ABC islands as the best place to avoid tropical storms in the summer so we were looking for a good weather window (no storms or tropical waves) to make the 400M passage west. We also didn’t want to stay too long as we would have to renew our cruising permit (they last for a month).
|Enjoying the ambience at Whisper Cove|
Our passage west would take us directly through 3 islands off the Venezuelan coast so we would head slightly WNW then gybe and head WSW to reach Bonaire.
We left on Monday 29th July at 14:30 and were tied up on our buoy here in Kralendijk at 18:00 on Thursday 1st August -402 miles in 3 days and 3 ½ hours – a moving average of 5.3kts. We are here in a divers paradise for at least a month – a nice feeling knowing we are going to be settled for a while.