Our goal for this sailing season was to get to Grenada, far enough south to be safely out of danger from summer and fall hurricanes. Then to put the boat to bed for a while. And that’s what we’ve done.
After making a beeline overnight run from Martinique directly to the Grenadian island of Carriacou, we slowed down a bit to enjoy these charming tropical isles. Grenada has got it right. Without a giant tourist infrastructure and without subsidy from a European country that views it as a vacation playground, Grenada maintains a fairly high standard of living on its own. Agriculture vies with low-key tourism to keep the local economy humming. The many cruisers about are not an insignificant part either, and the country caters to them as well as any other island we’ve been to.
Carriacou is a small island with a big protected bay lined with a few mellow bars and restaurants. It’s a perfect cruiser hangout and we stuck around for a week resting up from our sprint through the islands. We’ll see the ones we missed on our way back up. Here we had great pizza and tried our first lionfish meal (for our non-boatie friends, lion fish is a voracious invasive species that is decimating Caribbean coral reefs because it eats everything and nothing eats it – so these islands do everything they can to limit its expansion). If you see lion fish on the menu, give it a try. Click here to learn more about lionfish. Here we also tried mangrove oysters for the first time. They are thin and slimy and Mary thinks they were the cause of a stomach bug I suffered from a few weeks later. They don’t hold a candle to Oysterponds Shellfish Co. oysters, but it was worth it to listen to Warrior’s views on life on a small island. Warrior is the guy who picks them and sells them. He told me he needed to sell some oysters to get a little money to celebrate Father’s Day with his girlfriend and her husband – go figure.
From Carriacou it was onto the grand anchorage at St. George’s on Grenada proper. It’s a giant open roadstead with easy access to St. George’s harbor and the Carenage.
You can get everything you need in this charming old town or a short wacky bus ride away. After stocking up on groceries and precious boat parts from Island Water World, we moved around to the south side where a number of bays knife into the island. This is where most of the cruisers hang out and is where we stayed while we prepped the boat for its slumber. Luckily, we arrived with time to meet old cruising buddies Susan & Roger from Second Wind and Thomas for The Cat. With them we did an island tour with the famous Cutty and enjoyed a few dives before we had to get to work.
Who knew it was such a chore to leave a boat? We didn’t, since we haven’t left the boat for any significant time in over the last three years. How strange to contemplate that. But we had a plan and it meant putting the boat “on the hard,” as sailors say, for a stretch. So for a week, we worked our fingers to the bone cleaning, repairing, taking down sails and closing down boat systems. Finally, after one last back-breaking day we finished and, after packing the few pairs of long pants we have and digging out a few pairs of socks, the next day we jumped on a flight to the UK. We were going for maximum culture shock.