Grenada is the country furthest to the south in what is commonly called the Windward Islands. The largest island is also called Grenada and is a volcanic island which means high mountains, jungle, and waterfalls. In St. George, I am involuntarily guided by Paul, but more about that a little further down the blog.
Tyrell Bay on Carriacou
We checked in to Grenada in Tyrell Bay on the island of Carriacou, located just south of Union Island. Check-in is done at the shipyard at the southern end of the bay, there is a fuel station and a small restaurant and the yard is full of boats. At the northern end of the bay, there is a new shipyard and a marina, but the construction of bridges and service buildings seems to have stopped. There are some larger boats at the docks and there is work on some boats on land, but that’s all.
We also take the dinghy on a tour in the mangroves that grow in the north end and here are traces of boats that have sunk in some hurricane that has not been salvaged. You can also see traces (the trees lack branches with leaves) in the mangroves after boats that have been moored during the hurricane season.
The next day we continued sailing to the island of Grenada. We chose to sail on the Atlantic side to get good winds and in the afternoon we anchored in Woburn Bay, one of the fjord-like coves on the southern end of the island. There were several sheltered places in the bay, but it was quite boring to stay there. Most boats seem to be uninhabited and there are no restaurants or anything to go to on the beaches in the bay. We had a nice view of Calvingly Island, a private island with a resort on.
We visited Sonar Berth in the bay east of our anchorage. We also took the dinghy past Hog Island, which until Hurricane Ivan in 2004 was considered a safe haven. That was not the case and many boats were lost and there are wrecked boats still left today. There is also an outdoor restaurant on the shores of Hog Island. There’s a big pile of Conch shells on the beach, so I guess they serve conch and probably even grilled lobster in the evenings. Lobster is like a Swedish lobster without big claws 🙂
Prickley Bay and Blue Bay
After a while we move to the next bay which is Prickley Bay. At the far end of that bay is a well-stocked marine store (Budget Marine) and a restaurant (Sails) with superb wifi and good food. Here we meet an Australian fisherman who ticks his bucket list during his vaccation. It was probably the best thing about this bay. We also took a walk to Blue Bay which would be nice according to the guidebook. Unfortunately, several construction projects were under way, which destroyed the views. It was not possible to get down to the water without going into the hotels that had the sites by the water.
The anchorage between the capital St George and the great bay to the south (Grand Anse Bay). When Johan anchored, he felt the anchor bounce a few times before it got stuck. It usually means stone on the bottom and uncertain attachment or risk of the anchor loosening. I dove down and checked, the anchor was sitting behind a 2 cm high ridge on the bottom, the slightest breeze and the risk of it loosening. We move the anchor a bit so that it settles in the sand instead.
St. George seems to be a popular destination for cruise ships. On the days we are here there are always two large vessels at the outer harbor and a smaller cruise ship inside St George. In the morning, taxi boats in shuttle service run from cruise ships to the jetty in Grand Anse Bay. A few hours later, traffic goes the other way when everyone is going back to the cruise ships.
Johan takes me to St. George and drops me off at the old customs house. Immediately I am addressed by a man who introduces himself as Paul and says he works as a guide for the tourist office. He wonders if I need a guide. I say no because I usually find the way myself, I tell him that I should go up to the fort and look at the view. No problems according to him, and he is happy to follow me up there if there is something I would like to know. Since he is nice and well dressed I accept his company. There is no problem finding the fort and I walk around for a while and look at the view with Paul all the time nearby. He says that the police are still using the fort, which I have already seen because there are premises used by the police. When I go on, Paul suggests we go down to the cruise ships, I tell him he doesn’t need to guide me anymore, it’s no problem, he says. He says that almost all the houses in town became roofless in hurricane Ivan 2004, which is why there are new roofs on all houses.
Finally, we end up in a food market where Paul wants to fix a good lunch for me. I tell him that I would like to choose my food myself, he says he has special contacts. Finally, he gives up and I order my food. When I want to pay, he says that he has already fixed that, and I can pay him when he leaves me. When we come to a shop that sells chocolate made in Grenada where I go in to shop som chocolate. Now he has been with me for about 2 hours, and I say again that I do not need any guide and want to pay for the food. OK, he says, and wants 200 EC (about 700 SEK) paid for the food and for guiding me for 2 hours. I say we never agreed that the guiding would cost anything. I ask for a receipt for the food, but he has nothing but says that it cost 60 EC which is very expensive for the food I ordered, at most such a lunch is around 30 EC. He continues to talk about payment and eventually he gets 50 EC so he will leave me, never knowing what friends he may have. He reluctantly accepts and goes his way. I have become an experience richer and the next time I end up in such a situation I should be clearer from the beginning.
On my way to the marina shop, I pass the premises of the Ombudsman. The word Ombudsman is a Swedish word that has become part of the English language 🙂
After shopping in the relatively well-stocked grocery store at the marina, Johan comes and fetches me at the small jetty that is across the street from the shop.
The next day we motor up to Moliniere Point where we use on one of the buoys that are in the bay. Nice cove with clear water and pelicans by the beach.
Sandy Island, Cariacou
The next day we do some motoring and sailing up to Sandy Island at Hillsborough on Carriacou. On the way, we meet Beaucastel from Västerås and we stop and talk for a bit. They are heading down to St. George on Grenada to drop off friends who have been sailing with them for a while. At Sandy Island, we anchor close to the reef. There are two other Swedish sailboats here, Amaran and HR45 Mayfair. During the night the wind turns and we get very close to the reef with the stern of the boat.
Since we are so close to the reef on Sandy Island, we choose to go up to Hillsborough the next day to buy some fresh vegetables that I couldn’t find in the store in St George. We anchor near the jetty and take the dinghy to shore. When I take a walk along the main street towards the beach, I get a petty street dog after me. As soon as I get outside the town, the dog changes mood and starts growling, and come with head lowered towards me. No other people in sight, no weapon to defend me with. I show my teeth, growl, and walk quickly towards the dog. It works, it retreats a few meters, I make another attack and it retreats even more. It’s time to return to town and the dog stays at a proper distance. Finally, I find a small vegetable shop with some vegetables I recognize and that we may need on board. Johan picks me up at the jetty for the ride back. We get a nice sunset with fantastic colors as the sun disappears behind the horizon.
The next day we sail up to Tyrell Bay for check out, but more on that in the next blog.
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