GRENADA - Nancy at Annadale Falls above
Upon leaving we knew that all would be well when a pod of dolphins came out to escort us out towards the territorial waters of what is Venezuela. I enjoyed seeing them cross over in front of Swan Song, playing with our boat as she cruises at just about their speed while at leisure.
We watched a perfect sunset and there was a marvelous “green flash” as there were no clouds in the sky.
We arrived in Grenada just after sunrise and proceeded to St. Georges Harbour where we anchored. Now Hannah, Terrell and Lauren - here are some facts about Grenada that you can tell about in school. Grenada would make a great report as it is a rolling, mountainous island, covered with fragrant spice trees and rare tropical flowers. There are lots of beautiful beaches here, especially on the lee side, and the shoreline is dotted with picturesque towns. The three islands of Grenada are located in the Eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward Islands, only 100 miles north of Venezuela. To the north lie St. Vincent and the Grenadines; to the south Trinidad and Tobago.
Grenada is known as the “Spice Island” as has long been a major source of nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cinnamon. As in all of the Caribbean islands there are colourful Saturday markets – I am planning on doing my shopping there this weekend. Grenada also has some dense forests and in the interior of this volcanic island are cascading rivers and waterfalls, lush rainforests, and one of the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain lakes imaginable. This is my third trip to Grenada so I saw most of those when I was here before. In ’93 Glenda and I spent two weeks here and explored the entire island. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a d igital camera then but I will write Glenda and see if she has any of those pictures.
After anchoring we had a local lunch at the small restaurant overlooking the harbour. It is a pleasure to see that most of the island that we saw upon entering has been re-built since the devastating Hurricane Ivan, that took so many lives, in 2004. The government received a lot of funds from other countries and it appears that they have used them well, unlike the mess that was left in the United States after Hurricane Katrina.
Grenada is the largest of three islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. It is twelve miles (18 km) wide and twenty-one miles (34 km) long. Mount St. Catherine. is its largest mountain at 2,750 feet. Dwarf forests high atop Mount St. Catherine descend into rainforests of the middle altitudes, which turn into dry forests at the lowlands. Those forests shift to mangroves on the coast with beautiful sand beaches, blue water, and wonderful coral reefs, which I snorkeled on one of my previous trips. Grenada's population numbers about 93,000, comprising citizens of African, East-Indian, and European descent. The largest proportion of the population, about 75%, is of African descent.
On our second day, we went in to Budget Marine, where Dave bought some much needed items for the boat. With my knee still in a flexible brace, I bought Jimmy Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at 50” which I have been intending to read for the last decade. I made a delicious pizza and we ate on the boat. As this is our last stop for Internet for awhile, I finished my four articles for All At Sea and sent in three.
Unbelievably, the Cruising Guide reports that “the driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day.” This is really weird as it has done nothing but rain, on and off, since we arrived.
Grenada's smaller sister island, Carriacou, is hilly but not mountainous. With smoother terrain, Carriacou is an ideal destination for walking. It possesses fine sand beaches and natural harbours, as well as offering excellent views out over the northern Grenadine islands. Petite Martinique, the third and by far the smallest island in the state, consists of little more than the tip of a volcanic cone poking through the water. It is only now being developed for visitors.
The capital, St. George's, is widely held to be the loveliest city in the Caribbean. Its horseshoe-shaped harbour is surrounded by a pastel rainbow of dockside warehouses and the red-tiled roofs of traditional shops and homes.
Grenada's physical beauty is complemented by its rich history and vibrant, living cultural heritage. Local festivals, fairs, and markets remain an integral part of life on Grenada. Its centuries-old spice plantations and rum distilleries still use traditional methods, emphasizing quality rather than quantity. Although the tourist industry has become more substantial in recent years, the island's easy rhythms and the friendly openness of its residents evoke an atmosphere that has long since vanished elsewhere.
For many visitors, of course, the measure of any island is taken by its beaches and coral reefs, and Grenada offers plenty of both. The island is ringed with miles of picture-perfect strands, including both entrancing black and sugar-fine white sand beaches. Grand Anse Beach, a smooth expanse stretching for two miles around the curve of a gentle bay, is world famous. Grenada has plenty to offer those interested in offshore pleasure as well, with easily accessible and pristine reefs off the coast of both Grenada and its sister island, Carriacou.
THE DESTRUCTION OF HURRICANE IVAN WAS DEVESTATING TO GRENADA AS SHOWN BY ONE ROOF
ABOVE - WE CONGRATULATE THE CITIZENS OF THIS BEAUTIFUL ISLAND ON THEIR RECOVERY