The scents of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger waft on balmy air over idyllic Grenada, known as the Spice Island of the Caribbean…
As a boating destination Grenada and her sister islands Carriacou and Petit Martinique offer every type of sailor (and boat) a safe, interesting, and diverse choice of anchorages, shore side amenities, and marine skills.
Since the introduction of the one page, user-friendly cus toms and immigration form, arrival into Grenada or Hillsborough, Carriacou is simple and straightforward, especially as the form can be downloaded ( http://grenadagrenadines.com/boat_customs.html ) and the required 5 copies filled in and printed off ahead of time.
Anchorages are for the most part busy but not crowded and provide easy access to dinghy docks for those who do not wish to be alongside. Moorings are not prevalent, but dock space is available in the Lagoon at the Grenada Yacht Club, True Blue Bay, at Horizon Yacht Charters, at Prickly Bay Waterside, Mount Hartman, at Martins Marina, and Woburn at Clarks Court Marina. Several more marinas are in the planning stage, the largest, and probably most prestigious, Port George in the Lagoon, to be managed by Camper Nicholson, which can only add to the amenities offered at this lovely destination.
Particular favorites with the cruisers in Grenada are the Lagoon, Prickly Bay, Mount Hartman and Hog Island, where the boating community lives very much like little villages. Another favorite is Tyrrel Bay in Carriacou. An active and very informative Cruiser net on VHF 68 at 0730 Monday through Saturday keeps the “floating” population informed of all that is happening and ensures that whether sightseeing, provisioning, or getting something fixed, your stay on the island is rewarding and varied.
The spice isles boast three boatyards:
Grenada Marine (grenadamarine.com) at St. Davids Harbour Grenada, situated on the south coast: large yard with lots of storage space and capable of hauling boats up to 32 ft beam.
Spice Island Marine Services (SIMS) www.spiceislandmarine.com (see sidebar for complete details.)
Tyrrel Bay Haul Out ( [email protected]): a small but efficient yard operating out of Tyrrel Bay in Carriacou.
All yards offer haul out and storage, and both Grenada Marine and SIMS have installed cradles and tie downs. Various marine services are available, usually on site, and two large, fully-stocked chandlers, Island Water World in the Lagoon and Budget based at the Spice Island Marine Services boat yard, can supply just about anything.
If your passion is racing or plain just having a go, four major regattas are held annually in these pristine waters:
Sailing Festival, January 26 – 30:
Provides an early tune-up for the Caribbean racing season for top quality yachts from far afield. The four days of racing are divided into three sectors: keelboats, traditional workboats, and the junior sailors, affording every type of yacht a chance to be involved in this premier Caribbean sailing event.
Grenada Round The Island Easter Regatta, April 5 – 9:
One of the “old” favorites in the southern Caribbean racing circuit, this event kicks off with the Girl Pat feeder race from Trinidad and then into three days of racing. A particular favorite with cruisers is the Round Island Race which can be entered separately, if the thought of start lines and windward marks is rather too daunting!
GYC Summer Regatta, early July:
A chance for the club racers to join up with all comers and hope local knowledge will win through! Courses are set off Grand Anse Beach and not too trying, with plenty of time to get back to the Club and shoot the breeze over a glass or three.
Carriacou Sailing Festival, early August:
Probably the best “family” racing in the Caribbean calendar, the round Carriacou race is for two family members only—or single handed if the significant other is unavailable or non existent! And then three races around the fabulous little islands that are prevalent in Carriacou. No need for anything more than a start/finish line and perhaps one mark!
These Down Island regattas not only afford the sailor some excellent competition, but a chance to lime with other enthusiasts and join in the on-shore conviviality that the West Indies are so famed for!
In case all the hype of Cricket World Cup 2007 has slipped you by, the West Indies is the site of this prestigious event and one of the chosen venues is Grenada. So from April 10 – 20, the traditional visiting boating community will be sharing the island with cricket enthusiasts from all over the globe. A host of additional events have been planned for this period and, with the stadium situated right in St Georges, access is easy. With the eyes of the world on her next year for the Cricket World Cup, it is no mean boast that in 2007, Grenada will Rock!
Spice Island Marine Services
SIMS boatyard, now entering its 21st year of operation, is firmly established in a new home at the northwest corner of Prickly Bay. The travel lift is capable of taking boats up to 70 tons and 25ft beam and the yard maintains a reputation for high quality and reliability; of particular mention is the good name the yard has for the application of awl grip. All marine skills are available on-site and the duty free chandlery at Budget Marine is large and well stocked. A substantial dinghy dock is based at de Big Fish bar and restaurant, and a coin laundry and internet facility ensure that all home comforts are on hand!
The yard has a choice of cradles or stands (in either case, mast up or down,) and the boats are stored in clearly segregated areas secured to a minimum of four tie down points. Added attractions are the round-the-clock security and proximity to the airport, bus routes, nearby accommodations (from cheap and cheerful to five star), and both business and commercial sectors. For the 2007 season Wi-Fi and CCTV will all be in place.
The friendly and knowledgeable staff makes certain that whether living aboard or storing your boat, you and your vessel will be carefully watched over. Bookings for 2007 are already being taken so check it out and get your name down early—especially if you plan to put your boat in a cradle.www.spiceislandmarine.com