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Spice Islands Services for Boaters in 2010 Part I

Grenada is an island of natural abundance and for yachties that means more services for boaters than you can count, including these protected marinas.

Port Louis

The biggest and most bodacious of the lot is the highly-publicized Camper and Nicholson's Port Louis, headquarters and sponsor for the Grenada Sailing Festival's regatta in 2010. Situated in the midst of the capital city of St. Georges, this state-of-the-art facility offers everything a captain and crew could want along with a rich, historic view.

Being one of the newest of Grenada's tie up and chill-ax options, it's not quite finished but already boasts 50 fully-serviced berths. Additional floating pontoons and docks are on their way. Throughout the lush, manicured campus, shell-lined paths lead everywhere, from the popular Victory Bar and Grill to a growing collection of brightly colored West Indian cottages housing a boutique, art gallery, water sports, marine services and mini market. Horizon Yacht Charters and Management opened an office and yacht services location here (in addition to their 10-year-old location at True Blue Bay resort on the south coast).

Their well staffed office will jump at the chance to make any and all arrangements for boats and crew and since Port Louis can handle vessels up to 300 feet, that's sometimes a big and complicated job. This marina's goal is to provide clients quality, luxury service equivalent to a five-star hotel and already they've been able to deliver that over-the-top pampering to some of the world's largest yachts including the sailing vessel, Maltese Falcon. www.cnportlouismarina.com

Grenada Yacht Club

Across the lagoon is the old Yacht Club offering docking and re-fueling facilities for 44 boats up to 75 feet. They have a restaurant, bar and customs and immigration, and Island Water World is right across the street.

Clarkes Court Bay Marina

A world away from the bustle of the city lies the charming Clarkes Court Bay Marina, owned and operated by Grenadian Bob Blanc. Situated on the south coast, it's an easy voyage through well marked reefs and islets that lead into a mangrove lined bay known for the village of Woburn.

Bob and his wife Leslie own a Canadian dock manufacturing business making them natural proprietors of a place to tie your boat to. In 2001 they launched the marina with 52 easy-access, floating slips along with shore side amenities. Reinforced and reconfigured after Hurricane Ivan, the slips can accommodate a couple of the big girls. "We've had a 150' mega yacht here," said Bob. But primarily they best handle vessels up to 80'.

The twelve-sided Oasis Waterfront Bar is the heart of the business where food and drinks are served. On Saturdays, they supply the barbeque and live music as hosts for a cruisers' potluck. Sports fans flock to the bar's big screen, and there's a pool table, book exchange and high speed internet. www.clarkescourtbaymarina.com

Whisper Cove Marina
On the north side of Clarkes Court Bay is a picturesque, minute marina accommodating 12 boats, 30 to 60 feet. New owners are infusing energy and money into the business that includes a restaurant, bar, grocery-ette, laundry and butcher shop featuring Grenadian grown, organic meats. Fresh baguettes come out of the oven daily.

Partner Gilles Yergeau, butcher and chef, works wonders in the galley for daily breakfasts and lunches along with special weekend dinners and Sunday brunch. Gerard Groux takes care of waterside needs providing extensive technical and maintenance services. www.whispercovemarina.com

Le Phare Bleu
This enchanting compound gracing Petite Calivigny Bay is now in its second year and accommodates 50 yachts. The Poolbar Restaurant greets yachtsmen as they come ashore with excellent, locally inspired food and a daily happy hour (and a half) with snacks like Callaloo Fritters and Phulouri.

Swiss owners and sailors Dieter Burkhalter and Jana Caniga worked a miracle when they directed the building of the entire complex in only 22 months. Jana explained their philosophy, "We want an open concept here. We like it when it mixes: locals, boaters, tourists." Their 30 employees keep the flower clad grounds in bloom, run a well-stocked market and keep two busy restaurants up and running.

Customs and Immigration have an office on site along with car rental, shops for canvas work, a chiropractor, and diesel and electrical engineers.

Their flagship is a 100 year old lightship refurbished and shipped from Stockholm, Vastra Banken, which graces the outside slip of the main dock, serving gourmet two and three course dinners and other delights. Below, the lounge doubles as a lightship museum and library loaning books and DVDs. On the upper deck is a blue and white lighthouse, the symbol and beacon of Le Phare Bleu. www.lepharebleu.com

Martin's Marina
This in-transition marina located in Secret Harbor is the former Moorings base, a victim of Hurricane Ivan. The docks are operational but no power or water is currently available, and shore side amenities are simple at best. A restaurant/bar is open for business hosting occasional specials.

Prickly Bay Marine
With only 10 slips, this is one of Grenada's smallest yacht hosting spots, but now that it's part of Prickly Bay Waterside Development, all of that may change, economy willing. This season you can count on water, fuel, the Tiki Bar and Essentials market.

Coming next, Part Two: Grenada's Boatyards

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