For the last four years I have hauled Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, out during hurricane season in the island nation of Grenada. There are several advantages to hauling your boat out here including several boat yard choices, good flight access, an active cruising community, and lots of varied shore side attractions to name a few.
Now that I have spent parts of four different years in the amazing country of Grenada I want to share a list of the anchorages you will find around the island in order to help orientate new cruisers and to encourage even more people to visit. I am telling you this island has really grown on me with all the shore side sights, super friendly people, amazing bus system, and great boating community. While I do not claim to be an expert on Grenada, I offer you my impression of the available anchorages.
Since Grenada is kind of shaped like a long pod with the pointy end to the north, the north coast is quite short. While people have been known to anchor off Sauteurs and behind the tiny islands of Sugar Loaf, Green, and Sandy Islands, I would consider these day anchorages only and recommend any newer captain to stay away. This is due to the lack of protection from a wind north of east and the constant threat of a north swell during the cruising season.
The bad part of the west coast of Grenada is that you have to sail 20 miles (or 2/3 of the way) down the island before you find any kind of shelter from the swell that rolls down the coast. With that said I have anchored off the town of Gouyave to enjoy the Friday night fish fry. This is a truly Grenadian event where you can sample food from many vendors set up along the street, but remember there is no protection from the swell and the fishing fleet is active and you may have to move out of their way.
In order to find any type of protection you have to get past Black Bay Point. From there your anchorage options are:
Halifax Harbor –
This is a quiet bay that has some protection from the swell coming down the island. There is not much around, but if you get to shore you are near Concord Waterfall. Three things to be aware of are first there are electrical cables going across the southern part of the anchorage so do not go too far into the bay; second, access ashore is up a 20-30 foot slope; and third, there are several wrecked hulls and the dump used to be here.
Happy Hill & Dragon Bay –
These are small bays that are quiet but also afford good access to the Underwater Sculpture Garden just to the south (this is a must see). Supposedly anchoring is not allowed in these two bays since you are in a national park, but last time I was there the moorings were sunk (still there and usable if you know where to find them). During my time moored in the bay I saw several boats come in and anchor on the sandy bottom in the middle of Dragon Bay.
Grand Mal Bay –
This is a busy commercial bay on the other side of the Sculpture Garden and only two miles from the capital. You can find a couple moorings just around the southern point of the Sculpture Garden bay, but if you try to anchor near there it drops off quite quickly. Deep into the bay you will find 25 or less feet of water, but you have to deal with all the boat traffic.
St George’s –
This is the capital and inside the harbor (which is an extinct volcano crater with a side missing) are a couple marinas, but the anchorage is outside and is a road stead. To the north of the harbor is the cruise ship pier and a no go area, but south of the harbor is a large area 20-25 feet deep with various holding. This anchorage can get rolly if the swell is coming down the island, but it offers excellent access to the capital and all its resources. Of note is that this was strictly a quarantine area during covid-19, so check if it is open for regular use.
Grand Anse Bay –
This is the most beautiful beach in the entire country and rivals any in the Caribbean. From an anchoring stand point, it is strictly off limits and this is enforced.
Mourne Rouge Bay –
This is a small, lovely bay that can hold a couple boats in 7-15 feet of water. The problem is that I had a couple friends run out of this bay by the authorities. It was unclear if this was due to covid or a new policy for this bay. Just be forewarned.
This is where most of the cruisers hang out and almost all the daily and weekly activities happen on this side of the island. Sometimes it can feel like summer camp with the number of activities available. The south side always has an active cruising community, but the numbers swell during the hurricane season. If you can find the space, you can anchor in any of the bays below:
True Blue –
This is a small bay that has a marina, moorings, and anchorage, but can be a bit rolly if the wind is south of east. This bay gets its name from the indigo production done here before the sugar industry took over in the 18th century.
Prickly Bay –
This bay is right next to True Blue and is a little deeper. It is a great bay for access to a couple marinas, fuel, restaurants, and Budget Marine, but it can also get rolly if the wind is south of east.
Mt. Hartman Bay –
This is a nicely protected bay that has access ashore via a marina, but not much else is there. The reefs outside the bay are full of good snorkeling opportunities.
Hog Island –
Tucked behind an island, this anchorage is fully protected and has a nice little beach that is popular. This is my favorite anchorage based on the protection and accessibility since you can get to shore with the dinghy in either Mt Hartman Bay or Clarks Court Bay. The bad part is that it is always crowded.
Clarks Court Bay –
This bay is long enough that it has several bays within it (Woburn, Sage, Whisper Cove). There is lots of room, access to the bus, and services within this bay. My personal favorite spots are deep in the bay, in Woburn Bay, near Clarks Court Marina since any swell that makes it into the bay has dissipated and you are right next to the bus and other services. The other spot I love is on the east part of the bay, behind the reef between Calivigny Island and the mainland. You are further from the services, but the breeze is amazing.
Phare Bleu Bay –
There is a nice little marina here with a lovely beach and a very cool North Sea light boat museum (think lighthouse, but as a boat), but if I was going to anchor I would do so on the other side of the reef I just mentioned above that separates this bay with Clarks Court Bay.
Egmont Harbour, Chemin Bay, Westerhall Bay –
All three of these bays are similar in that they have superb protection, rarely have other boats in them, are remote from services, and are mangrove lined. They are great places to go if you want to get away for a bit.
Petit Bacaye Bay –
I have not checked this bay out yet, but I am told it is a small, beautiful bay that can’t handle more than a couple boats. Based on the chart, I have my doubts about how much protection it offers in a wind south of east though.
St David Bay –
The only reason to go here is if you are hauling out at Grenada Marine since it is nowhere near the main road and rolls as soon as the wind is south of east. There is a nice restaurant (Laura’s) also.
La Sagesse Bay –
I stayed in the hotel in this bay when I was launching Guiding Light this last year. The bay always had waves on the beach and the chart looks a bit shallow, so there is no way I would bring my boat here. With that said, the hotel was very nice and better that staying on the boat in the yard with the heat, bugs, and lack of wind.
Due to the constant easterly trade winds and bays with a lack of protection, the east coast of Grenada is uninviting. There is only one possibility.
This is the 2nd largest town on the island and a very local bay. Very few cruisers visit here by boat, since you can take the bus there for about $3. The bay is surrounded by a reef that is awash and should provide protection, but I have never tested it. Just not worth it if you ask me.
There you go, a fully (almost at least) encompassing list of anchorages around the island of Grenada. I truly hope this list of anchorages helps when you set sail south to Grenada. You will love your time in this amazing little country.
After 11 years of running charters in the Virgin Islands & Eastern Caribbean, Captain Shane is sailing Guiding Light west toward Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Belize this year. Check out his adventures on any social media using svGuidingLight.