Known as the Spice Island because of its numerous nutmeg plantations, Grenada is a tropical paradise full of mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, and beautiful beaches just waiting to be explored. Unlike many islands further north, which tend to be more seasonal, Grenada has a year round cruising community, especially in the summer months when the anchorages swell as cruisers arrive for hurricane season. Despite rumours of overcrowding there is still plenty of room, especially if you are prepared and equipped to anchor a little further out in deeper water.
For a small island Grenada packs a big punch.
If you are drowning in boat projects and ready to sink your teeth into some serious maintenance then it has several well-known chandleries and three big boat yards to choose from as well as numerous marinas and marine services. The island has a number of big supermarkets and hardware stores, and an array of bars and restaurants from fine dining to street food. Despite all this, Grenada still manages to retain much of its small island charm, and is less developed than many of its neighbouring islands. Everyone waves and says hello and paraphrasing the theme song from the sitcom Cheers, “it’s a place where everybody knows your name.”
The best way to keep up to date with what’s going on is to tune into the VHF net at 7.30am on CH66i. Or visit the Grenada Cruisers Facebook pages.
There are so many activities to choose from: Music nights and jam sessions; Grenadian train dominos, Texas hold ‘em or pool and quiz tournaments; volley ball, noodling, yoga or ‘tai chi with a smile under the almond tree’, the list goes on. There are plenty of local events too … Cooking on a Thursday at the True Blue Bay resort; the Container Park for something to eat on a Friday night, or a Saturday afternoon hash to work off all the week’s indulgences. Enterprising bus drivers shuttle cruisers between the bays for the various social activities, as well as providing shopping buses to the big supermarkets. A farmers’ and meat market visit a couple of the marinas during the week and although you can’t get water delivered to your boat at present, you can get booze, and your propane and dive tanks refilled and bought back to you.
Most of the popular anchorages are dotted along the south and west coasts.
St George’s is a wide open anchorage to the west. It has stunning Grand Anse beach with its crystal clear waters to the south and the colourful capital of St George’s climbing the hillside to the north. It is one of the prettiest waterfronts in the Caribbean. Nearby you have the Yacht Club and Port Louis Marina, an Island Water World store, and all the shore-side amenities the capital has to offer. If you want to sit in a pretty anchorage sipping a cocktail, watching the sun dip below the horizon then St George’s is the place to be.
Prickly Bay has always been a popular spot, home to Spice Island Marine Boatyard, Budget Marine and Prickly Bay Marina. A charming little beach lined with palm trees beckons in one corner. It’s a hive of activity and a great anchorage, though a little rolly at times. It has easy access into town and is within walking distance of a number of assorted bars and restaurants.
Despite their reef strewn entrances Mount Hartman, Hog Island and Clarke’s Court are well-liked mangrove bays surrounded by green hills, all within reach of each other by dinghy. Secret Harbour Marina and restaurant are nestled in the north-western corner of Mount Hartman Bay – a nice quiet spot particularly enjoyed by the volley ball and yoga enthusiasts. Hog Island is uninhabited and crisscrossed with trails. The pretty anchorage is well protected but often a little crowded. It is a favourite with the cruisers especially on a Sunday for the BBQ at Roger’s Barefoot Beach bar. Clarke’s Court Bay is huge and offers plenty of anchoring room albeit in a little deeper water. With Clarke’s Court boatyard and its marina and chandlery, Whisper Cove marina and the various music nights and jam sessions at Taffy’s and Nimrod’s in Woburn – you’ve got all you need to take care of boat work and beer!
Grenada offers plenty of anchorages to explore or escape to when the others wear out their welcome: Port Egmont is a fine hurricane hole with flat calm waters and nothing but mangroves and birdsong. Grenada Marine in St. David’s is a boatyard so pretty you’d forget where you are. Dragon Bay, True Blue Bay or Le Phare Bleu all offer something special. Don’t just visit one bay, try them all.
Rosie and her husband Sim Hoggarth have been cruising the Caribbean and North America for the past 14 years. They are currently settled in Grenada on their yacht Wandering Star.