Every year – especially during hurricane season – cruisers flock to 12˚N and Grenada’s southern anchorages. Offering everything from sandy beaches and rum shacks to mangrove hurricane holes, there is something to suit everyone. The island is a heady mix of stunning tropical flora, quaint colourful houses and warm, welcoming people.
Although not exactly the south coast, St. George’s, the island’s colorful capital, is worth mentioning. Days of anchoring inside the lagoon are long gone, the carenage is strictly for local boats and so the only anchorage is outside the lagoon. Holding is extremely variable but good sand can be found in deeper water. Moorings are also available. The water is normally very clear, unlike most of the southern anchorages, and you are just a stone’s throw from the stunning Grande Anse Beach where anchoring is prohibited. Ashore you have both Port Louis Marina and Grenada Yacht Club with the usual amenities and of course all the shops and sundries that the capital has to offer, including marine stores.
Morne Rouge Bay
Also known as BBC beach, Morne Rouge Bay is an idyllic spot rarely visited by yachts because of its shoaling anchorage. Only very shallow draft vessels can get in close enough to anchor in good sand. Deeper draft vessels must anchor further out amongst the rubble and coral, making this a fair weather anchorage or day time stop only.
True Blue Bay
True Blue Bay Resort with boutique hotel, restaurant, marina, and dive shop can be found at the head of this small bay. Access to the main bus route into town is less than a ten minute walk. The bay can suffer in southerly swells. Moorings are available.
The notoriously rolly Prickly Bay is perhaps Grenada’s most popular anchorage and a hub of activity. Watch for the 5ft patch on your charts and a buoyed sunken wreck. Holding is usually very good although there are areas of weed and rubble. The bay is home to two good bars and restaurants. At the northern-most end you will find De Big Fish restaurant, Budget Marine, Spice Island Marine Boatyard and a sail loft. From here it is just a short walk to the main bus routes, shops and other amenities. On the eastern side you will find Prickly Bay Marina bar and restaurant with fuel dock and customs office. Moorings are offered throughout the bay. No anchoring is allowed off the pretty Lance Aux Epines beach where you will find a dive shop amongst the discreet hotels.
Author’s note – The following bays are accessed through channels with reefs and shoals on either side. Caution must be exercised and care taken. Buoys are not always in place and sometimes charts are wrong.
Mount Hartman is home to Secret Harbour Marina and fuel dock. The bar and restaurant ashore and the pretty grounds make this mostly protected bay attractive when you want something a little more serene than the hustle and bustle of other bays. Holding is good but the currents can have you swinging in odd directions, so allow plenty of room.
Hog Island is another popular anchorage. The protected bay, the pretty beach and Roger’s rum shack have people gathering daily for parties, potlucks and endless games of Mexican train dominos. The island is full of trails and an adjoining bridge leads onto the mainland and Mount Hartman Dove Sanctuary. Holding is mostly good but this anchorage often gets busy during the summer months.
Clarkes Court Bay
Clarkes Court encompasses several different anchorages. Holding is excellent in depths that vary throughout the bay. Dinghy access is available inside the reefs all the way from Mount Hartman to Phare Bleu.
Calivigny Island is a private, exclusive holiday resort but beaches are public. Anchor in the cut between the island and the mainland. The water is deep but the holding is good. Here you can enjoy a cool unhindered breeze and a fast current to keep away the growth.
Saga Bay lies to your west and is actually part of Hog Island. Five or six boats can fit snuggly in this pretty anchorage.
Further in and on the east side you can anchor in Petit Calivigny, a small indentation in the mainland with a shoal at its mouth, or anchor a little further on by Whisper Cove Marina bar and restaurant. At the north end of the bay is the small village of Woburn with a couple of bars, small shops and bus access. Clarkes Court Bay Marina is in the northwestern corner of the bay. Many boats like to anchor this side of Hog Island, which offers good protection from a southerly swell.
Phare Bleu Bay
Not many boats anchor in Phare Bleu Bay as it is very deep although an anchorage can be found by Adams Island on the eastern shore. However, Le Phare Bleu Marina & Resort is a lovely spot at the north of the bay with its unique Lightship (fine-dining) Restaurant. Customs can also be found here along with minimarket, canvas shop, and other yacht services.
Port Egmont is a landlocked, mangrove hurricane hole. This is a great place for some peace and quiet or to work aloft on your boat. The entrance is not as complicated as it looks but care should be taken as most of the channel is unmarked. Holding is good in mud. This bay can get busy, especially with charter fleets, if bad weather threatens.
Calivigny Harbour/Westerhall Bay/Little Bacaye
These anchorages are not frequented as much as the others. Tricky entrances keep cruisers away. Settled weather and good visibility are essential as well as good seamanship. Once inside Calivigny Harbour you will find excellent shelter if you can tear yourself away from the other bays.
St David’s harbour is home to Grenada Marine boatyard. You can find ample room at the head of the bay as well as a few mooring buoys belonging to the yard. You’ll find the usual boatyard set up including a small restaurant right on the beach.