Granaaadaaaa 🎼... Ok, let's not get carried away, first of all it's not GrAnada like in the famous song by the equally famous Italian singer Claudio Villa
but GrEnada. Second, I can't really sing so let's stick to verbal. Hello everyone! As you may have guessed by now, we are in the bellissima
island of Grenada, specifically at anchor off in Prickly Bay Beach, a delightful cocktail including a sweet little beach, of course, manzanilla and frangipani trees, boats boats boats, some quite... interesting (see picture), very nice holiday houses with porticoes and pools and on the other condos in a somewhat different style
! I don't want to make it about real estate, but it's difficult not to notice the various houses and dwellings, as they are right in your face for good or bad.😊
We motored here from Woburn Bay two days ago (see below) and have been catching up on stuff, enjoy the visual treats, took a nice dinghy ride - one of the best ways to do a first quick exploration - and swam in the lovely water. We'll be heading to the capital city of St. George's in the next day or so.
We sailed to Grenada from Carriacou and were first at anchor for two nights at Port Egmont, a protected bay and quiet with the exception of some construction noise on land. There was only one sailing boat next to us, possibly the least number of boats in a bay we've seen... since Newfoundland! On shore, not a soul it seemed like, aside from whoever was working on the construction project, and from the occasional car driving along the only road passing through there. The scenery around us was dotted with rather nice houses, some bordering MacMansion territory. One of them was actually positioned inside a huge pit in the mountain, which must have required an enormous amount of digging. Looking up from the pit you could see other houses and you wondered how did they not collapse on top of the house below given how much soil had been excavated... pretty much under their foundation. Also, emerging from the vegetation there was an abandoned project, turned during the years into a skeleton of rusty metal and decayed structures and conferring a bit of a Mad Max tone to the tropical setting. But leave it to Mother Nature, the Gentle Juggernaut, to claim back what's rightfully hers and re-design any man made mess, no matter how long it takes.
After Port Egmont we continued to Woburn Bay, where we stayed a while partly because we were waiting for some mail from the US which could be received by the marina there and whose shipment coincided with Grenadian Independence Day that week, so there were some delays. Woburn Bay is interesting, it looks like a marine retirement community composed by many nice folks of different nationalities living onboard their boats year around, helping the local community, organizing social events, farm markets, taking part to any of the island celebrations and just simply enjoying the stress-free lifestyle. A Sunday party at Roger's Beach Bar on nearby Hog Island brought out an eclectic mix of people, including local residents, guests of Le Phare Bleu
yachties, liveaboards, kids on the funniest floating inflatables and a considerable number of young people, I'd say in their 20s and up, which we actually were a little surprised to see as there hadn't seemed to be any trace of this particular age group in the whole bay before (well, it's a party, duh). Local and talented singer Sabrina entertained the crowd with her hits and the grills were busy turning burgers, lobsters and yummy stuff.
Moorings moorings everywhere in Woburn too, but after an extensive tour of the harbor on arrival (which started with saying hi to Skylark, anchored off the private island of Calivigny - looking for ideas for your next wedding
? Just rent a whole island, easy peasy.) we found an ok spot to anchor, also in terms of dinghy ride distances from shore, not far from a marina called Whisper Cove. One drawback: some of the larger local motor boats, including the one that brings crew to Calivigny, have a habit of passing full throttle literally a few inches from your bow or stern...
We took a dinghy ride to Mount Hartman Bay, west of us: imposing cliffs whose rocks host futuristing-looking (and endangered, unfortunately) cacti, the obligatory very nice resort on land, and another Atlantic 57 (you better watch out, there's a lot of us out there...) "stored" for the season... On the way back we went by the north side of Hog Island to take a look at the protected anchorage mentioned in our cruising guide (and off the cute little beach seat of the above mentioned Sunday party). Boy was it full, and with an unfortunate "end-of-the-road" vibe. You could see wrecked boats abandoned against a background of mangroves and many of the moorings in use seemed to be made with whatever had came out of your basement that day. We asked someone if he knew who owned all these moorings, (some had names scribbled on them) and he somehow thought we were looking for one. He kindly offered to call some guy who could "screw one in the sand for us" (I'm not sure I'm using the right expression). We thanked him, declined politely, then moved on. Passing under the bridge that separates this anchorage from Woburn Bay, we noticed a German flag hanging upside down from a line tied to the bridge's railings. I'd be lying if I said that it didn't complement the... surrounding visuals but to this day its meaning remains obscure to me.😂
Highlight of our stay so far: the visit to the Grand Etang Lake and a hike in the rain forest to the Seven Sisters Waterfall. The lake projected a serene feel and hosted some colorful Koi fish (I'm pretty sure that's what they were) that weren't shy about coming in for some bread! It was a gray, rainy and windy day so the air was cool, particularly entering the portion of rain forest leading to the waterfall. But it made the experience even the more memorable, your skin reinvigorating from soaking in the moisture in the air, your nostrils breathing in the scent of the vegetation... Along the way that led to the hiking path there was also a locally grown garden showcasing many examples of the island flora, and a private plantation growing cocoa, nutmeg and banana trees. We threaded our steps carefully as the path - including rocks, some stream crossing and uneven man-made steps with wobbly rails for holding - was muddy and slippery due to the rain. It's fine, the hike was worth every clump of mud under your hiking boots! The waterfall was stunning, the sound of the water taking over everything else, and its temperature, as we noticed going in for dip,...refreshing! Colder than your traditional Caribbean Sea but definitely warmer than swimming off the south coast of Finland (trust me 😊). Kudos to Aaron, our excellent and indefatigable guide, who drove us to the various destinations (not for the faints of heart! Driving is aggressive here and it seems to me that a road is theoretically a two lanes road but it's treated like a one lane until by necessity or collision avoidance it has to become two lane again. Top it up with driving on the left and uneven road conditions... if you're not used to it, it's exhausting), led us through the path to the Seven Sisters, playfully jumped from the rocks into the waterfall (youth!) and eventually took us to Grand Anse, whose beautiful beach was a soothing contrast in scenery and where a couple of solid burgers replenished our carbs and proteins.
What else...ah, yes: we visited the Clarke Court Boatyard while in Woburn Bay as we are considering doing a haul out for a paint job - bottom really needs it, not to mention it's been gathering a collection of weeds and barnacles worthy of the Discovery Channel...partly because of the long stays in places, boat not moving, mon - and minor projects. We liked the yard and the people working there, so it's definitely a candidate.
. To the Gallery,y'all!