Grenada, a spectacularly beautiful island, has lush green
mountains, crystal waterfalls, golden beaches, and the fragrant
spice trees that give the island its epithet “Isle of Spice.”
Come from late January to early March to get the added bonus of
seeing the hills ablaze with hundreds of bright-orange,
flowering immortelle trees: pure magic.
From a yachting point of view, Grenada was one of the first
islands in the Eastern Caribbean to build a big marina (GYS) in
the early 70s and thus became a major yachting base.
This first foray into yachting squealed to a virtual halt when
got exciting with the transition to full independence in 1974.
Most Grenadians felt this was premature, and instead of jubilant
celebrations, the island was on strike and in protest.
Nonetheless, independence was thrust upon her, and Grenada came
of age under the rule of Sir Eric Gairy, a flamboyant and
controversial figure who had a very divisive effect on the
population, resulting in the l979 left-wing coup by Maurice
Bishop, who greatly admired Fidel Castro. Bishop attempted to
turn Grenada into a socialist state, improving medical care and
education, but he did so at the cost of freedom: anyone who
opposed him was thrown in jail, and all independent newspapers
However, this didn’t insulate him from opposition within his own
ranks. Second in command, Bernard Coard, his wife Phyllis Coard,
and members of the army took Bishop prisoner. After a massive
crowd freed him, an army group executed him along with half his
cabinet. At this point (1983), the US, along with Grenada’s
eastern Caribbean neighbors (the Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States), launched a “rescue mission” and were welcomed
with open arms.
During this time yachting almost died down GYS became a
Now, some 30 years later, this is old history, and looking back
over the last 30 years, Grenada, as an independent county, has
experienced the best, most democratic, and most productive age
since it was colonized. Grenadians are a warm and hospitable
people, exceptionally so once you get off the main tourist
There has been a great
resurgence in yachting;
haul-out facilities were built in St. David’s and Prickly Bay.
Another is just being completed in Clarkes Court Bay. Other
marina facilities have been built in St. George’s,
where the magnificent Port Louis has put Grenada firmly back on
the map as one of the Caribbean's premier yachting destinations,
Clarkes Court Bay, True Blue Bay, La Phare Bleu Bay, Prickly
Bay, and Mt. Hartman Bay. Two big chandleries supply
yachting gear, and legislation has been passed that encourages
yachting by allowing for low-duty supplies, parts, and chandlery
Grenada is host to a few important yachting events as well as
smaller club races, and has a strong marine trades association
Few islands are as photogenic as Grenada, with little houses
surrounded by flowers, mountain rivers, and rainforest.
Sometimes when you are hiking along a river amid nutmeg trees,
it has an uncanny resemblance to early pictures of the Garden of
Eden. A swim in one of the waterfalls will leave you feeling
wonderfully refreshed, your hair and skin seemingly extra soft.
Concord Falls are in beautiful countryside, and anyone with a
spark of adventure should hike the extra half-hour to the upper
falls. Seven Falls are the best, most secluded, and difficult to
get to (a one-hour muddy hike), and you need a guide. Concord
and Seven Falls are on private land, and the owners levy a small
The most spectacular road in Grenada is the road that runs from
Gouyave over to St. Andrew. It splits in two at Rose Mount ~ the
Belvedere road is better maintained, but when open, the Clozier
road is prettier. Both run right across the middle of Grenada
through verdant agricultural land with spectacular mountain
Grand Etang is a crater lake, and the Forest Center is close by.
Trails are laid out so you can wander into the forest. There are
wonderful hikes, including one halfway across the island (four
The countryside, which took a beating in hurricane Ivan in 2004,
is recovering well, ad hiking is magnificent
Grenada has its own organic chocolate factory started by the
late Mott, who was also a yachting enthusiast. They make a
high-octane bars of various flavors. Melt them slowly in
your mouth for an intensely rich, creamy, chocolate flavor
unlike any other commercial brand. Better still, come visit the
Belmont Estate, a typical and very picturesque country farm
where the cocoa beans grow.
In my youth I used to keep an eye on a coconut plantation for a
friend. To get there I passed the River Antoine Rum factory,
where they made a strong white rum called Rivers. I immediately
fell in love with this place ~ it still runs much as it has
since the mid-1800s using a giant water wheel to crush the cane,
the dry stalks to heat up the juice, and large wooden scoops to
manually move the hot juice from one big cast-iron bowl to the
next as it gets hotter (they call these bowls “coppers,” as the
original ones were made of copper).
To my delight they have now opened this estate to
visitors and offer tours for the very reasonable price of $5 EC,
which gets you a full explanation and a taste of the rum.
However, go when it is all running, and, as this is not every
day, call in advance to find out (442-7109 or 442-4537).
If you prefer the adventure and economy of a great hiking guide
who gets everywhere by local bus (this makes for easy one-way
hikes across mountains), contact Telfour Bedeau (442-6200). He
knows hikes all over Grenada. This works best when you are
anchored near a bus route.
Grenada Grenadines Yachting Publication
Grenada Sailing Festival (local boats)
Sailing Week (Yachts)
General yacht Services
Water Yacht Services
Flying Fish Ventures
Grenada Yacht Club
Secret Harbour Marina
Spronk Yacht Services
Island Water World
Canvas Shop (The)
Under Water Solutions
Grenada Tourist Board
Spice Island Retreat
& J Tours
Y&R car rentals
Restaurants an Acommodation
Mango Cottage (rental reasonable)