Look at the attached map of the Eastern Caribbean, and you’ll see that Grenada (not Granada – that’s in Spain!) is almost as far south as you can go without hitting South America. Trinidad and Tobago are the very last islands before Venezuela, but because of security concerns, we decided to skip them. That means Grenada is likely the farthest south we’ll get on this Big Adventure, even if we finally make it down the coast in the Western Caribbean. For you map nerds, we saw 11 degrees, 59 minutes North as we came around the southern part of the island, and at that point, we were 1,443 nautical miles (1,659 “normal” miles) from Satellite Beach, our Florida home for the twelve years before departing. According to Smartini’s electronic charting system, we traveled about 3,920 miles to get there, so there has been a lot of side-tripping and revisiting favorite places along the way, but that was the whole point of the trip, after all.

We spent all of October in Grenada, then went to the US for 32 days to visit friends and family all over the country. We returned to Grenada for a little more than two weeks, before leaving there on Christmas Eve, beginning our long, slow trek back north. (We spent over a week in Bequia – it’s a favorite spot! – then a few days on St. Vincent, and now we’re exploring St. Lucia.)

We liked Grenada – Fran liked it A LOT! It’s the first island we’ve been to so far that’s green and lush and beautiful for its peaks (the tallest is 2,756 feet), rainforest, and waterfalls, and it’s covered with hundreds, maybe thousands, of species of tropical plants. Everywhere you look you see bamboo, bananas, papayas, coconuts, nutmeg, sugar cane, cocoa, mangos, and flowers of every color, shape and size. The people are mostly friendly to tourists, although tourism is only their fourth largest source of revenue. They make delicious chocolate on antique equipment, and rum (that tastes like paint thinner!) on ancient equipment. We did our first Hash while we were there (see “Hash House Harriers” – it’s a drinking club with a running problem) – they do one almost every Saturday, and have been doing it for over 30 years! We got to meet and hang out with a bunch of cool boat people (virtually all of them sailors, but we’ve grown fond of them). We got to spend time with two couples we’ve met along the way who we dearly love – Max and Whitey on Nutmeg, and Paul and Liz on Oneiro. And we finally got to have a visit from my almost-niece Abby, who dealt with all the vagaries that boat life could throw at her, from a dead main engine to missing a flight home, like the world-class traveler that she is.

So here’s Grenada, in pictures!

Our very first stop after Customs and Immigration! It’s not Intra nor Deviate, but at least they had something other than island lager!
With Liz and Paul from Oneiro, at the Container Park. So many shipping containers come to the islands with nothing to put in them for the trip back, that they end up getting left on the islands and used for all kinds of things – like an entire food court made of them!
L to R: Butch, Max (Nutmeg), Fran, Paul (Oneiro), Whitey (Nutmeg), and Liz (Oneiro). We’ve met some great people on this Big Adventure, but none finer than these four!
At the completion of the Hash (a 30 – 40 minute run through the bush, across streams, gardens, etc.). This was the 1,109th Hash since the Grenada Hash House Harriers started well over 20 years ago.
Some of the local fare they served after the Hash. Green bananas (or maybe it’s breadfruit?), manicu (possum), and iguana.
Fran’s been saying for years she wants to see monkeys. While we did see one in the wild, this guy was caged up, and it’s a good thing – he stole Fran’s phone right after she took this picture! Good thing it wouldn’t fit through the fencing, or we’d have been out one phone.
Concorde Falls – you can drive right to it!
This is a cocoa pod, full of the seeds (beans?) that are processed into chocolate. There are at least two chocolate makers on Grenada, and they also export a lot of the dried cocoa seeds to other countries who make their own chocolate with it.
Just one of the many types of chocolate that Jouvay makes.
Grenada has an interesting recent history (1970’s and 1980’s), during which they overthrew a virtual dictator and installed a new government, which then failed 5 years later when the Prime Minister was killed after a major split in the government. During those 5 years, Cuba was sending them aid, and of course, the Soviet Union was supporting Cuba. This Soviet plane, and another from the same era, are all that are left at the original airport, which is now used as an informal dragstrip and livestock pasture.
They dress fairly conservatively on most of the Caribbean islands.
A dinghy full of trick-or-treaters on Halloween. We had at least 20 dinghies full, with at least 75 kids in costume. Paul and Liz (Oneiro) joined forces with us to handle them all.
Jamar came onboard twice every day and took care of May while we were in the US for 32 days in November. He sent us pictures of May every few days, but she didn’t seem too interested in the photo shoots.
Fran carries a small bag of cat treats (the ones May doesn’t like!) with her whenever we’re out and about, so she can win the affection (or at least the attention) of all the island kitties. A few minutes before this photo, this cat was happily eating Cheetos that our driver had tossed to her.
This 178 year old water wheel turns the machinery that crushes sugar cane. The cane is fed into the crusher by hand, and as you can see in the background, the husks are hauled off by hand, too. The cane juice is fermented, then distilled into rum, then immediately bottled and sold – not one day of aging! They make – and sell – about 500 bottles every day. At 142 proof, t’s the definition of “firewater”.
The cane crusher that’s turned by the water wheel.
Moving the crushed cane husks out of the way for drying. After they’re dry enough, they’re burned to provide the heat for the distilling process.
The cane juice is fermented in open air vats, and then distilled. This is the last vat before distilling.
Butch, Elon (our distillery guide), Fran, Abby, and Curtis (our driver and island tour guide).
Roasted cocoa beans are sorted by hand – these ladies are looking for any bad ones, which go into the triangular hole in the corner of their “desk”.
One of two or three presses that are used to squeeze the chocolate nibs until every bit of oil (cocoa butter) is separated from the dry powder. Later in the process, they add some of the butter back to make the chocolate more creamy.
Nutmeg, fresh off the tree. The outer husk is used like mulch. The red lacy “wrapper” is called mace and is also used as a spice. The actual nutmeg spice is the seed in the center. It’s a very important export for Grenada, and the main reason it’s called The Spice Island.
Buying a squash (which they call “pumpkin”) that we later made into a delicious soup. Notice the two signs in front of the truck: “No Parking” and “No Vending”. Ha!
Abby, my almost-niece, on the aft deck with May.
Walking up to the fort that guards the entrance to the harbour. The town of St. George (aka St. George’s) is in the background. It’s Grenada’s largest town by far.
At Annandale Falls.
A giant tree on the marina property. See me in the picture? It must be a thousand years old.
On the north end of Grenada is an “exclusion zone” for boaters – where an underwater volcano is. If the volcano were to start emitting gas, the water would get very bubbly, and any boat in that water would sink like a stone! Smartini is the red arrow, as we skirted past, just outside the danger zone.

So that’s Grenada! We liked it – I hope you did, too!

6 thoughts on “Grenada”

    1. Hey, Brett! So good to hear from you! I sure hope those hellish fires aren’t affecting you. So sad.

    1. Bill, we expect to reach the Bahamas in late June, but may not stay there too long, as that’ll be the beginning of Hurricane Season. We might take the boat back to the US and get hauled out, and then go back to the Abacos when the coast is clear. In other words… we don’t really know.

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