Grenada 15thFeb-1st March

Chris & Sally Longstaff
Fri 23 Mar 2007 13:31

Grenada   12:00.88N  61:40.45W


The sail to Grenada is different in that we decide, in common with most yachts heading this way, to sail south along the east, windward side. This gives us a much rougher, but quicker passage. The sea between the islands, and especially around  the renowned and aptly named “Kicking Jenny” throws up some rough stuff, but on the whole the passage is a good one. Most of the interesting bays and anchorages are along the south coast of Grenada, necessitating a long day to reach them. We sail into St Davids ahead of a following wind and drop anchor in a charming bay; home  of the 3-star Michelin chef at the “Barking Barracuda”!

Unable to resist (especially after the barman’s best attempts at a number of suggested rum cocktail recipes) we order the menu.


It turns out that the Michelin chef has departed and the incumbent is a (somewhat less internationally accredited) Cuban exile. She promises us, in Spanish only, something “very special, Cuban style” (or nothing).  The proffered dish is a mix of Cuban style rice and beans and some ham and cheese fritters which are suspiciously Birdseye-like. Anyhow it is very palatable, it being ages since I’ve had Birdseye fritters.


Grenada still carries some of the scars of Hurricanes Ivan and Emily which recently devastated the land. Wrecks of boats are still evident on rocks or in creeks, or under repair in boatyards. Fred, shipwright at St Davids, talks of the fantastic spirit and camaraderie that got people through, and how Grenada has emerged stronger for the experience. There are still “written-off” yachts to be had for a pittance for anyone willing to take on the renovation.


We move around to Prickly Bay, to a small marina that turns out to be something of a building site; in the early stages of a very futuristic style marina with luxurious marine apartments and private moorings. In fact “building” being a rather slow and gentle pursuit in these parts it is not in the least bit disturbing and the small bar at the water front turns out to be an excellent watering hole, meeting place and producer of exceptionally good pizza (invariably shared around the bar with whoever you are talking to at the time).


 While at Prickly Bay marina we take a tour with the “colourful” (!!!) “Yellowman” (every piece of this man’s adornment is yellow, including ribbons in his beard, his shoes and his taxi. Although touring the island turns out to be typically long-routed there is much amusement to be had from the calls that greet him wherever we go.  Not surprisingly everyone seems to know “Yellowman”. Visit the Grenada Chocolate Factory; probably the smallest and best in the world? On route Yellowman insists we drop in on a “men only” rum-shack for a quick sample of the local “under-the-counter” stuff. Mike and I bravely venture forth and are rewarded (?) with a shot of high octane rum distillation that could launch a Caribbean space project. Afterwards at the waterfalls I find myself leaping with youthful abandon from high rocks into the crashing water below. Tempted to go back for a bottle.





In “The Big Fish” (bar/restaurant) we make the acquaintance of a wandering Aussie who is presently working in the local boatyard. It sounds very good and so we wander over to meet the yard manager. They seem to understand completely the problems associated with lifting a swing-keel boat and so we decide to book in and change the seals on the leaking rudder and repaint the antifouling.  The lifting procedure is a little nerve-wracking but in the end smooth. Interesting places boatyards, and interesting to see a selection of out-of-the-water hull shapes and profiles. The yard is owned by a very dignified and charming local chap (somewhat inappropriately called “junior”) who wanders round (with a cup of coffee) dispensing good advice, encouragement and general bonhomie. 


For a couple of nights away from living on the boat in the yard, we check into the local True Blue resort, where Sally makes friends with Anna + very lively 7 year old twin girls…………Anna and Brian have just moved to Grenada (Brian’s birthplace) to open their restaurant “BB’S Crabback ”. A visit there testifies to the fact that Brian is an exceptionally good and original chef. Needless to say, incredible “crabback” ! Brian threatens Sally with death when she attempts to find out his risotto recipe. A tough call, an exquisite risotto.


We manage to change the seals successfully, but the bad news from the yard is that the only antifouling available (of our make) is “red”, as opposed to “blue”. So Moondance ends up with a very fetching Merchant Marine red bottom! Back in the water she slips along at what seems like an extra knot or two, so worth the effort! Brian and Anna join us for a day’s sail around the south west point of Grenada and on our first stage of turning for home, which is great fun. Brian might be persuaded to get some form of water transport….especially as their house is on the north of the island.


 For the first time since July 2006 we are heading North!!