SAILING GRENADA DECEMBER, 2000
PROLOGUE -- November 27, 2000
Rick and I have been to Grenada twice. In 1992, we stayed for a week on land in the L'anse Aux Epines area. In 1996, we ended a sail from St. Lucia through the Grenadines in Carriacou and Grenada.
The 1992 trip was our 5th or 6th trip to the Caribbean. We stayed in fairly simple lodgings at Coral Cove, on the windward side of the island, facing beautiful Mt. Hartmann Bay. With our rented 4WD Pajero, we explored Concord Falls; the South Pacific feeling La Sagesse beach on the Atlantic side; volcanic crater lake Grand Etang; the fabled white sand beach at Grand Anse on the Caribbean side, as well as a black sand counterpoint near the abandoned landing strip at Pearl's Beach on the Atlantic side; and the bustle of one of the prettiest harbour towns in the islands, St. George. All the while, we were impressed with the genuine warmth and friendliness of the islanders, in sharp contrast to the indifference of some of the people we'd encountered in St. Croix and Antigua. What we liked even more was the feeling of having gotten away from the tourist rat race, feelings reinforced by a day spent utterly alone on Morne Rouge's picture-perfect beach, and a day sail to un-inhabited (except for some cows) Hog Island.
The 1996 trip was long-awaited. We had planned to go in September of 1995, but the day before our planned departure, Hurricane Marilyn scuttled our trip, which we re-scheduled for the following March. We looked forward to re-visiting favorite Grenadian spots to end our sail. Starting with the twin peaks of the Pitons in St. Lucia, we visited one gem of an island after another, from Bequia to Mayreau to Mustique and on to the Tobago Cays. Set against these comparisons, neither Carriacou nor Grenada disappointed. A special delight was Sandy Cay just off Tyrell Bay on Carriacou, an uninhabited islet ringed by a perfect sandy beach. After sailing, we spent the night at Secret Harbour, the Moorings' hotel at Mt. Hartmann's Bay and capped our stay with dinner at our favorite restaurant in all of the islands, Coconuts on Grand Anse Beach.
During our first trip to Grenada, we were impressed with the beauty of the island and the wealth of nature's gifts, but had only the comparison of a few Caribbean trips before. That impression has not been diminished in the dozen or so trips we've had to the islands since. So, when it came time to choose a base for a sailing charter with both sets of parents, Grenada was a natural choice.
My parents, especially my father, had been wanting to take a sailing vacation for some time. My parents' only real experience of sailing has been on our boat, and they've had a taste of the islands from a Hawaiian trip in 1990 (an anniversary gift from us kids) and a trip with me and Rick to the Abacos in 1998. But my dad's desire has been to wake up on a boat, surrounded by the turquoise blue of tropical seas. Rick's parents are a bit more experienced at sailing, messing about in small sailboats for several years, and moving up to our C&C 26 when we moved up to a bigger boat. They've done some overnight trips, but never a full-blown tropical charter. Since sailing charters, especially in the tropics, involve some lack of creature comforts, and require some physical fitness (climbing in and out of dinghies!), we decided this December, 2000, would be a good time to take a trip with both sets of parents, before their health dictates cushier travels.
For my part, I have evolved from dreading sailing (because of seasickness) to being an enthusiastic bareboat charterer (who believes there is no better vacation) and proud co-owner of a Sabre 34, with dreams of running away to the islands on our sailboat. While Rick and I prefer to bareboat, our experience has also shown us how much work this entails, especially since we have been the ones on each of our past charters with the most (if not only) sailing knowledge. And its not only the sailing which involves work as the one who inevitably ends up being cruise director and head galley slave, much of the planning and cooking responsibility (with help, of course), falls on me. So, in order to truly relax and enjoy our time with our parents and these beautiful islands, we have chosen to sail with a crew this time, which will allow us to do participate in as much, or as little, of the sailing as we choose.
As in the past, we are sailing with the Moorings out of Mt. Hartmann's Bay. Our adventure begins in a few days, on December 2, when we will meet up with our parents, arriving from different airports, in San Juan.
Stay tuned . . .