Grenada Bareboat Yacht Charter
An Island that has persevered through history
Dec. 6, 2005 07:00 PM
YV&C International Yacht Vacations & Charters Magazine reports:
The pretty little island of Grenada has been dealt many unfair blows by history and politics. To many it was just recovering from the invasion ordered by President Regan, who sent in troops to put down a Cuban-lead rebellion, when just as that reputation was beginning to sink below the horizon, Mother Nature sent one of her somewhat destructive sons to visit the island on September 7, 2004.
Hurricane Ivan hit the island in a deceitful way; he did not come from the south with strong southerly winds instead he flew in from the north bringing with him several small tornados which flew in and out of the hills choosing houses, homes and churches with abandon and selected roofs and even entire buildings and flew then into the hillside. Every house of God on the island save one lost its roof many of the churches had stood undisturbed for hundreds of years. Grenada is after all considered to be south of the expected hurricane belt, said to affect latitudes north of 12 degrees.
Grenada had lived without a hurricane for nearly 50 years and in that time the land had grown green and lush and the spices for which the island is world famous and flourished and the rain forest had achieved maturity. Ivan was not one to follow the rule book in fact he wrote a whole new one as he ripped the rain forest apart changing the scenery of the whole landscape in just 4 short hours destroying 90% of Grenada’s nutmeg crop and severely damaging the country’s agriculture.
The country’s population sent with a will and are rebuilding what they lost and they are doing so with a lightness of spirit. Hotels were affected to varying degrees and many are now fully reopened whist others are using the opportunity to upgrade and renovate facilities. Cruising yachts are back in the marinas and anchorages that are sprinkled around the spectacular shoreline.
We arrived on the island landing at Port Saline International airport a new modern complex serviced by the daily flights to Europe and the US. There we were greeted by the ever smiling and helpful; Mr MacDonald from Caribbean Horizons who are the land agents for Horizon Yacht Charters. He bundled our equipment and us into his small bus and off we sped for the short journey to the True Blue Bay resort and Marina. The hotel is a colourful collection of rooms and villas set at the head of the inlet known as True Blue Bay and its peaceful Marina is the Grenada home port of Horizon Yacht Charters.
“We joined My Mistress, a Bavaria 46, as she lay docked stern to the floating pontoon.” “Built in 2005 she has 4 cabins with 2 heads and can sleep up to 8 guests we had chosen to charter with a custom provisioning package and so there was very little for us to do save receive our very thorough briefing from James Pascall one of the directors of the base.”
True Blue Bay lies in the south of Grenada and as a result offers a choice of cruising locations sailing north would take in St Georges the Country’s capital then on further to Carriacou and into the Grenadines which are amongst the worlds most favoured yacht cruising grounds. Sailing to the south coast of Grenada is not nearly so well thought of and looking at the chart it is easy to see why. There is hardly a mention of navigation marks and the way through the numerous reefs is not always immediately clear or apparent but the rewards for those who venture there outweigh the extra work involved with safe navigation. This then was to be our cruising ground as we explored the bays creeks and harbours of South Grenada.
The promontory of land to the east of True Blue is called L’Anse Aux Epines (pronounced Lans o peen) and the delightful stretch of water between them is called prickly bay and a happy combination makes this a very pleasant anchorage. Ashore multi colour roofs peek out from vegetation and at the head of the bay lurking behind a palm fringed beach lays the Calabash Hotel with its luxury rooms and spacious villas and Gourmet restaurant with menus created by celebrity chef Gary Rhodes.
Leaving prickly bay and rounding its southerly point and heading towards Mount Hartman Bay it is important tom use eyeball navigation once inside is a deep and well protected anchorage with lots of room for us and as many other boats who would like to join. Investors from overseas have purchased the secret harbour marina here and have conversion and renovation into a port for super yachts is underway. The once pretty hotel is destined for demolition and plans are advancing for the construction of luxury villas which will be associated with the marina which with its robust piers is considered to be one of the safest marinas in the Caribbean.
Frangipani trees give healthy coverage to hog Island their leaves fall in the dry season leaving only sweet smelling delicate flowers. Hog Island has a large and well-protected and welcoming anchorage. Ashore spiky mangrove roots stick upwards like bristles from a witches broom, their leaves brushing out in the form of a huge green afro hairstyle. A cow walks on the beach as if to say hello to the little blue heron who spends her days patrolling the shore watching for little flurries of fish. The heron strides forward with huge but delicate steps like a fastidious matron trying not to walk on something unpleasant. Sometimes she grabs a wriggling silver fish, other times the fish churn the water into a frightening hiss and she runs back to the safety of the sand.