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  • Writer's pictureMagali Bongrand

What to do during a charter in Grenada Waters?

During these Covid times, charterers have taken the opportunity to discover what Grenada's waters have to offer. Our experience is that there is a lot to do! In fact, a lot more than what can be done within a 5 or 7 days charter.


Explore the Southern Grenadines

The Grenadines comprises of 600 islands and islets between Grenada and St Vincent. The Southern Grenadines are mainly located in Grenada's waters whilst the Northern Grenadines are located in St Vincent's waters. Due to Covid, it is not practical to cross over to St Vincent for a short trip as it requires quarantines in and out. It is now the perfect time to visit the hidden treasures of the Southern Grenadines. We went for a 7 days trip over Christmas and this is where our itinerary took us!

Overnight at Isle de Rhonde

Isle de Rhonde is the largest private island of the Caribbean. It is only inhabited by 37 fishermen living in a village at the south of the Island. Isle de Rhonde offers a great opportunity to break the trip to Carriacou for a lunch break or even better, an overnight. The yacht anchorage is on the west side of the island, it is calm and has great swimming. There are 3 small beaches in this cove that can be accessed by dinghy.


If you are into hiking, there is a nice hike starting from the gully on the south side of the middle beach. We set off with 4 children up the hill in our swimsuits and flip-flops which wasn't the best move. I’ll recommend that you pack long pants and trainers if you intend to hike and possibly take a cutlass (there are 2 onboard which you can ask for from the captain). From there you will climb straight up the hill until you get to a rock cliff which you can go around to get to the top. It offers a beautiful lookout point over the bay, Grenada and Carriacou. This is a small hike which will take you about 1h to 1h30 return.



For snorkelling, there is a beautiful snorkelling site between the 2 rocks of the Sisters, at the south of the anchorage. You can easily access it by dinghy from the anchorage, but someone will have to stay in the dinghy and drive it around while the group snorkels.


Sandy Island and Paradise Beach


One of the cruisers' favourite, Sandy Island is an amazing anchorage just in front of Carriacou's most popular beach. We arrived at Sandy Island after spending a night and an action-packed day at Isle de Rhonde so we relaxed for the afternoon and had an early dinner on Paradise beach. Curtis runs a bar called Off The Hook on the south side of the beach which serves really nice food but there are more dining options on the north side of the beach. If you go there, don't forget to stop at Fidel, a little shop with beautiful craft. If you like a little walk, there is a trail going through the mangrove at the north of Paradise beach which is quite stunning as you walk through a maze of long red mangrove shooters and roots.

We took a taxi (Linky +14734062457) to the nearby Alexis Supermarket in Tyrell Bay to get more ice and a few supplies.

In the morning, the captain took the boat around to Tyrell Bay to fill up the water tank and we stayed on with the dinghy to explore Sandy Island. The kids enjoyed kayaking and paddle boarding in the calm sheltered water. We walked the island and the little conch shell marked path at the south of the island. The snorkelling is best at the back of Sandy Island. Start north of the small salt pond. The water is quite shallow there so you have to be careful not to get hurt on the reef (best to take water shoes and a swimming T-shirt), and then swim up to the northern tip of the island and turn around to the front. If you snorkel at the front of the island, you will most likely see large schools of juvenile fish, squid and turtles, if you are lucky.

If you feel really sporty, you can also kayak across to Marbouya island, which is not approachable by dinghy. The current is moderately strong. I did it on the kayak and my 8 years/old son followed me with the paddle board. We both made it but it certainly was a workout. Make sure the captain knows you are going so he can come and tow you with the dinghy if you do not feel like rowing back.

As there were lots of yachts at the Sandy Island anchorage, it was not surprising that we met some friends from Grenada who informed us of a gathering at Anse la Roche for one of Tim Garraway's famous Lobster Lunches at his Sunset Beach Bar. We had heard about it before, but never tried and it lived up to its legend! Anse la Roche is a beautiful bay which offers nice swimming and a picturesque white sand beach. Tim's bar on the beach just adds perfectly to this idyllic setting.

After a day spent eating lobster, dancing with friends and quite a few rum punches, we came back onboard and were ready to retire to our cabins for a long sleep, but the captain told us that the wind picked up and it would be more comfortable spending the night back at Sandy Island. We had the most amazing moonlit sail downwind, lulling us to sleep and woke up bright and early surrounded by the turquoise waters of Sandy Island. We set sail back north straight after breakfast to head to Petit Carenage at the northern tip of Carriacou. With Union Island and the Northern Grenadines as our background, we enjoyed a fish we caught en-route on our BBQ for lunch and swam in the crystal clear water.



We spent the night at the Windward anchorage. We did not feel like cooking so we ordered a pizza from Pizza Meh Heart, the best pizzeria in Carriacou located a short walk from the dinghy jetty. The next morning, we left early to get to Saline Island where we had arranged to meet with friends. We therefore did not have the opportunity to visit the village of Windward itself. The village is famous for its traditional boat building industry and some of the most beautiful Carriacou sloops have been built right there on the beach. If you have the time, you can dinghy to the jetty and walk along the coastal road where you will find several workshops with boats at various stages of construction.

The colours of the water and the views in the strait between Carriacou and Petite Martinique is what people come from around the world to see. It is possible to anchor there to enjoy the view a little longer, take a swim or a snorkel.


White Island and Saline Island


The two islands form a marine protected area with a large reef starting north of Saline to the north of White. This reef offers a great drift dive/snorkel. There is also a reef around White Island and it can easily be approached by dinghy. It is best not to swim outside of the reef because of the strong current. When going from White Island to Saline Island, you can sail around the back of White Island and the fishing at this area is great (it is just out of the protected area so you can fish there).


In the anchorage of Saline Island, you can swim, paddle, kayak or snorkel. There are often turtles and rays there. Kenroy, the caretaker of the island, lives there and also runs a great vegan restaurant using produce grown on the island. However, his presence on the island also means that opportunities to explore the island are now restricted. You can ask him, and he will gladly take you around his farm and probably let you venture around the large saltwater pond too.


Tyrell Bay and Carriacou

We planned to spend our last day before returning to Grenada doing some land-based activities in Carriacou and decided to stay in Tyrell Bay, as it is a good place for provisioning and most certainly to refuel the water and diesel. The largest and best-provisioned supermarket in Carriacou, “Alexis”, is located there too. If you are looking for some finer supplies or ready-made home cooked meals, you can also check Patty's Deli in Hillsborough (they deliver).

Dining

There are several well-known options for dining in Carriacou such as Bogles Round House (Bogles), The Slipway (Tyrell Bay), Lambi Queen (Tyrell Bay) and the latest edition is Barakena, a new bar and grill owned by Barracuda, whom you might know for his famous live singing performances in Grenada. Good lunch options in Hillsborough are La Paya Beach Bar on the little beach at the North of the village and Kayak Cafe, right in the middle of town (also great for breakfast).

Land-based Activities

As far as land-based activities (besides dinning) on Carriacou, you can hire Linky, a great taxi driver we usually use (+14734062457), to give you a guided tour of the island. It takes about 3 hours and it is very interesting.

There are many hikes too around the island. You can find a lot of options for hikes on this website: https://www.wikiloc.com/trails/outdoor/grenada/carriacou-and-petite-martinique


The one we did is easy and directly accessible from Tyrell Bay. Turn right on the main road as you exit Carriacou Marine boatyard and follow onto the dirt road. You will go past a large farm and then reach the peninsula between the south east and west coasts of Carriacou. On one side, there is a long beach overlooking White and Saline Islands as you reach the end of the peninsula, you can go over to the westside to a quaint little cove. Expect this hike to be around 1h30/2h return depending on how long you spend swimming at the beach.

Finally, you could indulge in an amazing massage by Caroline and her magic hands! I highly recommend her but you should book her in advance as the secret is now out on how great she is (+1 (473) 419-2358, can be delivered onboard or at her place).


Back to Grenada via the East Coast


We had reached the end of our holiday but we were determined to continue exploring off the beaten tracks! We decided to go back to Grenada along the more rugged east coast. We left Tyrell Bay early and headed to the east side of Isle de Rhonde and Grenada. There was a fair amount of wind that day and we were going down at 12.2 knots giving everyone a fun ride!


The east coast of Grenada is beautiful and because there are no practicable roads leading to many of the coves and beaches, it remains very much unexplored and untouched. Hope Beach at Hope Estate offers a great sheltered harbour along the coast where we pulled in for lunch and a swim. We could have easily stayed the night and we could also have spent a few more days exploring the east coast but that will be for another trip!



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