The waterfront in Grenada’s main town, St George
Yachts that cross the Atlantic from Europe often miss this island nation at the southern end of the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles chain. Yet it offers a compelling mix of stunning scenery, a relaxed vibe and picturesque anchorages, along with top-notch boating facilities.
The island is some 130 square miles – roughly the same size as the Isle of Wight off the south coast of the UK – with a population of just over 100,000. The main town of St George and the major port facilities are on the east coast, where there’s excellent shelter from the north-easterly tradewinds. The deeply-indented bays of the south coast also offer safe sheltered anchorages, many of them in spectacular settings.
The bays on the south side of the island offer good shelter amid stunning scenery. This is Grenada Marine in St David’s Harbour.
Although not immune from hurricanes – Grenada sustained significant damage and loss of life from Janet in 1955, Hugo in 2004 and Emily in 2005 – the island is to the south of the main track of the tropical storms that batter the Caribbean islands in the summer and autumn months. It is therefore less prone to tropical revolving storms than the islands further north, although a passing storm can produce dangerous surges and floods.
Just outside St George is the recently built Port Louis Marina, a top-notch facility run by Camper and Nicholsons that caters for boats from less than 10 metres to the largest of superyachts. Smaller marinas can also be found in the less developed south of the island, while Grenada Marine in St David’s Harbour near the island’s south-eastern extremity is a large boat yard with knowledgeable and skilled staff that can handle most yachts.
Superyachts at the entrance to Port Louis Marina
The northern end of Grand Anse Bay, which doesn’t experience the ground swell from the waves that bend around the northern side of the island, is also a popular anchorage. While more open than the bays on the south side of the island, this is still an idyllic location and with a decent dinghy it’s a short run ashore to St George for economical provisions and to get a taste of island life.
The island is home to a number of good small to medium size rum distilleries, including Clark and Co and Westerhall, both of which produce excellent spirits at modest prices. Spices are also an important part of the economy, with the island exporting 20 per cent of the world’s nutmeg supply, making it the second largest producer after Indonesia. These are available to buy at the Spice Market in the centre of St George, but there’s no longer any local trade in the market and the wares appear to be packaged with cruise ship clientele in mind.
Grenada is also an important cocoa producer and recently the Grenada Chocolate Company co-operative has clubbed together to add value to the organic beans produced on the island. These are processed locally into delicious bars, as well as exported for the production of the finest chocolate by small-scale artisanal chocolatiers.