The Southern Caribbean: it's Worth the Getting There
The 'Spice Isle' and its offshore smaller islands stretching north into the Grenadines make up the nation of Grenada. As well as being the world's second largest nutmeg supplier, Grenada is a leading producer of cocoa, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Resplendent in verdant rain forest and with the typically beautiful Caribbean coastline, Grenada is also packed with history and culture.
There are numerous of options for a sailboat charter out of Grenada's main port of St. George. Take time to explore this beautiful island, then sail north through the Windward islands chain as far as time and ambition allow.
Spice Things Up with a Grenada Yachting Holiday
The independent nation of Grenada comprises the main island of the same name and the small chain that stretches north as far as Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Further north lay St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Martinique, all within holiday cruising distance. That makes Grenada a convenient option for any Windward Islands vacation. And with a lot to recommend Grenada in its own right, the 'Spice Isle' are worthy of strong consideration for your next bareboat charter.
Like virtually all the Windward Islands, Grenada was fought over in the colonial era by England and France, and remnants of both cultures remain. The best place to experience the historical influences and get a slice of modern life is on the main island itself, with all its colour.
On Grenada, the best sailing experiences are to be had in the southwest of the island. From the capital of St Georges around to the heavily indented southern coast, lie the most popular beaches, safe and peaceful anchorages, beachside restaurants and some very interesting places to explore from seaward or short taxi ride. The island is well-developed for tourism, and it's worth taking time to head inland to view the natural beauty that abounds in the rain forest. Grand Etang National Park has a range of hiking trails that take from 15 minutes to several hours to complete.
Northwards it's a full day's sail past Ronde Island and its neighbours (which offer limited shelter but if the conditions are right make the perfect lunch stop) to Carriacou and a different world – the one of the postcards. Tyrell Bay is a popular anchorage serviced by shops and restaurants; the perfect stopover for exploration of the Grenadines and beyond. The waters are clear and the sandy beaches inviting. It's also an island of tradition. With luck and some planning, you can be there during one of the island's many cultural festivals.
From Carriacou and its neighbour Petite Martinique, the Grenadines beckon. It's an easy sail to the Tobago Cays via Clifton Harbour on Union Island to clear customs – you are now in the territory of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There's Mayreau, Canouan, Mustique, and finally Bequia – all idyllic places to visit, some peaceful and quiet, some relatively developed and homes to some rich and famous.
On an extended charter, sail as far north as time allows. The return journey is generally downwind – another good thing about Grenada as your charter base. All in all, Grenada makes for a convenient and practical alternative for exploring some of the best parts of the beautiful Caribbean by bareboat charter.
Sailing Conditions Around Grenada
Grenada and its surrounding waters sit on the southern edge of the 'hurricane belt', and as such the region is rarely affected by storms. Enjoy the typically long Caribbean sailing season, with consistently warm daytime temperatures ranging from 82ºF (28ºC) in January to 88ºF (31ºC) in August.
Winds here blow generally from the east to north-east 15 – 20 knots December through April, changing to east to southeast 10 – 15 knots during the rest of the year. As with all of the Windward Islands, the west and south coasts of the various islands offer the best overnight shelter for cruising yachts. Anchorages on eastern shores need to be sheltered from the northeast (eg. Clifton Harbour, Union Island).