April 13th marks the beginning of our final week of relaxed cruising and sightseeing before commencing the process of de-commissioning Cutter Loose for summer storage. On Sunday afternoon 4/13, it is off to Grande Anse to enjoy a sunset view at the beach followed by dinner and live music at Umbrellas beach bar in company with friends Donna and Steve of s/v Summer Love.
On Monday 4/14, a hiking trip to one of the most attractive waterfalls on the island has been planned. A group of nine cruisers cram into Shademan’s taxi for the 45 minute ride to Grand Etang. Shademan (aka Patrick) specializes in transportation services aimed at the cruising community. He is a trusted friend here in Grenada.
Just beyond the Nature Center is the settlement of St. Margaret and the trailhead for a hike to Seven Sisters and Honeymoon Falls. The hike passes through private property and the owner collects a small fee at his trailhead stand. Our guide today is Warren, a friendly and energetic young man who lives nearby. Compared to other hikes in the Caribbean, this is an easy 45 minute downhill hike through the rain forest to the falls.
Seven Sisters refers to a series of seven cascading waterfalls. The more strenuous part of the hike is the steep climb from sisters #6 and #7 at the base to sister #1 at the top of the cascade. One may return to the base either by descending the trail or by jumping over each waterfall into their respective pools below.
Warren demonstrates his diving technique while we observe from the refreshingly cool water in the pool below sister #6. Before returning to the trailhead, Warren leads us to yet another nearby attraction known as Honeymoon Falls, so-named because of the heart-shaped pool beneath the falls.
At the conclusion of the hike, Warren introduces us to his sister, Kionna, who offers a convincing smile, encouraging us to purchase some of her freshly harvested spices.
Similar to Simpson Bay Lagoon in St. Martin, Prickly Bay is the type of anchorage that does not easily relinquish its grasp on the unwary traveler. Prickly is easy to enter but difficult to depart. We have become addicted to shore side amenities, conveniences, sightseeing opportunities and social activities. Even the invasive swell has treated us rather kindly, remaining benign and rocking us to sleep every night during our stay. After eleven days at anchor, it is time to move on.
On Tuesday 4/15, the anchor is up in Prickly Bay for the short trip to Clarkes Court Bay, about five miles to the east. The south coast of Grenada is a series of deeply indented fiord-like bays tucked inside an expansive network of barrier reefs and coastal islands. These bays offer excellent protection from swells and the prevailing easterly winds. Mount Hartman Bay, Hog Island Bay, Clarkes Court Bay and Phare Bleu Bay are all interconnected via a series of dinghy passages through cuts in the reef.
Cutter Loose is anchored in the outer reaches of Clarkes Court Bay just to the west side of the reef at Petite Calvigny Point. Here, 20 knot easterly winds ventilate and cool the cabin, providing sufficient energy for the wind generator to keep the ship’s batteries fully charged both day and night. This vantage point offers views of the exclusive resort at nearby Calvigny Island where accommodations may be secured at a cost ranging from $30,000 USD to $124,000 USD per night. From our anchorage, it is a five minute dinghy ride to Whisper Cove Marina where freshly baked bread is available for purchase every morning beginning at 10:30 AM.
There is a vibrant community of live aboard “condo” cruisers who spend the entire season in these bays, perhaps equal or greater in numbers to that of Prickly Bay. Many have installed their own permanent moorings where their boats remain year-round. The area is served by four marinas, each of which features its own bar and restaurant. The restaurants compete with one another by offering daily specials as well as music and entertainment to attract cruisers. In addition, Roger’s Beach Bar on Hog Island features a popular barbeque on Sundays. The morning net on VHF 66 International is the source of all information that connects the cruising community. A repeater station high in the mountains at Grande Etang makes it possible for all cruisers in Grenada and Carriacou to participate in the morning net, regardless of where they are located on the island.
According to an event announcement on the morning net, the social activity for Tuesday evening here at Camp Grenada is a full moon dinghy drift in Mount Hartman Bay. At sunset, some fifteen dinghies raft together in the Bay. Several cruisers from yesterday’s hike are in attendance, including Maria and Maurice from s/v Captiva and Diane and Larry from s/v Dove.
Everyone brings an appetizer to share while waiting for the moon to make its appearance. Ever so gradually, the eastern horizon begins to glow. By 8 PM, the full moon is overhead, illuminating the entire Bay. The return trip to Cutter Loose through the maze of anchored boats is made easier by the brilliant moonlight.
Our anchorage in Clarkes Court Bay has been a thoroughly relaxing experience, allowing time for reading, enjoying leisurely lunches ashore at Whisper Cove Marina and becoming familiar with nearby interconnected bays via dinghy. It is a delightful place to spend the final days of our winter/spring voyage, savoring the laid-back simplicity of the cruising lifestyle. On Saturday, we will move one bay to the east where Cutter Loose will be docked at La Phare Bleu Marina for a week of cleaning and preparation for summer layup.