On Thursday May 14th we left the Grenadines and headed for Hillsborough, Carriacou to check into Grenada. This was one of the few islands that required all crew to visit the immigration office. We are not sure if this was a result of the swine flu that seems to be making its way around the Caribbean. We left the next day for St George’s and took a slip at the Port Louis Marina. We were surprised at how few boats were there considering how reasonable the rates were. We were joined on our dock by a $9 million Oyster 82 and a $6 million Oyster 62 (which is available to buy for anyone with a bit of spare cash…). Snowaway looks pretty small beside those sailboats.
We explored the island and enjoyed tours of three rum distilleries; Westerhall does not actually make its own rum anymore but imports rum from Trinidad, blends and bottles it, and sells it as Grenadian rum. The first distillery we visited was Clarkes Court, the second was Westerhall and the final was the River Antoine Rum Distillery. Clarkes Court produces one of our favourites, Old Grog, while we had trouble drinking the very strong River Antoine rum.
In the mountainous heart of Grenada is the Grand Etang Forest Reserve. There is a lake in the crater of an extinct volcano and unfortunately the day we stopped the views were foggy. However, there is a visitor centre where we were able to feed bananas to the local Mona Monkeys.
Grenada is known as the Spice Island and its most important spice is nutmeg. The fruit of the nutmeg tree is used to make jam, syrup and liqueurs. The red mace covers the nut that holds the nutmeg. Hurricane Ivan in 2004 destroyed over 90% of the nutmeg trees and they are just starting to come back. This has had a very negative effect on the economy with the loss of employment (particularly to the women).