Grenada Yacht Charter
Known as the "Isle of Spice", Grenada consists of three main islands:
Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. They are located in the
Eastern Caribbean at the southern end of the Windward Islands, only 100
miles north of Venezuela. Grenada is located north of Trinidad and
Tobago, and south of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Grenada offers an extensive choice of yacht charter including on sail and motor yachts, bareboat, skippered and luxury crewed yacht charter on both monohulls and catamarans.
Average temperatures range from 25°C to°30 C, accompanied by the steady and cooling trade winds make for a perfect yacht charter. The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. Because of Grenada's remarkable topography, the island also experiences climate changes according to altitude. The driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day.
Christopher Columbus first sighted Grenada in1498 and named it firstly Conception Island and later called it Granada. At the time the Island Caribs lived there and called it Camerhogue. The Spaniards did not permanently settle in Camerhogue and the English failed their first settlement attempts. The French fought and conquered Grenada from the Caribs around 1650 and named the new French colony Grenade. The Treaty of Paris ceded the colony to the United Kingdom in 1763. Grenada was made a Crown Colony in 1877.
In 1967, Grenada attained the position of "Associated State of the United Kingdom", which meant that Grenada was now responsible for her own internal affairs, and the UK was responsible for her defence and foreign affairs. Full independence was granted in 1974 under the leadership of the then Premier Sir Eric Matthew Gairy, who became the first Prime Minister of Grenada. Gairy's government became increasingly authoritarian, prompting a coup in March 1979 by Maurice Bishop. Bishop's failure to allow elections, coupled with his Marxist-Leninist socialism and cooperation with communist Cuba did not sit well with the country's neighbours, including Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Dominica, as well as the United States. 1983 saw a further coup by the PRA that brought a new pro-Soviet/Cuban government under General Hudson Austin to power. At the time of the coup there were about 50 Cuban military advisors and 700 armed construction workers on the island. Six days later, the island was invaded by forces from the United States purportedly at the behest of Dame Eugenia Charles, of Dominica. Five other Caribbean nations participated with Dominica and the USA in the campaign, called Operation Urgent Fury.
Grenada's premier airport is Port Salines International Airport and there are flights from the USA. English is spoken throughout Grenada. US Dollars and the Euro are used. Major credit cards may be accepted in hotels, restaurants and some shops.
Grenada is the largest in an archipelago of the same name. Smaller islands are Carriacou, Petit Martinique, Rhonde Island, Caille Island, Diamond Island, Large Island, Saline Island and Frigate Island. Most of the population lives on Grenada itself, and major towns there include the capital St. George's, Grenville and Gouyave. The largest settlement on the other islands is Hillsborough on Carriacou. The islands are well known for their spectacular clear waters. Grenada is technically located outside of the hurricane belt the islands provide smooth sailing and safe anchorage year round. However, in recent years the hurricanes have become more frequent and are sometimes experienced outside of the previously designated hurricane area. In 2004 Hurricane Ivan did hit the island followed by Hurricane Emily in 2005.
The landscape of Grenada is one of the most beautiful and diverse environments in the Caribbean, including crater lakes as well as an amazing variety of plant and animal life. The forests change to mangroves at the coast, giving way to dramatic white sand beaches, brilliant blue water, and exquisite coral reefs. Grenada's beauty is complemented by its rich history and energetic, living cultural heritage. There are many local festivals, fairs, and markets that remain a vital part of life on Grenada. Its centuries old spice plantations and rum distilleries still use time-honoured methods, emphasizing quality rather than quantity. Although the tourist industry has become more significant in recent years, the island's easy way of life and the friendly people recall an atmosphere that has long since vanished elsewhere.
English is spoken widely. But Grenadian Creole is considered the lingua franca of the island. French Patois or Antillean Creole is still spoken by about 10%-20% the population. Although French influence on Grenadian culture is much less visible than in some other Caribbean islands, surnames and place names in French remain as well as the every day language is laced with French words and the local dialect or Patois. Stronger French influence is found in the well seasoned spicy food and styles of cooking similar to those found in New Orleans and some French architecture has survived from the 1700s. The African roots of most of the population of Grenada heavily influence island culture but Indian influence is also seen with dhal puree, goat and chicken curry in the cuisine.
Grenada is developing rapidly with new haul-out facilities in St. Davidxs and Prickly Bay. Marinas can be found in St. Georgexs, Clarkexs, Court Bay, Prickly Bay, and Mt. Hartman Bay.
Carriacou is known as the x Land of Reefsx. Carriacou will give visitors a glimpse of a more leisurely way of life. Coral reefs surround the island providing a base for beautiful sandy beaches. The main town and port of entry is Hillsborough and there are several smaller villages dotting the island. With a mix of Scottish and African ancestry, the island boasts a wealth of cultural traditions. Carriacouans are renown for their sea faring skills and many locally made vessels are still in use today from small fishing sloops to large trading schooners. Hillsborough is the largest town on Carriacou was established at the end of the 18th century. It is a developing port and landing point for inter island ferries. It is a hub for shopping and socializing and home to the annual Regatta festival and Carnival celebrations. Hillsborough Bay features a beautiful sandy beach that stretches the entire length of town and is just steps from the lively scenes of Main Street.
Anse La Roche Beach is one of the most scenic beaches in the Windward Islands. A striking rock formation protrudes just a hundred feet or so off shore and exhibits the interesting marine life below. The sandy beach is superb and with a little luck you may have it all to yourself. Snorkelling is very good off the point.
Petite Martinique, a dependency of Grenada, has a very strong culture and one of the highest per capita incomes in the Eastern Caribbean. Petite Martinique is volcanic in origin, having a cone shape, with the highest hill the 'Piton', rising to756 feet above sea level. The Caribbean Sea laps the shores on the western side of the island and the dramatic Atlantic swells break on the eastern coast. Petite Martinique is small and intriguingly authentic. The main beach is located on the western side of the island and includes two docks. One is privately owned and the other belongs to the Government of Grenada. An anchor the yacht overnight here or a real treat. There are several small quaint restaurants that are within walking distance. It is also a great place to take on water and fuel and look for bargains on alcohol. The residents live by boatbuilding, seafaring, and fishing and in the old days, smuggling. There are usually several cargo vessels at anchor. The many fancy new homes are recent, but some of the older wooden, pitched-roof houses are photogenic, especially at the eastern end of the island.
One way yacht charters are available to Union in the Grenadines islands, Saint Lucia and Martinique. Ask the yacht charter company for more details.
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Ken Jones runs a guide to Yacht Charter Vacations.
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