We spend our summers in
and our winters in Grenada St. Martin. We spend the perfect sailing time in the fall
and spring working our way north and south respectively, spending time in
favorite spots and looking for new places.
Even after 8 years, we haven't scratched the surface.
I'll start at the southern end of our annual migratory path. Let's take a look at
On our first visit, in June of 2005, we arrived just a couple of weeks ahead of Hurricane Emily.
|Play Actor in the Lagoon|
|Grand Anse Beach, viewed from our cockpit|
We were anchored in the lagoon at St. Georges, the capital city, when a young man paddled up in his kayak to introduce himself.
|Joel in his kayak|
"Good morning, Joel. We're Charles and Leslie, and we'll most likely be here for Carnival."
"I hope you enjoy, and I'll see you again. Good morning to you."
We saw Joel often and met several of his younger siblings over the next few weeks. He was 12 at the time, the second oldest in a family of five children. He would often appear with several other boys his age, paddling makeshift boats, or sometimes swimming. He always introduced the others politely, and they would visit for a few minutes before splashing away to amuse themselves.
When school started, Joel came by to show us his new uniform -- he was quite proud to have been chosen on the basis of scholastic achievement to attend a particularly good secondary school. For the rest of our stay, he would come by to show us his homework and get an occasional bit of help. He was studying French and Spanish along with the more typical subjects for a student his age. We found him typical of the people of
: friendly, bright, cheerful, and industrious. He shared with us his career aspirations once. "I want to build a marina, right here in the lagoon. I could hire all of my family and my friends, and we could take care of yachts like yours." We wished him well with that. Unfortunately, a developer from the U. K. beat him to it, and there's not much room in the lagoon for anchoring anymore. Grenada
|Ripe nutmeg with red mace|
|Ripe cocoa pod - future chocolate bar|
The island itself has a signature aroma. After a day in the open ocean breathing fresh, clean air, when we sail into the lee of the island, the distinctive smell welcomes us. We're downwind of the island as we sail the 20-odd miles from its northern tip down to the capital city of St. Georges, and we first notice the lush, rich aroma of the cultivated earth, picking up the overtones of fruit and the distinctive aroma of fires fed by cuttings from all sorts of exotic trees and shrubs and the shells of nutmeg. The smell of caramelized sugar from the cane mills and distilleries weaves through it all to produce a smell that is unique to this island.
|7 Sisters Falls|