My sister-in-law “Patti” recently asked me “When are you coming home?” I replied, “We are home. Home is where the boat is!” Upon hearing this, she decided that if she and her husband “Chuck” were going to visit us in the near future, then it was going to have to be on the boat. Since we are currently stationed in Grenada, she promptly made arrangements and within weeks we had the pleasure of hosting both Patti and Chuck on board the Pilot’s Discretion.
We wasted no time introducing them to our Grenadian adventures and on the first full day of their visit they accompanied us on our weekly hike. This week’s hike began on the north shore beach in Sauteaurs, continued up mountainsides, and did not disappoint in providing the usual vigorous exercise and spectacular views (click on any photo to enlarge or for slideshow).
GRAND ANSE BEACH
Having exerted ourselves on the hike, we opted to spend the next day relaxing on the beach. First, some 50’s music, and dancing, at Coconuts, on Grand Anse Beach, and then dinner at The Aquarium Restaurant, Point Salines, at sunset.
CLIFF DIVING AT CONCORD WATERFALLS
With so much more to see and explore in Grenada, and only a short time to share with our guests, we chartered an air conditioned bus, with an experienced guide, Mr. Rawl Bell (“Rawl”). Rawl provided us with a wealth of information regarding the beauties of Grenada, a.k.a. “The Spice Isle.” Our first stop was Concord Waterfalls, one of the countless natural waterfalls on the island.
The kids enjoyed playing on the rocks and we all enjoyed the natural beauty of the falls .
Shortly after our arrival at the falls, a local “cliff diver” climbed to the top of the falls and amazed us all with his daring cliff diving acumen. It did not take long for my ever-adventuresome brother-in-law Chuck to dive in after him (click on any photo to enlarge or for slideshow).
(Note: We have created a dedicated YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com where we have compiled videos from our blog, and uploaded additional videos from our journey. To view the videos, including VIDEOS of Chuck, and the cliff diver, cliff diving, click https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC94z5hCIrRiEvY8MTJegTbA (or copy and paste into browser).
After the cliff diving adventures at the waterfalls, our guide informed us that Grenada is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg, after Indonesia, and that nutmeg is Grenada’s principal export crop. He then took us to the nutmeg-processing co-op, in the center of the west-coast fishing village of Gouyave (pronounced gwahv), where we got to witness first hand the nutmeg process from tree to spice. There we saw locally grown nutmeg being received, examined & weighed with payments made to the local farmers. We learned the nutmeg is then dried in drying racks for 6-8 weeks.
Once dried, the seeds are cracked by a machine and then sent down a chute to the floor below where workers manually separate the shells from the nuts. No resource is wasted and discarded shells are collected in burlap sacks and sold for mulch. The nutmeg fragrance at the factory is intoxicating.
Next, nutmeg kernels are graded by floating them in water (sinkers are sound and floaters are defective). Workers then hand grade the remaining nutmeg, removing residual defects and running the remaining nutmeg through metal graders (for size). The final nutmeg product is bagged in hand painted stenciled burlap sacks with international destinations throughout the world. We were surprised to learn that Rotterdam and Antwerp are the two largest importers of Grenadian nutmeg. The factory produces approximately 3 million pounds of Grenada’s most famous export each year.
A lot of effort for a small, yet delicious, spice present in almost all spice racks!
LEATHERBACK TURTLES IN LEVERA BAY
After the nutmeg factory, we visited yet another notorious spot on Grenada, Levera Bay. Levera Bay is a Sanctuary to the endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle. Each year, Leatherback Sea Turtles return to Grenada to lay their eggs on the sandy beaches of Levera Bay.
Leatherback Sea Turtles can grow to more than six feet long, weighing as much as 1400 pounds, however, the initial hatchlings, only inches long, are left on their own to find their way from the beach to the sea. Due to a recent invasion of Sargasso Sea weed on Grenada’s coastline, the baby Leatherback Sea Turtles have been finding it difficult to reach the sea. On the day that we arrived in Levera Bay, the Park Rangers were assisting this group of baby Leatherback Sea Turtles in reaching the sea!
(To view a video of the baby Leatherback Back Sea Turtles click the “VIDEOS” tab at the top of this page.)
After all the excitement exploring Grenada, we stopped to rest, enjoying some local cuisine on the north shore of Grenada looking out over “Kick em Jenny,” and Ronde and Caille Islands.
There was still much more of Grenada to explore … however, we will leave those adventures until another post!