No I’m not going to Medical School.
Today I am flying 1,400 miles south of Key West to Grenada. I’ll be staying off the western side of Hog Island on the southern coast. A popular anchorage for year around cruisers. I will be a guest onboard Zero to Cruising a sailboat my friends Mike and Rebecca have been cruising on for just over a year now.
I’ve been drawn to Grenada for a few major reasons, not the least of which is it gives me another excuse to go back to the islands. This trip wasn’t planned until just two weeks ago. I was having coffee with my wife and we started talking. These type of talks always lead to trouble. I said I wanted to go back to the islands to do some more writing and produce more video. We agreed it was a good idea but which island should I choose? And why?
1. Meet and make new friends
I’ve been following Mike and Rebecca through their blog, “Zero to Cruising” for a few months now. They are a Canadian couple who had zero sailing knowledge and a deep desire to head south to the tropics. Guess what? They did it. If only more people were so driven. They’ve been blogging most days since. Once I sent them a $25 donation for rum (I’d want someone to do that for me) and I sent Rebecca some bikinis. She returned the favor by sending back pictures in the bikinis! Boat life has been good to Rebecca. So I decided to reach out to them. If they were up for a crew member for a week, I’d choose Grenada. You get a long way in life by just asking. The e-mail reply came back unequivocally yes in less than an hour.
2. Visit an island most miss but few should
Grenada just doesn’t get the tourism traffic and respect it deserves. I’m not quite sure why that is and this is a question I hope to answer while down there. I do know about it’s vast natural resources and beauty. The waters are perfect for sailing and the streets appear to be very safe. All I know as of today, is that this island is often missed and all my research told me I shouldn’t pass it by.
3. Learn more about the Caribbean by meeting long term cruisers
Many year around cruisers come south to Grenada for insurance purposes. During hurricane season many policies require boats to be south of 12-degrees north latitude. I suppose the adjusters have reviewed storms over the centuries and determined this is the magic line. Don’t tell that to the people who lost their boats in Ivan, 2004.
To me this gathering of experienced sailors is like hitting the motherlode. Many of these good folks have been all over the Caribbean and know all the best can’t miss places. As a writer I can’t wait to pick their brains, make new friends and learn more about this region of the world I love so much.
4. Discover new rum
It’s no secret that I love rum. And three notable distillers of my chosen spirit are right here in Grenada. Clarke’s Court, Westerhall and River Antoine are all based here. Westerhall is the only one that isn’t 100% distilled here anymore, but their wax casing rum is supposed to be very nice. I plan on reporting back to you first hand on my relationship with these brands. I’ll even shoot some video if I can focus.
5. Buy the best nutmeg for my Pain Killers
Grenada produces 20% of the world’s nutmeg. Additionally they are a major source for cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, allspice and orange/citrus peels. I’m making it my personal mission to find the best nutmeg on the island and bringing it back to my bar. That way I can boast that I’m making the best Pain Killers in Florida (which really isn’t that high of a bar anyway).
Normally when I visit a new country I know a lot about it or have been considering a visit for quite some time. In this case, I choose Grenada almost on a whim. As I begin my journey to Zero to Cruising I have no idea what experiences I am about to have, who I might meet and what kind of trouble I might get into. There’s one thing I can promise you. I’ll be sure to share it all with you.
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