Spicy Islander # 39
July '2001

Hi everyone! Yes, we're back. No, we haven't given up & moved to a tropical paradise...wait a sec, ...we're here already...
oh well, just another hard day in paradise......:-)
Sorry for the delay with the newsletter, but it seems that our mailing list server had to be changed.
Consequently, the archive online of past newsletters will not be available as yet...., (we're working on it).
When things slow down a bit (HA!) we'll be doing some changes to the site, as well as adding a few more great photos.
Anyway, read on.....


TOPICS

  1. Tip of the Month: Carnival
  2. Carriacou regatta festival
  3. Grenada struggles with airlines
  4. Grand Beach expansion
  5. New visitors center at Annandale Waterfalls.
  6. New web sites to check out.
  7. Specials
  8. Aquanauts have moved.
  9. Tips
  10. Snorkeling

1. Tip of the Month: Carnival (of course.)
Its carnival time again, here in the Spice Isle.
This year there has been some controversy over the carnival celebrations (that's putting it mildly). Seems as though the carnival will not get off without a hitch. More to the point, several of the local bands will not be participating because of the very late payment of prizes from last years celebration. (Seems that some of the money went missing and they only received payment a month or two ago.)
Maybe they will get it all straightened out for next year. Anyway, that won't stop the carnival. The 'jump up' will be held as usual on Monday morning (jouvert), and of course there will be the usual partying on Monday and Tuesday night in the middle of town (St.George's).
For those of you who would like to participate, things usually get moving around sunset, and don't stop till around midnight. Most people come just for the carnival, which is held the second week in August. However, there is also another celebration which is held during the first weekend of that month, and that is the Carriacou Regatta. If you would like to attend it, I would STRONGLY suggest that you reserve a room now (if its not too late) and also purchase your ferry ticket in advance.
Anyway, if you would like to know exactly what is being held and where, check out the calendar of events which we have posted at the following address: http://www.grenadaexplorer.com/tip/


2.Short History - Carriacou Regatta Festival
The CARRIACOU Regatta Committee was established in 1965 by the late Linton. J. Riggs a Jamaican born Yachts man who settled here in the early 50's.
The festival which began as a mere boat racing event and held over the Emancipation weekend each year has now grown to include a large number of Sporting and Cultural activities. The main aim of the festival is to perpetuate the indigenous art of Boat Building handed down to us by our Irish and Scottish Ancestors. The Regatta Race events focuses mainly on the locally built Workboats with some ten different classes of Boats ranging from 14 to 35 feet in length.
A number of Islands participate in the workboat aspect of the festival. Carriacou, Petite Martinique, Antigua, Tobago, Bequia, Canounan, Martinique.
Yacht racing is also a principal part of the events. Other Highlights of the Festival are the NCB/Regatta Cultural Festival; The Miss Aquaval Queen Show Numerous Onshore Sporting Events including the Donkey race, Greasy pole, Football and Netball Competitions and more.
This year, the Festival runs from July 30th commencing with the Official Opening Ceremony and ends on August 6th with the Official Price Giving Ceremony.
COME EXPERIENCE A TRUE CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL
THE 36TH ANNUAL CARRIACOU REGATTA FESTIVAL.

For more information, check out
http://grenadaexplorer.com/events/carriacou_regatta.htm
Email:ccouregatta@caribsurf.com
Tel/fax (473) 443-7930


3.Grenada struggles with Airlines:
As those of you who travel here every year know, Grenada is not an easy destination to get to. Over the years, several airlines have come and gone, but the old reliable ones are still there. More recently, American Airlines have pulled out, leaving American Eagle to take its place. Rather than a direct flight from Miami, you now have to come via Puerto Rico.
Of course, Air Jamaica has a strong schedule to get people here from the US, not least their direct and non-stop flights from JFK, New York. Particular these New York flights which have just been increased to FOUR a week from the end of June.
This AJ flight is a fantastic way to get to Grenada from the New York region and in just 5 hours, -non-stop!
For those of you coming from Europe, things are not so bad, with British Airways being the main one.
Of course, there are the charter airlines which operate during the high season, like Condor and Canada 3000, and Monarch Airlines have (apparently) now confirmed that they will be starting a weekly flight (on Thursdays) from Gatwick, commencing 13 December. In addition, they will start a SECOND weekly flight (on Saturdays) as from 4 May next year.
There is no need to panic though, because if you are willing to put up with the slight inconvenience, you can also get a flight into Barbados or Trinidad, and then a connecting flight with LIAT here.


4. Grand Beach Expansion
The Grand Beach Resort, located on the Grand Anse beach, is doing some expansion work, adding some beach front rooms to the hotel. While construction is going ahead, there is very little inconvenience to the guests staying there presently as the section is completely blocked off (except for the construction noise). They are hoping to get the majority of work done before the high season starts, and it seems as though they will succeed.
The Grand Beach Resort has one of the most picturesque pools on the island, and have just completed an extensive renovation of the entire place. But of course, don't take our word for it, check out their web site and see for yourself.
You can find it at the following address:
http://www.grandbeach.net


5.Visitors center at Annandale Waterfalls
The Board of Tourism, which is responsible for implementing the plans for a new visitors center at the Annandale Falls, has informed everyone that construction work will begin the middle of this month. Because it is a favorite stop for visitors on island tours, especially from the cruise ships, there is some concern for their safety while construction is going ahead.
Consequently, they (the Board of Tourism) have decided to stop all visits to the falls until construction is finished, which is supposed to be for 6 months (knowing how things operate around here, it will be more like 8 - 10 months).
Needless to say, several of the tour companies are in an uproar because not enough notice was given, and as they have already advertised tours to that area, there is concern that their individual reputations will be at stake as they have to cancel that particular tour. Well, the 'discussion' is still ongoing, and who knows what will come of it...
The most likely result.... access will be given to the falls while construction is going ahead (probably by blocking off a section to make it more secure for visitors), and there will be a lot of 'cussing and complaining'.
(Personally, I think the Seven Sisters Falls are much nicer, even if you must take a short hike to get there. There are a couple of photos of it on Grenada Explorer.)


6.New web sites to check out:
We have added a few new sites within the past month or so, as well as updated a few others.
A couple of the sites are:

http://www.outfitters-international.com
http://www.serendipitycompany.com
http://south-winds.com
http://www.grenadaexplorer.com/paradise


7.Specials /Events/Stuff
  • Sunsation Tours is offering an off-season special on their jeep rentals.
    Samurai: US$40/day.........$250/week
    Escudo: US$45/day...........$275/week
    4 door Escudo: US$60/day...........$329/week

For more information, check out their web site at: http://www.grenadasunsation.com/rentals.htm

There are a couple of well established businesses for sale here on the island.

Two which you can check out on the web are;
http://www.grenadaexplorer.com/scooter
http://www.catamaranchartering.com


8.Aquanauts has moved:
The Scuba Diving center, Aquanauts, has recently moved to new premises at the Rendezvous Resort. They used to be situated at the Secret Harbour Hotel, but are now in Prickley Bay, which is on the other side of that peninsula.
If you are considering having a nice quiet holiday with some diving on the local reefs,then it would be a good idea to check them out. The hotel where they are now, is secluded, has its own beach and fabulous sunsets. To top it off, the government has been building new roads in that area of the island, so driving is a breeze..(no potholes to dodge).
Check out their web site at: http://www.aquanautgrenada.com


9.Tips for while you are in the "Isle of Spice":
  1. Visit the Saturday St. George's market!
  2. Before taking a photograph of someone, ask them if it would be o.k.
  3. Take an umbrella with you, we are in the rainy season and a short heavy shower could surprise you any time, but mainly in the evenings.
  4. Have small US Dollar notes with you, not everyone can provide change in that currency.

10. Snorkeling
This will be of special interest to those of you who like to do a little underwater exploring while here, whether it is by cruise ship, or on a longer sabbatical on the island. One of the most commonly asked questions, is where can you go to find some good snorkeling. Even for those of you with not much experience, and with the urge to just float around on the surface to see what passes you by, there are a few places which you can visit, and which would provide a good experience.

The first, and most popular of these is Moliniere Point. Located a little north of the town of Saint George's, this snorkeling site is only access able by boat. All of the local dive shops, and most of the charter catamarans, offer snorkeling trips there. If you decide to go on one of the trips offered by the dive shops, then they usually charge about $15 - $20 US/person for about 2 hours. The catamarans usually offer it as part of their sailing package, so you would have to check with them individually for the latest prices.

If you would like to stay away from boats, or prefer to explore at your own pace, you may wish to consider either the Beach House or Aquarium. Both of these are actually restaurants which are located on beaches. For your convenience, if you are hiring a taxi or asking for directions, just mention these two places. The snorkeling is actually a little offshore these areas, and access to the beaches is not a problem as all beaches are public property. There is little or no boat traffic in the areas, especially as the water there tends to be shallow, so you can snorkel at your own pace.

Of the three places I just mentioned, the best would be Moliniere Point.


That's it for now. Nothing earth shattering, just another quiet day in paradise...sort of.
Things are fairly quiet here..the dogs haven't tried to eat anyone recently (at least none came by to complain:-), and the furniture is still intact, (at least I think so). Till our next issue.
Bye for now...