Grenada Island Tour: Coffee, Chocolate, Spices, and Rum!

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 9/3/2023 – 9/10/2023

Good morning! Happy Sunday! Have you seen our latest YouTube video?

Last Sunday, we sailed back to Grenada with my parents. It started out gorgeous, with calm seas and steady wind. We had the engines off, our main and jib out, and were cruising along comfortably at ~6.5kn.

We all crowded around the helm, reminiscing on our trip through Carriacou and Tobago Cays. The sky quickly turned gray, and the wind picked up. Then, a downpour of rain began. We found ourselves in quite the squall!

We reefed the main and sailed through it, taking advantage of the boost in speed. It shaved about 45 minutes off our trip, and we made it to the mooring field outside St. George’s a few hours before sunset. We pulled up to a ball in the front row. I picked it up and got the port side line on. The wind was howling, and I struggled to pull the ball back up to get the starboard line through the eye. My parents were trying to help, but I think having the three of us up there was confusing for everyone. Ray couldn’t see the ball. I was down on my stomach, reaching under the lifelines, and my parents were pointing in two different directions. No one could hear each other over the wind. Eventually, I got the line through the eye and back to the cleat. Of course, the wind immediately ceased once we were finished. 🙃 

This was probably my most challenging mooring experience in a while (second only to when I dropped the boat hook in 25kn wind and 3ft waves in Miami🥲). Anytime something doesn’t go as smoothly as we’d like, Ray and I have a little chat after to determine what we’d do differently next time. He advised that anytime we’re mooring in high winds, I pull up as much slack as possible from the first line I get on. That way, I don’t have to worry about pulling it up high a second time, and he can maneuver the boat better because he’d know the ball’s position. I suggested we stick to the balls closer to the back of the field with longer/easier pendant lines. 😉 We cheers’d our beers and explained to my parents that we call this “Captain advice, not spouse/partner advice,” an important distinction in our relationship to avoid feeling like we’re criticizing each other. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around the boat, then took the dinghy to shore for dinner at Aquarium, a beautiful beachfront restaurant where they’ll grill up anything you’d like on Sundays.

The next day, we arranged an island tour from one of our favorite taxi drivers: Don’t Worry Be Happy. That’s how he introduces himself, so as far as we’re concerned, that’s his name! He is actually Green Man’s son and has a lovely air-conditioned van. 😍 He picked us up from the marina and drove us around the island, explaining the history of Grenada as we went.

Our first stop of the day was Spice Isle Coffee. Ray and I are always searching for good coffee beans, and finding a local roaster is such a treat! We sat down for a cup while they roasted and bagged some for us to take home. We left with 5lbs of beans!

Our next stop was a rum distillery. The signature drink of the Caribbean is rum and rum punch. Although Grenada is not known for its rum to the caliber that Jamaica and Barbados are, it still has a heavy presence on the island. There are four rum distilleries in Grenada. We toured the factory at Clarke’s Court Distillery (complete with hard hats!) and did a tasting that included some of their aged and blended rums.

Ray and I’s favorite is their Old Grog, which is aged in a bourbon barrel! We climbed into the van and headed to lunch at Andy’s Soup House, a small side-of-the-road spot with a line of locals out the door. For dessert, we made our way over to Tri Island Chocolate Factory. They let us fill molds with toppings to make our own chocolate bars!

My favorite combination was sea salt, cacao nibs, and shredded coconut.🍫 The staff talked us through the chocolate-making process while we assembled our bars. Here are a few fun facts we learned:

  • It takes nine months for a cocoa tree to produce a pod. 
  • Cocoa pods can take on the flavor of plants around them! For example, a pod grown next to a mango tree tastes different from one planted next to nutmeg. So, it’s important not to mix and match pods from other trees when making your bars (it takes ~2 pods to make one bar). 
  • Once the pod is harvested, the beans are left to ferment for one week, then dry for another week before being separated, ground, and tempered into chocolate. 

Our next stop was a small spice shop. The owner told us about the harvesting techniques and various uses for the native spices. His shop also happened to have one of the best views of the island!

Before this, I had never seen a whole nutmeg. Did you know it looked like this?!

The yellow outer portion splits and falls off the tree when ripe, and the red waxy part is mace! I’ve been seeing nutmeg everywhere, thinking it was an unripe apricot or a water lemon. 😂 

By this point, Don’t Worry Be Happy was concerned about our sobriety levels. So, he took us to a bar that served, in his opinion, the best rum punch on the island. He brought out a few different things for us to try, including the famous “under the counter” rum. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t my favorite.😂

Under the counter is made from a local white rum, typically 140 proof or higher, infused with locally grown seeds, nuts, and spices. It varies from bar to bar, but it always seems to be in a mysterious glass jug with heaps of twigs and leaves in it… Per his instructions, we all took a sip, held it in our mouth, and swallowed it with a bit of water. I think I’ll stick to rum punch. 

Our last stop of the day was Annandale Waterfall. It’s set up as a tourist trap with an entrance fee, a big multi-story restaurant, and people trying to sell you things along the trail, but it was beautiful nonetheless! It was a lovely conclusion to our island tour.

Tuesday afternoon, we took my parents to shore to catch their flight back to the States. We said our goodbyes, then revisited the never-ending list of boat projects we had put on the back burner in the name of family fun. Since we had just purchased a new outboard engine for our dinghy, the first thing on our to-do list was finding a more secure way to lock up. So, we walked over to Island Water World. We purchased a piece of chain, a sleeve, and a new lock. Previously, we had just been using a cable, so this was quite the upgrade for us! 

We spent the rest of the week cleaning and catching up on chores. We checked on our friend’s boat since they were out of town and took care of a few things there as well. 

Friday afternoon, we went to shore to pick up our lunch. We had roti delivered by the chef who led our cooking class! He sells roti on Fridays with a pumpkin talkari and cucumber chutney- and it is delicious! 😍 If you’re in Grenada and want to place an order, here is the info:

On our way back to the dinghy, we were invited aboard a motor yacht on the dock. The owner let us look around and then offered us a drink. He was up here from Trinidad, where he owns a boatyard/marina. He told us stories about his family and life there for the rest of the afternoon! After a few drinks, two of his friends, also from Trinidad, joined us. As we all continued chatting, their accents became harder and harder to understand. This was my first time hearing the Trini dialect. I was amazed at how quickly and casually they communicated while Ray and I were working overtime trying to decipher what they had said. 😅 We left his boat a bit tipsy and decided to keep the party going with cocktails and dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Naturally, we got a horrible night’s sleep and moved noticeably slower the following day (the consequences of our own actions😩). I finished our latest YouTube video and treated our helm seat with UV protectant while Ray did some computer work and changed the oil in the generator. 

Today, I’m planning on cleaning out our refrigerator so I can go grocery shopping soon… 

I hope you had a great week. ❤️

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