Carriacou, Grenada

Mar 02, 2019 - Sea Cloud

This morning the sun rose over the blue-green Caribbean at 6:20 a.m. The sailors went to sail stations and by 9:30, we were under sail, making 8 knots. Mounting the spanker sail is a complex task and there were about a dozen sailors working to make it happen. The boson was calling out the commands and the crew hauled the heavy boom and sail in a strong wind. At 9:45, Tom Heffernan gave a talk on the Creole languages of the Caribbean, singling out the musical and expressive English Creoles. We sailed ever southward on our journey to the Grenadines. At Carriacou, we will be at 12°.35 north latitude and longitude 61°.34, just a tad more than 700 miles from the equator. At 11:45 guests were invited onto the fo'c'sle for a photo shoot.

We first spied Carriacou at 12:15 p.m., sitting off the horizon on the port beam. The island is part of Grenada and the Grenadines—not to be confused with the Grenadines that belong to St. Vincent. Some may remember that President Reagan sent troops to Grenada to protect American medical students and to defeat what he saw as a revolutionary communist regime from taking power. The tiny main city of Carriacou is Hillsborough, a charming hamlet. The island remains a member of the British Commonwealth. The entirety of the sea surrounding the entrance to Hillsborough has now been declared a national park, and so we anchored in the pristine, aquamarine waters of Tyrrel Bay, a little town with 750 inhabitants.

At 3 p.m. we boarded tenders and motored into Tyrrel Bay for a five-minute minivan ride to Paradise Bay, one of the prettiest white-sand beaches in the Caribbean. Those who snorkeled went to Sandy Island. The snorkeling was excellent and all kinds of fish were seen and in great profusion. The reef at Sandy Island has recovered from the terrible hurricane of some years ago. Nature, if given half a chance, is very resilient. A few guests stayed on Paradise Beach. The locals played music and began getting ready for the night’s parties celebrating Carnival, the festive week before Lent.

Tonight we had a festive Caribbean buffet BBQ on the Lido Deck under the bright Caribbean sky.

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About the Author

Tom Heffernan


Tom, a native of New York City, who has had a life-long passion for travel and exploration, is the Kenneth Curry Professor of Humanities at the University of Tennessee and the founding Director of the university’s Humanities Center. His areas of interest are anthropology of religions and historical linguistics.

About the Photographer

Alex Krowiak

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

A childhood surrounded by the woods and streams of Pennsylvania initially sparked Alex’s curiosity about nature. That curiosity eventually led him to pursue degrees in biology and environmental studies at Boston College. During his time there he conducted research on carnivorous plants in Iceland and kelp forests in South Africa. Together these diverse experiences provided him with the background and passion to become a teacher. 

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