Carriacou and Grenada – Sailing Private Islands, Underwater Volcanos, and a Message in a Bottle

Our last stop in the Southern Carribean was Grenada. As usual, we preferred the less busy areas. Sandy Island Carriacou was our all time favorite. Ronde Island and the famous Sister Rocks by Kick Em Jennie were a close second.

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Carriacou is home to 8,000 people and more than 100 rum shops in Carriacou. It is part of the Grenadian government, although geographically part of the Grenadines.

In Carriacou, we stopped at Anse La Roche, Tyrell Bay (just for customs checkin) and Sandy Island near Paradise Beach.

Anse La Roche, Carriacou

Our first stop was a quiet anchorage called Anse La Roche in Carriacou, a secluded paradise beach. While a 50 minute hike from the closest road, it is easy to reach by boat. Wonderful snorkeling around the “rocks” and a beautiful beach with Tim’s Lobster BBQ beach bar.

Sandy Island, Carriacou

Our next stop was Sandy Island, a small sandy island off Paradise Beach, near Hillsborough, Carriacou’s capital city. It is a protected marine park. It’s the largest and most biologically diverse MPA in Grenada and is a unique ecosystem that features a mangrove network, coral reefs, sea grasses, and marine and avi fauna. There are mooring balls which we recommend you use. You can also anchor but you must be far off the coral reefs and only in the sand.

Snorkeling was fantastic on the south end for big schools of yellow grunts and big coral heads at the north end. In addition to the usual Caribbean reef fish, we spotted large nurse sharks, rays, and turtles, as well as the flashy silversides. The area is popular for humpback whales in their migration path, but we did not spot any.

The beach itself is great for relaxing, picnic and swimming. Across the bay is Paradise Beach Restaurant – a must visit spot. The owner’s son will greet you upon arrival at Sandy Island and ask you to make a reservation AND he will pick you up and bring you back no charge. Totally worth it for the food and dining experience and saves having to beach your dinghy. Wednesday is the best day with live music, dinner and paint your own board with your boat name to tack on the wall (we missed this).

Anyone Want to Buy a Private Island in Grenada?

Next, we traveled south towards the main island of Grenada. There were quite a few pretty private islands – in case anyone wants to buy their own private island paradise.

Saline Island, Grenada

Saline Island is a 64 acre islet with a stunning white sand beach, rocky outcrops, mangroves, a shallow lagoon and a sheltered bay that is about 6 ft deep for anchoring (preferably on the northern section).  The southern side has a coral garden perfect for snorkeling, There is a 2 bedroom cottage on the island and an ancient lime kiln at the top at about 200 ft elevation.  Sea turtles and wild goats call the island home.  Offered for $26 Million.  

White Island, Grenada

White Island is a 10 acre islet that is also a Marine Park. It features a coral lagoon, 3000 ft of white sandy beaches, hence its name.  The premier location gives you easy access to dozens of other islands.  World class diving, snorkeling, a small mountain and untouched island ecology.  Water depths range from 8 to 40 feet.  Offered for $9.5 Million.

Nearby are Frigate Island and Large Island – all potential anchoring spots – but watch the currents.

Diamond Rock, Grenada

Then there is Diamond Rock, sometimes looking like a large ship on the horizon.   The leeward side of the island is typically calm with softer currents for swimming, snorkeling and diving. We have read that In the late 1820s and early 1830s it was used to isolate a few enslaved who had leprosy, more like abandoning them to die.  Today,  it is just a beautiful island for nature lovers – especially birders.

Ronde Island, Grenada

Ronde Island is a 200 acre island with amazing diverse landscape, hills, valleys, bays and even a swim through cavern with stalactites and quartz crystals.  Crystal clear water boasts 100 ft visibility with dramatic vertical walls with drop-offs, coral canyons and the famous Sister Islands and the submerged volcano Kick Em Jenny only minutes away.  Favorite anchorage is NE corner.  There is a small trail that leads from the main anchorage on the northeast side over to the windward side of the island beach.  Offered for $100 Million.

Caille Island, Grenada

Caille Island is 157 acres with water and electricity already in place.  Lush green vegetation includes coconut palms and fruit trees.  Two volcanic knolls anchor each side with a valley in the center.  Small bays dot the shoreline with more than a half mile of sandy beaches.  There are 4 uninhabited houses and a road network already in place.  Offered for $20 Million.

Sister Rocks, Grenada

Near Ronde are The Sister Rocks (kapuloan sa grenada). They are the result of volcanic eruptions of an underwater volcano. A fantastic dive site, but be wary of currents and go with a tour group!

Kick Em Jenny, Grenada

The next leg of our journey had us sailing over an underwater volcano! It had last erupted a couple weeks before we sailed the area, which made me extremely nervous after reading about all of the dangers on the Kick Em Jenny web site! In summary, submarine volcanoes like this release large quantities of gas bubbles into the water, even in quiet times between eruptions. This can lower the density of the seawater above the vent. This is very dangerous to shipping, because boats entering a zone of lowered water density will lose buoyancy and may sink.

There is excellent scuba diving at all of these islands – check this article for all the diving info.

Northeastern Islands in Grenada

London Bridge – Not really an island, but some gorgeous rocks – with an arch window in the middle of them.

Sugar Loaf Island – a small, privately owned island that includes Levera National Park and Beach.  Folklore suggests that it is actually an ancient Egyptian pyramid due to its 4 sided pyramid shape, but no physical evidence has been found yet to support this.  It is often used for weddings, yoga retreats and has a small cottage on its shore.

Green Island – an uninhabited 25 acre lush tropical island with a small sand beach.  Price upon request.

Sandy Island – a 20 acre uninhabited island valued at $9 Million

Grenada Sailing

Next up – the main island of Grenada. We really did not want to go anywhere near the Grand Anse beach harbor where our friends boat was hijacked near St. George. So, we sailed along the windward side of Grenada to get to Clark’s Court, where we had a certified Yanmar diesel mechanic scheduled to work on our engine.

Clark’s Court – Woburn Bay

We anchored right in front of Calivigny Island, where all-inclusive nightly rates for reserving Calivigny Island start at $132,000, plus applicable taxes. During the festive season, from mid-December through January 6th, rates are available upon request.

We also enjoyed spending time in Le Phare Bleu which had an excellent dock marina, restaurant, tropical cottages, live music on the lightship, pool, gourmet meat & wine shop, a cafe, clothing store and laundry facilities.

Our Message in a Bottle for Grenada

On our way out of Grenada, we dropped a Message in a Bottle, dedicated to our friends Kathy & Ralph, whose boat was hijacked and were murdered by 3 escaped criminals in Grenada. As it turned out, our bottle was found by Natalie M (11 yrs old) June 18th in Puerto Morelos, Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. We are told that it made her day! This bottle traveled approximately 1,529 miles in 100 days at a rate of 15 miles/day. Congratulations Natalie and thanks for letting us know you found our Message in a Bottle. Our wish is that Kathy & Ralph’s souls are also having a great time in someplace like Mexico.

message in a bottle travels