February 8, 2012

Snorkeling in Grenada

Dear Epic Readers,

I hope this post finds you well.  As promised, here is the third issue in my Travel Tuesdays series.  So grab a pirate’s punch and let’s hoist off on an epic adventure to Grenada.

In the South Eastern Caribbean, about 100 miles north of Venezuela, you will find the gorgeous island of Grenada (pronounced Gree-Nay-Dah).  It is also known as the Spice Isle or the Isle of Spice.  Over the centuries, the island has been inhabited by Black natives of African descent, British, French and Amerindians – both Arawaks and Caribs – whose artifacts and carvings can still be found throughout the island.

More than 70% of Grenada’s exports go to the United States and European Union. Their growers are increasingly adopting sustainable farm management practices, which is why their clean, green organic approach to agriculture is recognised around the world.  Cocoa, Banana, Nutmeg and other spices for export have been the island’s main source of foreign exchange for hundreds of years, and in fact Grenada is the world’s second largest nutmeg producer.

One huge highlight for me about Grenada was going to the world’s first Under Water Sculpture Park at Molinere Bay.  Wow, that was an exhilarating experience!  All of you who have read my blog from the beginning know that I’ve always struggled to learn how to swim.  This summer, I had a breakthrough at my local swim school and was able to swim the entire length of the pool and back.  Even accomplishing this feat, I still have no clue how to tread water.   So you can imagine how the voice in the back of my head was screaming at me to stay on the cruise ship and let hubby go on this adventure by himself.  Still, I resigned myself to put on my swimsuit and take a book with me on the tour so I could stay in the catamaran if I changed my mind at the last moment.

Off I went on the catamaran, zipping over the waves, my hair streaming behind me, the wind whipping in my face – what a feeling of freedom and exhilaration!  Then we slowed down for our guide to share some details about the aquatic life around the island.  After this tutorial, our next stop was Molinere Bay.  It felt almost like an outer body experience, floating outside myself as I watched the real me get into a life jacket, flippers, and goggles, climb over the edge of the boat and ease into the ocean.   Now, all my friends will tell you that I am an extremely cautious person.  I am not a risk taker, and never have been.  Had you asked me about this last year at this time, I would have said, “I never will be a risk taker!”  Yet, having children changes you.  Having watched my kids learn to walk and talk and do all those incredible feats that they do in their first few years; having encouraged them to try again when they literally fall on their bums when learning how to walk; having been their cheerleader for three years and encouraging them to try something new even if they are scared, I decided to take the same advice myself:  to be brave and bold and try something new too.

Before I knew it, I was holding on to a little lifebuoy, swimming along looking at the most amazing, breathtaking vista before me.  Seeing fish in an aquarium pales in comparison to watching those iridescent luminous shimmering fish swimming everywhere.  It was breathtaking.  Then I glimpsed something off in the distance, coming into focus and taking shape as I approached.  There were beautiful sculptures dotted along the ocean floor!  My favorite was one called ‘Christ of the Deep’ standing majestically with arms outstretched and head looking up towards heaven.   Christ of the Deep was placed in St. George’s Harbor to commemorate the people of Grenada for their help and to thank them for the hospitality they extended to the people on board the Italian ship Bianca C after it caught fire and sank in the harbor. 

If you are in Grenada, book a Seafaris Powerboat Eco Tour and ask for Albert.  He is passionate about sharing the history and ecology of Grenada and is a wonderful guide of the underwater sculptures.  He was truly awesome at making the excursion interesting for both experienced and novice snorkelers!

Here are three of the most exciting highlights of the island:

  • Visit the Mona monkeys that live near Grand Etang National Park.
  • Tour St. George’s market for ginger, cinnamon, mace, turmeric, nutmeg, coconuts, bananas, and so much more.
  • Snorkel in the world’s first Under Water Sculpture Park at Molinere Bay.

Cheers,

From the beautiful island of Grenada

Char a.k.a Epic Mom

Comments

  1. Love this! I SO need a vacation!!

    • After vacationing like this, I’ve definitely become a huge fan. I just have to wait till the kiddies get a bit older to really take advantage of this type of vacation.

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