Before leaving Trinidad, Mary visited the Chaguaramas Military History and Aviation Museum
located near our boat. This museum, situated on the old World War II U.S. Naval Base, contained
a wealth of information on the war. When thinking of World War II, most everyone was aware of
the large U.S. military force on both the European and Pacific fronts but unaware of the U.S.
presence in the Caribbean, especially in Trinidad. With the Caribbean being a prime source of
oil during WW II and Trinidad at the terminus of the North Atlantic convoy route, the number of
U.S. soldiers stationed in Trinidad was large, especially in 1942 and 1943 at the peak of the
German U-Boat offensive in the Caribbean. In 1942 there were 82,000 U.S. servicemen in
Trinidad; by 1943 the number had increased to 130,000. Of special interest, because our sons had
once been Boy Scouts, was the exhibit on the Trinidadian Boy Scouts. During WW II these boys
had helped as signalers to the Trinidad Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and later with Trinidad’s
counter-intelligence for South America.
Our time in Trinidad had been special, but with Christmas fast approaching it was time to head
north to Grenada as our two sons were flying into Grenada Sunday evening, December 20, to join
us for the Christmas holidays. Originally we had planned to sail north on December 10, but we
lost our weather window. We finally departed Trinidad Wednesday evening, December 16, and
sailed overnight to Grenada, 87 nautical miles away.
With our two sons, Phil Jr. and Scott, aboard Kuhela, this Christmas couldn’t have been more
special. When children, they had both lived 2½ years on our boat during our circumnavigation of
the Pacific, and this was our first Christmas together as a family back aboard Kuhela in 19 years.
The southern coastline of Grenada was quite popular with cruisers as it contained some of the
best protected anchorages in all the Caribbean Windward Islands. Some cruisers spent much or
all of each cruising season in these bays. During our sons’ stay we spent our first two days
anchored in Clarkes Court Bay. On Wednesday we moved over to the Hog Island anchorage, a
much more protected, sheltered anchorage. We enjoyed Hog Island’s peaceful setting so much
that we remained anchored there, even after our sons departed, until it was time to finally start
Hog Island Anchorage
What a fun week we had together as a family -- reminiscing, relaxing, sharing meals, enjoying each
other’s company. Walks along Hog Island provided beautiful views of the area.
The day before Christmas we toured the island. From the hill country
above, we had a terrific view of St. George’s, the capital of Grenada.
At the Grand Etang Interpretation Center we saw up close the Mona
monkey which had been brought to Grenada from West Africa during the
height of the slave trade. It now roamed free in the Grenadian hills.
After a 30 minute trek through the rainforest, we enjoyed
a refreshing swim at the Seven Sisters Falls.
Later we stopped by the River Antoine Rum Distillery, one of the Caribbean’s
oldest functioning rum factories. At this distillery, the process of rum
production hadn’t changed much since the 1800’s.
On the island's northern coastline we stopped by Sauteurs to visit Leapers Hill (also known as
Carib’s Leap). Here in 1651 the last of the indigenous Carib Indians flung themselves over the
100 foot cliff into the sea below rather than surrender to the French.
Also, we were excited to finally see up close the nutmeg tree as Grenada
produced 1/3 of the world’s supply of nutmeg. When ripe, this yellow fruit
split open revealing a brown nut, the nutmeg, covered with a lacy, orange-
red webbing of mace. Both the nutmeg and the mace were used as spices.
Christmas day began with a toast in the cockpit, drinking the Caribbean Christmas drink sorrel.
Later we enjoyed a rum-sorrel cocktail at the beginning of our Christmas dinner.
Our last day together we attended the weekly Sunday afternoon beach BBQ at Peter’s Bar on Hog
Island, complete with band entertainment. This weekly BBQ was popular with cruisers, locals,
and visitors. During the week we had Hog Island’s lovely beach and Peter’s Bar mostly to
ourselves. Sunday afternoon the beach was crowded.
Each black dot represents
a merchant ship sunk by
German U-Boats in
Clarkes Court Bay with Hog Island Anchorage in Background
Hog Island Anchorage to North
Clarkes Court Bay
Clarkes Court Bay to East
St. George's to West