They say that life is full of cycles, what goes around comes around, and the theme of an underwater sculpture park represents just that. To highlight the effects humans have on the world’s reefs, a talented artist has made slightly bigger than life sculptures depicting human behaviours.
These have been submerged in amongst a struggling coral reef where a new reef may flourish. The area has been declared a marine park to further protect its inhabitants. We were lucky that our new friend, Lucia, had recently swam here and roughly knew the positioning of the art work. The first one we found was ‘Vicissitudes’, known as the Ring of Children. This piece was based on the images of children from Grenada and represents the future generations. To view the remaining sculptures we needed to swim in a ring around a beautiful small bay. Other notable pieces were a man sitting at a typewriter writing a story, Jesus, a woman praying, a mermaid, a man on a bicycle and a field of the dead representing the lives lost here during the revolution. When Thomas spotted a strange metal construction sitting up on a reef, he swam down and looked underneath it and it was a hat with a head underneath it. That was a bit eerie. The beautiful clear waters provided the perfect medium for enjoying this unique underwater experience.
We met Lucia on our round trip from the bay where we were anchored to the hash run in some nearby hills last Saturday. Being Thomas’ and my first hash, we were sprayed by beer at the end of it. We truly stank. As we were reaching the end of the rugged circuit, Thomas proclaimed out loud that he wouldn’t even put himself through this torture in the cooler climes of Germany. That’s when Lucia, whose mother is Guatemalan and her father is Austrian, turns and begins to speak in German to him. In amongst the puffing and panting they struck up a conversation. Lucia turned out to be an exciting person to know – full of knowledge about Central and South America, funny stories and with an interesting career as an eco-tourism consultant. When she asked for our contact we said we didn’t have a pen so just come for lunch on Monday. So she did and we have lots of lovely outings with her since.
So on Saturday we took her family out sailing to reach the underwater sculpture park. It was a 12 mile sail and we had to go out into the Atlantic swell first of all. Young Rahannah felt a bit ill at first but soon got her sea legs once we turned the corner and came into the protection of the island. Otherwise it was a glorious day with beautiful weather. Then the next day Lucia, accompanied by Brittany and Rahannah, escorted us on an island tour. We did a circuit of the island beginning with a visit to some beautiful waterfalls. As we stood under the falling spray, a rainbow formed in a circle around us. It was about a 12 metre drop so the water massaged our shoulders but pounded our heads. It felt good when we stopped.
After the waterfall we visited a lake rimmed by the crater of an extinct volcano. You could walk right around it but a heavy rain the night before deterred us. The track was quite muddy. We did begin the hike to a nearby mountain to get a good view of the coast and of the lake. As the track declined into a slippery slide, we turned back. Our next stop was Pearl Airport – a deserted place that had been the cause of the American invasion in 1983. The Cubans had wanted to place a force there and the Americans didn’t approve. Something like that anyway. The shell of a couple of old Cuban planes remain to the side.
The resourceful locals have turned the runway into a drag strip. An ocean road led us to a beautiful beach at the northern east tip of the island near the same beach where we went turtle watching the week before.
After a picnic lunch we headed to an old rum factory that is still operating and to Leapers Hill.
This is where the remaining Caribs of the island jumped to their deaths when the French were chasing them. They chose not to be caught and enslaved or murdered. Continuing around the island took us to a small fishing village to see some rock carvings. These were a group of circles carved into some rocks on the beach. These were very similar to the circles depicted in Aboriginal art work in Australia. There was also an image of a head.
We returned to Sunset View cafe where we’d tied the dinghy up in the morning. We had a yummy ice cream before returning to the boat. It was a great journey and quite amazing that we’d circumnavigated the entire country in a day.
Our journey to Levera to watch the turtles come up on the beach to lay their eggs was long and exhausting. We were lucky that at least one big leather back turtle came up. Watching her ritual of digging her hole, laying her eggs and then moving in large circles to disguise their location. Our bus driver claimed she was only middle sized with her shell being measured at 166cm in length. Her head was an extra 30cm. We were able to feel her shell and skin. I’d never seen a leather back before so that was quite amazing. We got back to the boat at midnight. Zzzzzzzz
On our first day in Grenada we headed off to town to stock up on fresh produce. We have been getting wonderful mangoes, 10 for 5 EC, (that’s about 2 AUD), and lots of sweet passionfruit for the same price. We also visited the fort in town. This fort played a role in the modern history of Grenada as it was the site where the execution of a number of the members of parliament including the Prime Minister took place in 1983. We also went to a local cooking class to learn to use some of the ingredients that we can find in the market.
Interesting place here. Lots of cruisers are here for the hurricane season and there are a lot of social activities and plenty of support. A very, very friendly lot. It’s a shame that once we move on to Curacao we will be unable to return until next year. We will have to do the ‘Circle of the Caribbean’ to return here. Tra la la la la
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