Our third stop on Royal Princess was another island we hadn’t previously visited: Grenada. Known as the Spice Island due to its production of nutmeg & mace, this little island has a big history (U.S. & coalition troops invaded in 1983 to break up a coup). It is also surrounded by gorgeous Caribbean waters & is home to a very unique feature: an underwater sculpture park, which is part of a revitalization effort to bring back their reef. Located in Molinere Bay, British artist Jason deCaires Taylor has created & installed beautiful sculpture, which will help bring back natural coral growth, which was destroyed by Hurricanes Ivan (in 2004) & Emily (in 2005). Several local tour groups offer excursions out to the sculpture park (it would be nearly impossible to reach without a boat) & we spent the day with Grenada Seafaris. Owned by Howard (who was also our captain) & Suzanne (who greeted us right off the ship) Clarke, their zippy little power boat only holds 10 guests, making for a small, intimate tour.
Since I am a wuss & generally do not like things that go fast, I was a little nervous ahead of the tour, but once we were settled on the boat & speeding along, I found myself enjoying the surprisingly smooth ride. Once we arrived at the Underwater Sculpture Park, the waves were a bit choppy, resulting in a bit of reduced visibility of the sculptures (& a little bit of sea sickness when we were prepping to get into the water), but the tour was still excellent. Albert, our in-water tour guide, lead us as a group around to the various sculptures, explaining each one along the way. He was especially good with B, a nervous swimmer, & stayed right by his side the entire time (even diving down & picking up a sea urchin to show him, as the rest of us were getting back on the boat).
My favorite sculpture was Vicissitudes, which was installed in 2007. The most easily recognizable piece of art, this ring of 26 standing children hold hands while facing outwards. I also like the Lost Correspondent, a writer seated at a desk, typing away on his underwater typewriter.
After our snorkeling time, we hopped back in the boat for a little tour of the island, which was probably my favorite part of the day. Our tour ended in the harbor of St. George’s, the colorful capital. We were dropped off in a slightly different location because of the wind, but that just meant we got to explore the town a bit more.
We walked around a bit, including hiking up to a beautiful church at the top of a hill – sadly, the church was closed, but the view was still spectacular. Along the way back, we met Annebelle, who was on her way home from school & stopped me to beg for her photo to be taken. Before getting back on the ship, we enjoyed a few beverages at the Everything Cool Sports Bar – a small bar tucked into an alleyway with football on the TV, strong wifi & a piece of plastic as a roof. As we waited out a passing rain shower, a cold Banks beer in our hand, it was the perfect ending to our time on the island.