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Carriacou


See a larger map of Carriacou
Language:  English
Population:  Less than 10,000
Money:  EC dollar (tied at US $1 to 2.70EC$ or 1EC$ = US$ 0.37)
Landscape:  The northernmost of the Grenada Grenadines.  Some low hills, with lots of coral & small islands around it.
Visited:  We stopped in Carriacou several times in July and August 2002, first with John & Becky, then for the Carriacou Regatta, and then with Casey & Kenny Quayle.
Track Files:  See the bottom of this page

(Amanda, age 13)  Carriacou is the largest of the Grenada grenadines, about 20 miles north of Grenada.  We weren't there much before John & Becky came, but after they left we stayed for the Carriacou Regatta.

We were first anchored in Hillsborough Bay, although that got a little rocky in the evening, possibly a tidal thing.  Then we moved round to the western anchorage of Tyrrel Bay.  During the regatta we motored back and forth often and bussed back and forth to take in as many activities as we could.

A small sloop racing in the Carriacou Regatta
A small sloop racing in the Carriacou Regatta

(Jon)  Carriacou was a delightful interlude that we visited several times as we showed off the southern Grenadines to John & Becky as well as Casey & Kenny.  Tyrrel bay is completely protected and even has an excellent (if seldom used) hurricane hole.  The mangroves along the northern side of the bay could easily shelter 100 boats, but hurricanes rarely come this far south.

The main joy for us were all the other "kid boats" in the anchorage, 5 or 6 as I recall.  As soon as the kids had finished their school work (usually about 1pm) they were off to swim or play with their friends.  There were also more sailing dinghies around than any other anchorage we'd been to, so everyone got lots of practice.  A late afternoon spent ghosting around the anchorage, greeting other cruisers and watching the sun go down is a delightful and relaxing way to end a day.

Greased pole walking was a hit!
Greased pole walking was a hoot!
The local donkey race was a free-for-all of hoofs and bare feet.
The donkey race was a free-for-all of hoofs & bare feet.

(Sue)  My main recollection of Carriacou from the 1980's was our visit with Jon's brother Tony in 1982 when we anchored off Hillsborough and were surrounded by locally built boats competing in the Carriacou regatta.  It was here, ashore, that we introduced Tony to "rotis", the local quick lunch, a large thin tortilla stuffed with curried potatoes and fish, chicken, beef or lambi (Conch - Not lamb spelled strangely).

Hillsborough's main street thronging with people for Regatta week
Hillsborough's main street thronged with people
for Regatta week
Small boats pulled up on shore between races
Small boats pulled up on shore between races

The 2002 regatta was still colorful, noisy (huge speakers set up on each street corner competing with the neighboring ones), and the grilled chicken still great.  The beautifully polished workboats careened around the bay, and the little sprit rigged fishing boats took on full crews, hiked out to get the most from the wind.

'Hiking out' to keep the mast as upright as possible
'Hiking out' to keep the mast as upright as possible
Note the colorful "water sail" under the boom of the mainsail
Note the colorful "water sail" under the mainsail

The kids and Jon participated in the regatta by signing up for various dinghy races.  Jon took out our little plastic Walker Bay and pulled in a First Place when he had 9-year-old Asia as his crew.  Chris and his friend Chrissy also sailed in the double-handed race, but had the disadvantage of dying winds and being too heavy for the small dinghy they were in.  Amanda sailed double handed on a laser and pulled in a third place.  Way to go!  I motored around in the inflatable taking pictures and yelling encouragement!

A group of sloops racing hard on the wind
A group of sloops racing hard on the wind

It was in Tyrrel Bay that we met up with some old cruising friends: Austrian Hans and Karin on PK3 and John Smith on Mermaid who we had  run into (literally) up in St. Martin in 1984.  He's the one whose parrot used to climb up the mast and cry out, well, censored things like "Where the f... are we?" whenever they came into anchor.  We were sad to hear that the parrot has gone to the great forest in the sky.

(Chris, age 15)  The thing I remember most about Carriacou is the massive number of sailing dinghies, and all the people out sailing them every day.  We also went swimming with other kids almost every day.  Carriacou itself did not seem extremely interesting to me, but with all the other boats there for the regatta, and all the kids there, I had a good time.  I don't really think I would have enjoyed it if there hadn't been all those other kids.

Cruisers: We are now publishing Downloadable Track Files in both MaxSea (.ptf) format and in OpenCPN (.gpx) format (not all tracks are available in all formats yet - we're still working on it and they take time).  You can download the track files either by clicking on the links in the tables below, or by clicking on the track in the Google Map below the table.  The MaxSea files are in native format but the OpenCPN files are zipped so they download faster, and they need unzipping after they've been downloaded (which Windows does natively).  If 2 files are shown, the smaller one has been edited to remove redundant points from straight tracks.  This improves the speed of the download as well as performance once the file is loaded.  Sometimes MaxSea Track files are separated from the Mark (chart notations) files.  Download instructions are provided if you need them.

These files are provided free and we are actively soliciting cruisers to send us your track files so we can post them for others to download.  If you would like to to participate, please email us your track files (as attachments to our HackingFamily account, not our Winlink acct) along with your boat name and draft.  If you include your website and boat details, we'll link back to you from our Cruising Links page.

Note: If the tracks disappear as you zoom in on the maps, try switching between Satellite and Terrain modes to get them to come back.  Better yet, use Earth mode, which is faster anyway and doesn't seem to lose the tracks.

Disclaimer: While we always try to provide useful information, we can take no responsibility for its accuracy or usefulness.  Prudent mariners will always navigate using all means at their disposal, and will not rely on electronic navigation.

Southeast Caribbean Sailing Tracks

Boat Draft Year Comments MaxSea OpenCPN
Taniwani 6.6' (2m) 2005 Grenadines 12 KB 6 KB


See Taniwani's SE Caribbean Sailing Tracks in a larger map

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