Friday, October 26, 2012


Well the outboard is on the stern rail, the dink is upside down on the foredeck and the fridge is full as we leave the flesh pots of Grenada for the simpler life in Carriacou.

We had some more great days in Grenada though.

The River Antoine Rum Distillery

One noteable stop on our island tour was the only rum distillery on the island to still crush the raw sugar cane using a waterwheel. Some of the works date back to 1785. The crushing plant would have any modern Health and Safety inspector gibbering over the lack of guards and the exposed chains but as Creedance Clear Water Revival said “Big Wheel Keeps on Turning” and the cane keeps on getting crushed using the same bit of British built machinery that has done the same job for 160 years.

The juice runs down a channel gathering a few additional flavorsome ingredients as it goes into the first large copper cauldron. Then it is boiled to concentrate the cane syrup. In this plant the cane syrup is moved from boiling copper to boiling copper by hand using a LONG spoon. Heat is provided by burning 'bagasse' or the sugar cane stalks residue after crushing.

Once it is concentrated it is moved into large open vats and allowed to ferment. The birds, bats, bugs and lizards play in the rafters overhead with plenty of opportunities to add some more flavorsome ingredients to the mix. The final step is the distilling of the fermented syrup in a classic pot still and they produce two grades, the fiirst is the usual 40% alcohol but the second is the famous Grenadian 'STRONG RUM' or 'JACK IRON' at 76%. Yes 76% alcohol, but “Elf and Hatey” has stretched out it's long wagging finger to stop this. They claim it is too inflammable to be allowed on aircraft so no tourist sales. Therefor they restrict it to 70% on most runs but do produce the real stuff on occasions. Well we had a very small tot to check it out and boy o boy it is strong stuff.

Another factory visit

This was a cottage industry drying herbs, cutting flowers and producing a nutmeg based pain relief spray which is being sold world wide. Just when you think you have a handle on a place like this you spot a certificate on a wall. A GOLD certificate won at the Chelsea flower show, they don't give these away with a bag of crisps. It turned out they had won 10 such certificates in 13 years. The cottage looked a little run down but it was more than a hundred years old and had ridden out several major hurricanes without major damage.


Today we took the dink a couple of miles up the coast to visit the underwater statue park. The pictures say it all.

Just amazing.

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