Grenada is nicknamed “The Spice Isle” for its production of nutmeg—it’s the second largest growing and exporting nation in the world behind Indonesia. Few realize, however, that this southern Caribbean island is also a chocolate lover’s paradise. The best way to sample this fact is at the Grenada Chocolate Festival, set for May 8 to 17 and held out of the True Blue Bay Resort & Marina. “Grenada is one of the very few countries in the world that produces a high quality, organic and sustainable cocoa, and a very special and delicious Bean to Bar Chocolate,” explains organizer, Magdalena Fielden, whose husband Russ worked in the charter yacht industry until buying the resort in 1998. “The creation of the Grenada Chocolate Fest has been inspired by the vision of Mott Green, the late founder of the Grenada Chocolate Company, who wanted to develop a sustainable chocolate industry that would inspire different sectors of the community to be creative and take advantage of the very valuable cocoa that the island produces.” Chocolate parties, health benefit workshops, hands-on culinary sessions, factory visits, farmer for a day outing, a beachside chocolate fest, chocolate tasting yacht charter, and sunset bonfire with culinary competition are all part of the fun. New this year, Diamond Chocolate factory will participate and offer visitors a chance to design their own chocolate bar. “Visitors can choose from among the events which, of course, will feature a lot of chocolate and cocoa tasting!” chocolate. truebluebay.com
Barbados May Regatta
The Virgin Islands, St. Maarten and Antigua are the three big island destinations for yacht racing in the Caribbean. Yet this month marks a great chance to get off the beaten track and sail or spectate on Barbados. Formerly British-owned, the island is located east of St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and will host the Barbados Sailing Association’s Barbados May Regatta from May 21 to 24. The action takes place in Carlisle Bay just off the capital city of Bridgetown, and the festivities will be held at the beautiful 90-year-old Barbados Yacht Club. Multiple classes are held including some multihulls added for variety and a fleet of one-design J/24s. More than 30 yachts from Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, St. Lucia, Martinique, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines attend making this Barbados’ premier regatta of the year. The race committee plans varied, challenging courses tailored to suit each class, which means great racing for all. “The Club has excellent facilities for sailors with no great distance required to travel after a day of racing,” says organizer Penny McIntyre. “There is a fantastic camaraderie among the sailors and lively after-race parties, barbeques, DJ’s, happy hours and a coconut vendor. If you have not sipped a Mount Gay and coconut water, you best come join!” The regatta is sponsored by Mount Gay, providers of the signature red hats, and Banks Breweries. barbadosyachtclub.com.
By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating May 2015