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Old Jul 27th 2017, 5:13 am   #1
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Default Watersports in the Caribbean region

I guess we all get asked the same questions by people looking to "relocate" from their present homes to some West Indian island. Mostly they ask about immigration rules and wage-levels, but sometimes the questions are about how to make friends here. On most of our islands it's very easy to make friends, especially among the existing expat community, and probably the easiest way is to take an interest in sports. So I thought it might be useful to have a thread about what sports are available here. Island living usually involves some aspect of watersports, so we could start with them - and maybe start a separate thread for sports that don't involve water.

In Cayman, it's scuba diving that's paramount. There are PADI operations for tourists, and BSAC for amateur locals. My wife used to belong to BSAC (called 'beezac'), but she gave it away a few years ago and I'm not even sure the Club is still going. Local divers rent tanks from the PADI firms and go off and dive on their own; they don't really need a club any more. Diving is safe enough, and we have a hyperbaric chamber for those who come to grief for whatever reason.

There's diving all over the Caribbean, of course, but more so in some places than others. In some, sailing is more popular: in others, snorkelling, or deep-sea fishing, or kayaking, or sea-swims - and so on. I invite other BE members in the region*** to advertise their own islands' favourites. Go for it.
*** I say "region" to include The Bahamas and TCI, in case someone points out that they aren't in the Caribbean at all.
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Old Aug 1st 2017, 11:37 am   #2
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Default Re: Watersports in the Caribbean region

In Grenada reef and wreck diving is a large activity with tourists and locals, there are a number of diving companies, some of them are quite advanced in terms of offering things like re-breathers and nitrox. There are a number of marine conservation areas which exist to provide better driving conditions and also to allow fish stocks to grow in peace. The so-called Titanic of the Caribbean a ship called Bianca C is in the water off Grenada for more advanced diving activities.

As Granada has a cooler tall rainforest interior, there is a lot of scope for hiking and guided walks around waterfalls and ancient monuments. The flora and fauna are diverse healthy and interesting.

That same tall cooler nature of the island means we have some fabulous agriculture, which means we have some absolutely fabulous cuisine and restaurants where things are normally local and cooked from scratch. This is almost all restaurants at all price points.

We produce a lot of this amazing stuff called Rum, which seems to find its way into a lot of drinks, we also have a British brewery making the things that people expect to find in the British pub. However I suspect we are not unique in this.

There is a lot of history on the island, for example a water powered rum factory which is possibly the oldest in the Caribbean, and several old working commercial plantations that welcome visitors to see how cocoa nut meg and other things are produced.

However time and time again the thing that I hear from visitors is that what really makes the island is its people, and Grenadians generally are found to be charming and helpful [ possibly a little old-fashioned ] people. Let me give you a small example, if you are sitting on the wall waiting for something and some schoolchildren walk past, they will all be immaculately dressed and they were all greet you formally and appropriately and probably ask you what sort of a day you're having.

Physically the island is in good condition and is well maintained both by the government and by groups of volunteer locals in places. We don't really suffer from overdevelopment in the way that some Caribbean Islands have done and there is more of an emphasis on quality hotels of all sizes rather than simply large numbers and low prices.
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Last edited by uk_grenada; Aug 1st 2017 at 11:41 am.
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Old Aug 1st 2017, 10:41 pm   #3
I still dont believe it..
 
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Default Re: Watersports in the Caribbean region

Well thats unexpected, cant edit errors after a time.

Anyway with regard to watersports, one of the other things about Granada is that it is in insurance terms out of the hurricane belt which means it is a popular place to leave your boat in the summer. We have a lot of yachties who base themselves here for parts of the year plus a vibrant visitor yacht industry plus quite a large yacht rental set of businesses.

There is quite a lot quite a lot of sport fishing between here and other islands, with a major billfish tournament every year, and there is also quite a lot of rod fishing for shore although it should be noted that spearfishing is illegal for non-locals.
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