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  • Writer's pictureHummingbird Retreat

Week 27

Wildlife wonder – Caribbean White Sea urchins

When we last visited St Georges we went down to the Carenage (harbour) to see the tropical fish swimming amongst the fishing boats. We also saw these sea urchins stuck to the harbour wall, just below the water's surface.

This type of sea urchin can grow to about 15 cms in diameter and are also known as sea eggs. They do not tend to go below 10 metres deep below the water surface and they are held in place by tube feet. These feet also collect passing food, mainly algae, and pass the food up to their mouth which is situated on their underside.

Fishermen dive for sea urchins and can collect large numbers which are eaten. The edible part is the creamy, soft inside. We sometimes see piles of dried sea urchin shells on the beach, like the photo below, which are just seen as rubbish to those who eat them but, to me, they are like beautiful shells.

Grenadian gift- Water Sports

Obviously, there are beautiful beaches to enjoy in Grenada but one way that we can experience the water in a different way is to take advantage of the various water sports on offer. The main tourist beach is Grand Anse and there are a number of activities that are available here such as kayaking, jet skis, paddle boarding, kite surfing and flyboarding. When we were at Grand Anse we also saw some people sitting on a large inflatable sofa, attached to a speed boat which took them at a fast pace, whizzing around the coastline.

We preferred a slower pace and we were grateful to some local friends who lent us their paddleboards to enjoy while the kids were here. Hayley and Josh mastered the technique well, as the photo of Hayley shows, whereas I was happy to just lie on it and drift in the water!

There is a company called ‘SUP Carriacou Grenada’ where you can hire a paddle board for about £10/hr or about £25 for half a day (SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboards). They also provide a waterproof bag to put your valuables in, a lifejacket, and an introductory lesson as well as the option of photos and drone videos of you on your paddleboard.

Next time the kids are back, we hope to try another of the water sports on offer but perhaps I’ll just stay on dry land and take the photos!

Reflections from the retreat

This week’s reflections come from Hayley and Josh as they reflect on their time here.

“I loved how everything was so beautiful and uplifting and so it naturally lifts your mood. I had fallen asleep in the car and woke up and thought I was in the UK and then realised I was in Grenada and thought, oh my goodness, there are palm trees and the sea. I just love being around nature and having fresh fruit. When I was in London and money was tight I didn’t buy much fruit and now it’s all just free on the trees. Like when I first tasted that fresh soursop, wow that was a highlight and it’s now my new favourite fruit. Another highlight was the flight to Carriacou and seeing the beach at Petite Carenage –that was a wow and the day at Petite Anse by the pool was another highlight. The waterfall was beautiful and we went to Carnival but that was a bit disappointing because we didn’t see the big costumes that we were expecting because that was only in St Georges. It was good to have a day with Dad’s closest friend from school and his brother and hearing their stories of when they were boys with Dad. I enjoyed going to St Georges and preferred St Georges to Grenville. You were the best bit, Mum, but that soursop though is battling with you for first place!!!”

Josh continues with his reflections- “When I first came I really noticed how everything was so bright and such different colours, as it’s like the brightness is turned up compared to the UK and the colours are more vivid. The Hash was a definite highlight and one of the best walks I’ve ever been on as we were walking through mud, it was slippery, and we didn’t know where we were going. We were following the trail through bush and along cliff edges and falling and having to hold onto trees and so it felt adventurous and fun. Being covered in beer at the end wasn’t a highlight but Hayley thought that was fun (this is how they mark first-timers as well as giving out certificates to ‘hash virgins’). I got to watch football and also play football with one of Mum’s friends and the group in Grenville so that was good. Levera Beach was so nice and a highlight. The beach in Carriacou to look at was the best, hands down, but to swim in, the best beaches were Levera and Petite Anse. It was good paddle boarding in Grand Anse but the water is so calm there it’s a bit boring in Grand Anse. Another good thing is everyone saying hi and the friendliness. There is fruit everywhere and the food is healthier with no additives and not genetically modified – it’s straight from the tree, though I liked that green seasoning from the supermarket. It was good to hear the stories from Dad’s friends and to hear them laugh. It was good going to the Nutmeg restaurant in St Georges, which was a nice day. Thanks Mum.”

For our last day together, we enjoyed a lunch pass at Petite Anse Hotel so that we could enjoy the pool as well as the beach. It was a great way to end the holiday and we also enjoyed the wide choice of cocktails on offer. The photo below is just after our swim at the beach, although Hayley and Josh’s hair seems unaffected by getting wet!

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