Petite Martinique

Getting tired of all the tourists? Petite Martinique (PM), the last outpost of Grenada, is small and enchantingly authentic. I love to overnight here, take a long walk, and have a meal ashore. It is a good place to take on water and fuel and look for bargains on beer, liquor, and wine. The inhabitants live by boatbuilding and seafaring (and, in days of old, smuggling). Fishing has always been important, and currently, long-line tuna fishing is very successful. Many vessels lie at anchor, and the docks are far busier than the roads. The many fancy new houses are recent, but some of the older wooden, pitched-roof houses are photogenic, especially at the eastern end of the island. PM is a lot larger than it looks. If you turn right from the dock, the road winds round the south side of the island. It is possible to walk all the way round, but the eastern part is a thorny scramble with no real trail. You will find the people here friendly and welcoming, and the island has several shops and a restaurant. For the adventurous explorer and snorkeler, Fota and Petite Dominique are within range of a seaworthy dinghy.

Replenish your wine, beer, and liquor lockers, and top up on groceries at E & B supermarket or Matthew’s Shopping Center at unbeatable prices. Odinga’s Millennium Connection is in Matthews and has stacks of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and more. Adjoining is a gift shop with handicrafts.

Palm Beach [VHF: 16, (473) 443-9103, $B-C] is a very pleasant family restaurant managed by Emmanuel. The setting is perfect: a pretty garden shaded by palms, right on the beach. They serve seafood from the local fishing fleet, with chicken or pork for those who don’t like fish, lambi, shrimps or lobster. The food is first-rate, the lobster dishes highly recommended, but if you prefer the fish, try the lobster bisque as a starter if it is on the menu. Prices are affordable. Palm Beach has two customer moorings and free wifi. They are happy to come to PSV and pick you up from your yacht in their speedboat for lunch or dinner, and if you before your meal you can arrange this with Emmanuel (not always in service). It is a great way to add PM to your PSV visit. While there is no charge for this service, if you are only one or two people, a gas contribution is greatly appreciated. Palm Beach also has rooms to rent.

Close by, Melodies [VHF: 16, “Tasha P Radio”] is a fancy new guesthouse, built right on the beach. They have a bar/restaurant, but cook meals to advance order only.

If you keep going down the beach, you will come to Francis and Emma’s Seaside View. This beachside supermarket makes loading the dinghy easy. They keep a good stock of basics, and for those looking for a room, they have some sweet little self-contained cottages just behind. You can rent scuba gear here (see Water sports).

There are several other small supermarkets (minimarkets would be a better description), rum shops, and snack shops dotted around the island, along the west-running road. Standing Wave [$D] is a local supermarket, rum shop, and restaurant. Farther down, M&M is a supermarket. A mobile vendor is often around selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

For a pleasant walk, turn left on the road and follow it round to the east till it ends. For higher views, head up the hill past the church and keep going up till there is a left turn, which takes you up to an aerial with a good view. You can continue to the second aerial. It is not easy to find your way to the highest point (the Piton). A Grenadian called Osbert Felix could take you there in the dry season or give you a cultural road tour any time. He has a one-man charity: he solar-dries roots and vegetables and grates them into flour. He will be your guide for a contribution (535-9192/443-9043).