Our friend Chris got there before us and posted pictures to tempt us there. Grand Case instantly felt like the sort of place where you can sling your hook and stay a while. All of us grew to love it more and more the longer we stayed. The anchorage itself is surprisingly uncrowded, always offering plenty of room to drop the anchor which was very useful as we returned to the bay several times, using it as our base between trips elsewhere. As soon as we landed on the comfortable dinghy dock (always an asset for live aboard cruisers) and looked back at the turquoise waters and local kids jumping off the end of the old pier, both Simon and I said we felt as if we were on holiday. This may sound strange, as when you tell friends and family that you are off sailing
around the Caribbean for a year, they imagine a grand extended charter holiday of relaxing with cocktails and swimming off the back of the boat. I’m not saying that I haven’t enjoyed my fair share of cocktails and swimming! However, that is not the whole picture. The reality is that much of the cruiser’s life is, indeed, doing boat jobs in the sunshine. Running a boat as big as the Princess takes constant maintenance for a crew of just two, especially as we aim to restore her gradually to better and better condition. Sometimes you need to force yourself to take time off, find the right place to chill out and recharge your batteries and Grand Case was the perfect place to do it!
A proviso: when you do some of the boat jobs in the sunshine you occasionally get a real treat. I was rewarded for my hard work in cleaning half of the hull of the boat finally, (a job which has been on our to do list since Christmas!) with some amazing sightings of eagle rays, stunning spotted rays which glide through the water as if flying.
Grand Case is famed for its smart French restaurants and bars and has three amazing value barbecue restaurants right on the waterfront. We must have eaten our body weight in ribs and chicken while looking out over the bay. With such superb value for money you need never go hungry here. The trendy little bars offer live music and happy hour cocktails, irresistible for sundowner drinks. Although the wi-fi coverage was annoyingly non-existent (no anchorage is really perfect) we found the perfect wi-fi spot in “Le temps des cerises”, a hotel bar which is a taste of luxury with a view to die for and all for the price of a drink. Their painkillers are not to be missed!
This was above all the perfect place to hang out with Chris before and after our week in Anguilla together, to drink to his safe passage multiple times and wish him well before he left to go back to Europe. All the best to you, Free Cloud! See you on the other side.