Island R&R: a sandy spit off the coast of Grenada
Q: How can I book a windsurfing trip to Grenada?
Marilyn Adam, Redding, California
A: No need to book in advance; Grand Anse Beach is littered with dive shops that rent equipment by the hour. An offshore reef keeps breaking waves a good distance from the beach, creating a wide, flat bay with perfect conditions for beginners. If you're after a wilder ride, head out into the surf or drive your gear to the less protected Atlantic side of the island.
But if windsurfing is your only goal, you should probably pick another island. Other Caribbean surf spots have more reliable conditions this time of year (Grenada's peak wind season runs from December to early April). My pick would be St. Bart's, where the long-established Wind and Wave Power (011-590-590-278-257) windsurfing school on Grand Cul de Sac is known for getting first-timers up and riding within 20 minutes of dropping a board on their breezy, shallow lagoon. The eccentric French owner recently rode the wind all the way to St. Martin, a trip that takes 90 minutes if you're traveling by ferry.
If it must be Grenada, then have a windless day backup plan ready to go. Fortunately, there's no shortage of outdoor alternatives. World class reef and wreck diving lies off the west coast and around the uninhabited islands between the mainland and Carriacou (Granada's oft overlooked sibling to the north). Anglers can count on reeling in plenty of marlin and yellowfin tuna. And hiking trails run through the island's rainforest interior. One of the better known trails in the Grand Etang Forest Reserve passes seven waterfalls on its three-hour path through virgin forest. For other ideas, go to www.grenada.org or contact the extremely helpful, outdoors-minded reservations staff at Island Inns (www.islandinns.com 877-364-1100).