Ohana Sailing Adventure

Underwater Art

Our last day in Grenada (or what we thought was our last day!), we snorkeled in the Moliniere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park.

It was a little surreal to swim over pieces of art. Although several sculpture parks now exist, the one here in Grenada is considered to be the first, started in 2007 by Jason de Caires Taylor. Accurate information about the park is somewhat hard to find, but here is what we’ve pieced together.

Part of the Amerindian sculptures

After Hurricane Ivan caused significant damage to the underwater world of Grenada, Jason de Caires Taylor created this artificial reef. Reportedly he used his own funds to start the project, and the original sculptures were limited in size and weight because each piece was brought by dive boat and manually placed into the sandy patches amongst the existing coral reefs. The park now covers an area of 800 square meters (1000 square yards), and reportedly it is home to 75 sculptures. Unlike indoor sculptures, these pieces are constantly subject to the forces of nature, and sea surge, wave action, and currents mean that these pieces are always changing.

We took our dinghy from Port Louis Marina to the bay, and at first we thought we might not find any of the sculptures as we slowly circled outward from our moored dinghy. But then Katie spotted the ‘Mermaid’, and from there we found a lot more.

The ‘Nutmeg Princess’ honors the importance of nutmeg to Grenada’s history. ‘The Lost Correspondent’ shows a journalist working at his typewriter; over time, the historical newspaper cuttings covering the desk, documenting Grenada’s involvement with Cuba, have worn away.

Nutmeg Princess
Lost Correspondent

‘Vicissitudes’ is a circle of life-size children, linked by holding hands. When we saw the sculpture, very few of the original sculptures were upright or attached to their rebar ring, instead scattered across the ocean floor. A small circle remains intact, though (see the photo at the top of this post). Searching online, there was talk of replacing some of the figures, but we couldn’t find anything definitive about this.

The ‘Amerindian Petroglyphs’ are a collection of 14 sculptures based on Amerindian art and are a newer installation, the work of local craftsman Troy Lewis and sponsored by Grenada Seafaris Eco-tours. A lot of these are images put into the surrounding rocks. One of the largest pieces is a Zemi (a stone-carved idol with supernatural power) and stands about a meter (three feet) high.

The day after we snorkeled here, we left Grenada for Carriacou but turned back halfway to fix a non-functioning macerator pump – the joys of boat ownership! We headed back north a few days later, though, heading for Union Island, part of the Grenadines. Get email updates when new blogs are posted by signing up on the right!

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