By Shamille Scott
Those words, uttered by the reassuring Grenadian diver and boatman Devon “Bruce” John, echoed in my mind as I embarked on an unforgettable journey to explore the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park. With a group of fellow travellers, I boarded the “Reggae” eager to experience the wonders that awaited beneath the waves.
Admittedly, I’m neither a proficient swimmer nor a seasoned diver. However, armed with a wealth of research and a thorough explanation of snorkelling, I felt a surge of confidence when I accepted the invitation from the Grenada Tourism Authority to visit the underwater park.
And so, on that sunny Monday morning of August 21, 2023, my excitement propelled me towards the open sea. My anticipation was particularly directed at encountering the masterpieces crafted by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor—sculptures like “Lost Correspondent” and “The Vicissitudes”—resting at the bottom of Molinere Bay.
These art pieces, among over 70 others, had been conceived to breathe life into the bay after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
As the boat set sail, my excitement started to waver, giving way to a knot of unease. The reminder that I lacked swimming skills began to haunt me, and I found myself wavering
between two conflicting thoughts: “I’ve come all this way, so why not?” and “What if panic takes over and I struggle to stay afloat?”
Just when I was about to abandon the idea of snorkelling, the encouragement of Bruce and Tiffany Geer, Aquanauts Grenada’s chief marketing officer, came to my rescue. Bruce’s warm guidance led me back to the group, while Tiffany’s reassuring words helped me revisit the guide she had shared earlier.
And so, with a newfound determination, I was immersed in the enchanting world beneath the waves—the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park. “The Vicissitudes”, a circle of 26 Grenadian children holding hands, left me awe-inspired. Interpreted as a representation of the circle of life or the adaptability of children, the sculpture held profound meanings within its aquatic embrace.
Equally captivating was “The Lost Correspondent”, a poignant representation of a man seated at a desk with his typewriter. The name spoke volumes, capturing the evolution of communication over time.
Among the many remarkable sculptures, the underwater adaptation of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue, known as “Christ of the Deep”, stood as a tribute. This sculpture memorialised the heroic rescue of over 600 people from the burning Bianca C in 1961, revealing the indomitable spirit of Grenadian kindness.
Celebrated as one of National Geographic’s Top 25 Wonders of the World, the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park made its debut in 2006. This historic event not only inaugurated the world’s first-ever underwater sculpture park within the Molinere Beauséjour Marine Protected Area but also solidified its status as a beloved destination for both snorkelers and divers. It has also continued to enchant visitors with its captivating allure beneath the waves.
Later today (August 22), Grenadians and visitors to the island will witness the unveiling of the park’s renovations. The latest project, a collaboration between deCaires Taylor and talented Grenadians, added 27 full-size human sculptures that he formed in his studio in Kent, England.
Dressed as carnival revellers, they portray various aspects of the characters of Grenada’s carnival. The sculptures, made of specialised eco-friendly concrete, arrived naked in a 40-foot container.
Accessible via scuba diving, snorkelling, and glass bottom boats departing from St Georges and Grand Anse, this iconic attraction remains one of the must-visit sites in Grenada.
With the revitalised Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park as the focal point, my journey unfolded into a captivating exploration of art, history, and the untamed beauty of the underwater realm.
As I reflect on my time in this underwater wonderland, I can confidently assure future travellers that there’s nothing to worry about—just pure awe and wonder await beneath the surface of Grenada’s turquoise waters.