ST. GEORGES, GRENADA—As I help my kayaking guide walk our craft into the waters of Grenada’s Grand Mal beach, the 85 F water enveloping my legs, especially when the air temperature is 3 degrees cooler, is luxurious. Eight years back on a trip to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, the water was a chilly 68 F. (If that doesn’t sound cold, try showering without using the hot water spigot.) This water is heavenly, a liquid promise that moving between water, kayak and land won’t include the usual chills.
Grand Mal beach is a fairly typical Caribbean shore: mostly rocky edges dotted with infrequent patches of coarse sand that, when wet, swallows you to ankle depth with every step. As my guide, Jean Paul, and I launch the red craft into the emerald waters, colorful fish are immediately visible through the kayak’s clear bottom: only little ones, though, mostly shad of an unknown species and just a handful at that.