Grenada's Dive and Revive Resort
Text and Photography by Bill Harrigan, Dec. 1997
Ready for a vacation that can reset your stress level to zero? Send your body to LaSource in Grenada for a week. Let them massage your tired muscles, revitalize your skin and delight your palate. Borrow your body back occasionally for some excellent diving and then put it out to pasture on the beach. Or, try one of the other activities, such as sailing, tennis or waterskiing. Whether you are dining, diving or relaxing, pampering is the prime directive at LaSource.
LaSource Dive Center: Neil Fishburne manages LaSource Dive Center, where the high degree of personal service is in keeping with the rest of the resort. Fiona Fishburne and Paul Holop are also staff instructors.
LaSource uses a fiberglass 32 foot version of the island pirogue as a dive boat. As with most dive operations on Grenada, boarding is right off the beach in front of the hotel. The slope of the beach here actually means a short swim, which is not a hardship considering the warmth and clarity of the water.
All dives and dive equipment are included in the price of your stay at LaSource, the only exception is certification courses such as open water and advanced diver. Two dives are scheduled each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. A night dive is also arranged once a week. Dive buddies can make dives off the beach at any time, simply by arranging for tanks in advance.
Diving Grenada: Most of the dive sites off Grenada are along the calm leeward side of the island, providing easy access without rough seas or strong currents. A shallow shelf runs close to shore in many areas, with excellent coral development. Visibility along this coast varies considerably with the prevailing weather conditions, usually ranging from 50 to 100 feet. For these sites, the profile consists of a shallow reef sloping very gently to a break point in about 35 feet of water. The reef changes from coral mounds and sandy patches at the top to coral ridges and narrow, sandy channels near the edge. At the lip, the reef often drops vertically in a wall that runs down to 70 feet or so before leveling out in a sand bottom with coral patches. The wall has fissures and overhangs packed with corals and sponges that attract many species of reef fish. Pillar Coral is plentiful in places, especially at a dive site called Happy Hill. At other reefs such as Tropicana, vast fields of finger-like Porites Coral and overlapping mounds of Star Coral are accented by the multiple green barrels of tube sponges.
In addition to the reef sites in this area, LaSource divers can also visit several shallow to moderately deep wrecks. The Buccaneer is the remains of a 60 foot schooner that rests in about 75 feet off Molinaire Reef. Almost completely coated with sponges and encrusting coral, the Buccaneer has been reduced to hull and deck supports. The Quarter Wreck is one piece of a ship that had been cut into four sections for use as an artificial reef. This particular piece, the stern section, fell off somewhat prematurely and rests on a shallow portion of a low profile coral reef. This part of the hull is still intact, with the engine and rudder in place. The Veronica is an inter-island freighter that sank in 1993 while at anchor outside St. George's harbor. The vessel sits upright in 45 feet of water and is becoming more thickly encrusted with sponges and corals each year.
LaSource makes periodic trips farther north to dive the fabulous waters between Grenada and Carriacou, a neighboring island that is also part of Grenada. Diving conditions can be more boisterous here, with stronger currents and choppier seas, but the payoff is worth it. This is the zone of blue water and big fish, with coral covered volcanic ridges and pinnacles. Dive sites such as Face of the Devil, the Gallery and the Sisters provide nonstop action. Check in advance and reserve a spot early if one of these trips is planned.
The Bianca C., one of the best wreck dives in the Caribbean, is directly off LaSource beach. This 600 foot Italian luxury liner sank in 1961 in 170 feet of water. The disaster began with a boiler explosion and subsequent fire while the ship was in St. George's harbor. As the fire spread, an attempt was made to tow the vessel out to sea to avoid having the harbor blocked in case the fire was not contained. Unfortunately, the ship was not moved far before it broke the tow and sank. The main deck is now about 90 feet deep and the hull is thick with a pink haze of delicate Black Corals. The depth and frequent presence of strong currents make this an advanced dive.
LaSource: Life at LaSource is intended to refresh the mind and body. The daily routine for most guests is organized around one of the Oasis treatments. Eight are offered, with appointments for the 20 to 50 minute sessions made as desired by each guest. All of the Oasis treatments are for either men or women, except the couples massage therapy, which is designed to show couples the secrets of neck, back and shoulder massage. In the hair treatment, a seaweed paste is used to condition the hair and scalp. A combination of six cleansers, oils and creams are used in the facial treatment to clean and revitalize the skin. For the body there are two different types of massage treatment, aromatherapy, in which a choice of fragrant oils is used, and the salt and oil loofah rub that exfoliates the skin and promotes a remarkably fresh feeling. Feet are not overlooked at LaSource, one Oasis treatment is dedicated to a special foot massage. In addition to the Oasis treatments, a variety of facial, hair and nail beauty treatments are available at extra charge.
Breakfast and lunch are served buffetstyle and the service hours are long enough that they can be taken at your leisure. Dinner is a more formal sit-down affair with a variety of entrŽes. Wine stewards circulate continuously during dinner with a selection of wines.
The rooms and suites at LaSource have been designed to provide the best possible view of the beach and the Caribbean Sea beyond. Furnished in rich, dark wood with a king sized fourposter bed on a light marble floor, the rooms are restful and inviting. The bathrooms are large and luxurious. All rooms are fully air-conditioned but guests frequently just open the French doors to the balcony and let the soft sea breezes drift in. Since LaSource is intended to be a relaxing getaway, there are no television sets in the rooms.
LaSource is an all-inclusive resort, including airport transfers and tips. The combination of Oasis treatments, spacious beachfront grounds and variety of other sports offered make it a good choice for couples containing only one diver.
For more information, contact LaSource in the United States at (800) 544-2883. From other locations call (809) 444-2556. E-mail should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information can also be obtained from the LaSource Web site at www.lasource grenada.com.