Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Island

Happy Island started out as a spit of sand on the reef protecting the anchorage at Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  During high tide or when Atlantic swells are high, most of the island was under water.  Local fishermen used tiny island and the beach on Union Island to pile discarded conch shells.

This gave Janti, a local businessman and community activist, an idea.  He cleaned up the beach on Union Island and built Happy Island out of the shells.

Working mainly by himself, Janti slowly added to the island and stabilized it with concrete he mixed by hand on the island.

Add a roof, landscaping and some chairs, and you have the Happy Island Bar & Grill.

Today, Happy Island Bar sports a bright paint job and a St. Vincent and the Grenadines flag.

The new roof also serves as the island’s water catchment surface.

Power for the island is provided by a D400 wind generator like the one we had on our previous boat, Serenity.

Janti says he would like to install a second D400 to power his sound system and to keep the beer cold.

Behind the bar area there is a small living area where Janti sometimes stays.


Not too many men can say they built their own island, but Janti brushes it off as if it is nothing.  Besides being the bartender, Janti is also the disk jockey and occasionally sings.

Using our small dingy with the “Al Gore engine” (electric), we were the first to arrive.  Earlier, Janti had come by our boat and invited us to his island.  I said we would be by for happy hour, but Janti reminded me that every hour is happy on Happy Island.

At first business was a little slow.  Janti and his helper, Andrea, didn’t seem to mind.

Soon, however business picked up appreciably.  We ended up meeting two single gals, one from New York and one from England, that were taking sailing lessons in the Grenadines.

Don’t worry, be happy!

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