Photo by Jane E. Zarem
A tiny, man-made island in Clifton Harbour built with discarded conch shells, Happy Island is really just a small bar where you can tie up for a while and have a drink, a meal, and a conversation with Janti Ramage, the island’s joyful builder, owner, and operator. Just be sure to call ahead, as Ramage keeps flexible hours.
By Jane Zarem, AFAR Local Expert
Getting Happy on Happy Island
While there technically isn't much of a beach on Happy Island, you'd be hard pressed to find a more idyllic beach bar anywhere in the world. Happy Island is a man-made island in the middle of Clifton harbor with no other purpose than to serve as an oasis for rum lovers with a proclivity to limin’. The brain-child of one man: Janti. About 10 years ago, he was volunteering removing conch (or lambi as their known in the Grenadines) shells from the beaches of Union Island. But do you know how much conch the people of the Grenadines eat? A LOT! So, he began piling the empty shells up on the reef in Clifton harbor and before he knew it, visitors began using the conch pile as a make-shift bar. He was obviously on to something! A few years, an awful lot of conch shells, some cement and a tremendous amount of work done almost solely by himself and you’ve got a Grenadines institution.
By Patrick Bennett, AFAR Ambassador
A very delightful man-made island in the Grenadines.
We had good times here. The lobster lunch was amazing.
By Honey Adams
A happy place.... Sailing to Happy Island
Anchored in Clifton bay.We see a little island in front of us. Looks cool from a distance so we go over to check it out. A huge guy with a smile just as big comes out and says, tie your boat here no worries. Welcome! This is Happy Island. The rasta vibe,the beautiful scenery,way cool. Not only did we get to hang out with Janti, who happens to make the best Rum punch, but we also found out he built this island! It started with a dream, as all good things do. With concrete and conch shells he built.Designed and engineered with a creative imagination he turned his dream into his reality,a island.Walking through the layout, pointing out how things work.He catches rain water and filters it, solar power for energy.Inside, soft white sand covers the floor as we walk bare foot. Its dreamy.The past 12 yrs he has been working to get to this point adding to his island everyday.The only way to get here is by boat which makes it that much more special.But what really makes this place special is Janti.He has the most welcoming smile and a warm kind presence, creating a vibe that is contagious.We really enjoyed his company and related to his passion.A passion for a dream far fetched, reached.A goal attained though pure persistence. If you ever have the chance to visit Union Island, its a must stop.Before we left, I gave him a necklace I made in the Bahamas out of seaglass and beads.Instantly he puts it on and gives me a kiss on both cheeks and a great big hug and wishes us a safe journey.
By Olivia Frank