Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The first sailing adventure of the year was towards Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The people in Antilles smile, but there is a lot of misery in many of those islands in which luxury resorts have installed their infrastructures. You can see happy wealthy tourists from one side (happy while on holiday, probably…) and from the other side happy poor children playing on the street and asking you some dollars. This makes you think about the sense of life and the way you live it. I think it was in Port Elizabeth where I saw the motto ”Sail Fast, Live Slow” written on a wall that inspired this blog.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines area is one of the best spots I have ever seen in my life. Is not only a great place to go for sailing, as force 4- 5 are ensured by the trade winds, but also the turquoise waters, the animals, the tropical forests and the vulcanos make this area extremely sexy for sailors and nature lovers.
My favorite place was Mayreau Island and Tobago Cays where we possibly spent the best time of our trip: we saw tortoises, rays, “Nemo” fishes, some colleagues also saw sharks! We ate langouste on the beach, we danced caribbean rhythms until late, we drunk Rum.
The life onboard was wonderful, and I could have never expected better crew colleagues and captain. We spent a great time sailing, we made mistakes, we learned, we improved. The nights spent on board were magic; after a long sailing day and while sharing a Ti-Punch or some beers we talked about History, about life. We listened to the music, we agreed on the supremacy of the Rolling Stones while navigating in front of Mustique Island and agreed how depth, beauty and delicate is the french music.
At certain point of the trip, we were sailing, the night came, we could feel the wind and the Ocean and while heading towards our destination the stars seemed that close that I almost thought I could catch one.. and I allowed myself to be transported to another dimension.
Are you willing to “enjoy the moment” sailing around St Vincent and Grenadines? Here are some practical tips…
Trade winds ensure you can sail (force 4-5 are usual). Expect quite a lot of swell in the channels between the different islands.
We basically checked the weather in Internet, you will find WIFI everywhere.
The official sources are the best (and mandatory) :
Tip! Check out the Facebook groupe Meteo Tropicale it is a of a great help.
When leaving from Le Marin towards Saint vincent, you sail downwind. Depending on the number of days you plan, it is better to get to the furthest point in your destination and then take the time to go upwind and visit the different spots longer depending on the weather conditions.
Do not forget the passport!
First recommended stop is Union, at this Island you can work out the clearance of the crew and provisions for the zone of Saint Vincent and Grenadines.
Saint Lucia is another country, you should also go to the border control and fill in the clearance papers. Recommended stop is La Soufrière.
There are many spots you can find all around. Some fisherman will come to welcome at every anchorage bay or spot you choose. They will help you, and in exchange you should give them 5 or 10 Euros. It is a normal practice and it is strongly. recommended not to avoid it, provided they ensure your security. Also, keep in mind this area is very poor…
You will find fisherman all the way offering you fresh fish, langoustes and fruits. You can negotiate, but once you start a “serious” discussion with one of the boat guys, do not change, they take it badly.
Try to get all the provisions at the beginning of your trip in Le Marin, although the zone is quite poor, the prices for tourists are extremely high (x 3).
The visit to the vulcano in La Souffrière. Mood baths and warm cascades visits are really worth. You can negotiate those trips with the boat guys (do not pay more than 35 Euros/pp taxi included, access to vulcano park is not included).
There are a couple of restaurants in the bay which are good as well as some street food.
Do not miss the anchorage in front of the Pitons (the two mountains that are the symbol of Saint Lucia).
In Clifton harbor there is a mooring which is not expensive (and they have showers! ) there is also a nice restaurant.
Only possible to get to this island by boat.
There is an ultra-expensive touristic resort that you cannot access, but you can stay on the beach.
Great spot for palm, mask, tuba.
Small island in the middle of nowhere with an umbrella in the middle.
Port Elizabeth is quite nice and there are several nice beaches which are perfect for a picnic.
Local Markets available (and expensive). Looks like there are some italian resorts, so it is possible to find good italian pasta and good coffee.
Beautiful waters, good anchorage places.
Mayreau / Tobago Cays
Do not hesitate to negotiate a grilled langouste dinner with the local fishermen (25 Euros wine and drinks not included).
Good places in Mayreau to have a beach party.
Tobago Cays is a “must”. Try to spend a couple of days over there, and do not forget your Mask, Palm, Tuba. Take into account there is a lot of currents in the area, so the palms are important.