It’s been a long time! Andy and I were first in Bequia and to the Grenadines in 2009 during our trip on Broadreach. We sailed a 50’ Beneteau with 11 teenagers, a month long sailtraining camp starting in St. Martin and finishing in Trinidad. We truly fell in love with the smaller islands in the southern Caribbean, but since then I have not been south of St. Lucia. It was about time!
The Butler family joined us in Antigua for a 10-day trip down the islands to Grenada. As usual, sailing makes you flexible and this trip was no exception. We changed original plan a bit to have more days to enjoy the Grenadines. Skipped Dominica and sailed non-stop from Guadaloupe to St. Vincent where we cleared customs for the Grenadines. This was our first time to St. Vincent - we had heard mixed things about the island but decided it would be a good place to go to pick up a new Yamaha outboard (that’s another story Andy can tell…) and start the week of cruising. It was better than we expected - we were too deep to fit into the Blue Lagoon but instead grabbed a mooring behind Young Island. Normally we like to anchor but the guidebook warned us about changing currents so we opted for a ball instead. And it's a nice way to give the locals a bit of cash. Of course I woke up in the early morning hearing the ball knock on the hall and the mooring next to us had managed to twist and wrap a couple of times around both the dinghy painter and the lock. I could not have done it myself if I tried. Unfortunately we had not much time to explore the island much but enjoyed what we saw on the southern coast – next time we will definitely go for a hike.
Just before we left a guy came out and sold us some super yummy lobsters that we picked up and put in a bucket for the night’s appetizer. It was a quick hop over to Bequia and it looked just like last time. A very busy mooring field and super cute island lined with small cafes and colorful buildings. The family loved Bequia and I think it will be their favorite spot on the trip once they reflect on their vacation.
Due to wind in the 20s we decided against the Tobago Cays. I was excited to check it out because we have never been there but to fully enjoy it I think it needs to be a calmer day and a few more days to explore. Instead we sailed to Union Island. We were debating if we would go in to Chatham Bay or Clifton Harbor and town it was. It is a very cool anchorage just behind the reef - kitesurfers all around and a fresh breeze coming in over the reef, but protected from any waves. Very neat! And they have the neatest dinghy dock there is - you drive through a narrow arch to enter the ‘dinghy basin’! Andy and I enjoyed a glass of wine at ‘the Loft’ in town. We got to enjoy about five minutes on their balcony overlooking the street and market before a squall hit and we moved inside. Maybe not the tastiest wine, but what can you expect in the Caribbean? Rum is the way to go down here if you want to have a good drink.
Should we stay another day in Union and move around to Chatham Bay, or explore Carriacou for the day? Andy and I went in to clear out of customs and had to walk to the airport to do so, but the walk was literary ten minutes from the dinghy dock, if even. Greg & Calla decided on Carriacou so we headed that way, a very fast hour and a half sail.
Carriacou was another first for us! The anchorage is big and very protected from both wind and swell. It was nice to finally anchor in shallower water of about 15 feet. We were longing for a hike and walked up one of the side streets that turned in to a dirt road that turned into a goat path. Soon we were exploring the ‘peaks’ of Carriacou and the hills were just amazing and super easy to walk on with grassy spots and open forest. Goats and cows everywhere, one snake, two tortoises and lots of birds. We both got a very nice feel for Carriacou although we only spent 24 hrs there. Definitely a place to keep in mind for next time we are down this way!
We are now in Grenada as I write. Andy and I had a few days by ourselves to unwind. We said goodbye to Greg & Calla and the kids in St. Georges and were debating if we should just stay there until the next crew comes or move down to the south side where we have never been before. We love being on anchor and feel that we can relax more than in a marina, and swim whenever the core temperature gets too high (happens to me quite often down here). We are now down in Prickly Bay on anchor, laundry is done and the fridge is looking very sad - dinner last night had to be a bit ‘creative’. Time to provision the boat later today but first off to explore Grenada and the city of St. Georges. My memories from ’09 says that there is an amazing spice and vegetable market in town! Crew arrives tomorrow and we are setting sail back to the Virgin Islands on Thursday. Time flies when having fun.