Saint Vincent is the largest island of the small island nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, including Saint Vincent itself as well as the 30 plus northern islands of the Archipelago of the Grenadines, the largest being Young Island, Mustique, Canouan with a Yacht Charter base, Mayreau, Union Island with a Yacht Charter base, Palm Island and Petit Saint Vincent. The Southern Grenadines on the other hand officially belong to Grenada. The Grenadines are rather flat or hilly and dry and contrary to the Caribbean islands not of volcanic origin. Their vegetation is not quite as lush and tropical, low shrubs and cactuses predominate.
Saint Vincent on the other hand consists of volcanic rock: Mount Soufriere erupted for the last time at the beginning of the 20th century, shortly after the eruption of Mont St. Pelée on Martinique. There have be massive gas explosions in the late 70s. Today, the volcano stagnates, in the centre of the crate a lake with an island has formed, but Mount Soufriere is still regarded to be active. Of the about 110.000 inhabitants, more than a quarter lives in the main town of Kingston, less than 10 percent on the Grenadines. The main source of income is agriculture; mostly the cultivation of bananas; cacao beans and spices play a less important part. The region was long believed to be the poorest of the Caribbean. More and more is invested in the tourism industry since. With tropical forests, rivers fit for swimming, volcanic sceneries, waterfalls and sandy beaches, the island has all the makings for it.
Coming from the North, the first larger bay is the one in Chateaubelair and only since 2007 port of entry – officially it has been for the last 40 years but before 2007 this decree has never been issued. The last fishing village is the 4th largest village of the island and meanwhile also touristically developed. Near Chateau, as this village is called, there are also archaeological findings, relics of Carib Indians. The new costumes and immigration offices are close to the dock. The bay offers beautiful anchorages and spots for snorkelling.
Amidst lush nature you anchor in Cumberland Bay with mooring-lines tied to a palm tree. On the bank of the mouth of a little creek children, small dogs and little piglets play peacefully together. Two restaurants are happy to host sailing crews, intended on dining fish and crayfish, a special kind of lobster in the evenings. A favoured anchorage further south is Wallilabou Bay. There the “boat boys” who help you get out the mooring-lines already greet you. There are also mooring buoys in front of the Anchorage Hotel & Restaurant. The customs office lies just behind the dinghy jetty.
Keaton Bay follows onto Wallibou Bay in a southern direction. Here as well, mooring buoys lie opposite Rockside Café run by Rosi Morgan and her husband Orlando Tucker, who offer all services for yacht charters – starting with laundry, internet services, the organisation of excursions, help with clearing inwards or great cuisine to perfectly mixed drinks and all of that in German, English and Creole. Without mentioning the atmosphere of one’s dreams. The little Bay of Petit Byahaut is tucked away about four miles towards Kingstown. Here you’ll discover unspoilt nature, an exclusive ambience in the excellent restaurant of the exclusive Petiti Byahaut Resort and a diving base. Yacht Charter crews will find a small harbour but not necessary a great environment in Ottley Hall underneath Fort Charlotte near Kingstown.
Kingstown itself comes across as typically West Indian, animated and lively with its countless little houses made of wood or stone. On Kingstown market there aren’t only vegetables at offer but also artisan craftworks. The Anglican and Catholic cathedral, the botanical garden and Fort Charlotte, which also houses a museum rank among the most interesting sites in and around Kingstown. Young Island itself is a tropical-green island with a hotel resort; the area off the north shore makes for good anchoring. In the South of Young Island, Duvernette protrudes steeply and rocky from the water with a dinghy dock in the North – Fort Duvernette on top of the rock once served as a defence from pirates. The vista from up above is breathtaking! Young and Duvernette Island mark the entry to the Blue Lagoon on the Southern tip of Saint Vincent. All possible comfort is to be had in Blue Lagoon Marina, which is where most of the resident charter yachts are based. On the way south the next island is beautiful Bequia, known as an artist’s island with wonderful beaches and the huge Admiralty Bay where sailors find everything they might need.
From Bequia, the little island of Mustique encompassing no more than 3,1 square miles is just about visible. It’s famous for its well-heeled visitors and house owners: The English Princess Margaret has come to visit often, in a house that was given to her by Colin Tennant alias Lord Glenconnor for her wedding. Lord Glenconnor had bought the island to turn it into a resort for the High Society. David Bowie or Tommy Hilfiger like it very much here, the mansion of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger is one of the most important highlights on the relatively short island tour. Of the seven sugarcane plantations only one sugar mill has remained. Yachts lie in Britannia Bay, which has been equipped with mooring buoys by Mustique Company. The dinghy dock lies directly next to the concrete pier. Favourite spot of the sailors is Basil’s Bar: A “Sex on the Beach” for sundown and a dreamlike Caribbean day of sailing comes to a perfect end.
Mayreau and Tobago Cays
Only 300 people live on the small island of Mayreau, all of them in the little village of Mayreau on a hill in the Southwest of the dry island. No chance of street noise on the island – Mayreau is still a true unspoilt Caribbean paradise. Admittedly yachts can anchor in Salt Whistle Bay in the North (with restaurant and “Yachters Bar” or in the Windward Bay in the Southeast of Mayreau – there the reef lures as an excellent diving beat). But the securest spot for anchoring is Saline Bay, which also has a dinghy dock. A little walk up the hill leads you to the village, where you’ll have a wonderful vista from the church on the highest spot – and where countless bars, restaurants and shops await the hungry and thirsty sailor. Famous among “Yachters”: “Dennis’ Hideaway” but the other taverns don’t really rank behind.
From Mayreau it’s only a small tack to the Tobago Cays, a world famous picture perfect idyll and surely one of the most beautiful areas of the Caribbean. It can get crowded too in summer, especially when the dinghies of Cruise liners such as Club Med II or Royal Clipper shuttle between ship and beach amidst the anchoring yachts. Indigo-blue water near the reef, aqua underneath the keel at anchor and a colourful fascinating world with corals and fish of all kinds under water: the Tobago Cays are a national park with the four uninhabited islands of Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Jamesby and Baradal and the Horseshoe Reef. The beaches are gorgeous, the entry through the northern passage not particularly difficult – thanks to indicators. There aren’t any means for provisioning: Whoever stays over night cooks in the pantry.
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