Caribbean Gem: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

After a lovely long month exploring Grenada it was time to sail north to bluer waters. We cleared out in Carriacou and did a short sail (5miles/ 1 hour) to Union Island. Union island is one of the southern most entrance points for the Grenadines. What was was unique about Union Island was the little anchorage was almost a water Roundabout/Traffic Circle. In the centre of the anchorage is a giant circular reef with a channel surrounding it. We found a tiny sandy spot off what’s called roundabout reef and Dad and Dantelle went ashore to clear in. Soon enough they returned to come collect us and take us ashore.

The dinghy dock in Union Island is the quaintest little experience. In order to get into the dinghy dock, you must navigate under this stone arch bridge that almost makes you feel like you’re on a Disney World water ride. The island was very tropical and distinctly different from Grenada. The small town had much more of a Rasta vibe. We did a quick restock shop at the local store which was extremely limited compared to Grenada. On making our way back to the dinghy dock down a back alley we found a little bakery that sold the sweetest tasting French loaves. A quick Wi-Fi hit and off we were back to Catching Up to lift anchor and make way to Mayreau. A quick overnight stop at the anchorage in Mayreau was disrupted with a  commotion at around 0230h when the wind shifted and a boat dragged anchor. Dad and I woke up to assess our position. Catching up was in no threat and after the commotion, the bay fell silent once again.

One of the many strays with the little archway in the background

The next day we did an island hop up to Canouan Island. The lovely thing about these passages are how fast they were compared to the non-stop week-long passages we had been accustomed to since leaving South Africa. An hour passed and we dropped out anchor outside the Tamarind Beach Hotel. The Hotel in Canouan was kind enough to support the yachts who’d come to the anchorage by allowing them to make use of their hotel dock as a dinghy dock. Dantelle and I dropped the dinghy and zipped over to the hotel to look for some fresh produce shops. Leaving the hotel grounds, we quickly realised that the SVGs was an extremely poor nation. The streets were almost barren except for a few stray dogs who decided to follow us around for our vegetable seeking adventure. Houses were similarly dilapidated as some I’ve seen in Africa and the roads were broken and uneven. We spent a few days in Canouan at anchorage enjoying being the only boat in the bay before departing to Bequia.

The Tamarind Beach Hotel Dinghy Dock
The hotel had stunning grounds
Dantelle making use of the hotel wifi
A shot of catching up with the new yacht arrivals in the bay

Bequia is the northern most island of the Grenadines and the final stop for us in the SVGs … we’d decided to skip Saint Vincent. The conditions were almost magical for the passage up to Bequia with 15-20 knots on the beam for the 20-mile passage right up until we were pulling into the bay. A squall of 35 knots came out nowhere. I scrambled to get the sails down as Catching Up got a free rinse from the ensuing downpour. As fast as it arrived, it left us with a wet, salt free yacht. We made way to the crowded anchorage and only found a spot in the outermost line of yachts, as far as possible from the dinghy dock.

One of the many downpours in the crowded anchorage

Bequia is truly the little gem of the SVG’s. Navigating through the few hundred yachts in the anchorage dinghy dock after dinghy dock begins to appear with a few dinghies tied up. Each dock links up to a lovely little promenade walk way with the corresponding business inline with the dock. Some were restaurants, some were chandleries or dive operations. There was even a dock for the doctor’s office, albeit a bit dilapidated. We would pick a restaurant and have a drink to justify making use of their dock before heading off into the small town to do some grocery shopping or to look at all the trinkets on sale. We spent a week in Bequia exploring the island and enjoying one of my favourite past times people watching. The week was uneventful with the odd excitement such as helping a dragging boat reset his anchor and a few people getting a tad too close to the beach with their yachts.

A lovely shot of Dantelle and I in Bequia
On a dinghy expedition to find some free wifi from restaurants
Enjoying the sun at one of the many restaurants
The yachts extended deep into the bay
The small dinghy dock for the Doctor’s Office
The one room Doctor’s Office
The local church
One of the many cruise ships that stop in Bequia lighting up the night
Just some stunning scenery

We sadly didn’t spend too long in SVG as we had limited time to work our way up through the island chain before having to run for hurricane season. At midnight Dad woke me up, we popped on Catching Up’s navigation lights and lifted our anchor to start the longish sail up to Saint Lucia.

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