From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (2023)

Escape to the Southern Caribbean on a One-Way Charter (Launched Oct 2016)

You press your face against the cool glass window of a light aircraft and look out to see the bright blue water far below, dotted with small patches of land. Tropical, exotic, sexy: all these beautiful words come to mind when you think of the southern Caribbean. Plan your getaway to the Windward Islands in the southern Caribbean, starting in St. Vincent, through the Grenadines to Grenada.

On the Imray B3 map The Grenadines, the main islands of St. Vincent and Grenada look like bookends. The islands are roughly the same size, roughly the same shape, and are about 85 nautical miles apart. In this space you will find picturesque sandy beaches, impressive anchorages and a rich culture of proud people.

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (1)

Most sailors who sail these waters will tell you that the preferred route for a ten-day cruise in this area is to leave St. Vincent and sail towards Granada. It costs a little more, but time is money and you can't buy more time. The winds are favorable, navigation is visual and there is no need to return to the charter base. Stay on the leeward side of the islands as much as possible to avoid the current, and be prepared for stronger winds and waves at the north end of each island. Ten days is enough time for, as the islanders say, "Relax!"

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (2)

two hours
Arrival at E.T. From Joshua Airport (SVG) in St. Vincent, hop in a taxi and make your first stop at the Sunshine Market across the street from the airport for groceries. They've got most of what you need, a little of what you want, and maybe even some local favorites like Erica's Pepper Sauce or the award-winning Sunset Very Strong Rum. If you want to burn off some energy after the long flight, jump the 255 steps to Fort Duvernette, just outside the Blue Lagoon. Just ask at the marina, there will surely be someone willing to take you. You'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Bequia, as well as the ill-fated islands of Battowia and Balliceaux. Before heading out, grab a chicken sandwich and cold hair at Flowt Beach Bar. Win two drinks each time a ship arrives. Problem!

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (3)

The two-hour drive from St. Vincent a Bequia (pronounced Bek-way) can be bumpy. So check the chain before you go. Plan your route to downtown Bequia and lighten as you get closer. Once in the island's shadow, furl the jib, stiffen the mainsail and prepare for the 'Bequia Explosion' as you aim for Admiralty Bay. The best anchorage is in Princess Margaret Bay, between Jack's Bar and the rocky outcrop that separates Princess Margaret from Lower Bay. Look for sandy spots and avoid dark spots. Once the anchor is dropped, the boat takes you to Gingerbread Pier, the one with the big dive flag. Stroll along the charming Belmont Walkway, which takes you into town. Visit the friendly businessmen who sell their treasures and the fishermen who work their handcrafted boats. You may meet local author Silma Duncan, who will eagerly read you one of her children's books. The new Princess Point Trail, just behind the famous Mac's Pizza, offers a scenic walk up the hill to the white sand Princess Margaret Beach. On the way back to the boat, you get a bag of ice cream for your planned Gingerbread sunset. It's a day like Bequia!

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (4)

A half hour
Anchor the next morning and sail around the southern tip of Bequia, passing the flint cabins known as the Moon Hole. DO NOT attempt to slide down the small pass near West Key! You'll see the red, rotting wreckage of the last ship that tried this!

Mustique is known as the island of the rich and famous: Jennifer Lopez, Prince William and longtime resident Mick Jagger frequent this private retreat. Basil's Bar on the beach is a popular hangout, especially during the Mustique Blues Festival in February. But it's a private island and the locals like it that way. Financing is not allowed. A string ball costs $75 and is good for three days. Mustique is one of the cleanest and greenest islands in the chain, and it shows. Perfectly manicured beaches, palm-fringed beaches and crystal-clear water complete the limits of this paradise. Due to the actions of some, the island is becoming more restrictive. The rules change depending on who is currently on the island. If a sleek black ship approaches your boat, it's probably not pirates. Security will instruct you to continue. However, if you are lucky, you can take a tour of the island. The island's architecture is remarkable and the view of the world-famous Macaroni Beach is simply breathtaking. The few restaurants and bars on the island are expensive. But while you're here, why not treat yourself to the royal treatment and enjoy a cocktail at Firefly?

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (5)

four hours of navigation
Leaving Mustique, hoist the mainsail under cover of the island and head west for about 20 minutes before turning south and adjusting the jib. This sets you up for the perfect vantage point for your next destination: Jupiter Point at the north end of Canouan. When you see an island being swallowed up by huge machines, you know that Glossy Hill is ahead of you. They've been working for years to demolish that hill to make room for a better runway approach to the airport. Half of the island is private and off-limits. The Raffles, operated by Trump International, was once located here but has since declared bankruptcy and been acquired by another resort. The anchorage is known to be undulating, especially in North Sea conditions. Therefore, if you are curious to explore the island, it is best to stop here for lunch.

At about that point, you'll notice a brilliant difference in the color of the water – crystal blue! You are approaching the Tobago Cays, the crown jewel of the archipelago. This is a marine sanctuary with uninhabited islands, turtles, rays and an incredible horseshoe-shaped reef. Approaching the keys, it looks like a large island, but it is an illusion. It's actually a group of five: Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Jamesby, Baradal and Petit Tobac. Boatmen in their colorful boats are parked at the entrance and act as canal guides. Drop it into harbor and give Petit Rameau Point a wide head start due to a reef lurking just below the surface. It would be advisable to hire a bow spotter. Not only because of the rocks, but also because of unsuspecting divers who may have wandered out of the sanctuary while following the local fauna. Note that if you target a turtle, it will disappear. That's a known fact! Try it, it always works. The Boat Boys in the Keys are an organized group. They take turns boarding ships as they enter the channel. If you don't need their help (ice cream, beer, fresh croissants), politely decline so they can get in line again. Respect is an important factor when it comes to foremen. With his kind spirit and humble personality, Romeo is one of the most popular. He and his wife Juliet offer an excellent barbecue on the beach. Anchoring is easy in keys with sandy bottoms and depths of around three metres. Watch out for the depth gauge! Wind and current roar through this area. Therefore, when swimming or paddling, be careful not to get carried away. Snorkel with turtles, hike with iguanas and visit the reef if you're a confident swimmer. Tie your boat to a red tether ball and swim upstream until you reach the landing. It's like being thrown into an aquarium! You can't even see the bottom, but what you can see is an ocean of life. It's hard to imagine that so many species of fish seem to tolerate and even ignore each other, and the same goes for humans! As long as you don't chase them, they will surround you.

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (6)

15 minute engine
Leave the Keys behind and cruise to Salt Whistle Bay in Mayreau. Here you'll find an idyllic anchorage surrounded by sugar sand, palm-fringed beaches and lively rum shacks. Watch out for the boat dock as it is in disrepair. Another option is to beach the boat or swim to shore. Wet cash is always welcome at Last Bar Before the Jungle! If Salt Whistle isn't spacious enough, Saline Bay is just around the corner. Look for the red marker on Grand Col Point. Leave it on the port side as you head south. Visit the legendary Robert Righteous and enjoy local lore, cold drinks and the best fried dumplings in the Caribbean. Climb the tower at Denise's Hideaway for romantic sunset views. Oh, and the sunrise at the Catholic Church at the top of the hill is epic!

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (7)

20 minutes of navigation
Catch a mooring line at Clifton Harbour, as it can get pretty crowded here. The surrounding reef also makes maneuvering in the bay difficult. In St. Vincent, check out at the airport which is opposite the Anchorage Yacht Club and on the right. Don't forget to unload your garage down the road (the rubbish bin is to the left of the toilets). There is a French influence on this island, so "Bonjour, do you comment allez-vouz?" It's a good way to start a conversation. Shop for fresh baked goods, homemade yogurt and delicious French cheeses at Captains Gourmet. Keep an eye out for the locally harvested Jus natural sea salt, which makes a great souvenir. If you're here during a full moon, the JT Pro Kiteboarding Center has the best full moon parties ever! During the day, kitesurfers jump at Jantis Happy Island. This tiny bar serves one of the most dangerous things in the Caribbean: rum punch!

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (8)

45 minutes by boat
As you approach Petite St. Vincent (PSV) you will see a small strip of sand with a grass umbrella – the iconic tropical island. This is Mopion, the smallest registered island in the world. The best way to get there is by anchoring near the PSV and passing by the boat. It is very shallow and surrounded by reefs. By the way, be very careful when entering the boat.

Holding the PSV is easy to anchor but the wind veers along the channel so make sure you have adequate visibility. All are welcome at the bars and restaurants on this friendly private island, as long as you respect guests' privacy (prices range from $1,100 to $27,200 a night!). Be sure to dry your feet as you pass through the quirky entrance to Goaties, the perfect beach bar. Relax in a comfortable lounge chair and enjoy a chilled glass of wine as you watch the sun set behind the Union Island skyline.

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (9)

Petite Martinique (PM) is in front of PSV. You are now in Grenada. Fuel and water at the dock or stock up on duty-free beverages. Stroll through the quiet streets of this peaceful island where time seems to stand still.

1 hour of navigation
In Carriacou, the "land of reefs", you'll find secluded beaches, excellent snorkeling opportunities and traditional boat building. Vanishing Sail is a beautiful documentary that chronicles this rich tradition. This island is the heart of Grenada. This is where the locals vacation. Hillsborough is the main town offering a selection of shops and small markets open to supply groceries. When exiting the pier onto Main Street, turn right and look for Patty's Deli. Here you will find a gourmet selection of items, as well as fresh sausages, cut in a unique manual food slicer. For other purchases, walk about two blocks up the street from the pier.

five hours of navigation
Here is the world's first underwater sculpture park. Grab a mooring ball at Grand Mal's boathouse, as it's more protected than Dragon's Bay. Tip: if you're looking for solitude, dive into the park before 9am. m. or you'll be surrounded by booze cruisers, cruise ship divers, and the boat gang collectively known as the "Suffering Humanatees". When you dive into the park and swim through a wall of fish, shadowy sculptures magically appear! Don't be surprised by the soca music that plays from the hilltop rum shack all night long on Friday and Saturday nights. Grenadians take their weekends seriously.

30 minutes of navigation
You can't drop anchor off Grande Anse beach, so pick a spot north. From here you have access to St. George's, Port Louis Marina and Grande Anse Beach. There is a boat dock near the Coconut Beach Bar. Coconut Beach Bar serves delicious French-Creole dishes and has live music on Sunday afternoons.

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (10)

Travel time varies according to charter.
Call the charter base for boarding instructions. Often they will send one of their employees to bring the ship back to the dock. Take this chance. Once they take the helm, they release you from the responsibility and stress of docking in an unfamiliar location.

Your trip doesn't have to end when you arrive at the pier. Be sure to plan a few days to explore the beautiful island of Grenada. Along the way, you'll discover a variety of beaches, lush rainforest, sparkling waterfalls and smiling, happy people. Remember, when you're on the islands, it's important to "Relax!"

When looking out the window of the plane, those dots scattered in the blue water have a much more intimate meaning than when you arrived. The feel of the warm sand beneath your feet, the waves crashing over the bow and the friends you've made along the way will remain in your heart forever until you return to the unspoiled Caribbean: Saint Vincent, the Grenadines and Grenada!

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (11)

Two things that can land you in the hospital: Machelle and rum punch! Machelle trees have waxy leaves and small green apples that are poisonous. To stay away! Rum punch is made from very strong rum and tastes delicious. You only realize how much you already have when it's too late. Watch out for the thunderous explosions!
It's easy to get to and from St. Lucia, but if you're taking a scenic flight, you'll have a long way to go to St. Vincent or Bequia and then come back. This will basically take up two days of your vacation. From the International Airport, it is a direct $100 taxi ride to most Amnesty locations, including charter bases, shops and the Inter-Island Airport. But the pythons at sunrise are amazing!
Getting to and from Granada is also easy, thanks to direct flights from several major cities. It's a five hour speedboat ride to the nearest island of Carriacou. But you sail in the shadow of the island and enjoy the scenery along the way. After reaching Carriacou you have short hops to the other islands.

From San Vicente to Granada in ten days - Blue Water Sailing (12)

In 2013, Chrystal Young moved to the Caribbean to start LTD Sailing - Living the Dream! with her partner Chris Rundlett. She is also a yacht broker for The Multihull Company and 5 Oceans Marine Group. Look for him at nautical shows in Annapolis and Miami.

#blue_water_sailing #chartering #cruising_compass #themoorings #sunsail

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