After typing a reply this morning and then having it kick me off when I hit the submit reply button, I'm trying again during lunch...
One thing that we disliked about that particular boat is that the chartplotter
is down below at the nav station instead of in the cockpit
. With so many coral reefs
around the islands, it would have been nice to have it easily accessible. Other than that, the only "breakdown" that we had was the depth
guage would stick whenever we got deeper than 500'. Whenever we got into shallower water
we would go down below to reset it and then have to wait sometimes as long as 10 minutes for it to read again. Other than that, the boat was very nice and sailed well.
As I said before, the biggest challenge to me (being a fairly new sailor) was the anchoring. The charter company will tell you DON'T USE THE MOORING BALLS! With the exception being Mustique, none of the mooring balls are professionally maintained and you should not use them without diving
on them to check their condition. We met one other boat that used a mooring ball at Sandy Island (right off of Carriacou) and they woke up in the morning drifting out to sea with the mooring ball still attached to the bridle! They brought the mooring ball back and deposited it on the beach before continuing on.
The thing we really liked about this charter was I think (hopefully) that it gave us a glimpse of what it could be like to be a liveaboard
someday. In fact, we only saw two other charter boats the entire time we were there. The rest of the boats we saw and the people we met were liveaboards. We even met one couple who had only been living on their boat for 9 months. For them they had never set foot on a sailboat until they bought the bought 9 months earlier in the virgin islands
and hired a captain
to transport them and their boat to Grenada, teaching them how to sail along the way!
Knowing what I know now, I would not do as many stops as we did in our 10 day charter. The sails
are long each day until you get up into the Grenadine islands. I would highly recommend Mustique though. This is where the rich and famous go to vacation
and as to be expected the island is pristine. We visited Mustique for two nights and rented a Mule (Kawasaki gas powered utility cart) to get around the island. It was beautiful and mostly deserted. I even reluctantly went horseback riding on Mustique since my wife likes horses and it was our honeymoon. The diving was also very nice, although shallow, off of the pier by the Cotton House. We took the dinghy
over to do our diving and tied up at the pier.
Ok, back to your question; a 9 day itinerary...
Day 1: Leave the charter base and sail around the southern tip of the island up to St. George's harbor. Anchor for the night. Take the dinghy over to Grand Anse beach.
Day 2: Leave fairly early and go to the underwater sculpture park. We picked up a mooring in the bay just south of the park and took the dinghy in from there. Continue on to Carriacou for the night anchoring in Tyrell Bay.
Day 3: Check out of Grenada at the new Customs and Immigration office in Tyrell Bay and then either go diving with LumbaDive (they are located in Tyrell Bay) or leave and go over to Sandy Island and dive the east end of the island. We actually did both. Dove with LumbaDive on our way up island and Sandy Island by ourselves on the way back. At Sandy Island we picked up a mooring and then took the dinghy around to the east end and tied up to a dive mooring. Continue north to Union Island, Clifton Harbor, and check into SVG Customs and Immigration. Also anchor here for the night and visit Happy Island for a drink or two. You can get provisions in Union at the fish market, furits/vegatable market, and/or at their "grocery store".
Day 4: Leave Union and head
over to Mopion just to do it. It's a tiny spec of sand with a thatch umbrella and that's it. Just nice to take the dinghy ashore, explore the entire island in about 3 minutes and take some pics. The snorkeling was nice around Mopion too. Leave Mopion and head to Mayreau, anchoring in Salt
Whistle Bay. This was our favorite anchorage. Hike the road up to the top of the island for a wonderful view of the surrounding islands including the Tobago Cays. We took the dinghy around to the middle west side of the island for some snorkeling. Don't forget to have a lobster dinner in Salt Whistle Bay at the Last Bar Before The Jungle.
Here is the hard part with only 9 days...Either stay in Mayreau and/or the Tobago Cays for another couple of days or head up to Mustique. Your decision, but I think I would go up to Mustique. So assuming you do;
Day 5: Leave Mayreau and head toward Mustique. Stop in Canouan on the way at the Moorings Charter Base for provisioning
. They have a nice little deli with fine wines, cheeses, and deli items that my wife loved. Continue on to Mustique and grab a mooring. They charge a flat $75 fee for a mooring that you can use for up to three consecutive nights.
Day 6: Stay at Mustique. Have breakfast at Basil's Bar. Rent a Mule. Go to Macaroni Beach. Take the dinghy and dive gear over to the pier off of the Cotton House. Have drinks at the FireFly as the sun sets.
Day 7: Check out of SVG at the customs and immigration at the Mustique airport
. Make a long day sail down to either Petite St. Vincent or Carriacou again. Either way, you need to go to Carriacou Customs and Immigration at some point on day 7 or day 8 to check back in to Grenada waters.
Day 8: Sail back to St. George's and take the dinghy ashore in the evening to one of the bars on Grande Anse Beach or get a couple's massage at the Spice Island Beach Resort.
Day 9: A leisurely sail back around to the charter base to return the boat.
Pick up the 2013/2014 Sailors Guide to the Windward Islands
. There is much information in there about the individual islands and you can also find information about the diving guide requirements. I think the Noonsite website might have some info about the diving requirements also.
I hope this gives you some ideas. Feel free to email
if you have any more questions.
And PLEASE, the REAL liveaboards that read this, take it easy on me. I just joined your forum after reading it for over a year and I'm not that experienced sailing. There is bound to be a better itinerary and/or my ideas may be stupid to some, but I'm posting
this from the little experience I have so far in hopefully a long future of sailing.