Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-12-2015, 17:34   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Boat: Catalina 27
Posts: 10
Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

I’ve been sailing for over twenty years, primarily in the Pacific North West. We’ve chartered in BVI (5X), Greece (Cyclades) and Tahiti. We’re planning our next adventure for the spring of 2017 and are looking at a two week charter from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Grenada. This is a mixed crew of 7 sailors and non-sailors.


I’ve got Chris Doyle’s Windward Islands guide, charts (both paper and electronic), been reading both Caribbean Safety and Security Net and Noonsite for research and various web surfing. I’m looking for some input from Forum Members who have knowledge of the area, preferably first hand and recent.


1. Besides the cost of a one way charter and Customs clearance, is two weeks too short for the trip? Should we be concentrating on SVG or Grenada, are we trying to do too much, with not enough time to ‘smell the roses’? We want time to check out the islands as well as sail.


2. Security. Yes, I know that theft happens everywhere now. The boat next to ours had paddle boards stolen one night in Tahiti. We are very aware and try to behave accordingly. However, there does seem to be more than the usual number of reports about St. Vincent. Should we avoid specific anchorages? How much hassle are the ‘boat boys’ and are they everywhere? If you don’t use them will you be ‘visited’ during the night?


3. What anchorages are your favorites and why?


Thanks in advance,
Mossback
__________________

__________________
Mossback
mossback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-12-2015, 17:57   #2
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

A Similar question was posed recently
The Grenadines
2 weeks is ample for a nice taste of the area, some highlights in the above thread
Boat boys are all cool, stop and have a chat. We rarely buy anything from them, but they're always friendly and come say hi. I'd just avoid the canouan anchorage, apart from there, all good
__________________

__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-12-2015, 20:44   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 138
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

Grenadines are great. As mentioned in Monte's linked thread best to provisioning well while in Grenada. Boat boys are one of the highlights. I highly recommend the boat boy Romeo at Salt Whistle Bay. Great deal on lobster. Make sure to make it to Bequia. Cheers!


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
pathlesschosen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-12-2015, 11:39   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Boat: Catalina 27
Posts: 10
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

Thanks to you both for your replies. I'll check out the other posting on the Grenadines.
__________________
Mossback
mossback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2015, 09:58   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 10
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

My wife and I,living on Salt Spring Island,have cruised the grenadines annually for 7 winters on our 37 foot Tartan. Having sailed from The BVI to Grenada more than once we consider the area to be the "jewel" of the Caribbean. To answer your first question 2 weeks is adequate for a visit to this fairly concentrated area. I am not certain a one way charter is necessary but if you do plan on Grenada I would suggest,if the conditions are right, to sail down the windward side of the island. The entire south end is then available with the WIND AND WAVES TO YOUR STERN. Another plan would be to charter out of St Vincent,sail the grenadines and enter Grenada at Tyrell Bay, Carriacou and then return to STV.I am not sure Grenada would add that much for you. This provides many wonderful anchorages and experiences. Personally I would skip Mustique.The islands of Bequia,Mayreau(prefer Saline Bay as Salt Whistle too crowded),Union(Chatham Bay and Frigate I.),Tobago Cays of course,Petite St Vincent,Petite Martinique and Carriacou are all great.Boat boys OK. Be polite and say no thanks if not interested.Security south of St Lucia and Leeward coast of St Vincent is quite OK. Afterall things get stolen where you live too.Be responsible not paranoid.
__________________
tartanblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2015, 11:38   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12
pirate Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

You did not indicate if it is a one-way charter or a return to base charter.
I did the ONE-WAY from Martinique to Grenada in december 1980 to January 1981 with my wife who had never sailed but had total confidence in me and our 2 children (12 and 14). Great adventure. It opened their eyes to different populations and living standards. Left the boat in Granada and flew back with LIAT to all the other islands from there. You want to sail SOUTH to Granada and not NORTH from Grenada unless you love to have a head wind all the way.
You never go to the east (ocean side) of St Vincent and Grenada except for the Grenadines.
2 weeks are ample time for your short trip. There are many small islands to visit on the way and you will have the time to do this.

When I made this trip, none of the buoys listed on the maps were there at night so you NEVER sail in the dark period.
Make sure you have high quality waterproof 7x50 binoculars!!!
Have a great trip.
__________________
Pierre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2015, 13:06   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Des Moines and the Lesser Antilles
Boat: PDQ 44i
Posts: 142
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

We always skip St Vincent owing to security concerns. Others think otherwise. It is a long but manageable day's sail from St Lucia to Admiralty Bay, Bequia. Sailing the Grenadines is the best. If you are in Grenada during the months when it is permitted to observe the sea turtles laying their eggs, do try to do so. You must arrange in advance for a certified/registered naturalist guide. Google Grenada turtle watching or something like that for links.
__________________
doublewide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2015, 13:26   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Out of Norfolk Va
Boat: Tartan 37
Posts: 290
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

Tobago Cays double your stay there, might be the of the coolest places on this planet.
__________________
puffcard is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2015, 22:25   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Boat: Catalina 27
Posts: 10
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

My thanks to tartanblue,Pierre,doublewide and puffcard for your replies, your information and advice is very much appreciated. We had been considering a one way charter from SVG to Granada.While Grenada is a beautiful Island with much to explore, it appears that most of the cruising ground is in the south, possibly best explored by land or on another trip with more time.

Your comments and my research is rapidly changing my thoughts to staying within SVG. We'd rather spend some time exploring and experiencing than just collecting 'post cards'.

Our plan is looking like sometime in April, any comments on this time frame... wind/weather etc?
__________________
Mossback
mossback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2015, 03:38   #10
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

Wind and weather... Perfect 15-25kn E. Mostly sunny with occasional showers. 3-8' swell. 30 degree air and water temp.
I'd probably pick up and return in st Vincent if there's much price penalty, it's easy to do a loop in a day or two. Spend a week or so heading south and then a week doing different anchorages as you head back north, or revisiting the same if you prefer. Either way will work. St Georges in Grenada is nice and you can easily have a quick look around there on arrival if you have time. If doing a loop I probably wouldn't even bother checking out of st Vincent. Skip carriacou. The whole area is only 35M between st Vincent and union island. Most days sails will be 5-10M.
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2015, 14:59   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 65
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

Pierre - I second your strong recommendation as to going from North to South.

However, I would differ about the windward sides and night sailing. I've never done windward side of St. Lucia, but have cruised the windward side of Martinique (delightful - read Don Street, Chris Doyle doesn't cover it though I'm sure he goes there) and made the passage from St. Lucia to Bequia or Mustique several times on the windward side of St. Vincent (it's shorter and you usually have wind the whole way) and from the central Grenadines down the east side of Grenada (ditto - and second to Tartanblue's comments). There's also some great little spots, not that hard to get into if you know your eyeball and other navigation, on the windward sides of Mayreau, Bequia, Carriacou and others (again subject to weather...study your charts and ask your charter company).

BUT it all depends upon the weather and sea state - if the wind's more northerly and seas not too rough, go for it. If E or SE, then no. But remember that the north ends of all these islands (especially St. Vincent, but even Bequia and others) can get quite rambunctious - seas and winds can really flatten you there for a few miles if you're not prepared.

Going one way will likely make it easier, more relaxing and give less hard sailing. But two weeks is enough to go from Grenada to Martinique and back and have a good time, if you like to sail. While having an outline of a plan is good, I strongly recommend paying attention to the weather, being flexible and dallying where you love it, exploring off the beaten path and quickly leaving behind anywhere that doesn't excite you.

As for night sailing, in a charter it's probably not allowed anyhow, but passages between the major islands can be a delight in the right weather. Going overnight from Fort de France or Marin to Union Island, Rodney Bay or Soufriere to Mustique, and others can be fast and comfortable and safe - as long as you mind your lookouts and navigation, and plan your itinerary so you arrive after dawn.

To add a few other comments, over 10 years in the area our boat has been burglarized once in Carriacou (Tyrrel Bay - when dinghy was out of view and a festival going on in town, by teenagers who were more scared than we when we woke up and caught them), once in Chateaubelair on the NW side of St. Vincent (as far as I know still an area to avoid - some unsavory and unfriendly people there (sorry for the nice ones) courtesy of too much drug business). And I've had minor incidents in St. Lucia, Martinique, the DR.....but other than a few specific spots to avoid, which the SSN and Noonsite should warn about, I don't believe the Windwards are notably different than much of the Caribbean. And finally, perhaps most importantly, ask and listen to advice during your charter briefing. The companies have at least as great a vested interest in your safety and happiness as you do!

Have a great trip!
__________________
wcapital is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2016, 05:19   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chatham, MA
Boat: Hunter 39
Posts: 6
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

Just got back from a charter to the Grenada & the Grenadines - here's some detailed notes that may be helpful:

- Recommended Grenadines anchorages:
- Petite St. Vincent - sunset at Goatie's bar - great drinks/vibe/view. Very good protection from northerly swell/winds. (Strong currents between PSV and Petite Martinique between tidal shifts create toilet bowl effect when winds turn shift out of east sending boats in all directions - suggest putting out fenders to avoid bumps in middle of the night (which happened to us inconveniently at 3am).
- Mayreau - Salt Whistle Bay. Beautiful beach & water. Gets bumpy and water churned up on northerly swell. Resort there is run down and not currently hosting guests (word is that repairs are in the works during the upcoming offseason) but they operate a picturesque and good restaurant for lunch. Two other small beach bars operate and the one on the end has a fun and sometimes raucous night scene.
- Tobago Cays - lobster grill on Petite Bateau a must (note: this operation has gone upscale since our last visit 6 years ago and they now serve up rice, potatoes, and plaintains with the lobster - all amazingly delish! This can be arranged by the boat vendors (who will also deliver fresh croissants and banana bread each morning and fresh fish & lobsters that they'll filet for you in the aft). If you go to lobster grill, take a mooring ball in the channel between Petit Bateau and Petit Rameau to avoid a bumpy and wet ride to and from the sure to hike to top of Jamesby Island for amazing panorama shots over the lagoon. The boat vendors can also run you out to tour Petite Tabac, where scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean were reportedly shot. (You can also anchor out there - the approach and anchorage are a little tricky, but doable.
- Palm Island - good beach. Downside is the this resort island is an older crowd and with low-energy vibe and pricey
- Sandy Island off Carricou - beautiful sand spit
- Chatham Bay on Union Island - we didn't make it but appears to have a nice beach. Likely to be bumpy on large north swells

Provisioning notes:
- in Grenada: IGA is the best supermarket on the island with excellent selections for Caribbean standards - good produce, respectable wine selection (there is a wine shop with better selection in the same shopping center, along with a large hardware store. IGA accepts credit cards and there is an ATM in the small shopping center). They open at 8am for early morn for early morn provisioning and is a 10 min taxi ride from the charter base.
- In Union Island - Clifton Harbor (SVG customs clearance point) - there are two small grocery stores - one across from the bank (which has an ATM) and another past that which has frozen meats). There's also a high-end shop called the Captain's Gourmet run by a French woman that has a stellar selection of cheeses, charcuterie meats, and decent wines (she accepts credit cards). You can also buy good produce at the open market on the Main Street.
- Tobago Cays/Mayreau/Petite St. Vincent - here you can rely on the boat delivery vendors for fresh pastries along with a variety of day-caught fish (snapper/Mahi/wahoo/tuna) and lobsters. We worked with George Craigg on the boat Lovely, who was incredibly reliable, resourceful, and likable. He quickly assumed the role of personal valet and procured everything from lighter fluid and dinghy fuel, to organizing our lobster grill dinner on the beach in the Tobago Cays. Additionally I found George to be honest and reasonably priced (to be clear, having live lobsters and still-warm pastries is not an inexpensive affair). George's number is +1 784 528 7413 for anyone who'd like to hire his services.
-
- Avoid:
- Tyrell Bay - a protected but fairly commercial bay, if possible just stop for customs and then spend the night at Sandy Island (if seas not too rough - small anchorage with some moorings - ours was in good shape). Note there is a small marine but good marine store in the marina where the customs office is and a very small grocery where you can score ice.
- Clifton Harbor - good for provisioning and getting water, but not a pretty a pretty anchorage (although it is well-protected)

To bring:
- Lots of cash - almost everyplace accepts USD but handy to have Eastern Caribbean dollars which you can get at ATM's. You'll need cash for the boat-vendors delivering food, clearing customs (which can get pricey - $185 USD to clear boat w/8 crew into SVG), and provisioning at smaller shops, most of which don't take credit cards.
- Navionics chart app for the Caribbean on your phone - I find these are easier to read and operate than the often-beat up systems on chartered boats. Cost is a mere $15 and was invaluable for navigation - GPS operates while in airplane mode so should not run up data charges
- SPF sun blocking shirts and 50+ lotion (sun is intense)
- Foul weather jacket
- Water-proof bag (for bringing gear to beach - doubles as a day-trip cooler)
- Portable Bluetooth speaker (Bose Soundlink is my choice)
- Flashlight (and headlamp)
- Leatherman tool
- Handheld radio - for the dinghy and as a backup
- ziplock bags handy for fish filets, etc and is a waterproof bag for protecting phones & cameras.
- Tarp (for blocking rain)
- Bungees for propping up hatches (often defunct) & securing gear
- Chamois cloth
- Fishing gear
- Beach towels (charter co only provides shower towels)
- Bar soap
- Food: spices, snack bars, liquor/wine (selections are limited in Grenada/SVG and what they do have is expensive. buy at duty free before departure)

To rent:
- paddle boards - if charter co doesn't have them you can arrange thru Derek at SUP Grenada (bring straps for securing to lifelines - lines often cut into the boards)


Sailing notes:
- the leeward side of Grenada has squirrelly winds coming off the various mountains and valleys - to mitigate run a few miles offshore.
- The underwater volcano just west of Ronde Island (between Grenada and Carricou), Kick 'em Jenny, was inactive while we were there. We sailed on the fringe of the restricted zone without incident.

Port St. Louis Marina Charter Base (Grenada)
- Pro's well-appointed new marina with excellent shower facilities, small shops and a nice pool. Both restaurants, Yolo and Victory Bar, are fairly good (frequented by locals and not just the charter/sailing) community with a fun ambiance and you can't beat the convenience.
- Con: The mountains of Grenada block the Trade Winds so the heat can be stifling and make for an uncomfortable night of sleep if your charter boat does not have AC.
__________________
NausetSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2016, 08:42   #13
Registered User
 
krafthaus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Saskatoon, Canada & Eastern Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 420
Posts: 406
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

We did a trip from St. Lucia south to Grenada and back in two weeks, but it was busy and you need to keep moving more often to cover the distance, but still very fun & enjoyable.

We've also just done St. Lucia to as far south as Petit St. Vincent & Union Island and back in two weeks and that gives you more time to "smell the roses" as you say. Two nights anchored at Tobago Cays instead of only one night for example.

Either would be a great trip and St. Lucia is very convenient to fly in & out.

This is the charter company we used in Rodney Bay and they were great to work with: (Disclaimer - we now own our own boat & no longer charter and our Lagoon 420 that we used to charter from them is still in their fleet.)

Yacht Charters » DSL Yachting

We've stayed one night at Wallilabou, St. Vincent but won't be making any more stops on the west coast of St. Vincent due to recent security concerns covered on Caribbean Safety & Security Net.

Good luck!
__________________
Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs. But what a ship is...really is, is freedom. ~Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow
krafthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2016, 09:18   #14
Registered User
 
krafthaus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Saskatoon, Canada & Eastern Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 420
Posts: 406
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

Quote:
Originally Posted by mossback View Post
3. What anchorages are your favorites and why?
And here's a few comments on this question:

St. Lucia - In Rodney Bay off the Sandals near Pigeon Island. Quieter than further south in the bay near Gros Islet & Reduit Beach, can hear the music from the resort in the evening and always something interesting to see. Easy access to Pigeon Island to go for a hike and great public beaches to use.

St. Lucia - Marigot Bay on one of the mooring balls owned by Capella Resort. $30 per night and you can use their pool and some other facilities. Extremely pretty bay, great hike to the top of the hill above the Rainforest Restaraunt, very good places to eat.

Bequia - Off the beach near Jack's Bar. Very nice beach and you have access to the walking path developed along the water all the way from there into town.

Tobago Cays - Mentioned above. Not much more to say really! It's awesome.

Petit St. Vincent - on the south side between there & Petit Martinique. Super beach on PSV and VERY pretty anchorage. We did a quick day anchor there in January and plan to go back for maybe a week or so to spend at anchor.

Grenada - We were only at the Port Louis Marina in Grenada and didn't get to try any of the anchorages. But anchoring off Grand Anse is high on our to do list and we want to check out some of the bays on the south end of the island.
__________________
Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs. But what a ship is...really is, is freedom. ~Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow
krafthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2016, 16:57   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Boat: Catalina 27
Posts: 10
Re: Charter plans for St. Vincent & Grenadines

Many thanks to both NausetSailor and krafthaus for taking the time to respond to my posting of a couple of months ago. This is the kind of information I'm looking for. I appreciate the effort!

Since my original posting we have decided to charter out of St. Vincent in April and spend our time there and the Grenadines without continuing to Grenada. Reading the replies in this forum and researching anchorages in Grenada(mostly at southern end), customs costs and our time constraints have all factored in. We plan to spend a few days on St.Vincent exploring the island before heading out.

Besides taking a 10" tablet with Navionics on it and Chris Doyle’s Windward Islands guide, do either of you have any other recommendations for guides, apps or references that you've found helpful?
__________________

__________________
Mossback
mossback is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charter

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island MarkJ Atlantic & the Caribbean 444 29-01-2014 12:52
Seeking Updated Info on Cruising St. Vincent & Grenadines Merdeka Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 29-01-2010 16:45
St Vincent & the Grenadines Lightfin Atlantic & the Caribbean 7 27-01-2008 18:07


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:49.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.