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Old 02-01-2014, 10:57   #1
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Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent

Hello all,

I am going to be sailing around the caribbean end of january for about 8 days.
Leaving from castries, and thinking about going to saint vincent and back (sailing a 32ft)

Can you recommend an itinerary with the nicest places, yet avoiding the tourist traps?

Also, I heard there are problems with people offering to keep an eye on your dinghy while you go walk around, and dinghies disapearing if no "tip" is given to them when you get to the dock....How real, or how often does this happen?

Thanks to all in advance

Gerry
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:30   #2
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Re: saint lucia & saint vincent

We sailed through there last January. There are some nice anchorages on the west side of St. Vincent you will need to anchor stern to. Bit of a bad reputation there with troubles, but we were a larger group on charter and didn't have any problem in Wallilabou.

Bequia would be nice. Quite a few people, but didn't feel touristy to us. Lots of anchoring space, good shopping and restaurants.

You can try Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau and Tobago Cays.

That's likely all you'd have time for in 8 days.

I highly recommend Chris Doyle's Cruiser's Guide to the Windward Islands as reference.

Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:50   #3
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Re: saint lucia & saint vincent

Hi Gerry, Can’t help you much with St. Lucia but have spent significant time in the Grenadines. Watch as you pass the headland on St Vincent. You can experience some really significant winds that can catch you off guard. With only 8 days I would give St. Vincent itself a pass and continue to Bequia. Your concerns about someone trying to extort you are justified in a lot of places but not here. Admiralty bay is a real nice place with incredible people. Ya there might be an over zealous juvenile but just wave them off. The main dinghy dock is safe but you still want to lock the dink. Just good practice. South of there Mayreu and the Tabago Cays are incredible. That would probably be enough for your 8 days.

Have fun
Rick
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Old 02-01-2014, 14:31   #4
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Re: saint lucia & saint vincent

I think that area is a lovely cruising area. On St. Lucia, you might want to check out Soufriere on the Southwest corner.

On St. Vincent, Wallibou is quaint with some nice hiking inland. Boat boys there can get aggressive if you don’t use their services and buy their trinkets.


I concur with others about Mustique and Tobago Keys, both of which have fabulous waters for snorkeling.


Have fun.
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:28   #5
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Re: saint lucia & saint vincent

thanks to all for the answers!

I'll be sailing in a chartered 32 ft boat, probably dragging a dinghy ().

How long would it normally take me to get from castries to becquia?

Would it be doable in a long full sailing day?

(trying to get some actual maps of the area to calculate, but it does not seem so easy to find ?!)

Thanks again

Gerry
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Old 02-01-2014, 20:11   #6
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Re: saint lucia & saint vincent

Castries to Bequia would be a long day, but is do-able with good winds. Suggest you have a plan B. There are a couple of good spots to stop along the way. Winds and seas between St. Lucia and St. Vincent can be strong and steep.
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Old 02-01-2014, 20:42   #7
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Re: saint lucia & saint vincent

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Originally Posted by dennisjay View Post
Castries to Bequia would be a long day, but is do-able with good winds. Suggest you have a plan B. There are a couple of good spots to stop along the way. Winds and seas between St. Lucia and St. Vincent can be strong and steep.
We are planning a similar trip in March, but planning on going from Soufriere to Bequia in one day (after sailing from Rodney Bay to Soufriere the day before).

What would you suggest for a "Plan B"? You mention there are a couple of good spots, but I've been hearing and reading that stopping anywhere on St Vincent isn't a good idea.

Thanks,
-Steve
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:05   #8
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Re: Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Gerry.

Hope you enjoy your charter, and report back to us, when done.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:16   #9
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Re: Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent

I heard winds are normally north-east that time of the year.
Would it make more sense to sail windward of the islands to catch a bit more wind?
I had a quick look, and this week winds were averaging 10-12 knots in castries.
Would it be a lot higher on the east side of the islands?
Most anchrorages seem to be on the west side of the islands though.

Your help is most appreciated.
Thanks again!
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:32   #10
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Re: Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent

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...
Would it make more sense to sail windward of the islands to catch a bit more wind?
You'd have strong winds and waves in a lee shore situation, which could be very dangerous.

-SEC
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Old 05-01-2014, 17:20   #11
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Re: saint lucia & saint vincent

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Originally Posted by sec906 View Post
We are planning a similar trip in March, but planning on going from Soufriere to Bequia in one day (after sailing from Rodney Bay to Soufriere the day before).

What would you suggest for a "Plan B"? You mention there are a couple of good spots, but I've been hearing and reading that stopping anywhere on St Vincent isn't a good idea.

Thanks,
-Steve
I've made that sail numerous times, most recently last year (March 17, 2013) and the sail from Soufriere, St Lucia to Admiralty Bay, Bequia is approx 46 nm. I left at 6:30 am in good light and was met 7 hours later at the Bay's entrance by a couple of boat boys competing to take me to a mooring ball. So an easy day sail, arriving in lots of time for a late lunch.

As other posters have indicated, I have always experienced an acceleration of winds approaching the south end of St Vincent. Reviewing my log book, indicated winds increasing to 22 kts at that point and then a bit of a bumpy ride across the channel to reach Bequia in winds of 25-27 kts. Incidentally, I had a terrific whale sighting withnin 20 m of my boat at approx 10 nm north of St Vincent. It was magnificent, although I was anxious that the Humpback not get any closer to the boat on its next sighting. It didn't - the next sighting was well aft of the boat as he was "heading north" while I sailed south!

Note the sail back to Soufriere, St Lucia on my return trips from Bequia has always taken longer given that the usual wind direction will include a northerly component. If you are doing a return trip, you should figure on adding an hour or maybe two if my last three round trips north and south hold true. Again, a readily achievable day sail heading back to St Lucia but I always leave at or close to first light to ensure good light at my destination.

Re your query about a Plan B between soufriere and Bequia: In April, 2011 I decided to explore a little of St Vincent so anchored in Walliabou, which is about 39 miles south of Soufriere, about half way down the west coast of St Vincent. Walliabou has some interesting hiking options and on the shore of Walliabou Bay are some of the movie sets and movie paraphernalia from several of The Pirates of the Caribbean movies. When anchoring at Walliabou Bay, a boat boy came by and insisted I needed a stern tie to the shore line. I resisted as I was wellhooked but he was really persuasive telling me about the usual surge that can make for a VERY rolly anchorage at night. My boat is a catamaran, the water in the bay was calm and having a good review of the weather, I was less than convinced a stern tie was required. Finally, I thought I should defer to the local knowledge as it was my first time in that anchorage and paid the local fellow 20EC (about $8) to take a 100 ft line to secure to a land holding. Smartest decison I made at that anchorage as the northern swell that came in at midnight had boats seriously rocking. A crewed charter boat actually broke free at 2 a.m. from one of the 4 mooring balls creating the usual excitement. Fortunately for me it was not my boat that got hit from the drifting boat, but it was a tense middle of the night event for the six boats in the bay. Even my cat was pounding up and down to the extent that is was not safe for me to raise my floating dinghy onto the davits. The stern tie kept us from swaynig side to side. Stayed a second night there after a calm but drizzling rainy second day and again, after a totally calm evening at anchor, the swell returned and became a major issue for several boats at anchor. Having had enough as my secured stern line broke loose from all the rocking, I took the hint and left just before first light for Bequia. I love the Pitons area of St Lucia and always enjoy Bequia so have never seen a need to stop at Walliabou again. Granted this was my only two day experience there but sufficient to tell me "I'd been there, done that". For me, then, so much for Plan B unless necessary to break up the trip.

Hope this commentary helps both posters inquiring about this area.

Teej
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Old 05-01-2014, 17:50   #12
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Re: Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent

Been there done that.
Heading south from St. Lucia anchor at the pitons. At false dawn be underway.
The first time the conditions will get your attention is approaching the north end
of St. Vincent. All is well and then bang for about 2 miles. The second is the North
Bequia Channel. If you drew the short straw you will have apposing current, tide and
Wind. Relax its only 8 miles. From there south to Admiralty is rather boring. Just give
Devils a wide berth.
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Old 05-01-2014, 18:21   #13
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Re: Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent

Depends on how gung ho a sailor you are. The hard part is getting back north as the wind often is north of east. The west coast of St. Vincent doesn't offer much. 8 days in a 32 footer I'd just hang around St. Lucia from Rodney Bay to Vieux Fort.
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Old 05-01-2014, 20:30   #14
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Re: Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent

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Depends on how gung ho a sailor you are. The hard part is getting back north as the wind often is north of east. The west coast of St. Vincent doesn't offer much. 8 days in a 32 footer I'd just hang around St. Lucia from Rodney Bay to Vieux Fort.
Or head north to Martinique and get some great bread
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Old 05-01-2014, 21:27   #15
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Re: Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent

Thanks for the tips, everyone. We're doing a one-way sail from St Lucia to Grenada. -Steve
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