Originally Posted by sec906
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.
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.