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Old 24-03-2013, 10:54   #1
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St Vincent vs Grenada

Planning a 10 day charter in the Grenadines in November for 4 adults. We have all sailed together several times. Looking into the our travel options. We can get better flights into Grenada compared with St Vincent but want to consider the big picture. Any thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of sailing out of Grenada vs St Vincent?

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Old 24-03-2013, 11:39   #2
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

St. Vincents reputation is bad. There have been a lot of stories of crimes, problems there. The beaches are black sand and not fun. Might I suggest you fly into St. Lucia, charter there and do a one way from St. Lucia to Cannouan, or to Grenada. I have done that twice and had a great time on each occasion. The total travel distance would be about 150 miles stretched out over a week, with the longest leg being the Grand Pitons to Admiralty Bay, Bequia. The sailing down there is great, and the one way means somebody else has to beat their brains out to get the boat back to St. Lucia. The Moorings charters out of Marigot Bay, St. Lucia, and the big planes have regular schedules to the island. If you terminate the charter in Grenada, you can also get a big plane back home. If you terminate in Cannouan, you will be flying out on a very small plane.

I would also recommend if you can, you get to St. Lucia a day or two early and check into the Wind Jammer before you start your schedule and tour the island a bit on the hard before starting out to sea. I would skip St. Vincent altogether.
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:48   #3
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

I looked into that option and you are correct that the flights to St Lucia are better. I have been there a couple of times and enjoyed my time there. Is 10 days enough time to make the trip to Grenada and not be in a rush?
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:53   #4
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

You really must make a day's stop at Tobago Keys - Grenadines; snorkeling or SCUBA diving. They are a feast to your senses. (Not to be confused with the island of Tobago - Trinidad & Tobago. The island of Tobago is a great place to visit, as well.) Back to the Grenadines...The area from St. Vincent to Grenada is one of my favorite sailing waters. There are several islands in between that are very charming, and are worth your time. While it is economical to fly to Grenada, I prefer to "sail south bound" from St. Vincent. Either way you choose, you will not be disappointed. Buy a recent travel's guide to the Caribbean and plan ahead your activities; Frommer's or Fodor's guide. For provisions, check "Farmer's Markets" in some of these islands; a call on the radio will tell you what's available. You may even barter beer for lobsters, fruits and veggies with the locals on sailing skiffs; a few will approach your boat and offer you what they have for sale. Let us know how your trip went. Sail away! Mauritz
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Old 24-03-2013, 12:11   #5
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

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You really must make a day's stop at Tobago Keys - Grenadines; snorkeling or SCUBA diving. They are a feast to your senses. (Not to be confused with the island of Tobago - Trinidad & Tobago. The island of Tobago is a great place to visit, as well.) Back to the Grenadines...The area from St. Vincent to Grenada is one of my favorite sailing waters. There are several islands in between that are very charming, and are worth your time. While it is economical to fly to Grenada, I prefer to "sail south bound" from St. Vincent. Either way you choose, you will not be disappointed. Buy a recent travel's guide to the Caribbean and plan ahead your activities; Frommer's or Fodor's guide. For provisions, check "Farmer's Markets" in some of these islands; a call on the radio will tell you what's available. You may even barter beer for lobsters, fruits and veggies with the locals on sailing skiffs; a few will approach your boat and offer you what they have for sale. Let us know how your trip went. Sail away! Mauritz
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Old 27-03-2013, 16:01   #6
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

You can begin at either St Vincent or Grenada for a 10 day cruise. (I have been chartering in this area for the past 15 years.)

Sailing south from St Vincent is easy, sailing back can be arduous.

Sailing north from Grenada to Carriacou can be difficult and no fun, sailng back is easy. But! You can board the fast (inexpesive) ferry from Grenada to Carriacou. Also Grenada is far friendlier and safer.

I would favor Grenada and plan to board the sailboat at Hillsborough or Petite Martinique also part of Grenada and one mile south of Petit St Vincent (a postcard anchorage).
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Old 27-03-2013, 20:37   #7
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

If you want to avoid St. Vincent but also go to the Grenadines, then flying into St. Lucia is not the way to do it. It is hard to get from St. Lucia to Bequia (the northernmost Grenadine) in one day. I did the passage twice and went overnight so as to get to Bequia in the morning without having to stop at anchorages on St. Vincent with a bad reputation. Charter companies are unlikely to allow you to sail at night. What I would do is get a one way charter from Grenada to St Vincent - The Blue Lagoon where the charter bases are is just fine and is a 10 minute cab ride from the airport. You will pay a bit of a dropoff fee for the one way trip but then you have a much easier sail.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:19   #8
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

We are chartering a Lagoon 440 from Grenada in May. We plan a leisurely sail North to St. Vincent stopping at several anchorages. We need to drop off one crew member in St. Vincent (Kingstown) to catch a flight home early. How long in days or hours approximately will it take us to sail back South to Grenada (True Blue Bay) to return the boat to the base?
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Old 02-04-2013, 13:40   #9
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

In May the wind is mostly NE with some SE. At this time it is around 20 knots but should mellow before May to 15 knots. Tropical waves can begin in May allowing a day or so of SE wind after their passage.

You will be motoring or motor-sailing from the south of Grenada to Carriacou (Tyrrel bay or Sandy I.) some 6 to 8 hours depending where you board the boat. Long day not much fun. Unless the wind is SE then you will be very close hauled (strong westerly current) and a catamaran will need to also motor.

Day 2 motor to Hillsborough on Carriacou to clear customs out of Grenada. Then motor to Petit St Vincent about one hour. Day 3 sail and motor about one hour to Union Island (maybe stop at Morpion?) to clear in to SVG. Then motor one hour to the Tobago Cays. Day 4 sail about 45 minutes to Salt Whistle Bay on Mayerau (post card anchorage). Day 5 Sail 4 to 8 hours depending on wind orientation or motor 5 hours to Bequia. Day 6 sail 1 and a half hour to Young Island cut on St Vincent to drop off crew probably on day 7.

You will be mostly close hauled from Grenada to St Vincent and of course reaching for the return sail. Unless you are lucky and the Trade blows from the SE while sailing to St Vincent and NE while sailing back to Grenada.
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Old 03-04-2013, 21:28   #10
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I would go with Grenada... I've run operations in both Canouan and Grenada, and Grenada is without a doubt the nicest big island in the Caribbean...
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:45   #11
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, leahmarie131.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:40   #12
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

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St. Vincents reputation is bad. There have been a lot of stories of crimes, problems there. .
Maybe a decade ago...Time to let that go. Crime in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is similar to every other island in the Caribbean. More than some and less than others.

My preferred travel is to fly to Barbados because they only have 1 airport serving both international and domestic carriers. Then fly SVG Air, to your charter destination within the Grenadines. Sunsail has a base in St. Vincent along with TMM and Barefoot, in Blue Lagoon on the south shore which is, by far, the closest, well equipped charter area serving SVG.

For the price of the local inter-island flight you will save two 8 hour sails and possibly two 1 hour inter-airport cab rides if you choose to travel through St. Lucia.

My $.02

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Old 04-04-2013, 07:41   #13
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

leahmarie131, it's about 80 miles if you don't stop anywhere so 12 - 14 hours straight shot. Is this what you wanted to know?
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:01   #14
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

simfr, here is my account of a recent charter that I posted on another thread. This itinerary worked well for us. A bit faster paced than some others prefer, but to each their own. St. Lucia was easiest for us to fly in and out of. We found a good boat to charter as well.

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Lot of suggestions here not to go too far in too short a time. For the benefit of others planning a charter from St. Lucia, we recently chartered a Lagoon 420 for 10 days and logged 300 nautical miles to Grenada and back. Our group likes to sail lots and fit lots in.

We considered a one way, but with the cost of air fares and the return fee, plus travel hassles, it just didn't make sense for us. Glad we did the two way.

Our itinerary by day # was:

1 - Rodney Bay Marina to Soufriere for the night. Half day shake down.

2 - Soufriere to Chatham Bay, Union Island. Got up at first light and made our way. Motor sailed some especially while in the lee of St. Vincent. Set the anchor just after the sun went down. (Some of the crew learned that scopolamine is good stuff!)

3 - Chatham Bay to St. Georges, Grenada. Great broad reach up to 12 knots in 20-25 knots true wind. We were tied up at the Camper & Nicholson marina by 2PM. It was Sailing Week in Grenada, so lots of activity around the area.

4 - Toured around the island. Get your driver to stop off somewhere for Rotis for lunch. Better if you are local and not on the tourist track. Swam under Concord Falls.

5 - Set sail for Frigate Island, Union Island, stopped off and snorkeled along the way. Leisurely day and were on the hook by 5PM.

6 - Went to Tobago Cays for the day - not to be missed! Spent the night anchored in Saline Bay, Mayreau Island. Had a nice supper out with the gang at a restaurant up the hill.

7 - Saline Bay to Bequia. Everything was going well until the snap shackle broke at the swivel on the motor end of the dink. Had a little stop and the crew rigged up a new shackle from the spare parts box and all was well. Dinner out at Jack's - recommended for any others stopping at Bequia.

8 - Bequia to Wallilabou Bay, St. Vincent. Based on the cruisers guide we planned to give St. Vincent a pass for safety & security reasons. But in the end we made this stop mostly to avoid a long day 9 back to St. Lucia. One of the boat boys had us tied up stern to by 3PM. A number of other boats piled in the bay and were a bit close for our liking but it all worked out. As soon as we were tied up there were 5 guys at the boat to sell their stuff. The gals enjoyed seeing what they had for sale. I'd have to say they were polite and not overly pushy and no fuss once you said you didn't want anything. These people need to make a living too, so in the end their visit was enjoyable. Same goes for the boat boys and others selling fruits/vegetables and the like. Lowlight - The catamaran full of German guys that anchored beside us, mostly not wearing any clothes!!! No ladies....hmmm. Highlight - "Pirate Night" on our boat in the bay where they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean. Tons of laughs.

9 - Wallilabou to Soufriere. Tied up on a mooring at the Bat Cave by around 2PM. Went into town to clear in and do some shopping and looking around. Had a good "local" feel to it which we liked.

10 - Soufriere to Rodney Bay. Nice motor up the west side of St. Lucia. Did a little run into Marigot Bay for a look around - very pretty & quaint. Spend some time anchored in Rodney Bay swimming and diving and were successful in NOT getting run over by a Sea-Doo. Pulled anchor around 3PM, filled with Diesel and back at the dock on Rodney Bay Marina by 4:30PM. Had a nice dinner out at a marina restaurant to end our charter.

Next up - St. Lucia charter for 13 days north to Martinique, Dominica, Iles des Saintes, Guadaloupe & potentially Antigua. Anyone have any suggestions for must sees, anchorages, stop offs for this trip?
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Old 13-04-2013, 19:21   #15
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Re: St Vincent vs Grenada

I am on my 14th years sailing the Caribbean and have visited both Grenada and St. .Vincent many times. Am in Colombia at present. In my opinion Grenada is the best destination. From Grenada you can easily sail up to Cariacou, Union Island, the Tobago Keys (do not miss this) Bequia and other small islands up to St. Vincent that has some interesting anchorages like Wallilabou Bay where the Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed. I would suggest you buy a copy of Doyles Guide to teh Lewards Island. You will not regret it. One good thing about this route is that all the islands are within sight of each other and you can't get lost. Hahaha
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