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Old 22-08-2004, 16:44   #1
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Grenada to St Lucia - the Grenadines

Hi - This is our home cruising area and we are quite familiar with it. If any of you have any questions, fire away and I'll be glad to help you out. Also, check out our website at
s/v La Nostra
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Located in the Sunny Caribbean
"Life's short ... Eat dessert first!"
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Old 27-08-2004, 14:38   #2
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Hi Harry,

We go to St Lucia 2 weeks a hear for the last 5 years and hope to continue the trqadition. This _IS_ the best place to sail. Even though I sail a CSY 33 I hope to be able to discuss a charter with you in the next few years. We usaully do day sails on a neat old Chris Craft 37 center cockpit out of Radney bay each year. I would just love to cruise this place!

If you ever get the urge to get to the south end of the Chesapeake llook me up.
Paul Blais
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37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 05-09-2004, 21:38   #3
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Hi, Paul -
We've chartered in the Chesapeake many times (we live in PA). Have been aboard a couple of 33's - very pretty boats indeed. Health issues I think won't enable our looking you up this year, but maybe next. Believe me, you would LOVE cruising down through the Grenadines with us - best sailing in the world. We know most of the neat little quiet spots as well as the more popular areas. Tobago Keys is an absolute MUST SEE - usually our guests want to spend at least two of their nights there. If we're back in the charter business for the 05-06 season we'll cut you our special CSY owner's discount! (This means you have to work a bit tho!)
BTW - keep your fingers crossed about this next storm - Ivan I think they're calling it - I don't like the track on this one - too far south, which means close to us ...
s/v La Nostra
CSY 44 W/O cutter
Located in the Sunny Caribbean
"Life's short ... Eat dessert first!"
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Old 07-09-2004, 06:26   #4
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St. Lucia - Grenada

Hi Captain:

A friend of mine kept his C&C48, StoppKnot in Grenada at Hog Island. We spent two weeks with him, travelling as far as Bequia and back to St. Georges. He had a fellow at Hogg Island keep care of it for him and his partners. Bob Goodchild, Island Dreams Yacht Services Inc. Bob also surveyed two boats for me, the second of which I purchased. I believe Bob sold the business, however.

As well, StoppKnot is now kept in St. Lucia. Wife and I are taking Cat Tales to the Caribbean, starting the trip from New Brunswick, Canada, in 3 weeks. I must store my boat in Grenada (or grenadines) or further south (insurance requires it) next summer, after I travel there. I would love some advice for where to keep it for 4-6 months. Would you recommend on land, dock, or mooring? It is a 19 foot wide 35 foot long cat, so it cannot come out of the water just anywhere.

I would also love to hear what are the must-do stops along the area you travel.

Thanks in advance, and hope to meet you soon.


Ps. I just read at your site that you have some illness in your crew. I hope it isn't too serious?
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Old 17-09-2004, 20:40   #5
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Sonosailor - Wow! Talk about a small world! We bought our boat from Bob and Judy Goodchild, and they used to look after it for us in the Hog Island anchorage! And, yes - Bob did sell his business. He's now affilliated with the new Clarkes Court marina just around the corner.
Sadly, when Ivan the Terrible came through, all of the docks there wre destroyed along with several boats. Of the 30 or so boats moored behind Hog, only 3 survived. We know of several people who suffered major damage to their boats along Grenada, or lost them completely. The devastation was unbelievable!
So far as a sugestion, we moved our boat to a little commercial boatyard on Carriacou, one island north of Grenada two years ago - Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout. EXCELLEVT little yard - very cooperative. We suffered no damage in the storm whatsoeveer, nor did any of the other boats in the yard (they only have room for 18 or so). Unfortunately, I don't think they could handle your width. There is, however, a brand new marina currently under construction right across the bay which supposedly will be able to handle cats, and I know there is one on Grenada as well - either St. David's marina or Point David's -St.David's, I think. They had a lot of damage, too - but should be OK by thetime you get there.
Must see's:
Along the west coast of St. Vincent is, about 1/3 of the way up the island, is Walallabou Bay. It is where they filmed most of the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean". The set is still there on the beach, and you can wander around on it. Boat boys will help you with a stern line ashore - which you'll need. OK place to overnight, with a couple of decent restaurants ashore.
As you sail out of Bequia (I assume you'll stop there again), sort of go around the corner and along the southern shore between Bequia and the littleisland to its south. You'll come to Petit Nevis - which used to be a whaling station for the fishermen on Bequia. Go in quite close to shore and drop your hook just to the left of the remains of a concrete jetty in about 15-20 feet onto clean sand. Go ashore and explore - fascinating. Also its a great overnight spot (tho it doesn't look like it) where you'll most likely be all by yourselves.
As you sail down the west coast of Canouan there are a couple of LITTLE places which you can tuck into - gotta look real hard for them, and you'll need a stern anchor or a line ashore. (Don't bother with the main anchorage on Canouan - it is a base for The Moorings, and they take up nearly the whole anchorage.)
On the north end of the next island south - I can't remember its name at the moment - is a lovely little anchorage called Saltwhistle Bay. Get there early afternoon, and anchor well inside and to the north side if you can - it gets rolly. Beautiful beach (maintained by a resort there) and the restaurant at the resort os open to the public. Contact them on VHF16 and make a reservation and place your order in advance.
Of course, Tobago Keys is worth at least a week! Be careful navigating the challen between the two islands as you enter from the west, then hang a right into the main anchorage. Best snorkelling in the world, and if you're into SCUBA, excellent for that as well. You'll anchor over clear, white sand in about 12 feet behind the third longest reef in the world. Like a millpond in the midle of the ocean! Boat Boys are great, too. Be sure to look up Walter (multicolored boat - pink, green, yellow and black lst year - deep booming voice) - he's fair and very helpful. Also, another big fellow Mr. Fantastic, the Ocean Mall - good guy and fair. Don't miss out on lobster! By the way, another part of that movie was filmed in the Keys - on Petit Tobac - a little island sort of all by itself outside of the main reef and to the east of most of the other keys. If you are careful and are familiar with reef navigation you can safely exit the keys directlyto the south. Study your charts and watch the other boats - will save a lot of time.
Union Island has an interesting anchorage - again behind a reef. Watch your chart going in - its tricky - and anchor on the outer (eastern) reef as far north as you can. Drop the hook in about 10-12 feet onto clean sand. Some very good restaurants, great local market for veggies, etc., a fair supermarket and good opportunity for fresh fish. Be a bit wary of the water taxi boys, but most are reliable.
Petit St. Vincent is completely owned by a private resort, but there is a very good anchorage there along the southern shore. Watch your bottom, though - it is mostly sand, but there are areas of gravel which makes for very poor holding. There is a lovely little island (or there was pre-Ivan) just to the NW on which there is a sun shelter and a great beach. You can take the big boat up fairly close, then pick your way ashore among the reefs - (stay to the west and take it real easy!) Good snorkelplace, and a great place for a picnic lunch.
Fuel and water available on Petit Martinique, but its not much of a point of interest.
Clear ccustoms for Grenada on Carruacou in Hillsborough. TERRIBLE anchorage, with a very nasty place to tie your dink. Be careful if any sea is running. Decent provisioning available here.
One of our favorite places is Tyrell Bay, just south of Hillsborough. Go well inside, favoring the south side of the bay where the other yachties are. The farther inside you go, the less roll you'll have. Holding is decent, but there are patches of hard pan and some weedy areas, so post a bow lookout and anchor carefully. There's a great italian restaurant along the south side of the bay, but their landing dock is VERY tricky. Might be better to pull the dink ashore. Wonderful Pizza, too! Also a very good French restaurant, and another, which recently changed hands, called After Ours, upstairs over a convenience store and a dive shop - which is now run by a fellow who used to be the private chef for the Prime Minister of Trinidad - GREAT chef! Also sever other neat little local places. John will take garbage, sell youlimes and is a good source for lobster. Sebastian has some excellent prices on wines. (Both boat boys.) Good place here for all types of repair services, too - Dominique has an excellent stainless nd aluminum shop set up on a trimaran anchored on the southside of the bay. There's a good sail loft which also does reasonalbe canvas work called "in Stitches", located along the watefront - good mechanic available at the yachy haulout - as well as a good source for parts, and Michael Ward is a top notch electrical and electronics man - also available through the boatyard. (Manager's name there is Roy.)
There are a couple of nice little anchorages just south of Carriacou, but they can be tricky and are weather dependent.
Only other place we know of is only a coupleof miles north of St. Georges, so its not really worth stopping - and its kinda rolly at times anyways. You'll see it on your chart, and it can he handy if you need to tuck in somewhere.
In St. Georges, Johnathan runs the Island Water World store - they stock a huge variety of stuff, and can get you anything else. Johnathan's great, and has a good staff. Right on the lagoon. Also, Food Land is an excellent supermarket - air conditioned even! They offer yachties a discount on big orders, and they have (had) a very good dinghy dock right in front of the store. Lots of very good restaurants. For a unique experience - and LOTS of food - try Patrick's. A little pink place about 1/4 mile to the south of the Lagoon on the main road - an easy walk.
Hope this helps - I suggest youpick up a current copy of Doyle's Cruising Guide for the area as well.
So far as the health issue, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in April, and, believe it or not, my wife was diagnosed with colon cancer three weeks later! Say a little prayer for us - we'll take all the help we can get.
Enjoy your trip south - we hope to be there during Feb and March.
Regards -
s/v La Nostra
CSY 44 W/O cutter
Located in the Sunny Caribbean
"Life's short ... Eat dessert first!"
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Old 12-12-2004, 02:58   #6
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“Destination: The Grenadines”

The Grenadines consist of 32 tiny islands and cays, stretching from St. Vincent in the north, to [Grenada in the south. Located in the southernmost part of the Windward Islands of the Caribbean Sea, they are definitely off the beaten path. Each island is unique, and each contributes something special to the Caribbean Experience.

Inter-island passages are sometimes made in fresh 20 - 25 knot trade winds, heavy current, and 8 - 12 foot rolling seas. You will often anchor in 20 knots of wind overnight. Anchorages are substantially less crowded. There is a comparatively scaled-down social scene. The Grenadines fit the cruising profile of someone with a little more cruising experience, looking for a quiet and unique getaway.

The Grenadines are home to some of the finest anchorages one will ever experience. Unspoiled beaches of white sand line the shores of the anchorages here. Crystal clear waters and some of the most impressive coral reef systems on earth make this the perfect destination for cruising and snorkeling. The islands are close together, enabling you to be safely tucked away in a great new anchorage, with a frosty beer in hand, by noon.

Summary of Anchorage Conditions

The majority of anchorages are extremely comfortable and well protected.

* Admiralty Bay, Bequia – the best spot is off the cliffs at Tony Gibbons Beach. Do not get too close to shore, as you will experience extreme roll conditions. Holding is not great. When there is a north-east swell, Friendship Bay on the east side is the preferred anchorage.

* Mustique can be rolly if there’s a heavy north-easterly swell. This is a mandatory mooring area now and the most protected area is immediately to the south of the cargo dock where there are 3 or 4 moorings in 15 to 20 feet of water, about 20 yards from the beach. A stern anchor can be used effectively to minimize roll.

* Charlestown Bay, Canouan, is well protected from wind and waves, and is comfortable in most conditions. Occasional northeast winds in February can generate a nasty groundswell that makes this anchorage downright unpleasant.

* Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau, is flat calm.

* Saline Bay, Mayreau, is rolly at the southern end but not bad in the north-eastern corner.

* The Tobago Cays are very comfortable, but since there’s nothing between you and Africa except Horseshoe Reef, you can expect it to be breezy. It is a very safe overnight anchorage.

* Palm Island is a lunch-time stop only, with poor holding.

* Clifton Harbor in Union is usually comfortable. Although it’s one of the only windward coast anchorages, it is well protected by Newlands (Thompsons) Reef. Holding is not great.

* Chatham Bay is comfortable close to shore in the northwest corner.

* PSV is very comfortable in all conditions.

* Hillsborough, Carriacou is rolly during north-easterly swell.

* Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou is comfortable in all conditions.

Here are the various points of sail you will experience between destinations:
* St. Vincent to Mustique – 3 hour close or beam reach.
* St. Vincent to Bequia – An hour and a half broad reach.
* Bequia/Mustique to Canouan/Mayreau – 3 to 4 hour beam or broad reach.
* Mayreau to Tobago Cays – You should motor sail or motor the 45 minute trip. My advice – motor.
* Tobago Cays to Palm or Union – 45 minute run followed by beam reach if you use the “back door”. My advice – motor.
* Palm to PSV – One-hour close reach with short beat at the end. Why bother - just motor.
* PSV to Mopion/Union – Short beam or broad reach. Press the “start” button instead.
* Union to Hillsborough, Carriacou – An hour and a half beam or broad reach. Return is an hour and a half close reach or close-hauled.
* Hillsborough to/from Sandy Island – 15 minute motor, either way.
* Hillsborough to/from Tyrrel Bay – 40 minute motor, either way.
* Tyrrel Bay to/from St. George’s, Grenada – A pleasant 5 to 6 hour broad reach to St. George’s. Return is a 6 hour close reach, 3 hours of it in open seas with waves and current.
* Union to Mayreau – 45 minute close reach, or motor.
* Mayreau to Canouan – 45 minute close reach, or motor.
* Canouan to Bequia - close reach or beat until you reach West Cay, then beat. My advice – motorsail under main alone until you’ve had enough, then drop the main. This passage can be tricky when the wind is strong and to the northwest. It is strongly recommended that you head towards Petit Canouan after clearing Canouan, then reach off under sail when you are abreast of Mustique, as the wind backs and current increases significantly as you approach West Cay. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time as this passage can take up to 4 hours or more in extreme cases.
* Bequia to St Vincent – beat followed by close reach in huge waves and current. My advice – motor directly across. Travel time is one and a half to two hours.

You can safely expect 12 to 20 knots winds on average. The windiest time is from mid/late January to late February when 30 to 40 knot trade winds and correspondingly large seas are sometimes experienced. The lightest period is summer, when winds taper off to 10 – 15 knots.

The “dry” season extends from February to June, and is characterized by weeks of sunny weather with an occasional shower. The “wet” season is still spectacular with plenty of sunshine; however there is significantly more moisture and cloud in the air, resulting in more frequent showers. During hurricane season (June through November), a passing tropical wave will deliver a few rainy days with no sun at all.
The temperature does not vary much between seasons; 78 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (25 - 29 degrees Celsius).

Local residents do not pay as much attention to the weather as visitors. If you ask one of them for a forecast, chances are they won’t know, or care. Weather reports are broadcast on AM 790 kHz. Marine weather reports are provided at 0850 and 1830 daily. Brief weather updates occur on the hour, following the news.

Barefoot Yacht Charters has an excellent Chart Briefing on their website that I think is worth reading:

Download Adobe Acrobat (PDF) formatted version [5.25 MB, 74 pages] of:
“Destination: The Grenadines”
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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St Vincent and Grenadines, St Lucia, Grenada

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