Clifton - Union Island

Susie and Adam (both think they are skipper)
Sat 10 Dec 2011 00:08
08:12.11, 12:35.69N 61:24.71W

We were planning on going to Petite Martinique so we could dive off the reef, however – my (Susie’s) ears are not behaving so instead we decided we would sail over to Union Island which is at the southern end of the St Vincent Grenadines chain.


Just 6 miles over to Union straight to wind so we motored over to Clifton Harbour where you have to clear immigration and customs since St Vincent is a different country to Grenada.  Getting into Clifton Harbour wasn’t the most fun – it is surrounded by a reef, with another reef in the middle – there are some markers but not many.  It would have been easier if it was a sunny day so you could actually see the reef but it wasn’t sunny when we came in so you cannot see where the shallows are.


Here is the reef today with the sun out . . . . view is out in front of us.  Mayreau and Tobago cays in the distance.


We anchored and the anchor has held fine but took us a while to settle down – I was initially planning on going ashore only to clear into customs and then head off to a more relaxing anchorage, but we quite liked it ashore and the boat didn’t move.  Our initial concerns weren’t  helped when a charter yacht with a british couple on it managed to run aground about 100 metres behind us.  The rescue squad descended. .  there are about 10 guys in boats with outboards who zoom around the anchorage offering to take the rubbish away, deliver bread or whatever.  The charter yacht was descended upon by about 5 ‘helper’ boats who all tied lines to different bits of the boat and hauled them off.  I am not sure how much they ended up paying for this – they were then towed to a suitable anchoring place and deposited.  At least it was only sand they hit and not rock or reef so they probably could have reversed off themselves.   Still – charter boats eh? Sniff.


Here's the anchorage from the top of the hill we walked up.  We are in the big pile of boats!  Petite Martinique in the background.  The
small airstrip is just at the bottom of the pic



I had images of the Grenadines being all plush expensive hotels  but I think there are only really a few islands with this  and they are not built up.  There are no big hotels on Union – it is very Caribbean, quaint and pretty friendly, it has a small airstrip, a few restaurants, some good fruit stalls and some guest houses. . .  . and a fair quota of goats.  The island is very pretty – it’s only tiny (about 3 miles by 2) but steep hills and rugged.  I am not sure where they get income from – a fair few boats stop by, and this is most of the tourism,  other than that I suppose just fishing


Clifton village is very colourful though


We have had a walk up to the top of the hill above the harbor today and from there you can see all the islands in the Grenadines chain right up to St Vincent in the distance.


Grass at the top of the hill. . .


And here's a spider we saw on our walk - these were all over the place in the grass....about 2 inches across


I did some snorkeling but have to really stay out of the water for a couple of days to let my ears sort themselves out.