Cruising the Caribbean
Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Mon 15 Apr 2013 21:52
From Grenada we cruised northwards through the Caribbean, in the company of various ARC boats, stopping at Carriacou, Union Island, Tobago Cays, Mustique, Bequia, St Vincent and finally St Lucia. A couple of years ago we would have regarded each of these legs as a significant passage, now it just feels like a quick hop to go from one island to the next. There was a good breeze on the beam all the way, so Anastasia was cruising at 10 knots and even the forty mile passage from St Vincent to St Lucia only took a few hours.
We had a good time in Grenada. It is a beautiful island, the people are friendly and there is little of the hard selling that you get in some parts of the Caribbean. The town of St Georges is quaint, with its mix of sailing, fishing and tripper boats moored right up against the main street, backed by the colourfully painted houses. Andrea thinks she might like to live on Grenada.
Union Island was as noisy and colourful as the last time we visited.
The islands of Tobago Cays were beautiful as always, and it is fun to swim with the turtles there, but I am afraid that every snorkelling trip in the Caribbean has suffered by comparison with the Pacific islands.
Mustique was as I remembered it, unwelcoming (the majority of the island was closed to the public) and expensive for mooring, dining and provisioning. We did get some Robinson’s squash in the supermarket, but it was £5 a bottle. We only went to Mustique again because several other ARC boats were going, and I will be avoiding it in future.
On the way to Mustique Brizo’s tender (which they were towing behind) flipped over in a squall, then submarined and snapped its tow line. Corinne was going to jump into the sea (with 2 or 3 metre waves) to retrieve it, but we managed to persuade her that we could grab the tender more easily from Anastasia. Unfortunately Andrea banged her wrist while retrieving the tender, and we thought she might have broken it, but fortunately not and it is recovering well.
Bequia was a refreshing change from Mustique. It is quite a poor island, but they are working hard to improve it, providing a cruiser friendly harbour with good wifi connections, reasonably priced shops and restaurants and easy check in/out. Another place where Andrea thinks she would like a house.
We stopped for one day in St Vincent, in a place called Cumberland Bay, where we had a nice meal at a restaurant owned by a friend of Herve (from Ruby). In the morning we took the tender round to Wallilabou which was the setting for Port Royal in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. They have retained some of the sets, props and shooting paraphernalia from making the movies, and it is worth a visit.
Our final hop was over to Marigot Bay on St Lucia to join up with the ARC fleet for our final celebrations. We managed to moor up in a fairly tight space without mishap, only to have our bows crunched by Bronwyn when they arrived. Not major damage, but it required fibreglass and gelcoat and the repairs were only completed two hours before it was time to set off for the “Parade of Sail” up to Rodney Bay. Amazing that we came 26,000 miles without any significant damage and got crunched just 12 miles before the finish line.
River tubing in Grenada
Peat Smoke on her way to Union Island
The fort above the harbour in Bequia
The stone arch where the pirates were hung in Pirates of the Caribbean