Written by Missy Johnston
Join your charter yacht at Young Island, St Vincent and enjoy your first refreshing drink followed by a swim before lunch. After lunch, find your sea legs on the short passage to Bequia, a two-hour sail.
Once an active whaling station, Bequia is a unique island, with a very interesting history. Ashore, is a fun, tropical marketplace and sought-after, hand carved, wooden sailing boats. Enjoy your first night at anchor in Admiralty Bay and step a shore to visit the well know Frangipani Hotel for cocktails on the lawn overlooking the bay. After breakfast, sail by the Moonhole, where the architecture of Tom Johnson’s ‘open houses’ grows out of the rocks. Cruise close to West Cay, then on past Pigeon Island and Isla A Quartre, and on to Semplars Cay marking the entrance to Friendship Bay, with a wrap-a-round golden beach. Enjoy Lunch on anchor, and a swim before heading towards Mustique.
Basil’s Bar Mustique
Mustique is about a 2 hour cruise past Montezuma Shoal to Britannia Bay. Pick up a mooring ball and meet the friendly Harbor Master for an update on local activities. Take a tour of this private island, where the exclusive homes of the rich and famous dot the landscape and are built in a variety of architectural styles. Visit Basil’s Bar, where there may be a chance meeting with David Bowie or Mick Jagger. Rent a Moke, also known as a Mustique Mule, or a real horse to ride to Macaroni Beach.
Canouan is a 3-hour sail. Try your hand at fishing for Tuna, Jack, King Fish or Mahi Mahi while cruising by Petit Mustique, Savan Island and Petit Canouan on your way to Charleston Bay, Canouan where the Tamarind Hotel is located. This elegant hotel has two waterside restaurants protected by picturesque thatched roofs, ideal for a thirst-quenching afternoon drink. The island offers excellent hiking and the opportunity to play a round of golf on the beautiful Frangipani golf course. There is a Casino perched high on the North East coast.
Friendship Bay, Canouan is a 1-hour sail. Explore by dingy inside the reef pass to visit less well-known snorkeling sites. In settled conditions you can dingy along the windward side of Canouan, inside the reefs where the snorkeling is excellent and there are incredible beaches. After, sail to the Island of Mayreau.
Mayreau is one-and-half-hours away. Sail by Catholic Island through the northern passage and into the calm waters of Salt Whistle Bay – the perfect Caribbean bay – crescent shaped with a gently rising, fine sand beach backed by palm trees. The water is especially warm and colorful tropical fish dart here and there in the shallows. The Salt Whistle Bay Club is a popular spot for visiting yachtsmen.
Mayreau, only able to be visited by boat, is an island still reflected of the last century. The main village of Old Wall, where most of the residents live, sits on the southwest end of the island. The village has a school for grades 1 – 6, several churches and one main road. Electricity is new to the island as of 2002. In the center of the island is a salt pond, from which the locals once harvested and exported salt, however while salt is still harvested, it is now for local use only. Much of Mayreau is owned by the Eustace Family that once farmed this island for cocoa and sea island cotton.
Tobago Cays National Park
The Tobago Cays is a 45 minute cruise from Mayreau and are the highlight of the area for many; calling for more than a fleeting visit. Five perfect uninhabited islands lie within the protection of an encircling coral reef. Take the northern approach inside the horseshoe reef and the Petite Bateau/Petit Rameau Pass. Anchor in the stunning turquoise waters, the favorite destination of many sailors. Most of the Tobago Cays are a protected National Park, where no inhabitants are allowed, although locals from St. Vincent so arrive each day and magically a “shop” will appear selling t-shirts and pareos displayed on ropes stretched between two palm trees.
The Tobago Cays are a perfect spot for sea turtles that tend to congregate underwater in a protected area near Baradel Bay. This is an area where more than one day can be spent enjoying the beautiful waters and coral gardens.
Union Island is a 1-hour sail. Cruise south from the Tobago Cays, sailing close to Palm Island, and into the stunning reef anchorage of Clifton Harbor, Union Island. Stop on the way at Palm Island, a tiny cay housing Palm Island Resort. Perhaps enjoy a hike on one of the resort nature trails, where one is sure to see iguanas, and perhaps a variety of bird species. After exploring Union Island take refreshment at The Bougainvillea. Their tables, overlooking the bay, are right next to a large aquarium with a beautiful reef shark in residence.
With a past of colonial plantation history and production of sea island cotton, Union Island has become a hub of commercial shipping for this part of the Caribbean, and many Union Island Islanders are employed on the large freighters that visit this port.
Return back to St. Vincent to disembark.