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Old 01-11-2008, 06:25 PM   #1
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We have booked bareboat out of St. Lucia and wanted to know the sailing time to St. Vincent and if this could be safe sailing at night? Also does anyone have a good week itinerary they can suggest for St. V and the Grendaines and some great anchorages?

Cheers!

T
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:43 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what you mean by "safe" sailing at night. There is practically no bay in the Caribbean that I would recommend entering at night. There are a few that could be entered at night, but nothing on St. Vincent. Arriving in the morning is okay, where did you plan on making landfall? Keep in mind that entering a harbor in the morning means you will have the rising sun in your eyes, making visibility not as good as in the afternoon.

If the trades are particularly boisterous, one thing to be careful of is the pass between St. Lucia and St. Vincent. The high mountains at the ends of these two islands funnels the winds through the pass at a significant increase in speed that can lay a sailboat on its side if it's sheeted too tight. In the daytime it's easier to see the wind state by the sudden increase in the seas in this pass. Returning to St. Lucia from St. Vincent it is usually easier and more comfortable to sail in as close as possible to the north side of St. Vincent and cross the channel on a starboard tack with eased sheets so you won't have to fight so hard to get back into the lee of St. Lucia.

Not knowing where you're leaving from what size boat you're on or where you plan to make landfall in St. Vincent, I don't know the distance you'll be traveling, can't give an idea of the distance.

See reports of crime, particularly Chateaubelair at: http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/ind...showtopic=6055 and

http://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/...ardislands.htm

The Grenadines are really nice, and St. Vincentians are generally very nice people, but you should be on your guard.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:21 PM   #3
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You really need to give more details of boat, experience etc before anyone can give advice.

If you feel comfortable in offshore conditions, then head down to Admiralty Bay in Bequia. It's around 60nm from Rodney Bay in the north of St Lucia, so it shouldn't be necessary to sail overnight if you set off at first light. As well as the potentially rough passage across from St Lucia to St Vincent mentioned by JeanneP, it can also get seriously rough in the Bequia Channel between St Vincent and Bequia. Personally I would bypass St Vincent altogether because of the security issues already highlighted.

Bequia is an interesting island with a whaling background and is well worth exploring.

Most people visiting the Grenadines head to Mayreau and the Tobago Cays. This is a 1/2 days sail from Bequia. Anchor overnight at Saltwhistle Bay in Mayreau, or head straight for the Tobago Cays which are a short distance to the West (not literally or you'll be on a reef). This area is strewn with reefs so ensure you have a good chart and know what you're doing! I believe the Tobago Cays has now been made a Marine National Park and there is a daily per person charge to anchor there (which I believe is $10).

If you follow this route, you will be sailing for at least 4 days out of your week and being subject to time constraints you will inevitably find yourself sailing at least some of this in lumpy conditions, so if this does not sound appealing then stick to St Lucia. It's a big island with plenty to see. You don't say where you're chartering your boat, but Rodney Bay in the North is a good (and huge) anchorage with shore facilities through the cut in the Marina (currently full of ARC finishers). Pigeon Island is well worth a visit. Down at the south end of the island, there are various mooring areas around Soufriere and the Pitons (World Heritage Site). No anchoring is allowed as it is a Marine National Park (and 50 yds off the shore the depth is 600ft plus). Specially recommended are the mooring buoys off the Anse Chastanet hotel, those at the Bat Caves at Soufriere and the ones off the Jalousie Hilton hotel between the Pitons. There's a charge for picking up the moorings which will be collected by National Park Rangers.

There's more than enough here to keep you occupied for a week without going further afield.

Good luck!

Cliff
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:28 PM   #4
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Further to my last, having re-read it, the Tobago Cays are to the EAST of Mayreau, not the west!! Doh!!

Cliff
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:46 AM   #5
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To keep in mind is that there are 12 hours of daylight. The sun rises about 6 am, it sets at 6 pm. Give or take a few minutes. 60 nm is 10 hours averaging 6 knots, which I don't think the average charter boat could do. And if you only average 5 knots you don't want to get caught trying to enter a bay in the dark. Not many navigation marks.

We used to leave in the evening, sail leisurely all night, arriving the next morning about 7 am. We each were capable of standing a watch alone, so upon our arrival we were both well-rested and ready to hit the beach. I loved island hopping this way, because we didn't lose a day making a crossing, and never worried that we would be making an iffy late entry.

I'm a bit prejudiced against St. Lucia, so consider the Tobago Cays a better cruising ground. Not everyone shares my attitude.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:17 PM   #6
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Hi, we sailed the Grenadines in 2001 and had a great time. We'd love to go back again and were thinking about it this year, but the BVI's seem to offer a better option for us right now.

Sorry to hear about the crime problems - we didn't see or hear of anything like that then, but times change, I guess!

I agree about sailing at night. OK for offshore stuff, but absolutely do not try to enter a harbour at night.

We chartered out of Barefoot in Blue Harbour ( St Vincent), for about 9 days. Your charter agent should be able to give you up to date info about the best places to go.

Petit Byahaut, on the west of St Vincent is worth a visit for a day - you can only get there by sea I think, and its a super location. Beware of anchoring - use one of the buoys instead, or read the pilot carefully! This could be a ggod landfall or departure point for St Lucia, but check the latest info - not sure if you can overnight here.

We visited Mustique, which is a must visit place. Apart from Basil's Bar, etc, take a mule (golf cart) trip around the island, and spend a few hours on Macaroni Beach (we saw iguanas there). No water available here and nearest is at Bequia. (We did find a way to overcome this issue though!)

Bequia is OK, and worth a look, but there are nicer places. Our daughter had her hair braided by a lady in the market place. She took us up the hill to her house - very friendly, nice people.

Canouan was nice but a little short on facilities at the time. We stopped in the large bay on the west coast (can't recall the name now) and I believe since then the hotel has been re-opened (it had been burnt out in a fire some time previously. We radioed ashore and a small restaurant up the hill sent a truck down for us so we could eat up there with them.

Tobago Cays and Mayreau are well worth a look. We stayed overnight in Salt Whistle bay and there is a super restaurant in the trees on the beach. We also visited Clifton - good for provisioning, etc, but the town wasn't terribly exciting.

An overnight in the bay on the west of Clifton was highly recommended to us, although we didn't manage this. We had a greaty night anchored in Saline Bay (Mayreau).

You may not get this far on a 7-day trip, but we were recommended to visit Mopion, a tiny 'typical desert island' just off Petit Martinique. I think this might be the island you can choose as one of the screen saver picture choices in Windows XP (file name 'Azul' I think).

Hope you have a great time - let us know how it goes.

P
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:58 PM   #7
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@patrickzero



Welcome aboard and thanks for all the useful info.

Good to have you here.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickzero View Post
Tobago Cays and Mayreau are well worth a look. We stayed overnight in Salt Whistle bay and there is a super restaurant in the trees on the beach. We also visited Clifton - good for provisioning, etc, but the town wasn't terribly exciting.

An overnight in the bay on the west of Clifton was highly recommended to us, although we didn't manage this. We had a greaty night anchored in Saline Bay (Mayreau).

You may not get this far on a 7-day trip, but we were recommended to visit Mopion, a tiny 'typical desert island' just off Petit Martinique. I think this might be the island you can choose as one of the screen saver picture choices in Windows XP (file name 'Azul' I think).
So "Azul" is Mopion! My brother had it as his screen wallpaper for a long time, and it looked to me like Sandy Isle off Anguilla. Lots of incredible islands in the Caribbean, easy for me to confuse them this long after we cruised the area.

We tried anchoring in Salt Whistle Bay on our way south one year, but it was horribly crowded and the swell was more than we liked (it was one of Don Street's 'favorites', guaranteeing a crowd. Just down the way a bit is Saline Bay, big, easy to anchor in, no swell, and we were the only boat there both years we stopped. I snorkeled for hours and brought up hundreds of sand dollars there. Only other place as good for sand dollars that I found was Anse d'Arlet in Martinique. Simple pleasures for ........

This is a lovely area to cruise. Enjoy.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:40 AM   #9
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St Vincent, specifically Chateaubelair on the western coast, has been plagued with several boardings/robberies by armed thugs. Chris Doyle's recent observations can be read here: Noonsite-latest news

A letter from a recent victim can be read here: The Real Pirates of the Caribbean

It would be wise to give St Vincent a "pass" until the authorities get this stuation under control.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:47 PM   #10
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So "Azul" is Mopion! My brother had it as his screen wallpaper for a long time, and it looked to me like Sandy Isle off Anguilla. Lots of incredible islands in the Caribbean, easy for me to confuse them this long after we cruised the area.

Hi Jeanne,

I can't swear Mopion is Azul, but its a very strong candidate from everything I've seen. Perhaps someone could ask Mr Gates - he'd kmow a man who knows!

Patrick
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:10 AM   #11
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I have been to Mopion island many, many times over the last year and Win XP "Azul" is definitely NOT Mopion. There are no palm tress on Mopion. It is a shifting sand bar with a Tiki Hut placed there by PSV.

Mopion is nicknamed "Honeymoon Hut" island because of the Tiki Hut and being in a "free" of population, French bathing suit rules apply. Except when a boat full of kids shows up, most of the folks visiting there are doing the fantasy "stuck on a desert island with my beautiful bride" type of activities. Lots of "bare-butt" sailors & sailorettes visit.

Here is a photo of Mopion when kids are visiting . . .
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