Friday, April 22, 2011

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

As much as we liked St. Lucia, we couldn’t stay long.  Our haul-out date is approaching, and we have to move south.  We spent a night at anchor near a town called Soufriere, with a spectacular view of the Pitons, and then headed for the Grenadines.

The country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is made up of the large island of St. Vincent, and many small islands in the Grenadines.  They are very different.  St. Vincent’s economy is mostly from agriculture.  Some of the residents are resentful of boat people, who seem to them rich and uncaring.  The Grenadines make most of their money from tourists, especially from visiting yachts.  They understand boat people, and are generally very welcoming.

Because of these differences, several of the harbors in St. Vincent have real security threats.  It doesn’t happen often, but boats are robbed, and occasionally people living on boats are hurt by thieves.  Several harbors have fine security, but unfortunately are very deep, making anchoring difficult.  In any case, we decided to sail on by St. Vincent this trip, and went straight to Bequia, one of the Grenadines.

Bequia is a pleasant place, very oriented to boats and boat people.  There is a grocery shop there that has all kinds of specialty foods we’ve missed from home.  But quite expensive:  US$8.00 for a container of cottage cheese, for example.  As usual, we got off the boat here and stretched our legs on a walk.  We had read about a restaurant called Sugar Hill, that is very local and a nice walk up a big hill.  We walked there, about 20 minutes, only to find that they didn’t open for lunch, but only dinner.  So we walked back to the main town, Port Elizabeth on Admiralty  Bay.

We have spent a fair amount of time in the Grenadines over the years, and decided to skip some of the more famous islands like Mustique and Canouan, and sailed to the Tobago Cays.  This is a world-class spot, and a regulated marine park.  You anchor behind a big reef, so visually it looks like you are in the middle of the ocean.  There are several small islands, all of which have great beaches and most of which have excellent snorkeling.  Because of our appointment to haul the boat, we could only stay a couple of days.  But it was great to be back here again.

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