When the air was a lot cleaner and the boat stopped looking like a grey blanket we headed up to the island of Mayreau. We had been told that Saltwhistle Bay was the most beautiful anchorage in the Grenadines and we wanted to check it out. They were not wrong and we ended up anchoring closer to the beach than ever before and were immediately invited to some beach games by Julia and Mercedes who we had met in St Vincent.
This game consisted of girls versus guys all vying to knock down 5 pegs in the sand with sticks followed by throwing your stick through your legs to claim the king peg in the middle. Us girls proudly won but then the guys wanted a second shot – this time they won but we reckon they cheated as they all threw their sticks together at the king peg – it was a great fun day and we all formed a new gang to entertain ourselves in this little bit of paradise.
We met some Americans who told us they had sailed past this bay three years in row and never come in because usually there were in excess of 50 boats in here all very close together and it was very overcrowded with charter boats and even cruise liners depositing hundreds of people onto the beach daily. There were 7 of us in here this year.
There were local ladies selling sarongs and clothes along the beach and so we bought a t-shirt for Ian and a dress for me. They have had a rotten year and with so few boats I don’t know how they have managed. We spent a wonderful day playing beach games and socialising. That night we ended up at the only bar open on the island and partied on until the small hours.
Mayreau is a tiny island and the village is at the top with stunning views all around. The village is so small it has no name but it does have a really cool bar run by a guy call Robert. We spent a lovely afternoon there and wandered around taking photos.
A few days later we were all invited to the opening of a new bar on the other side of the island. We thought it was a proper building on the coast but it was just a pop up bar with no electricity, home made bars stools attached to trees and a wood bbq for cooking chicken. We loved it – we were the only cruisers there and by early evening the place was packed. They brought out their huge speakers and had a local DJ do his thing – the music was unbelievably loud but good Caribbean music and we just immersed ourselves into the day. With the kids playing on the beach, the young girls all sitting around in their best clothes together and the young guys looking so cool just watching them- it could have been any afternoon anywhere in the world.
There were some dominoes on the table next to us – it’s a national sport here in the Caribbean and so I joined some boys for a game. They didn’t quite understand the game and just kept slamming the tiles down but we did have a winner and big smiles all round. Later on the guys took over and they slammed the tiles down so hard I thought they would break – then I understood why the kids did it!
We ended up having a long fun night on Big Dog dancing the night away – this island is so beautiful and we have had such fun here – I think it’s now become our favourite island in the Caribbean.. .. So far.
Big Dog needed some water as their water maker had broken, so we rigged up a hose and line between the 2 boats and filled their tanks. This enabled them to spend another couple of days here and they could do all their washing – a real luxury when cruising!
With so few tourists and therefore little oncome to be derived – all but one of the bars was shut on this side of the island. Even the little supermarket was closed. So we tried to support them.as much as we could with bbq’s on the beach, paying for coconuts, buying clothes and of course many many beers but the time had come to press on and we decided to head down to Petite Saint Vincent next to see the tiny sand spit of Morpio.
On the way we called into the Tobago Cays. These are a few small islands that are part of the marine park. Incredibly we were the only boat there – along with about 7 rangers who were bored silly. We spent a couple of days snorkeling and swimming with the turtles but got a bit bored ourselves so we sailed into Petite Saint Vincent. When we got there we found Big Dog already in the anchorage.
We went for a wander round Saint Vincent as there was a path that went round the island. The luxury resort on the island was closed but we enjoyed the walk. We found all along the beach private little hideaways for the resort guests with a table and chair set, beach loungers and a hammock. All led down to the beach via a narrow path from the main track and where the tracks joined the main path there was a box which contained menus for drinks, meals and services likes massages. A small yellow flag was inside and if you wanted to order anything you just filled out the menu and put the yellow flag up. Luxury came at a cost though as one glass of wine was US$23 plus 26% tax!
When We got back to Big Dog later we found out they had been asked to leave the island and no-one was permitted to walk around it as it was a private island…. oops!
We headed off for Union island next to get our COVID tests done for Grenada. All these islands are only a few miles apart and the wind is always about 15-20 knots which makes for a gorgeous sail. Perfect sailing conditions – which makes a change from the Med when it was either blowing a gale or blowing in the wrong direction. We had spent some fabulous days in Union but not in Clifton, the capital. We dropped anchor and went ashore to explore.
Clifton is gorgeous, typically Caribbean but without the trappings of mass tourism as the cruise boats never came here. Small bars line the street and you can even have a bbq whilst waiting to get your car filled up – I kid you not… Vegetable stores doubling up as souvenir shops and dress shops with a bar inside. We found a supermarket which we desperately needed as we hadn’t been anywhere recently that had anything resembling a food shop. Of course we ended up at a bar before finding the nurse to do our tests – in an old shipping container.
Whilst waiting for our test results which took about 3 days we spent a day at Sparrows restaurant on the other side of the island where we met a friend who lives in St Vincent. Kelly had come down in his boat which was anchored just off the beach. This was the most beautiful beach and restaurant setting you could imagine. The food was excellent – it was the first time I had ever had marlin which was delicious.
After lunch we all went out in Kellys boat for a spin. It was very different being in a super fast motor boat – we visited a few small beaches and ended up back in Chatham Bay for a drink at Sunset Cove. All the yachts were a bit surprised to see this speed boat go through the anchorage and drop anchor right in front of the restaurant and even more surprised to see us all jumping out! We had a few cocktails and then ended up back at Sparrows to get the courtesy bus back to our boats – a wonderful day that will remain with me for ever.
One evening we had dinner on a man made island called Happy island. This island is in the bay and made from conch shells! It is now a bar and restaurant and we all headed out there for dinner. It was an excellent meal but unfortunately they ran out of beer – no problem- Ian went back to Indian Summer and bought some back. When we got the bill, somehow we were charged A$100 extra – not picking it up at the time we paid it, realising the next day. Sad that they rip off their customers and we found out later it was not unusual for this place.
Our time in the Grenadines had come to an end and we were all ready to set sail for Carriacou – our negative results were in, the paperwork filled out and we were stocked up with food and drink for the 7 day quarantine we had to do on arrival. It was sad to leave such a special place but we were leaving with Big Dog so more adventures await….