Bequia - Mustique - Canouan - Tobago Cays - Union - Petit St Vincent - Petit Martinique
It was hard to pull ourselves away from Rodney Bay in St Lucia. The anchorage was comfortable, access to various stores was easy and we had good wifi. We also found plenty of places to walk on tracks.
Only down side was the buzz of jet skis but as the main holiday season was over even they were not so evident. Oddly, St Lucia doesn't seem to have banned jet skis like most of the other islands. Most of the punters hiring the skis have no idea how to control them and are frequently under the influence of something.
However, occasionally they are great entertainment value. We were watching a large manta ray feeding on the surface, about 20m from the boat, when a couple on a jet ski passed, stopped to look and both promptly fell off. The woman started screaming, clearly in a panic about the ray. Her partner tried in vain to get back on the ski. Meanwhile the ray just carried on feeding, completely oblivious to the commotion. We were on the verge of swimming across to gallantly assist when their mates on 3 other skis appeared to assist. We never saw them out again.
After leaving Rodney Bay, we stopped at the Pitons for the night. With only 2 other boats on the moorings, it felt like we had the bay to ourselves. The view was stunning.
Up at dawn, we slipped the mooring and enjoyed a long days sail down the leward side of St Vincent, then on to Bequia, dropping anchor as the sun set. Perfect.
Bequia felt empty in comparison to when we passed on our way north over the Easter weekend. That said, there were still about 30 cruising boats, most of which we recognized from our time in Rodney Bay. We stayed a week in Bequia, enjoying morning swims to the beach, then running for 20 minutes and back to the boat for breakfast.
With the weather looking quiet, we decided to head for Mustique which involved a few hours of going to windward. No hardship in the F4 winds and moderate seas.
In most places in the Windwards, anchoring is free but on the private island of Mustique you have to pay 200 ec for 3 nights stay. From paying nothing to £17 a night we had second thoughts about going but once there we didn't regret the decision to visit.
Athough a private island with homes owned by the ultra rich, visitors are free to walk around the island. Much to our pleasant surprise, none of the villas had any outward sign of security and there was certainly no feeling of being made to feel unwelcome. We walked around most of the island in the 3 days, enjoying the beaches, trails and quiet roads.
We particularly liked the fresh water shower we found at one of the beaches; it even had a hot water tap. Pity it wasn't close to where we were moored as we would have brought our tubs and washed our clothes. Mind you, perhaps somebody would have objected to that - but maybe not; everything was so laid back.
The villas aside, even the public buildings and shops were something special. If you are into pink, you would probably like to do some browsing in one of the two none-food shops:
For us, browsing was the order of the day; prices are somewhat more than Primark.
And the church was absolutely charming:
After 3 days of exploring Mustique, we were ready to move on. Sailing to Canouan, we caught another dorado which was enough to feed us for the 2 nights we holed-up in Canouan, waiting for the weather to quieten down again.
On the way north last April we passed Tobago Cays but didn't stop as we reckoned there were over 250 boats crammed into the various anchorages. As we approached Tobago Cays this time, we could hardly see any masts whatsoever. Chris navigated us through the reefs into the Cays and we were delighted to drop anchor in a virtually empty anchorage. During the 5 days we stayed , the highest number of boats was 14. Low season is the time to visit the Cays.
Without doubt, Tobago Cays is a special place, and definitely deserves the Marine Park status. The green turtles are quite breathtaking. They seem to be quite content to chomp away at the sea grass, with the larger ones in particular not being in the slightest bit bothered about the presence of humans.
The small islands making up the Cays, also have iguanas and tortoises roaming all over. Again, the iguanas seem to be fairly relaxed about humans and the tortoises, although they can hardly make a run for it, don't bother trying to hide their heads in their shells. Perhaps they have sussed they are protected.
Twice a day we swam from the boat to Baradel Island to watch the iguanas scampering about; or engage us in a staring competition. They always won.
Running short of fresh food, Chris took us out through the southern reef after 5 glorious days in the Cays. We were sorry to leave.
Stopping only for a day in Union Island to stock up, we headed south to the anchorage off Petit St Vincent, another small private Island with an exclusive resort but unlike Mustique there are no private villas.
Boat visitors are welcome to use the bar and are free to walk along the beautiful beach.
We are enjoying our stay in Petit St Vincent (PSV). Swimming ashore each morning to walk along the beach before breakfast and snorkeling round the reefs in the afternoon. As PSV has no shops, we nipped across to Petit Martinique to find a surprisingly well stocked mini supermarket, interestingly located next to the cemetry with goats doing the gardening.
Very much aware that we are now in the hurricane season, we check the weather forecast twice a day. So far all is well but if there is any threat we will be scuttling further south.
As I type we are being surrounded by a Sunsail Flotilla in the anchorage. A good sign that the weather is fair.