leg 17: The Grenadines
We left the anchorage at St Georges, Grenada, for a super early 3am start to our day sail up to the Grenadines. Thank goodness we left so early though because with the wind hard on the nose it took us almost all day to get there. We passed the underwater volcano, Kick ‘em Jenny, without incident but we gave her a wide respectful berth anyway after hearing reports of steam emerging from the ocean from a yacht who’d sailed a few days earlier.
We anchored in beautiful Chatham Bay on Union Island in the late afternoon sunshine and had a quick snorkel around the boat before sundowners. The kids were so excited to see their first Spotted Eagle Ray and Angelica enthusiastically wrote it up in her dive logbook.
We sailed around to Clifton in the morning to clear customs and immigration on Union Island and then continued on to Mayreu Island where our guide book showed a particularly beautiful anchorage called Salt Lick Bay. The problem with using a guide book 20 years out of date though is that sometimes the quiet picturesque spots depicted have turned into a heaving mass of charter boats and souvenir kiosks. Salt Lick was out of the question for us to squeeze into a tight spot and so we moved one bay over to a less protected but more secluded spot in front of an exclusive looking resort. Took us a few tries to get the anchor to hold in the sea grass bottom, but the reward was a bed of conch shells to snorkel around.
There was a pretty patch of reef to dive between our bay and Saline Bay a bit lower down. Quite a strong current running had us keeping a tight hold on the kids and staying close to the tender though. Denz caught us a monster sized crayfish for our first Caribbean crayfish dinner.
The highlight of the Grenadines was without a doubt the Tobago Cays, we’d been told about it by a few other cruisers and it did not disappoint. Although we had some quite windy conditions and the anchorage is not protected by a landmass, only a fringing reef between you and the Atlantic Ocean swells, it was completely worth it to have turtles swimming around the boat constantly. We anchored in shallow sand and the holding was good so we didn’t feel the need to take a mooring buoy. There were a lot of charter boats around but it wasn’t nearly as crowded as we’d feared it would be. There’s a protected area for the turtles to the left of the anchorage with a lovely beach and a small island with iguanas. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of swimming with turtles and these guys were super friendly. Add to that some spectacular sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean in front of us and this was a really special place.
But time was marching on and we needed to keep heading north to the British Virgin Islands before hurricane season chases us off to Panama. After a brief stop on Bequia Island to clear out of the Grenadines and top up our fresh water (so easy here, the water boat comes out to the anchorage to transfer water and there’s a laundry boat service too, what a luxury) we continued on to Martinique where we’d heard provisioning was the cheapest in the Caribbean.