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Grenadines

Published on 07 september 2008 at 0h00

What if you could only choose one stopover? Which one would it be? What would be your dream destination? Without a doubt, the Grenadines are one port of call that every sailor should visit at least once in their sailing career...

Logbook

The Grenadines offer everything that a crew could hope for in a short sailing vacation in catamaran: a pleasant sail to get there, dream moorings which are varied, plentiful and even remote if you're prepared to head off the beaten track. And all this is accompanied by lively trade winds and an emerald sea. 

Most crews will choose to set out from Martinique which is only 90 nautical miles from St Vincent. The French island is home to an international airport, and it's an ideal base for any sailor to set out from, as there are plenty of charter companies there and there is everything you'll need to stock up for the duration of your cruise. From there it's a fabulous journey down to the Grenadines, with superb, unmissable anchorages, before weighing anchor in the famous Tobago Cays.

If you only have a week to discover this group of islands, you could choose to set out from St Lucia (50 nautical miles from St. Vincent) or better still from Grenada itself, right in the heart of the Grenadines. .. Like Grenada, St Lucia has an easily accessed international airport. From there, it's just a question of making the most of the Grenadines: from Bequia to Grenada via the Tobago Cays, there is no shortage of fantastic anchorages, and the sailing is fun and easy. If you have a good look at your charts, you should be able to find a little bit of paradise all to yourself, with no neighbors (no kidding!)...

Practical info

  • Getting There:
    The international airports of Martinique Le Lamentin, St Lucia or even Grenada are all easily accessible on direct flights from Europe and the United States.
  • When:
    High season is from December through April, although sailing is very pleasant until the end of July. August and September are much wetter and it's also the time when there is the highest hurricane risk. Air temperatures are between 26°C and 30°C. Sea temperatures are between 26°C and 28°C. The rum is a constant 55°...
  • Official Language:
    English and Creole are spoken in the Grenadines, although French is understood everywhere.
  • Currency :
    The currency of the Grenadines is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD). US dollars and Euros are accepted in many places and it's relatively easy to change money (€1= 3.08 XCD, and $1=2.70XCD)
  • Good To Know: getting through the red tape...
    Arrival and exit formalities are obligatory when you head for a new island or group of islands. To get his clearance, the skipper needs to have the passports of everyone on board (all with at least six months validity to run), the boat's paperwork, and he needs to hoist the yellow Q flag (which requests "free pratique") and the courtesy flag of the country being visited. For the St Vincent Grenadines, formalities can be carried out at Kingston and Wallilabou (St Vincent), Admiralty Bay (Bequia) and Clifton Harbour (Union). For the Grenadan Grenadines, in Hillsborough (Carriacou) and St George (Grenada). The Grenadine islands from Bequia to Petit St Vincent and from Union to Canouan are dependencies of St Vincent, whilst the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique are linked to Grenada. Obviously, there is a charge for clearance, as there is for the right to enter and to anchor in the Tobago Cays Marine Park...

Be aware of the sailing conditions in the channels between the islands. They can be "lively", and also watch out for the squalls which can be sudden and violent.

Itinerary

 

One Week Cruise in catamaran :

Day 1

Le Marin (Martinique) - Rodney Bay (St Lucia)

Day 2

Marigot Bay (St Lucia)

Day 3 au 6

Bequia - Mustique - Canouan - Mayreau - Union - Carriacou and/or Grenada

Day 7

St Vincent/Union/Grenada, depending on your chosen charter company and their Grenadines base.

Two Week Cruise in catamaran :

Day 1

Le Marin (Martinique) - Rodney Bay (St Lucia)

Day 2 at 11

St Vincent - Bequia - Canouan - Mayreau - Union - Grenada - Carriacou - Petit Saint Vincent - Mustique - Bequia

 

 

Day 12

Soufrière/Marigot Bay (St Lucia)

Day 13

Sainte-Anne (Martinique)

Day 14

Saint-Anne (Martinique) - Le Marin (Martinique).

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