Sunday, March 3rd to Sunday, March 10th, 2019
For those who have been following us the past few years, you may have noticed a lack of postings recently. Well, Silver Maple was put to bed at the end of the season last year and she is now up for sail. We decided it was time to move on to another chapter and some different adventures. We loved our time sailing the east coast of the US and in the Bahamas, but it is time for something new.
So, in keeping with that, we chartered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for two weeks. The first week we were with Jackson and his girlfriend, Laura, on a boat named Isaphil. And, the second week just the two of us on Willow Dew. This was both our first time sailing a catamaran, and our first time in the Grenadines. Always fun to try new things! For Laura, this was her first time on a sailing trip beyond an afternoon outing. She did great and is now a welcome addition to the crew whenever she would like to join us.
After arriving in St. Vincent at Barefoot Yacht Charters we climb aboard Isaphil, the catamaran that we will be sailing for the week. Lots of room for the four of us. The rocking motion is quite a bit different than the mono-hull we are used to, so there are a few green faces until we get used to it and take our sea-sickness meds.
We sleep aboard tied to the mooring ball the first night before heading into town for groceries and provisions the next morning. Then, we cast off for Bequia. It is a beautiful day, but the winds are high and so are the waves. We learn very quickly, that this seems to be par for the course here in the Grenadines. Unlike the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands where we have sailed previously, the waters between the islands here are deep and each trip is like doing a full on ocean crossing even if it is only for a couple of hours. The roughest waters seem to be between Bequia and St. Vincent. Okay when you are on a run with the winds behind you, but a bit crazy when the wind and waves are hitting you on the nose. Thankfully, on our first day getting used to the boat, the wind is behind us.
We spend a night anchored at Bequia which is a very pretty island with colourful houses on the hills, a cute town with friendly people and some very good restaurants. From there we continue south staying in Canouan, the Tobago Cays and Salt Whistle Bay/Mayreaux before heading back north toward St. Vincent to take Jackson and Laura back at the end of the first week. Our last crossing is in the morning the day they have to catch their flight. On the trip from Bequia back to St. Vincent we are in some the highest seas we have ever sailed in with 3 metre waves. Crazy! Our crew takes it is stride though and we make it back safe, sound and salty.
Sunday, March 10th to Sunday, March 17th, 2019
Week two we switch to a different boat (also a catamaran) named Willow Dew. It is just the two of us, so we head further south with a long trip the first full day from Bequia to the town of Clifton on Union Island. Each day the winds are 20 to 30 knots and waves are high even though the forecast is not predicting them. The Grenadines are not for novice sailors, that is for sure.
From there we stop at the beautiful Petit St. Vincent and then Chatham Bay. Both are lovely quiet spots with nice resorts. We finish the trip with two nights at our favourite place, Bequia before doing the crossing back to St. Vincent. Again, on the return trip, even though the weather in the Bequia harbour is quite and calm, when we head for St. Vincent, the winds are up to 40 knots on the nose with over 2 metre waves and driving rain. We are soaked through by the time we get to St. Vincent where the sun is out and it is a beautiful day.
It was great to be back on a sailboat for a couple of weeks. It really made us miss Silver Maple and our times living aboard. The Grenadines are beautiful and some sunshine and 80 degree F days were just what we needed. The catamarans were nice, but we have decided we are mono-hull sailors and will go back to that next time… on our next adventure in sailing.
Stay safe everyone! Hugs!