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1st time sailing in the grenadines

Massachusetts, Usa
Level Contributor
8 posts
10 reviews
1st time sailing in the grenadines

Hi All!

I will be chartering a sailboat for 2 weeks out of St Vincent at the end of March.

I have a few questions and hoping you can help.

1) we will be there Easter weekend. Are places open? Is there anything going on at any of the islands that we should check out?

2) Best places along the way to stock up on groceries?

3) Where do we get water fill ups?

4) Any places a must see or must avoid?

Thanks in advance!!

12 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
204 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

Your best place for provisioning is before you leave St.Vincent. We’ve always had good luck with CK Greaves for food and Gonsalves Liquor for beer wine and rum. Your charter company should be able to help you out with transportation and recommendations. For reprovisioning, Bequia and Union Islands are your best options. If you’re going as far as Carriacou, that’s another option.

Water is scarce and expensive in the Grenadines. Make sure your tanks are topped off before leaving the dock in St. Vincent. My advice would be to conserve your water as finding water is time consuming as well as costly. Your crew may gripe about it but taking showers of the back of the boat is the best way to conserve water.That being said, Bequia, Union and the new marina in Canouan are your best options for water. Petite Martinique is another option for fuel and water.

As far as an itinerary, the Grenadines are pretty much an open book for exploring. Bequia, Canouan, Mayreau,Union and PSV are all great destinations. With two weeks you’ll have plenty of time to see everything you want without being rushed. We’ve never stopped in Mustique. Moorings are very $$$, and there’s a multiple day minimum. The island is very private also, in our opinion, it just doesn’t reflect the real Caribbean.

You may find it a bit more crowded than usual as a lot of people have opted for the Grenadines since the hurricanes devastated the BVI and St. Martin. Perhaps by the end of March the crowds may have begun to thin out. From our experience, late March and Early April are the best time for sailing the Grenadines. As well as less people, the winds are down a bit and have clocked to the East/ Southeast.

Just curious, are you barebaoating or do you have a Captain?

If you don’t already have one, pick up a copy of Chris Doyle’s Sailors Guide to the Windward Islands. Lot of good info here.

Massachusetts, Usa
Level Contributor
8 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

Thank you ECTravelerBoston!

We are bareboating and my husband will be the Captain. We have been to the BVIs a few times and like you said, due to the hurricane decided to try somewhere different.

We will be ending the trip in Grenada.

Have you been there?

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
446 posts
72 reviews
3. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

If “the end of March” includes Easter, be aware that Bequia will be extremely busy then - both on land and water - for the Easter Regatta.

Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
1,375 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

We're sailing out of Grenada on March 25 and heading for St. Lucia, maybe we'll cross paths. We will be sailing in a blue hulled British Yacht, Skyelark, give a shout if you see us.

Tobago Cays are certainly on your list of places to stop, we always use Jean Claude, Mr. Fabulous, for a lobster beach BBQ; been going for 9 years now.

They have built a new large supermarket at Tyrell Bay on Carriacou if you need to stock up during your trip.

As stated your best bet is to provision on St. Vincent, besides the supermarket you can get loads of fresh fruit and veg along with local spices and sauces at the market in Kingstown. The fish market also has a large selection, depending on what has been caught that night, for around 8 EC a pound.

In Bequia, when you hear a conch shell blow in the morning it signals the fishermen have returned, the fish market is right near the ferry dock.

Conch is called lambi in that area, just to avoid confusion if you see it advertised at a restaurant.

Also in Bequia, you will get a better deal on fruit and veg from the small stands along the road than you will at the fruit market in town, but it is worth a visit just to hear their sales pitches.

Clearing out of SVG will most likely be at Union Island, be sure to go for sundowners at Happy Island.

If you want to make an authentic Rum Punch, use Sunset Rum (170 proof).

On Carriacou, snorkel at Sandy Island, visit Paradise Beach and stop at Off the Hook for a drink or dinner, they have a steel band on Wednesdays. Try a shot of Jack Iron rum or Curtis' Under the Counter.

It's a beautiful area, much more open water sailing than you have experienced in the BVI's.

Level Contributor
204 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

Yes, we’ve sailed out of Grenada a few times. Grenada is a beautiful, lush Island as are the rest of the Windwards. It’s a big contrast to the low and dry Grenadines.

It’s unually a long, pleasant off the wind sail down to Grenada. If you leave from Carriacou you don’t have to clear into Grenada when you arrive. There’s an exclusion zone off the Northeast tip of Grenada due to an underwater volcano called Kick Em Jenny. I’m sure your charter company will give you the details during the chart briefing. Most of the anchorages on Grenada are on the South Coast. There are a few on the leeward side including St.George the nations capital.

Sounds like a great trip. Enjoy!

Level Contributor
11,391 posts
51 reviews
6. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

"low and dry Grenadines" is not how We see St Vincent or Bequia.....The lush mountainous terrain is one of the attractions for Us. That time of year the Southern Grenadines can be very dry. Sunset S gave you some good pointers. My advice would to be to spend at least a couple of nights on Bequia (preferably not Easter weekend unless you enjoy a big crowd and loud music). By Monday the laid back vibe returns. A day/night to enjoy the unique Island of Mayreau. Stop for a famous rum punch at Robert Righteous and De Youths and enjoy lunch or a sundowner at Dennis along with a dip in his hilltop pool. The view of the Cays from the village in Mayreau is breathtaking. Enjoy the delicious Lobster Roast in the Cays...a night at Chatham Bay Union Island is one you won't soon forget. Happy Island is a great spot to relax at sunset....Lunch on PSV excellent! Both Bequia and Union have plentiful produce (fruits and veggies) as well as well stocked small grocery stores. Enjoy this awesome chain of Islands!

Massachusetts, Usa
Level Contributor
8 posts
10 reviews
7. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

Hi All--Thank you so much for all your information. I am getting very excited now!

Sunset_Sammy_10 we will be leaving St Vincent on March 25 and heading for Grenada. We will most definitely cross paths. I will absolutely keep my eyes open for your boat.

obxpat thank you very much for the restaurant ideas! I am adding them to my list. We actually love both quiet and big crowds and loud music. :) We may be on Union Island by Easter. Not sure if it's worth sailing back to Bequia for Easter.

ECTravelerBoston thanks again for the info! My husband will sit through the chart briefing. I am the activities director and like to plan ahead for fun!

Thank you!

Level Contributor
88 posts
1 review
8. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

They have Easterval on Union. Very unique!, local, fun intertainment without all the

crowds of Bequia,

Houston, Texas
1 post
9. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

We are sailing out of Bequia on March 27th headed south. Maybe our paths will cross. This is also our first time sailing in this area.

Massachusetts, Usa
Level Contributor
8 posts
10 reviews
10. Re: 1st time sailing in the grenadines

That's great! I'm sure our paths will cross many times. We will be in Bequia on March 27.

Will you be ending your trip in Grenada?

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