Grenadines

cura20140610As an absolute highlight and at the end of our Caribbean trip, we started on Feb 26 a sailing tour on the catamaran M/S Yemaya through the Grenadines.

I’ve heard about Grenada first time in 1985 when the US Army bombed and occupied Grenada. Grenada is an independent country in the Caribbean. And yes, the United States of America bombed, occupied Grenada and killed hundreds of civilians in 1985. Not a very glorious chapter in the US history!

The Grenadines are ca. 60 islands spread between St Vincent and Grenada each more tranquil than the next and each begging to be explored. Beaches stretch out before you and the pace of life slows to a crawl. Just the name The Grenadines evokes visions of exotic idyllic island life. Imagine an island chain in the heart of the Caribbean Sea uncluttered by tourist exploitation; with white sand beaches on deserted islands, sky-blue water gently lapping the shore and barely a soul around. Most of the islands are not populated by humans but by turtles and iguanas and have wonderful sandy beaches with palms, turquoise sea water and gorgeous bays for snorkeling and diving.

After an overnight stay in Kingstown, St Vincent we arrived by ferry in Bequia. Bequia is a wonderful island with stunning beaches, a lot of restaurants and hotels. We started the tour in Port Elizabeth where a taxi driver of an open air pick up truck showed us the wonderful island. There are fine restaurants to dine in, shops that retained their local integrity and enough golden sand and blue water to make everybody happy. We have visited the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary where a single person is trying to save the lives of the young turtles which otherwise would finish in an excellent turtle soup prepared by the locals. The turtles are released when they are three.

In Bequia we started our sailing tour through the Grenadines on the sailing catamaran ‘Yemaya’ The skipper is Deep and the skipper assistant/chief is Malika, a Dutch couple who sail around in the Caribbean area. The catamaran is ca. 14 m long with four cabins. One is occupied by Deep and Malika and the other three can be hired by tourists. We have been lucky to be the only guests on this cruise.

The next stop was in Canouan where we have been greeted by a land turtle. Unfortunately the nicest road there is closed by a luxury hotel where one night is more expensive then the average yearly income of the locals.

Ask anyone who has been in hte Grenadines what their absolute highlight was and the reply will be the same: Tobago Cays. These are five small islands ringed with coastal reefs and offer some of the best diving and snorkeling. Free of any sort of development or resort, the islands sit firmly in a national park and are accessible only be boat. Rangers control that the rules are kept.

Andre was very happy to snorkel there and to admire to marvelous underwater world. On one of these island we had an excellent lobster dinner. We have been picked up with the motor boat. On the bottom of the ship the lobsters walked around. We’ve been brought to a place where locals prepared in a very basic ‘kitchen’ an excellent lobster with vegetables. Gorgeous!

On one of these islands some sequences of the movie ‘Pirate of the Caribbean’ with Johnny Depp have been produced.

After sailing again some hours we moored on Union Island. The top attraction there is the bar ‘Happy Island’. This is a quirky bar restaurant sat atop the reef in Clifton Harbor. The island and the house have been built by the owner with conch. The bar is only accessible via dinghy and is all set in the middle of the reef with the sound of the sea around you. One particular attraction was the kite surfers who gave a fantastic display of their skill as you drank and ate the evening away. Not cheap but definitely a bucket list type of experience. For sure one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean.

After six wonderful sailing days we took the ferry from Bequia to Kingstown, St Vincent. And yes we have spent as a stopover two days in St Vincent. Kingstown has a lot of traffic and is noisy. They have breakneck bus drivers and a nice botanical garden however with no explanations at all.

We can warmly recommend the cruise with Yemaya http://www.catamaransailing.holiday/. Deep is an excellent skipper and Malika treats you with delicious self-cooked dishes using local products. The boat is excellent too. Malika and Deep recommended us several activities and places to visit and everything was worth to be done or visited.

It was the right decision to cruise in the Grenadines with the catamaran at the end of the trip because this is the absolute highlight of an Caribbean trip.

And again, if you are on a large cruise ship you will not see the Grenadines at all because the water is too swallow. So don’t take the cruise ship for the Caribbean!

Here ends the blog about our trip in the Caribbean in January – Febraury 2014 time frame. Thank you for reading this blog and if you liked it please see our other blogs.

On Feb we took the plane form Kingstown, St Vincent toward Costa Rica. Please read the blog there.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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