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Old 08-31-2010
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Smile Chartering sailing in St Lucia & Grenadines

I am taking a trip in October with some friends to the Grenadines. This will be my second bareboat charter trip to that area. My last charter was out of St. Vincent with Barefoot Yachts and of course Moorings and Sunsail also charter in that area. As I was doing my research for this trip, I came across Destination St Lucia Yachting (DSL Yachting). This outfit is owned by a very friendly couple in Rodney Bay, St Lucia, and they have a good selection of charter boats, both monohull and catamaran. They are sailing enthusiasts who have been in business well over a decade, and they have a good reputation. While St Lucia is a little further north than some of the other charter locations, Sandra has been very accommodating and has had some good suggestions for us to optimize our trip. Also, St Lucia is known to be an extremely friendly island, and also has some great scuba diving. I will be chartering a 46' Bahia catamaran from DSL, and the boat has a number of features that Moorings doesn't provide, such as a water-maker for desalinization. Their prices are very reasonable relative to Moorings and Sunsail, their boats are generally on the newer side, and I am told that they actually maintain their boats better than the big outfits. So far Sandra (one of the two owners) has been amazingly helpful and great to deal with, so I am quite excited about the charter. I wanted to report to the forum on this because in doing my own research on the Grenadines I found that there just isn't a lot of info like there is in the BVI, and DSL Yachting seems to be a gem-in-the-rough. Perhaps I'll post again on other things I find that would be helpful after the trip.

Last edited by donahuj; 08-31-2010 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 08-31-2010
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It's been a long time since I was on the western shore of St. Vincent. Things have not improved in the interim. Are you planning on stopping at Cumberland or Wallilabou?
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Old 08-31-2010
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Thanks for your note Rick. I am planning on bypassing St Vincent all-together due to the crime on the western shore. It's a shame about the crime problem, as St Vincent is a beautiful island. We will head directly to Bequia and then, after a quick stop at Mustique, onto Canouan, then 2-3 days in Togabo Cays, maybe a day in Petit St Vincent / Mopion, and then on our way back up, with another stop in Bequia on the way up. Let me know if you have any good tips.

By the way, one other thing I've learned doing the research for this trip regards scuba diving. My last trip to the Grenadines was in 2002 and at the time I brought my own gear and rented tanks. Since then a number of the islands / reserve parks have prohibited diving without a guide. Now guided dives are required in St Lucia and the Tobago Cays at a minimum. It's possible to do un-guided dives on St Vincent and Bequia, though most of the dives on Bequia don't have mooring balls and are drift dives, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to rent your own gear. I'll report back on my experience with the different dive outfits after the trips. Prices seem to be higher than I'm accustomed to, but I guess the economy has made it tough on these operators and they don't typically have a lot of customers daily, so they need to be able to make money, of course.
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Old 08-31-2010
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A few ideas:
- Mayreau in the Grenadines is worth a stop - lovely anchorage and a nice island it walk around with a couple of nice restaurants.
- We stopped for a night at Walliabou (sp?) and it was nice. Have to take a line ashore (or let a boat boy) as it is very deep. There were about ten boats there, all close together so it was pretty safe.
- Passage from Bequia to St Vincent can be nasty - but I guess you know that
- If you are there on Sunday, there is a cruisers`gathering at the Yacht Club
at Rodney Bay. It was a nice meet.
- In Bequia, holding is not very good on the north side of the bay while it is excellent over by the beach (although it is further to town); the turtle sanctuary on the other side of the island is worth a viist, especially if you have kids with you. Could take a cab but it is a good walk too - with a decent restaurant to stop for a brew on the way back.

Have fun.
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Old 08-31-2010
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Thanks Killarney Sailor. Any recommendations on specific restaurants on Mayreau would be appreciated if you can recall. Thanks for the tip on anchorage in Bequia.

Any tips from others out there in the sailing community on any recent happenings or things to be aware of in the Grenadines would be much appreciated, and I'll continue to post as I have more recommendations as well. Grenadines is such a beautiful cruising ground, it's a shame there is less available on the Internet on the Grenadines than other more sailed locations. Of course, the Doyle cruising books are always a great help.
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Old 09-01-2010
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Not sure what "info" you are looking for - but Doyle's Cruising Guide for the Windwards has all the basic stuff & more. Available thru many sources including big on-line stores - don't get thrown by the Trini / Tobago label in link
Cruising Guide to Trinidad and Tobago

His website also has lots of info & links + updates to Guides from sailors
Doyleguides site lobby

Another source would be TTOL - So. Carib Forum - more than a few sailors providing trip reports & exchanging info on SVG including a few that make the leap from St. Lucia - scroll & search away
Traveltalkonline: Viewing forum: Southern Caribbean

One popular (even though a little dated) is the Usual Suspects
The Usual Suspects - Destination: The Grenadines

Other than that - google away
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Old 09-01-2010
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The restaurant we liked on Mayreau was a Rastafarian seafood one (can't remember the name but it is on the main road in town).

You might also want to check Activecaptain.com for reviews of anchorages - a bit thin in the Caribbean but still useful.

I looked at your route again and noticed you plan to stop in Canouan. We spent a miserable rolly night there and it wasn't even windy or with much of a northerly swell. Moorings have taken over the corner of the harbour where you might get a bit of protection from the swell. We were not far off this and it was miserable. No reason not to go the few extra miles into Mayreau or Tobago Cays.
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Old 09-01-2010
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ks
Do You mean Righteous Robert on Mayreau?
Robert Righteous

There is also a bar & restaurant that is part of the small resort at Salt Whistle Bay which is a wonderful anchorage as long as not packed

Info - also check out the SVG Tourism site which is getting better
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Old 09-01-2010
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It is indeed Robert. The restaurant at Salt Whistle looked interesting but was a bit pricey (or a lot) for a full-time cruiser on a limited budget.
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Old 09-02-2010
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Thanks so much Chuteman and Killarney Sailor for the great info. This is really helpful and we're quite excited about the trip down this time. By the way, do either of you happen to know about mooring fees for a day stop only at Mustique? It appears that their mooring fee is 200 EC for 1-3 nights but I couldn't find anything regarding if one is to just make a few hour stop. Happy sailing!
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