Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Grenadines

Grenadines (St Vincent)
St Vincent - 133sq miles 18 mi long x 11mi wide population est 97,638
Bequia - 7 sq miles, population est 4,861, 9 miles from SV
    pronounced Beckway
Mustique (Moustique) - 2sq miles, population est 552 private island, 17 miles from SV
Canouan - 3.2 sq miles, population est.1,165, 29 miles from SV
     pronounced Canawon
Mayreau - 1 sq miles population est 254, 35 miles from SV
     pronounced Mayroo or Myroo -both are used by locals
Tobago Cays - scattering of 5 atolls, no population 
Union - 3 sq miles, population est 1,935 including Palm and PSV, 36 miles from SV
Palm - resort island, see Union
Petit St Vincent (PSV) - private island, see Union
Grenadines (Grenada) included but not included in The Grenadines depending on who you talk to
Petite Martinique 
     pronounced Carriacoo

The Grenadines are basically a mini-archipelago made up of volcanic islands, coral reefs and sandy patches.  Despite the smallness of islands and difficulty in getting here via conventional travel, it is a very popular cruising destination for charter boats, full time cruisers, kite surfers, divers and snorkelers.  The rich and famous also jet in on private planes to uber posh boutique resorts - Mustique and such.
One of many, many reefs

On a personal level, anchoring behind a reef is somewhat new to us since we skipped the Bahamas on the way down.  We have done it a few times but not that much.  It's still astonishing that we can find shelter behind a tiny little reef that may or may not stick up a foot or two above the water.  Seriously? There are so many, many reefs here, it's amazing.  To me, it's weird to nose right up tight to the edge of a reef and drop the anchor.  While the sound of the surf tumbling on the reefs during the day is soothing - given the picture perfect- postcard setting, at night it's a tad....exciting to hear that same surf very near by in the dark.  
Yachts anchored behind a reef
Reefs, reefs and more reefs.  Rocks awash as well.  
Water and fuel are limited and expensive - we have big tanks and a watermaker so this is not an issue
Limited repair services - we are good for now....fingers crossed
Provisioning is limited to small shops and an occasional fruit and veg vendor - they charge more
Restaurants charge more
Boat boys
Limited connectivity - cell and wifi - what's new

Turquoise waters
Sandy beaches
Stunning sunrises and sunsets
Snorkeling and scuba diving
Post card perfect settings
Nice boat boys 
Endless boat and people watching possibilities 
Friendly locals
Turtles, dolphins, whales, fish

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