Mustique and Canouan

The Bible for sailors in the Windward Islands (Martinique to Grenada) is the “2011-2012 Sailors Guide to the Windward Islands” by Chris Doyle.  It’s 5-star rated and about $20 on Amazon.com.  Don’t leave your anchor without reading it for essential local area knowledge.

Secondly, you can find an exceptionally well written chart briefing by Philip Bernard at Barefoot Yacht Charters http://www.barefootyachts.com/html/chart_briefing.html
He’s a world class sailor; heed all his navigation advice!

Mustique

The island of Mustique is a marine park and so fishing or removal of anything from the waters surrounding the island is illegal.

This exclusive private island is well known for a retreat for the lucky rich and famous inhabitants, and thankfully it’s open to sailors who can enjoy the pristine beaches. If you dislike urban hassle and vendor hustle and you like pristine beaches where most often there is not a human being in sight, then tarry here for a day or two.  From the main anchorage it’s a leisurely 25-minute stroll south to Lagoon Bay, where you’ll find your own private picnic areas with wooden umbrellas and tables.

There’s plenty of hiking and snorkeling and you can ride horses at sunset (by arrangement).

Nav notes:  It is mandatory to pick up a mooring buoy in the harbor of Britannia Bay, and pay a fee.  The most comfortable spot is just south of the small cargo ship dock (the anchorage can get a bit “rolly” if there are swells out of the north-east – in which case it’s a good idea to set bow and stern anchors).

You must stay clear of Montezuma Shoal about half mile west of Britannia Bay.  When we were there it had a large black and red mark on it – we think the only mark of its kind in the Grenadines (but the next hurricane may blow it away).

Places we like:
Basil’s Bar for drinks and ambiance: Basil’s Bar lays claim to one on the top 10 tiki bars in the Caribbean, but they are coasting on their status.   You may see a celeb in there. We spotted Kelly Ripa (and we’re not even paparazzi).  Soak up the ambiance, look for celebrities, and confine yourself to a few drinks, as the food is over-rated and over-priced.

Go to Firefly for dinner.
It used to be one of the great private villas of Mustique. It’s perched halfway up the hillside overlooking the anchorage, and is stunningly beautiful.  Best of all, the food is first-rate and the prices are moderate.

Canouan

Skip Canouan on your way south because you really want to get to the Tobago Cays.
Charlestown Bay is the main harbor – a bit industrial when compared to the rest of the islands.  Visit it as a “convenience” northbound if you need an intermediary stop between Mayreau and Bequia.  There are restaurants and minimal provisions on shore, but frankly we usually cook on board.

Nav notes:
The approach to Charlestown Bay takes you through two markers with about 300 yards between them. Don’t try and take a short cut! Head towards the hotel jetty and pick up a mooring there – you may be charged around $US 15 for the night. In the unlikely event that the moorings are full, do NOT anchor in this area.  Tuck well up into the north-eastern corner – and always put out two bow anchors.  It may be “rolly”.

[sail on to Mayreau]

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