Crowded Caribbean

Thursday 21st March 2019

View of Marigot Bay from the resort

Today’s stop is Marigot Bay, a very pretty, extremely protected inlet on the west coast of St Lucia. It is wonderfully still and the perfect place to give Raya a bit of love and attention and prepare for our friends who arrive on Saturday. However it is crowded, hooked up to our mooring ball, we are at times, as we all swing in the gentle breeze, no more than 3m from our neighbours. We knew that this is how things are in the Caribbean but the reality is still a bit of a shock.

Crowded mooring field at Marigot Bay

It’s not just the anchorages we are finding busy, sailing up the coast of the islands there is a steady stream of yachts coming towards us, requiring constant vigilance. Cruise boats disgorge their occupants into the small towns and beaches, and local ‘boat boys’ whiz around offering you everything from help hooking up to a mooring to live lobsters.

The crowds are here. of course. because the Caribbean has a lot going for it. The islands are beautiful, the sea is clean and warm, restaurant and bars are everywhere and the climate is near perfect.

We spent two days off Sandy Bay enjoying the classic Caribbean view, we still had plenty to do to get Raya straight after two months at sea but the anchorage was a bit too rolly to comfortably get things done. So we relaxed, strolled in the soft white sand and snorkelled in the shallows where shoals of tiny fish filled the water.

Lovely beach on Sandy Island

Each group of islands in the Caribbean are different countries, which makes for a lot of checking in and checking out with officials. Sandy Island and Carriacou are still part of Grenada, to move on we had to get our clearance papers. Tyrell Bay, just a couple of miles away had a customs office and first thing Monday we were waiting at the door so we could clear out and set sail for the island of Bequia, part of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The prevailing winds here, at this time of year, are still dominated by the trades, so generally come from the north east or east. As we are travelling north through the islands we are sailing mostly into the wind which is unusual for us and has taken a bit of getting use to, but Raya seems to like it and the 40nm sail to Bequia was fast and exhilarating.

The anchorage when we arrived was very busy and the only area free meant trying to drop the anchor in one of the few patches of sand between a mass of sea grass. It took us three tries before we were happy that the anchor had set firmly, it was reassuring, especially during the night, to have our anchoring App on my iPad to warn us if we started to drag,

Busy Bay at a Port Elizabeth, Bequia

Bequia was one of our favourite places as we sailed south three years ago and although this time the island had been invaded by the passengers of a cruise ship, ashore it still had a charming and friendly feel to it. For lunch we revisited Jack’s, a beach bar right on the sand and just a minute or so dingy ride from the boat, a great spot to eat and swim.

The next morning we sailed on, passing by the stunning scenery of St Vincent and on to St Lucia. It was another nice trip with varying conditions keeping things interesting. In the channel between the islands, open to Atlantic Ocean, we had plenty of wind which again made for fast and fun sailing but in the lea of the islands the wind dropped and the sea calmed giving us time to make lunch, have a cup of tea and enjoy the view.

A shower threatens over the stunning Mountains of St Vincent

The marina in Marigot Bay is part of the Marigot Bay Resort which means we have access to its restaurants and swimming pools. Once we’ve stopped scrubbing and polishing and if we can find the space to park the dingy we’ll go and see what it has to offer.

8 thoughts on “Crowded Caribbean

  1. I’m really loving following your adventures. I sat next to a couple at the Antigua test who were born British, are now Australian because that’s where they ran out of money in Fremantle whilst sailing and never went back. They have an Oyster and are on an extended trip having sold up everything and having started at the same time as you from the UK! They did ask after you but didn’t know your boat. Made me feel quite envious ( again)! We stayed at that resort in Marigot Bay ( late booking, nowhere else) two years ago. You are right, very busy. We didn’t really like it tbh but the facilities are brilliant. We particularly liked the rum bar, next to the water, and spent every evening with a glass of wine looking at the yachts! Btw there is a brilliant restaurant on the other side of the bay called, I think, the rainforest?? Oh and the curry house is amazing as well!

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    • Thanks Liz, agree about the resort but try not to criticise too much in the blog. Thanks for the tip on the restaurants thinking of going for a curry this weekend. Difficult to believe our adventure is nearly over, we are due to arrive back in the uk in July, not sure how we will cope! Sounds like on FB that you are having quite a few of your own adventures. X

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  2. Have a pleasent flight and transfer to Raya Phil & Julia. Give us a wave all you guys, not forgetting the crew of course!!!!!
    Enjoy your sailing adventure
    Fond wishes
    Diane & Len xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope you had pleasent fight & transfer to the Crew of Raya, Phil & Julia.
    Enjoy your sailing adventure.
    Give us a wave when you have time
    Fond wishes
    Len & Diane xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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