Visiting the Grenadines and St. Lucia on a catamaran
Our “crazy Captain Yves”, as he says of himself, is waiting for his new guests in the marina of Le Marin at Martinique. Together with the cook Magalie, Dirk and I, as well as two other German couples, are warmly welcomed on board. Will there be more of us? Zum deutschen Blog
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has room for 12 guests. It is almost 20 m long and has 8 cabins, all with private shower and toilet.
It seems that nobody else joins us, because now we are shown to our cabin. At the moment it is quite warm in there, but as soon as the engine is running, there is also air conditioning and the water can be heated and we get electricity for the mobile phones and what else you have to charge as a traveller.
Before dinner, we are all told about the safety precautions. Captain Yves, originally from France, speaks English with us, Magalie only French. How good that I practiced a bit on Martinique.
Our fellow passengers are a bit jetlagged, because they only “flew in” today, while we were already on Martinique for the last three days. So it will be a short evening. We get going with the darkness and sail through almost all night and we also spend the next day sailing.
It’s wonderful! The wind blows around our noses, who likes, may also take the steering wheel. The sails are operated automatically, so we can really enjoy our journey.
We leave St. Lucia at port side, to our left, and we also pass St. Vincent. We are very lucky to be able to see the 1220 m high and still active volcano La Soufriere completely! Even Captain Yves takes photos, normally it is always shrouded in clouds.
In the evening we anchor in front of the celebrity island
We can go ashore, but we are only allowed to move to the beach bar “Basil’s Bar“, the rest is closed to uninvited persons and privately owned. We take a cocktail, but among the guests I do not recognize any of the “beautiful and rich” who have their properties here. Who cares, the six of us have fun!
Very early in the morning the sails are set, and the engine starts. In the late morning we ´ll arrive at
another island of the archipelago of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We anchor at Salt Whistle Bay, where we each take the snorkeling equipment to swim near the rocks, where there are lots of fish and also corals. Many corals are still intact here, but the coral bleaching has already left its victims. The Caribbean Sea is simply too warm due to global warming.
Our good soul Magalie has prepared a picnic for all of us. Yves brings us all ashore with the dinghy and arranges the food under the palm trees for us. Drinking coconuts have already been ordered for us and are now wonderfully refreshing. Of course, the obligatory rum punch must not be missed. A bit poured into the coconut, gives a very special taste …
Various dogs are already looking forward to our leftovers, they are waiting very nicely until they get their share. Various birds are a bit cheeky; they don’t wait to be invited, but instead try to steal the food from our plates.
The midday heat and the rum punch make us feel a bit sluggish, so we spend the time quite lazy in the “Last Bar Before the Jungle”.
Yves gave us the tip to follow the only road here. It goes uphill, but from above we have a fantastic view from the small village church over the island. A little further on, the world’s best Pina Colada, as Yves told us, will be served in “Roberts Bar “. Of course, we must test this. The rustic bar is marked with signatures of its guests everywhere and so we join in this custom.
Terrifying on the island is the incredible drought. It has not rained at Mayreau for many months and the freshwater tanker was not here for a long time. Everybody is waiting for the rain. Our catamaran has a desalination plant on board, which is always in operation while the engine is running. Yves therefore leaves some canisters of fresh water here. We can easily take a quicker shower, if it helps the nice people on the island.
After a Caribbean BBQ on shore, which was preordered for us, we fall saturated on our beds, listening to the reggae music, that can be heard quietly from the beach. The gentle swinging of the boat makes us sleep soon.
Immediately after the wonderful breakfast we drive a short distance around Mayreau and reach paradise. As it seems to me at least. This color of the sea! All colors of turquoise! The
do everything to inspire us incredibly. Yves asks us, if we go snorkeling now, to put on T-shirts and to use sun cream only where it is absolutely necessary, because the sunscreen also helps to cause the corals to die.
We do this and are soon welcomed by several large rays.
Near one of the small islands we can see great corals and lots of colorful fish and some turtles.
But what really fascinates me most, are the incredible blue shades of the water! This is how everybody imagines the Caribbean, but this is rarely the case. Of course we are lucky that the sky also plays along and only few clouds can be seen.
Two stops on our journey through St. Vincent and the Grenadines are still missing. The first is
It is a larger island; the main town is Port Elizabeth. And there, in the middle of the harbor, with many other boats and yachts, we anchor. We have only about 2 hours to explore the island or rather the port area.
To our right, there are two beaches, the way there leads via stairs and a jetty along the mountain. It’s hot, incredibly hot. There’s no air and I feel suffocated. I let the other five walk along the beach and turn around. Instead I have a sorbet in a small ice cream parlor on the narrow waterfront. So at least from the inside I get a little cooler. I’m happy when Yves gets us back on the boat with the dinghy and we make our way to
the last stop on our catamaran trip through the Grenadines.
We sail for a long time and very early the next morning, the second last day of our journey, we see St. Lucia appearing at the horizon. The famous mountain top of the island, Le Petit Piton, is getting bigger and bigger until we turn into the bay of Soufriere shortly afterwards. Here the captain leaves us on board, as he has to have our passports approved by the port authorities to enter the island. We have left St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We enter a new country, St. Lucia, which belongs to the Lesser Antilles.
We have a quiet breakfast, but what is that? The sun disappears, the Petit Piton disappears into the clouds and then it starts! It pours out of all clouds, soon only the surrounding area of the catamaran can be seen. Even the town has disappeared in the heavy rain. And we were so looking forward to St. Lucia and the volcanoes. But all people here awaited the first rain in months. I only hope that the clouds will also make it to the small islands, which have virtually no groundwater.
Only around noon Yves appears again, completely soaked. We are allowed to enter the island. The rain just stops, and we are looking forward to our tour. At first, we go to the mud baths of the active volcano, the Sulphur baths. It is extremely overcrowded here and none of us feels the urge to undress and jump into the mud.
We skip this part of the tour and drive instead to the fumaroles of the volcano. Here a ranger explains to us how hot the water comes out of the earth and how active the volcano still is.
After a short drive, we stop at Piton Falls, a warm waterfall. Here, too, you could bathe, but we would rather continue as long as it doesn’t rain.
We have an hour to walk around Soufriere on our own. Many old houses can be found here. We enjoy a latte and the view of the Petit Piton from the “Petit Peak Restaurant“.
We want to visit the Botanical Garden next, but we hardly sit in the minibus and the rain starts again. In no time there is nothing to see and we drive through the mountains like through a cotton wall.
Too bad, I would have liked to see more of this island. It is very green, and where there is no agriculture or houses, there is an almost impenetrable rainforest.
Yves is waiting for us at Marigot Bay. The few meters from the bus to the boat are enough to make us wet down to the skin. The rain is sufficient at least!
We are very happy that we are only six guests on board. Twelve people wouldn’t find a dry spot to sit down for a few minutes and drink the mandatory rum punch. Purely therapeutic it is, just to prevent a cold…
The next morning, we continue towards Martinique. It rains again and again. We anchor in front of Martinique until the last morning. Yves puts us back on land with the dinghy. The place is Sainte Anne with its cute shops and the long, fine sandy beach.
The last evening with our hosts Yves and the wonderful Magalie passes like in flight.
For the next morning we ordered a rental car to the port. We still have the whole day before our flight goes back.
We spend it in
Fort de France
the capital of Martinique. We stroll through the city center at the harbor. It’s good that I put an umbrella in my bag. One rain shower chases the next. Unfortunately, somebody steals my umbrella in the first boutique that we enter. There is only one broken one left in the umbrella stand. Someone probably wanted to dispose his and quickly have a new one.
This is how our sailing tour through the Grenadines ends!