[Dominica] [Martinique] [St Lucia] [Grendadines] [Grenada] Jun-Jul 1993
The Windward Islands are further from the US, and thus a little more laid-back and 'Island-Time' is more established.
A pretty, underdeveloped island we enjoyed the laid-back Happy Hour at the Coconut Beach Hotel and went on a mangrove tour with 'Adventure Eric', a father of 3 who was going to get married 'some day'. The capital city of Rousseau was pretty shabby and we were glad we had chosen to anchor in the northern part of the island near the hotel.
Another French island, Martinique is a province of Paris, and baguettes were once again available. In 1902 Mt Pele, the main volcano erupted, and killed 30,000 people in the town of St Pierre - a disaster that could have been avoided if people had listened to the experts rather the the mayor who was trying to avoid panic. The town still has the ruins of the buildings from 90 years earlier.
A fairly prosperous island with a full-service marina, we drove around the island is search of the sights - and found a smoldering mud pool and lots of beaches. Entering the anchorage in Marigot Bay was fascinating - it is reputed that Lord Nelson hid an entire fleet in the bay invisible from the sea and eyes of the French Navy.
St Vincent had a reputation for aggressive boat-boys, so we gave it a miss - regretably since others who stopped found it delightful. Bequia is an island full of craftsmen - one can buy exquisite models of sailing craft from the carvers on ex-whaling station. In fact, they still have the right to go after whales if they feel the need. The other craft of note is batik, and we succumbed and bought a few pieces - just to help the local economy.
This is a rich, private island with multi-million dollar houses belonging to the rich and famous - Mick Jagger, Princess Margaret, David Bowie and the like. We ogled the homes and the well-tended golf course before mooring near the waterfront restaurant.
Canouan was a small, dusty island with some subsistence fishing, a little development, and not much else. The Tobago Cays however, were the cat's meow! We loved that we could anchor in 10' of clear water, and swim to the edge of the reef and see spectacular coral - the best we ever saw in the Caribbean. A small lobster found its way onto our spear for a snack. Enterprising boat-boys would run fresh bread and frozen milk out from Union Isl. to sell to the cruisers and charter boats.
These small islands had little to commend them - we spent a day at each and we moved south to get out of the hurricane belt before September.
It was fascinating to watch the local craftsmen build 45' boats on the beach, selecting shaped branches for the curved parts of the boats so they would not have to bend them.
Grenada had recently been 'liberated' by American forces from Cubans, and it was interesting. Surprisingly, several natives approached us and thanked us for the US intervention. We spent 2 weeks in Secret Harbour, and found it delightful! The people were nice, the cattle woke us with their mooing in the mornings, and cruisers met on Hog Island on weekends for a barbeque and fun and games. We visited spice plantations and distilleries and bought some of the worst rum imaginable. Finally, an overnighter took us to Los Testigos,an island of Venezuela
Unfortunately we have NO pictures of these beautiful islands because of the loss of our storage locker in the USA.