After waiting for calmer weather and attending to some repairs in Rodney Bay, we set sail again, direction Bequia, the Northmost island of the Grenadines. From Rodney Bay, we'd have to sail the whole length of the island of Saint-Lucia (20-25 miles protected by the island), through the channel between Saint-Lucia and Saint-Vincent (20 miles) open to waves, current and stronger winds, then along the island of Saint-Vincent (another 20 miles protected) and finally close in to Bequia (10 miles or so).

Destination Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines

That made for a lot of miles, so we set off at 4 AM with the hope of reaching Bequia before sunset. With the wet conditions we got from Martinique, Yalçın even took out his cold weather foulies!

We started with 2 reefs in the main sail, ready for potential squalls but ended up shaking them out as the wind turned out to be quite light in the lee of the island. Seems like we can't ever get it right! We even had to motor a touch and lost a little bit of speed in that zone. Yalçın was hand-steering valiantly and I slept a good chunk of the morning.

When we reached the gap between the islands, the wind picked up again despite the warm sun. With excitement, we came into view of the green island of Saint-Vincent. We were overly excited as it is the place where the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were shot, and we had recently re-watched the whole series to celebrate our arrival in the zone.

As we sailed past the island, some gray clouds caught up with us from our back and it felt like we may get some squalls again. But luckily enough, they dissipated right before reaching us, and except around the sort of cape where we got more wind, it was overall very reasonable. We saw masts in the distance in the bays of Cumberland and Wallilabou, where we hoped we would stop on our way back up.

The cape gave us some winds but right after it died completely. This time, we turned on the engine as we still had hope to make it to the anchorage of Bequia before sunset. As we reached the small channel between islands, the wind straightened and we found ourselves motor-sailing close all to try to be the darkness.

The sunset and golden hour were gorgeous, but, spoiler, we didn't reach the bay in time. We did see the entrance in the fading light but we had to find a place to anchor at night which was a little inconvenient as Admiralty Bay is deep and quite crowded. The spot I had in mind on the chart was already taken by one of those tall mast sailing super yachts (like the one that confused me in Rodney Bay), so we went deeper closer to the town and ferry dock. We found a tight spot and Yalçın aced the drop right in the middle of 4 boats. I wouldn't say we were far from them, but we were equidistant. We had made it!


A lot of thought had gone into figuring out where and when to check in to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The country was the first one we visited with overtime fees, meaning you are charged extra for arriving at a certain time (from 4 to 6 PM or on Saturday afternoons or Sundays). Moreover, check-in facilities seemed to be closing and reopening in Saint-Vincent. Bequia had seemed like a good choice as long as we had arrived late enough to check in the next day. So naturally, the first thing we did on the day following our arrival was to figure out where and how to check in. It was Sunday morning, we were good!

The process was pretty straightforward with the customs and immigration in the same building, and soon after, we were having breakfast at the Maria's café, a cute place with a burgee-y nautical theme overlooking the bay. It felt well-deserved after all the trouble to get here, on this beautiful Grenadine island.

After withdrawing money and basic groceries in the main store, we went back to Tirb and decided to stay one more night to be able to visit the lovely town a little more. We had lunch at the boat and set off to find this hike that was mentioned in our cruising guidebook. Felt like we were finally getting this long-awaited island vacation!

The walk along the water from the city center, up a cliff and down to another beach was lovely. We rediscovered a lush green that reminded us of Panama, right behind the beach. The water though was extremely beautiful!

Water is definitely Yalçın approved!

Everything seemed so idyllic that when we wanted to leave for another island the next day, it seemed like our windlass wanted to take a vacation as well. It simply refused to function and retrieve the anchor: huge bummer!! We retrieved the anchor by hand and were grateful we were only anchored in 15 feet of depth. It was honestly not too hard, but the toll of such a breakage was mostly mental, at least at first.

Bye bye Bequia

On to Union Island

The day sailing to Union Island, the Southmost we will reach in the Caribbean, is enjoyable. Sunny, downwind - what else to ask for? I try to practice identifying the numerous Grenadine islands based on the chart - it's not as easy as it looks, at least for me! - Yalçın hand-steers and even catches up with a catamaran after hours of "racing" (turned out the cat just turned away to anchor in another island, so don't tell him :p).

Do you see this boat in the back? And this happy racer in the front?
Dancing on the deck in perfect sailing conditions
In sight of Chatham Bay
The Royal Clipper, the largest sailboat in the world

At around 3 PM, we arrive in sight of our final destination for this trip: Chatham Bay and one of the giant cruising sailboats, the Royal Clipper, awaits us there. The view was gorgeous! We almost forgot about the broken windlass, but it reminded itself as we needed to drop anchor. No big deal, we can drop manually too and there was plenty of room. Moreover, now we had a good excuse to stay here and enjoy for a little while!

A short video about Bequia

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