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Top 10 Islands in the Grenadines: A Sailor’s Paradise

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The Grenadines are a group of islands between St Vincent and Grenada in the Windward Islands and most of the island make up the country of St Vincent and the Grenadines, but the southern few are part of Grenada. From a sailor’s perspective this is one of the best locations in the entire Caribbean and I have described it to potential guests as a wilder and more authentic British Virgin Islands with some Bahamas thrown in. With that said, lets jump in as I share my top ten Grenadines islands.

10. Palm Island

If you have been a guest of this private resort then I am sure it will be much higher on your personal list, but the reality is cruisers and charterers are not allowed to enjoy this beautiful island. There is good snorkeling on the reefs surrounding the island, but the anchorage is rolly and not high on my list of places I want to spend the night.

9. Canouan Island

I think if this island was elsewhere it would be more sought after, but being in the Grenadines means it comes in at #9. Charlestown Bay offers good protection, but there have been theft issues in the past. The island itself can be broken up into three parts. The northern part is all private communities and you are not allowed to even walk there, the middle stretch is your typical Caribbean village, the southern part is dominated by the airport and marina.

8. Petite Martinique & St Vincent Islands

These twin islands are a contrast in many ways even though they are separated by half a mile. Petite St Vincent is part of St Vincent and the Grenadines and is one of the most exclusive resorts in the Caribbean, but cruisers are allowed ashore to use the restaurant and bar. Petite Martinique on the other hand is home to a local village and part of Grenada. Smuggling has been a part of the culture on this island for centuries and there is a story of a cop that sailed over to arrest someone, but waited since the entire village was at a funeral. He asked who it was for and they told him it was his funeral. Needless to say he left without the arrest. 

Southern Caribbean In Focus: Grenadines
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7. Ronde Island

Being the southernmost island it is often overlooked, but there is one anchorage on the leeward side that is wonderful…in settled weather. Ashore you can find watermelon farmers and to the west the Seven Sisters are good for snorkeling. Diamond rock is tall and impressive. Just make sure you are not around if the submerged volcano, Kick ‘Em Jenny, three miles away, has any activity.

 Stores in Mustique
Stores in Mustique

6. Mustique Island

Another private island, but this one is accommodating to visiting yachties. This island has many homes owned by famous people. Moorings are available in Britania Bay and I enjoyed the snorkeling in the bay. Ashore you can enjoy the beach, walk through the local’s village, take a golf cart tour of the island, and enjoy the local watering hole, Basil’s Bar. The only downside is that island access, which does include the mooring, is $75 whether you use it for one day or three.

Sandy Island, Carriacou
Sandy Island, Carriacou

5. Carriacou Island

This is another island of Grenada and the nearby, deserted Sandy Island alone puts this place towards the top of my list. The friendly town of Hillsborough, well protected Tyrrel Bay, and mangrove pond tour just kick it even higher.

Happy Island, Union
Happy Island, Union

4. Union Island

This is the kite surfing capital of the eastern Caribbean. I personally like using the anchorage at the town of Clifton because of the barrier reef you moor behind, but other cruisers like the quieter Chatham Bay. Ashore I enjoy spending time at the day resort on the north side at Richmond Bay and walking along the ill-conceived marina to get to Frigate Island. But how can you not visit the island on the reef with a guy made out of conch shells called Happy Island? Awesome!

Mayreau Church
Mayreau Church

3. Mayreau Island

One of those places that has nothing, but you spend all day seeing that nothing. Salt Whistle Bay is a wonderful, but crowded anchorage with an amazing beach resort. From here you can walk up the hill to town where everyone seems to want to greet you. The church, and view from it, is well worth the walk up to it. The road will eventually take you down to the other anchorage of Saline Bay.

Turtles in Bequia
Turtles in Bequia

2. Bequia Island

One of my favorite islands because of how much such a tiny place packs into it. This island has a whaling past and you can see that in it to this day. The museum is informative and the Whale Bone Restaurant has bar stools made of whale vertebra. Boat building is another past that shows its roots in the present and the model museum is worth a stop. Take selfies with turtles at the turtle sanctuary and during a tour of the Firefly Estate you will try different fruits right off the tree. Finish the day off with a walk along the Belmont Boardwalk. 

From the hill top in Tobago Cays
From the hill top in Tobago Cays

1. Tobago Cays

Five small islets and a dozen reefs make up one of most beautiful anchorages in the Caribbean. Image anchoring in 10 feet of crystal-clear water behind the protective Horseshoe Reef while you watch sea turtles surface all around you. The other major reef here is called World’s End Reef, because your next stop is Africa. Between two of the islets there is a protected beach that is very popular for beach BBQs hosted by various boat boys.

Capt. Shane has spent the last 12 years cruising and running charters around the Caribbean. Now he and 1st Mate Lily are busy exploring the Western Caribbean/Central America. Join the adventure at svGuidingLight on the web or social media.

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Shane McClellan
Shane McClellanhttp://www.svguidinglight.com
Visit www.svGuidingLight.com to read more from Captain Shane about the Bahamas, Caribbean, life aboard, and more.

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