We are very lucky to have experienced one of the most popular cruising grounds almost entirely to ourselves. With hurricane season approaching, current travel restrictions and the recent volcano eruption in St.Vincent only very few visitors were still around in the SVGs. Anchorages usually crowded with hundreds of boats were now empty and only Porky lied isolated at anchor in this magical tourquoise clear water among picture-perfect sandy islands covered with palm tress.
We’ve also noticed some differences compared to previously visited countries. Not only are the islands here much smaller and only inhabited by a few thousand people, if inhabited at all, but the local infrastructure is limited to the basic needs. Supermarkets are tiny and only offer a small choice of mostly local products, street vendors sell fresh produce and at small gas stations you can refill fuel and water.
For us this is a welcoming introduction into off-grid traveling. On other islands we were always able to buy food that we were used to from home in Europe and didn’t really have to change our diet much. If the water and fuel tanks were empty, there was always a gas station nearby, so we didn’t really have to watch our consumption. In the Grenadines, however, we were experimenting with what we can buy locally and also prepared and rationed better to be able to spend weeks without needing to resupply. It’s a fun challenge to be self-sufficient that we enjoy not only because of the cost efficiency but mostly because we learn more about ourselves and our comfort zones.
We’ve also noted the livelier sealife in this area. Sadly climate change and pollution show their impact in this paradise too. Although healthier than in other regions, coral reefs and many endangered species are dying. Wherever we look, we always see plastic trash, dead coral fields and other sad consequences of human pollution and climate change. Luckily some areas are now protected marine parks, which helps to preserve the environment by controlling fishing activities, boat traffic, tourism and pollution.
The beauty of the underwater world we are surrounded with is definitely worth protecting. Many turtles, sting rays, spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks, many different reef fish, and the largest schools of fish we’ve ever seen, barracudas, starfish, giant lobsters, huge porcupine fish, and many more fascinating marine life roam the waters of the Grenadines. Especially the size of coral reefs with their stunning variety of colorful hard and soft corals blew us away when we were drifting past it in strong currents during our scuba dive.
So far we always felt welcomed in all countries, but people we met in the Grenadines were particularly friendly towards us. We’ve been given extra fruits at the local market, been invited for delicious dinner and rum shots, a beach bar only opened for us and we’ve been told interesting stories about the local life. Never ever did we feel unsafe or unwelcomed on any of the Grenadines (except of the private island of Petit St.Vincent, which is closed to any visitors due to Covid protocols).
Being our favorite country so far it’s hard to pick any specific highlights. We definitely enjoyed Bequia where we made many friends and hung out with other cruisers.
Having the Tobago Cays completely to ourselves felt unreal and we enjoyed the snorkeling with plenty of marine life.
Our favorite anchorage was Salt Whistle Bay in Mayreau surrounded by one of the most beautiful sandy beaches and walking distance to a great kitesurfing spot.
We also liked the flat kite spot in Frigate Island on Union Island where we spent some time with fellow kitesurfers and we almost went out on the water every day.
We can also recommend diving with Glenroy who runs Grenadines Dive based in Clifton. He took us out on a thrilling drift dive in Mayreau Gardens, which fascinated us with its massive, diverse coral fields and plenty of fish to observe.
All in all the SVGs are simply awesome for cruising and our favorite island group to visit in the Eastern Caribbean!