Sailing Yacht SEA BUNNY

Caribbean

Our return trip through the Caribbean

We returned to the Caribbean in Tobago in August 2016. This page covers anchorages and passages from then.

Depths shown in his secton are given as at the time of anchoring/mooring. With a tidal range of <0.5 m, this does not make a lot of difference!


Man of War Bay, Tobago

Anchorage

Anchorage location 11° 19'.7 N, 060° 33'.2 W. 19 m Anchor came up clean

 

Man of War Bay is the main anchorage for Charlotteville.

Charlotteville is a delightful, friendly and low-key village. Facilities are limited but include a very active daily fish market, a service station for diesel and petrol, a few small restaurants and bars and a small supermarket.

The service station is situaled on the road that runs along the beach. It is easy to take the dinghy to the beach and carry jerrycans across the road. Prices are much low but according to a sign volumes are limited to 100 l at a time, although we had no difficulty getting 120 l. However, do not rely on supplies being available as they frequently run out.

Buses run from the beach road beside the service station to Tobago's main town, Scarborough. Tickets are bought from the supermarket.

The ATM at Charlotteville seldom has money. Customs may change money for you at TTD 6 to the USD. There are ATMs in Scarborough. You also need to go to Scarborough to get a SIM card. It is work borrowing a SIM to check whether your phone is compatible with the 4G system used here. Ours wasn't and would only get 2G. We had to buy a new handset.

Pirates Bay, round the headland immediately to the east of the village is a sandy beach ideal for sundowners and beach barbeques.

To visit other bays in Tobago or for a passage to Trinidad you must obtain permission from customs and immigration. The authorities in Charlotteville cover Tobago from Speyside on the E coast, around the north to Castara (we think) on the W coast. To visit the other half of Tobago requires permission from the authorities in Scarborough. The clearance from customs to leave Man of War Bay is valid for 4 hours and your clearance from immigration is valid for 24 hours.

Englishman's Bay, Tobago

Anchorage location 11° 17'.57 N, 060° 40'.32 W. 12 m

Anchored Englishman's Bay

Englishman's Bay is a pleasant anchorage some 7 nM west of Man of War Bay and is a useful stopping off point to allow a daytime passage to Chaguaramas in Trinidad.

Beach

As well as a good sandy beach there is a gift shop and cafe/guesthouse. There is road access.

Powerboats, Charuaramas, Trinidad

 

Initial berth location 10° 40'.83 N, 061° 38'.03 W. Berth A5

When a yacht arrives in Chaguaramas you must visit Customs and Immigration, even if already checked in in Tobago. The offices are located at Crews Inn marina a short way south of Powerboats and on the other side of the creek. There is a short-term dock at the end of the wall where the restaurants and lighthouse are (10° 40'.78 N, 061° 37'.87 W). It's about a 20-minute walk from Powerboats or acouple of minutes by boat.

If you leave the country by air, leaving the boat on the hard, you have to get a letter from the yard that they take responsibility for the boat and take it to Customs. Immigration will them sign you of the crew list and give you a departure card for use at the airport.

 "A" dock at Powerboats is exposed to any swell and wash from passing boats - snubbers or nylon docklines are essential. The berths are stern-to with piles to attach the bow to.

Powerboats must rank as the most friendly and helpful yards we have been in in our circumnavigation. There are many resident contractors and several others approved to work in the yard. For approved contractors you get a quote from the contractor, the quote is registered with Powerboats office and you pay through Powerboats.

There is a small chandlery, mostly stocking maintenance items although they can import other items from the US. On the waterfront is a mini-market and Sails restaurant (fairly expensive). For cheapish lunches there ids the Roti Hut.

Free WiFi covers most of the yard - depending on loaction a booster antenna may be needed. There is an internet room with better coverage and network points. There is a VHF cruisers' information net on channel 68 daily at 0800.

The yard has storage lock-ups so you can move gear off the boat. When we were there they were all in use so we got space in a larger shared room to which access was controlled. Getting gear to and from the boat while on the hard is easy by forklift truck.

Tied down

Most insurers accept that Trinidad is south of the hurricane belt. Apparently only one has hit the island since 1853. However, our insurers (Pantaenius) reckon the SE limit of the risk area iis at 10°  N, 061° W so Powerboats lies within it. To maintain cover we had to have the stands welded together and the boat tied down to large concrete blocks. This was at additional cost. We only saw a couple of other boats where these precautions had been taken.

While your boat is on the hard (but not when it's in the water) you qualify for a "convenience card". This enables you to charge items purchased in the mini-market or chandlery to your powerboats account. The account, with these charges and contractors bills are settled in US dollars by default - but you can opt to pay in TTD.

In 2016 the Trinidad and Tobago government withdrew the facility for overseas yacht owners to purchase goods or services free of VAT, adding 13.5% to the cost of all work. This seems to have resulted in the loss of significant amounts of trade to Grenada. The facility is apparently to be restored in February 2017.

Outside the marina there is an ATM  outside Coral  Cove marina a short walk along the road. Apparently some people have had problems with this ATM but we did not. It is a Republic Bank "Blue Machine" and does not make a charge fro withdrawals. The large Budget Marine chandlery is next door, just a short walk. There is a larger mini-market at Crews Inn.

The OCC and SSCA port officer, Jesse James of Members Only, runs regular shopping trips by maxi-taxi to the main supermarkets and a Saturday one to the produce market in Port of Spain. He also arranges sightseeing trips.

If you need time in the water, before or after a lift-out, "C" dock, in the creek beside the yard, is more sheltered - and more expensive- than "A" dock.

Prickly Bay, Grenada

Mooring location 11° 59'.94 N, 061° 45'.8032 W. 8.9 m

On arrival in the rain we attempted to call Prickly Bay Marina with a view to getting a marina berth. There was no reply despite there apparently being people around the marina office. Not fancying doing a strern-to berthing in a cross-wind with no assistence we headed off and found a mooring.

Customs and Immigratipon are at the marina - very quick ,efficient and, compared to Trinidad, uncomplicated especially if data has been pre-entered on the Sailclear system

The mooring cost USD 18/night, but was charged in XCD (East Caribbean Dollars).

Prickly Bay Marina (PBM) has a restaurant (Tiki Bar) where various activities take place and where there is free WiFi for customers, with power points for your laptop. There is alaundry (not self service), which acts as agent for Henry's tours.

The Monday to Saturday VHF net on VHF 66 at 0730 is well supported and provides much information on what is going on. Boosters on this frequency make this widely available.

If you ventrue into the upper car park at PBM you will bing Le Boucher, a French-run butcher with high quality meats and cheeses.

At  Spice Island boatyard at the head of the bay there is a branch of Budget Marine. From here it is a 20 minute walk to the Republic bank and an ATM. (Turn right out of the marina, continue to the main road, turn right alond the long straight dual carriageway. The bank is on the right at the roundabout at the end.

Various maxi-taxis do shopping trips from the anchorages at the south of the island - details are on the radio net.

We got a local SIM card from Digicel in the Spicelands Mall. For some reason we never got 3G or 4G reception anywhere in Grenada. Check before leaving the shop!

Mini-buses showing a number on the front are buses, operating on fixed routes.

Cruisers WiFi is a charged service that operates in most of the southern bays and also some locations in the Grenadines. You need a boost antenna.

Secret Harbour, Grenada

 

Anchorage location 12° 00'.18 N, 061° 45'.04 W. 7.7 m

Secret Harbour is the next bay to the east of Prickly Bay. Entrance was buoyed when we went in.

Our anchrage was just outside the channel to the marina, failrly close to it. Shelter is good.

At the marina there is a dinghy dock, a fuel dock with diesel and petrol, a laundry, bar/restaurant and rubbish disposal (charged if not in the marina).

Shopping buses run from the marina - details on the VHF net.

It is a 15 minute walk over the headland to Prickly Bay.

Hog Island, Grenada

 

Anchorage location 12° 00'.05 N, 061° 44'.51 W. 8.3 m

Hog Island is a very popular (i.e. crowded) anchorage to the east of Secret Harbour.

he main attraction seems to be Roger's bar on the island. While we did not visit it, it seems very popular with others.

There is relatively sheltered dinghy access back to Secret Harbour and, under the bridge connecting Hog Island to the main island, to the Clarks Court Bay, Phare Bleu Bay and Port Egmont to the east with their marinas and further anchorages.

This passage also gives access to the village of  Woburn with a bus route and shops

St George's, Grenada

 

Anchorage locatio 12° 02'.59 N, 061° 45'.35 W. 6.5 m

St George's is the main town and capital of Grenada. The harbour comprises two areas - the Carenage and the Lagoon.

Carenage

The Carenage appears to be largely devoted to commercial activities and fishing boats. Despite an anchorage being shown in Chris Doyle's plot book (2015-16 edition) no visiting yachts were anchored there.

The Lagoon is largely filled with the large Camper & Nicholson Port Louis marina and the Grenada Yacht Club marina as well as boats on moorings.

The anchorage is outside the harbour, to the south of the entrance. It was quite rolly when we were there.

 

There are dinghy docks situated around the Lagoon, or you can apparently leave your dinghy at a dinghy dock in the Port Louis marina for USD 10. We left ours, locked, on the dock opposite the Island Water World chandlery for a full day while we went on an island tour with no problems. There are rubbish bins beside the road.

There is a small Foodland supermarket on the waterfront at the Carenage and another larger one on the lagoon waterfront with a dinghy dock opposite. The largest supermarket is Real Value in the Spicelands Mall (IGA) but it's probably easier to use one of the shopping buses from Prickly Bay or Secret Harbour to shop there.

We used Henry's Tours for an island tour, paying extra for a private one. The scheduled tours can have up to around 20 passengers.

 Cruise ship

Cruise ships dock on the cruise ship jetty outside the harbour, sometimes two at a time.

 

Grand Mal Bay, Grenada

Anchorage location 12° 04'.41 N, 061° 45'.41 W. 9.5 m. Some rocky patches slightly snagged anchor chain

We moved up the coast a bit from St George's to visit and snorkel on the underwater sculpture park just north of Grand Mal. It was a bit choppy there and the moorings didn't look too comfortable, so we abandoned that idea and returned to anchor in Grand Mal Bay. omfortable enough. Did not go ashore.

 

Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

Anchorage location 12° 27'.53 N, 061° 29'.20 W. 4.6 m.

Another island! Still in Grenada.

A pleasant, if busy, anchorage.

You can get ashore at the dinghy dock at  Carriacou Marine at the south end of the bay at various jetties, associated with bars/restaurants or on the beach. Getting to the village from Carriacou Marine's dinghy dock requires a walk along the beach, or up the very  steep hill out of their yard.

Carriacou Marine has a large, new, Travellift and a reasonable size haul-out area. They can get chandlery in from Island Water World in St Gearge's. We got a small stainless stell welding job done.

In the village there are a couple of small mini-markets. On Saturday there was a stall selling fresh fruit and veg at reasonable prices. There was also a lady selling fruit from a sort of stall set up from the road - we were grossly overcharged by her! There is an ATM next to the largest mini-market.

There is a large lagoon surrounded by mangroves at the north end of the bay. This is supposed to be one of the best hurricane holes. There are a couple of abandoned boats tethered to the mangroves.

There is a bus running into the main town of Hillsborough, where there is an ATM and more shops.

Carriacou Marine organised a driver for an island tour - this takes about 3 hours.

Customs and immigration have an office at Carriacou Marine. You are allowed 24 hours after checking out to leave Grenada.

The fuel dock sells diesel and petrol. You can get duty free prices (diesel at XCD 8.25/imp gal in Jan 2017). Unfortunately the tank had run dry just as we were checking out and was not replenished by the next day!

 

Petite Martinique, Grenada

Dock location 12° 31'.55 N, 061° 29'.26 W.

As there was no fuel at Carriacou Marine we decided to go the Petite Martinique, where Doyle's pilot book states there is "the best and most convenient fulle dock in the Grenadines".

The dock is subject to swell - but not too bad. Unfortunately the fuel cannot be supplied duty free, even to a checked-out boat. The duty paid price, at XCD16.24/imp gal is nearly twice the price of what we would have paid at Carriacou Marine and around 50% more than their duty paid price.

 

Closing the loop - Union Island, St Vincent & the Grenadines

Anchorage  location 12° 35'.69 N, 061° 24'.86 W.

Arrived

As we approached Clifton Harbour on Union Island Sea Bunny crossed her 2002 westbound track and so completed her second and our first circumnavigation! This was 14 years, 364 days and 5 hours since we were there heading west for the ABCs, Panama and the Pacific. 

Clearance in was quick and easy - only the skipper should go ashore to do this. St Vincent and the Grenadines do not yet use the Sailclear system so the forms have to be filled oun. Customs gave us blank forms to be completed, in triplicate, for our eventual departure.

 
Ferry

In Clifton harbour the anchorage is either side of Roundabout Reef. We anchored to the west, out of the channel. This was neared to the dinghy dock and Customs but gave some anxious moments when we wre sitting in a restaurant ashore when the ferry came in, searchlight blazing. When she left in the morning there was plenty of space.

It is not advisable to anchor in the area close to the dinghy dock, where there are moorings. The ferry turns to starboard towards this area, drops an anchor and berths stern-to the ferry jetty

There is a dinghy dock, through a narrow archway, outside the Bougainvilla Hotel.

Stall

A bank with ATM is situated just behind Customs and there is also a small supermarket there. Around the square in the centre of the town there are fruit and vegetable stalls. On the road past the square there are more mini-markets and stalls selling fruit and veg.

For a SIM card Digicel are about 200 m on the right on this road. If you want to use data on your tablet or phone you need a new SIM card in each country. We got a 3/4G connection virtually everywhere in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

There are several restaurants - we ate in Barracuda, close to the dinghy dock.

 

Tobago Cays, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Anchorage location(1) 12° 38'.18 N, 061° 21'.21 W 5 m, sand

The Cays were a bit calmer than we remember from 2002. Initially we anchored to the E of Petit Rameau island, having passed through the Hoof Channel between Petit Rameau and Petit Bateau. The next morning we needed to remove the outboard motor from the RIB to make some adjustments and moved to the W end of Hoof Channel for calmer water to do this.

Anchorage location(2) 12° 37'.80 N, 061° 21'.38 W. 3.5 m, sand

Dressed overall

Having completed the adjustments we moved closer to our 2002 anchorage location and dressed overall in celebration of our circumnavigation..

Green turtle

We snorkelled in the turtle reserve at the south of Baradal island, seeing one green turtle. A visit to the reef did not encourage us to get in the water.

 

Charlestown Bay, Canouan, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Anchorage location 12° 42'.46 N, 061° 19'.77 W. 5.5 m sand

Charlestown Bay

From the gap in the Tobago Cays reef E of Baleine rock to the southwestern tip of Canouan is 3.2nM. With the ENE wind it was a mistake not to have sail up to steady the boat as it was quite rough.

We declined the offered mooring buoy in Charlestown Bay and anchored, taking two attempts to get the anchor to hold.

Tamarind hotel jetty

To get ashore the dinghy can be left on the jetty of the Tamarind Hotel. In even calm conditions there can be a fair bit of surge as it is faily close to the beach. It is a short walk to the village. There are rubbish bins beside the road, the nearest being opposite the end of the hotel access road. On the main coast road there are a couple of small mini-markets. On the main jetty there is a fruit and vegetable stall.

Customs and Immigration are in the administration building opposite which is the bank and  ATM.

We needed some two-stroke oil. After various false starts we found some at the "Fishermen's Bar" on the north coast,

Friendship Bay, Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Anchorage location 12° 59'.37 N, 061° 14'.04 W. 4.8 m sand

Friendship Bay

Rather than go direct to Admiralty Bay on Bequia we had decided to go to Friendship Bay on the south coast. The west-setting current had set us down further west than we planned, so we motored the last bit. In the narrow channel between Middle Cay and Semples Cay just to the west of the entrance we encountered 2.5b knots of adverse set.

Although the swell outside was from the NE there was still enough enternin the bay to set the boat rolling.

While we did not go ashore the hotel and its associated yacht club appeared unoccupied.

When we left in the morning the set in the channel outside was again against us and nearly as strong, so it must be tidal, despite a very small tidal range.

Admiralty Bay, Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Anchorage location (1) 13° 00'.33 N, 061° 14'.54 W. 10 m

Anchorage location (2) 13° 00'.13 N, 061° 14'.60 W. 6.5 m

Admiralty Bay

From our 2002 visit Bequia was our favourite island in the Caribbean. Our opinion is unchanged.

Our initial anchor position was close to the channel and outside most of the boats. Unfortunately a squall came through with a 90 degree wind shift, causing our well dug in anchor to break out and Sea Bunny to start dragging despite to 50 m of chain we had out.

We moved closer in to Princess Margaret Bay. This resulted in wettish dinghy trips to town.

Cumberland Bay, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Anchorage location 13° 16'.00 N, 061° 15'.63 W. Anchor in 25 m boat in 7.2 m. Stern line to shore

Cumberland Bay

We had checked out from Admiralty Bay. With 24 hours to leave St Vincent we decided to overnight in Cumberland Bay on the island of St Vincent.

On arrival a "boat boy" helped us to get a stern line secured ashore. He offered us a menu fromone of the 6 restaurants on the beach, saying that he would pre-order for us. When we said that we planned to go ashore and make our own choice he said that, as we used him to help with the lines we the local system dictated that we "had" to eat in his linked restaurant! We declined the offer.

Mojitos

Later we went ashore to "Mojitos" restaurant. We discovered that there was some sense in the "system" as there was a longish wait apparently while ingredients were obtained - we were the only diners. The mojitos and meal, when they arrived were good. It would pay to pre-order, but not necessarly at the boat-boy's chosen establishment.

In the morning we had arranged for another boat boy to come and release our stern line at 0730. He came at 0700 and had to be asked to come back later, which he did.

Overall we thought the very negative comments that we had received about this anchorage are undeseved.

Malgretout Bay, Soufriere, St Lucia

Mooring location 13° 50'.59 N, 061° 03'.30 W. 6.5 m

Malgretout Bay

 

 

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Last Updated from Rodney Bay anchorage, St Lucia 9 February 2017


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