St. Lucia to the Grenadines January 2023   Our plan is to return to Florida and sell our boat.  When we purchased the boat, we wanted to explore the Caribbean again, and having done this, it will be time for new adventures.  We left Grenada on December 22 and revisited Sandy Island Carriacou, Union Island, the Tobago Cays and Bequia on our way to St. Lucia. 

The highlight of our passage was anchoring between the Pitons of St. Lucia on New Year's eve.  The Viceroy hotel at Sugar Beach put on a fantastic fireworks display at midnight; it was a real treat!

Our son and his wife, Armand and Natsuki are arriving in St. Lucia and January 7 for a two week vacation with us.  We hope they enjoy the beautiful Grenadines as we have, and to explore St. Lucia.  Armand had visited St. Lucia with us 19 years ago, and he climbed both Pitons.  We're sure he will enjoy sharing the island with Natsuki. 

We've been staying at Rodney Bay marina in St. Lucia for 6 days, preparing the boat for our trip. The day after their arrival, we sailed south to the Pitons to swim and enjoy the views for the day.  Off we go!

Next stop is Bequia; we are bypassing St. Vincent due to recent safety concerns.   Admiralty bay in Bequia is a large, beautiful anchorage with several moorings.  We took a mooring as some of the places to anchor are rocky.  After a walk to Princess Margaret beach, we had dinner at Mac's Pizza Kitchen. 

The next day, we took our dinghy to Lower Bay beach and rented some beach chairs and had some beer.  The snorkeling around the north point of the beach to Princess Margaret beach is very good.  We saw lobsters, octopus, eels, rays, flying gunard, lion fish, etc.

 We built up an appetite so it's off to lunch.  Armand guided us across the road to Provision; the food was delicious!

We're off to Union Island, a quiet and laid back island.  The fishermen bring in their catch each morning (fish and lobster), and we were able to buy some fresh veggies.   We took a mooring behind the reef that protects the beautiful anchorage. 

We went to the small town of Clifton where we caught the van to take us to Sparrow Beach Club, a wonderful restaurant in a picturesque bay.  The drinks and food were tasy, and the water is turquoise blue; it's perfect for a swim to cool off.

Union is known for it's windsurfing (there's a couple of schools), and it's fun to watch the action around Happy Island, a small island built for a bar. 

After breakfast the following day, we hiked 400 ft. up to Fort Hill, a former 17th century canon battery.  The views are amazing; we could see Carriacou, Palm Island, Mayreau and the Tobago Cays.

Afterwards, we left for the Tobago Cays, a marine park.  Our mooring was near Jamesby Island.  Having taken a mooring previously near Baradal beach and Petit Rameau, we are enjoying our location even more.  The snorkeling is great just off our boat (we saw turtles, lobster, rays and lots of fish) and it's an easy swim to the island.   It's also less crowded.  We're always amazed at the water and marine life here!

In the evening, we were picked up by motor boat to go to the lobster buffet on Petit Rameau for dinner.  There were many picnic benches adjacent to the outdoor kitchen, and many yachties attended.  The platter of lobster was generous, and the sides were very good.  We brought the white wine Armand gifted us for dinner.  It was delicious and memorable evening!

In the late morning, we went to the reef and tied up to a mooring ball.  We all went snorkeling.  I went off on my own and saw lots of fish, a turtle and a nurse shark.  I searched around for Pat, Armand and Natsuki to show them the shark, but I couldn't find them.  We all enjoyed the reef. 

Our next stop was Baradel island where we saw so many sea turtles.  They didn't seem to notice snorkelers getting close to them, and went about their day eating the grass. 

After a snack on our boat, we snorkeled around our boat.  Armand took off to the reef for a couple of hours.  He saw a nurse shark and other marine life.


With his drone, Armand took incredible footage of our boat and the islands.   


It's time to back track to St. Lucia as Armand and Natsuki are flying home from there.  We stopped in Bequia for a day.  We explored the small town and visited Mauvin's boat shop.  Here we saw models of whaling and traditional boats.  Whaling was introduced here to supplement their diet in 1875.   They built wooden boats, 25 ft. long, rowed out  and harpooned the whales which was very dangerous.  The whale boat is pulled very fast through the water, and the whale tires.  Bringing the whale to the side of the boat, the whaler steps out of the boat to the whale's back and delivers the final blow into it's heart.  One or two of the crew jump into the water to sew up the mouth of the whale so that it doesn't take on water and sink.  In 1982, the International Whaling Commission voted a moratorium on commercial whaling.  Per their regulations, aboriginal whaling is legally permited in just 4 places in the world.  Three of them are in the Arctic, and the fourth is in Bequia. Here, they can hunt 4 humbackwhales per year, but have hit this target only once in the past two decades.  Last year, they caught one whale.   There have been uses of speedboats to hunt whales, but this is illegal and the Coast Guard has arrested a boater.  There have been calls for  the IWC to ban hunting whales in Bequia.

Afterwards, we had rum punch and an appetizer at the Whaleboner.  The entrance has two giant ribs from a whale, the edging is also one rib and the stools are made of vertebrae.  Afterwards, we went to Jack's beach bar on Princess Margaret beach for dinner and to enjoy the sunset.

We decided to stop in Cumberland bay, St. Vincent after learning that it had good reviews from other boats.  This will cut our 8 hour trip to the Pitons in St. Lucia down to 6 hours tomorrow.  Cumberland bay is small and for this reason, the locals take a rope from the stern of a boat to tie to land and an anchor forward is set.  Cas helped us get situated. We went snorkeling on the north side of the bay.  The coral was very nice, but there werefew fish.  Cas suggested a tour to the Dark Falls waterfall, and Natsuki and Armand went to the fall and enjoyed their trip.  Pat and I took the dinghy to the south side of the bay, where we found the snorkeling to be much better.

For dinner, we had reservations at Mojito's.  The restaurant looks run down, but the food was good and ambiance was friendly.  The mojito's, unfortunately, were not a hit.  While waiting for our food, Armand went to play soccer on the beach with the locals.  The dj played great music, especially Bob Marley tunes.

It's time to sail north to St. Lucia. 


After arriving at the Pitons the next day, we went for our last snorkel trip, followed by dinner on the boat.  Returning to Rodney Bay marina,  the next day we rented a car and visited a boutique chocolate store; the chocolates are locally made.

Howelton Estate, built in 1896.  Here we saw items created and grown on the estate such as batik, handbags, chocolate, and other handmade items.

Eudovic Art Studio was our next stop.  Vincent Eudovic is a revered sculptor of wood, and his art is internationally renowned. His woodwork and carvings made from local woods are one of a kind.  The main wood he uses is Laurier Cannelle, now extinct on the island, but also uses old stumps and roots found in the forest.  Other woods include, mahogany, teak, cedar and Laurier Mabouey.  Natsuki and Armand bought a beautiful wood sculpture. 

Last stop of the day is at St. Lucia rum distillers.  Upon arriving, we were told to enter an area where we saw a long line up of rum bottles.  An employee told us a large group would be arriving for the tasting, so we quickly started pouring from the bottles.  It's a self service bar, and there's no limit for tasting....unbelievable!  After a drink in Marigot bay, we returned to the marina for dinner and listented (and danced) to an electronic steel band player at the Harbor Club hotel.  A great time was had by all!

We had reservations for the last two night's of their trip at Fond Doux eco resort, so it's time to leave the boat for shore time.  Before checking in at the hotel, we stopped to purchase local chocolate at Cacoa, a boutique chocolatier.   We visited the Marantha Gardens, a prayer sanctuary adjacent to the Beacon restaurant where we had reservations for their buffet lunch.  We enjoyed the peaceful trails in the garden.  The Beacon had a great lunch buffet (every bite was eaten and some of us returned for seconds).  We had a great view of the Pitons from our table.

Our next stop was Diamond botanical garden.  We enjoyed the lush garden and the scenic waterfall.  Luckily, there were few people visiting which made it more enjoyable.

Fond Doux eco resort is located on a historic 19th century working cocoa estate.  There are 17 cottages throughout the expansive trails and gardens.  Pat and I stayed in Bamboo cottage, and Natsuki and Armand stayed in African Tulip cottage.  The cottages are rustic but cute, with open air showers.   We enjoyed exploring the resort, and we hiked on their trail which had a view of the Pitons.The food is very good, and we especially enjoyed their breakfast buffet with cocoa tea.  The resort provided nightly live entertainment; on our last night, we danced.  

We visited Sulphur Springs mud bath and hot springs.  The soufrier volcano last erupted in the 1700's and is dormant.  They built mud baths that supposedly detoxifies the body.   First, you rub the mud all over your face and body, let it dry and then soak in the mineral hot springs.  Our skin felt soft and smooth afterwards!

En route to Sugar beach, we stopped at the Piton waterfall which had an adjacent tub to soak in the warm hot springs.

Sugar beach is a small beach between the Pitons and the Viceroy Hotel is located here.  It's a stunning location.  We couldn't use the beach chairs as it's a private resort, so we relaxed on our beach towels, and Armand and Natsuki enjoyed the water. 

On our last night together, we dined at Treetop Restaurant, a quirky Indian themed restaurant and food.  It looks like a tree house with large decks and beautiful views of the Pitons.  The food was delicious.  My only complaint was that the beverages and wine were brought after the food was served.  Neverthless, it was an enjoyable dinner and a memorable place to dine.

After checking out of our hotel, we drove Armand and Natsuki to the airport.  En route, we stopped for a walk at Balenbouch Estate, a former sugar producing plantation from the 1700's to the 1930's.  Since 1964, the plantation has been owned and managed by the Lawaetz family, who converted the property into an eco guest house, organic farm and retreat center.  We walked among the ruins and to a beach on the property.

After a refreshing drink at a beach restaurant, we dropped Armand and Natsuki off at the airport.  We did a lot in our two weeks together; what a great time we had!


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