I have been lucky enough to enjoy sailings on most of the world's oceans and one of my favourite places for a sailing adventure has to be the Caribbean. Whilst cruising there and competing in some amazing regattas I knew that this was the perfect destination for the Irish sailor! Azure blue seas, warm salt spray, great sailing breezes, golden beaches, friendly locals, cool beer, exotic food ………Nirvana!

SailCork Caribbean Adventure 2016

I have been lucky enough to enjoy sailings on most of the world's oceans and one of my favourite places for a sailing adventure has to be the Caribbean. Whilst cruising there and competing in some amazing regattas I knew that this was the perfect destination for the Irish sailor! Azure blue seas, warm salt spray, great sailing breezes, golden beaches, friendly locals, cool beer, exotic food ………Nirvana!

I began to think how we could organise a sailing adventure in the Caribbean for our many enthusiastic customers at SailCork. We had already ofganised cruising adventures abroad in the Canaries and Croatia so in 2007 we organised a group to fly to Antigua and enjoy a sailing adventure there. It was a fantastic success and we have been back to the Caribbean every year since! We have sailed the waters aroung Antigua, visited more than a dozen of the Virgin Islands and for the last 3 years we have sailed in the ultimate cruising ground in the Caribbean – St. Vincent and the Grenadines –  and we are heading back again this year.

St. Vincent Grenadines

Grenadines sailingWednesday 20 We head early to Gatwick on Wed 20 Jan to catch athe 10 o clock flight in Bridgetown in Barbados to connect with our local flight to St. Vincent where we arrive just after six in the evening – just in time for dinner at the charming Barefoot Yacht Charter Base at the Blue Lagoon on the SW tip of the island of St. Vincent. First Caribbean night out!! – relax and chill!. Sleep at base accommodation.

Thursday 21
Wake up feeling fresh after night sleep, Breakfast at the base restaurant, Driftwood. Get aboard our 50 ft yacht, unpack, prepare and check boat thoroughly, snorkelling, provisions etc. Briefing + planning, provisioning, boat preperation.

Depart at 12:00 – shake down sail to Bequia (12 miles) – only 2 hours sailing today.  Anchor in Admiralty Bay – off Port Elizabeth on the island of Bequia – Lunch aboard after a swim.

Explore the shoreside and sample the local tipple. Drinks at the New York Bar before climbing aboard our open taxi to climb the hill for dinner ashore at Sugar Hill Restaurant – what a treat!!

Admiralty Bay BequiaBequia (pronounced bekway), a green and hilly S-shaped outpost of the Grenadines, nine miles south of St Vincent. Deep-set Admiralty Bay is one of the Caribbean's most protected natural harbours. It's surrounded by steep verdant hills, always full of yachts and, with doughty little ferries chugging in and out, it's also a strong contender for the most beautiful Caribbean bay.

Basils Bar Musique

Fri 22
Early morning  departure to anchor in secluded bay for breakfast. Short sail across to Mustique for our overnight anchorage. See the islands of the superstars……and visit the world famous Basils Bar to rub shoulders with the rich and famous on a Caribbean island that blends elegance and luxury with natural white sands, palm trees and turquoise seas. (14 miles – 2 to 3 hours sailing)

Sat 23
Up at the crack of dawn for a downwind sail to Canouan where we will have breakfast anchored inFriendship Bay. Canouan (pronounced “can – ah – wan”) is an island in the Grenadines Islands belonging to St Vincent. It is a small island, measuring only 3.5 miles (5.6 km) by 1.25 miles (2 km). The population is about 1,200 people. A barrier reef runs along the Atlantic side of the island. The highest point on the island is Mount Royal. Two bays, Glossy and Friendship, separate the southern side of the Canouan Island.

Happy Island – Union Island

After breakfast we sail onwards to the next island – Mayreau (more detials below) for a quick swim at Saline Bay before sailing onwards to our destination for the night – Clifton in Union Island where we dock at one of the few marinas in the area offering us immediate access to the ecclectic town of Clifton and it's market. After visiting the town we will go by boat to Happy Island for Sundowners. Happy Island sits on the reef and is made from conch shells! It has a great bar with really great coctails!! There is always a great buzz ashore so we will eat in the “Bougainvilla” and possibly go to a “Jump Up” afterwards. (25 miles – 4-5 hours sailing in 4 hops)

Anse La Roche GrenadaSun 24   Early morning rise and a downwind sail to anchor off a secluded golden beach for breakfast – and a swim off the boat. We will be sailing to the island of Carriacau (in a different country – Grenada) and after breakfast we will spend the day sailing up and down the leeward coast of the island – calm seas and warm breezes!. After our trip abroad we will head to our overnight anchorage at the secluded Chatam Bay on the leeward side of Union Island. Chatham Bay is one of the great snorkelling spots in the Grenadines, along the cliff wall you will find an incredible variety of puffer fish, turtles and brightly coloured tropical fish.  This very pretty bay has a nice beach and offers peace and seclusion  – the perfect Caribbean anchorage. (25 miles sailing)

Tobago Cays

Monday 25
Early departure from Chatham Bay and sail again in the Caribbean sunshine to complete our circumnavigation of Union Island. We will visit Clifton and tie up for breakfast and replenish supplies-  we then head to the amazing Tobago Cays – one of the most amazing sailing destinations in the world! (only a few miles – at a relaxed pace!) We will dine on the beach, under the stars, with our meal prepared by local boatman Clem and his girlfriend- a very special experience.

The Tobago Cays are an archipelago comprising five small uninhabited islands – Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradol, Petit Tobac and Jamesby – located in the Southern Grenadines. The Tobago Cays are now the key element of the Tobago Cays Marine Park, a national park and wildlife preserve run by the St.Vincent and the Grenadines government. The Tobago Cays Marine Park consists of a 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) sand-bottom lagoon which encompasses four uninhabited cays and the 4 km Horseshoe Reef. While the cays are uninhabited, they are surrounded by the three larger inhabited islands of Union Island, Mayreau and Canouan.(10 miles sailing)

Robert Righteous

Tuesday 26
After breakfast at anchor in the Tobago Cays we set sail again for the island of  Mayreau to visit Salt Whistle Bay for our overnight stop and a swim in this beautiful palm fringed bay where we will have dinner aboard. It must be one of the nicest anchorages anywhere in the world – wind coming through the palm trees, sheleter from the seas and that amazing cresent shaped beach! Hopefully we will get a chance to climb the hill to visit “the village” and maybe stop to have some refreshment at Robert Righteous and da youths restaurant. Robert is usually around to meet us himself. Mayreau is the Caribbean’s great escape. A secret treasure of peace and tranquility. With no airstrip, you have to sail here, and you will never want to leave. Picture-postcard beaches and bays, a friendly village with a quaint old church,(where a sign reads Cead Mile Failte!) Mayreau is the untouched Caribbean you only hear of in whispers.(5 miles – just an hours sail)

Salt whistle Bay Mayreau

Tamarind Beach Canouan

Wednesday 27
Breakfast and morning swim at our beautiful anchorage. Morning sail to visit the beautiful Saltwhistle Bay in Mayreau for swimming and some Caribbean “hangin round” and lunch before departing for Canouan Island where we will moor in Grand Bay just of the Tamarind Hotel. We will have lunch aboard and get a chance to lounge on the golden beach or have a look around the area. Happy hour for sundowners before dinner at Pirates Cove overlooking our anchorage.(7 M sailing)

Thursday 28
Very early departure to enjoy sailing to beautiful Bequia for a return visit. We hope to get to Port Elizabeth in Bequia for breakfast and take an island tour before having dinner ashore before returning to Frangiapani where a steel band will be playing – chill and enjoy the Bequia Jump Up!  (17 M sailing)

Friday 29
Depart Bequia and have last sail across to St. Vincent where we will get a chance to do some exploring or the coast including seeing Kingstown – the capital, chief port, and main commercial centre of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. With a population of 25,418 (2005), Kingstown is the most populous as well as the largest settlement by area in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is the centre for the island's agricultural industry and a port of entry for tourists. The city lies within the parish of Saint George in the south-west corner of Saint Vincent. Exports include bananas which are shipped mainly to the United Kingdom, coconuts, and arrowroot. The city contains numerous shops, eating places and markets. After returning to base after a swim we will have a short tour to see some amazing local views before returning to the Barefoot Base for our farewell dinner at Driftwood Restaurant.
(20 M sailing) –  Total Cruise milage approx 125 nautical miles ( 144 miles or 231 k)

Saturday 30
Breakfast at Driftwood and depart early morning and head to Airport at St. Vincents  for transfer to Barbados for Transatlantic flight. Hopefully we will get a chance to spend a few hours on the beach relaxing in Barbados –  to say a final goodbye to the war, sunny and friendly Caribbean!!

Sunday 31

Arrive Gatwick – flights home to Ireland – Reality sets in!!!!    

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