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7 Days in the Grenadines

By Capt. Carl Sputh, MY Starfire

With clusters of glistening emerald-hilled isles and islets lined with white beaches, the Grenadines are a necklace of small island jewels that form an island state in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles.


The following itinerary will have your guests exploring idyllic beaches and crystal clear waters on the definitive Caribbean getaway. The itinerary begins and ends in beautiful St. Lucia with a voyage down to and back up from the southernmost islands in the Grenadines.




Pick up guests at the airport in Castries, the capital city of St. Lucia. Founded by the French in 1650 and named after Charles Eugene Gabriel de la Crois, Marquis de Castries, the capital was previously called Carenage, meaning safe anchorage. This is the port of call for cruise ships and most visiting boats and boasts pristine beaches.


Depart Castries and cruise three nautical miles to nearby Marigot, once described by author James A. Michener as “the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean.” After lunch in the bay, head to the Pitons for the night.


The Pitons are twin volcanic peaks that have become a symbol of St. Lucia and are a key tourist attraction. They now carry the official seal of an UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Grenadines Day2DAY 2: {BEQUIA}

Get a very early morning start for the cruise to Bequia, 60 nautical miles away. Bequia is the largest island in the Grenadines and means “island of the clouds” in Arawak. Its lush hills are much lower than the peaks of Saint Vincent and it boasts white sand beaches and clear blue water, perfect for snorkeling, diving and other water sports.


The island is a favorite among yachties, expatriates and vacationers who enjoy its hospitable, laid-back atmosphere. The main port of Admiralty Bay hosts the town of Port Elizabeth, which has a charming waterfront where guests can peruse many shops and boutiques. Don’t miss Bequia’s unique hand-carved whaling boat models.


Serve dinner aboard under the stars or send the guests ashore to dine at one of the island’s many fine restaurants.


Grenadines Day3DAY 3: {UNION ISLAND}

After a relaxing morning in Bequia, depart for volcanic Union Island, a 25-nautical mile journey. Union Island is also called the “Tahiti of the West Indies” due to its highest peak 900 feet above sea level, Mount Parnassus.


One of the smallest inhabited Caribbean islands, Union Island has a population of less than 3,000. Its rich soil produces many varied fruits and vegetables and seafood is especially abundant.


Let the guests spend the afternoon relaxing on the white sandy beaches underneath idyllic palms or swimming in the clear waters. Anchor offshore for the night.


Grenadines Day4DAY 4: {TOBAGO CAYS}

Only a short hop needed today, so spend the morning enjoying Union Island before setting sail to the Tobago Cays, just five nautical miles away. The Tobago Cays is a cluster of four uninhabited islands, protected by the world famous “horseshoe reef.”


With their dazzling, palm-studded shorelines, the islands boast brilliant, powdery white sand, colored waters in unimaginable shades of blue and neon marine life. Superb snorkeling and some of the finest diving in the Caribbean can be enjoyed here. Or simply let the guests relax on deck.


Grenadines Day5DAY 5: {MUSTIQUE}

Depart midmorning for Mustique, 17 nautical miles away. This small, hilly island has a large plain in the north and is essentially composed of seven valleys, each with white sandy beaches and wooded hills rising to a height of 495 feet.


Mustique is a secluded 1,400-acre island surrounded by beaches of pure white sand. It’s a private retreat for barefoot luxury visitors and a peaceful setting where guests can rest, recuperate and indulge. Walking and horseback riding trails are abundant on the island.


The fishing village at Britannia Bay is the commercial heart of the island where guests can take pleasure in the French-run Sweetie Pie Bakery or Basil’s Bar & Restaurant across the road.


DAY 6: {Young Island}

Serve lunch at Mustique before traveling the 15 nautical miles to Young Island. Imparting a sense of seclusion, Young Island is the perfect place to leave the world behind. It’s located just 200 yards from the shores of Saint Vincent and comprises 35 acres of lush tropical vegetation.


Grenadines Day7DAY 7: {PITONS, ST. LUCIA}

After leaving Young Island, it’s a three-hour sail (assuming a 15-knot cruise) up the beautiful coast of Saint Vincent back to the Pitons. The voyage takes in some gorgeous scenery.


Gros Piton and Petit Piton shelter several bird species, giant ferns and wild orchids and locals describe the wider Soufriere area as the world’s only “drive-in” volcano. A total of 148 plant species have been recorded on Gros Piton, 97 on Petit Piton and the intervening ridge – among them, eight rare tree species. The Pitons are also home to 27 bird species (five of them endemic), three indigenous rodents, one opossum, three bats, eight reptiles and three amphibians. It’s a nature lover’s paradise.


Guests may depart the following morning at Castries, 13 nautical miles away.





Know Before You Go



You can anchor inside the bay just in front of Castries. Contact Castries Lighthouse on VHF16 when 3.5 nautical miles out. Pilotage is compulsory for vessels over 100GT (although when we entered at 757GT, no pilot was required). The taxi ride to the airport is quick and easy, five minutes from the main seawall. Ben’s Taxi St. Lucia will sort out transport to custom’s clearance. Contact Ben at cell: 758 484 0708, office: 758 459 5457 or e-mail:



Marigot was under construction when we were there last year and it was a bit of a dust bowl. Hopefully, this year it will be better. The locals are quite friendly and approach the yachts often. It’s best to make one of them your friend and have them stand watch in their skiff.


St. Vincent and the Grenadines tours

The agent for St. Vincent and the Grenadines is Sam’s Taxi Tours. They have offices in St. Vincent, Bequia and Union Island. Contact Roslyn at office: 784 456 4338, cell: 784 456 4233 or e-mail:


Mustique anchoring tip

Mustique is the island that all the guests want to visit but it’s a difficult anchorage due to the swell that wraps around the island. Without at-anchor stabilization, it can get quite rolly. It’s best to contact Quantum Marine before you head down, but if that’s not in the budget, here’s a trick that my first officer pulled off with a hitch last year that made us sit like we were in a pond in 30 knots of wind. It’s called bridling the anchor.


The idea is to shift the center of the anchor’s effort aft by running a line from the stern, up the side of the yacht to the bow and through the anchor hawse. Hitch the line to the chain and draw up any slack on the stern bit. Wait for the boat to swing to the swell and pay out chain until the prevailing wind holds the boat with the bow into the swell. Once the bow has fallen off, small adjustments to the length of the chain will fine-tune the setting of the yacht. To undo the bridle, just pull in the chain and untie the line. It works like a charm!


The Pitons mooring

The anchorages in front of the Pitons are quite deep. Contact Ben’s Taxi for a mooring reservation.