For some sailors the site of land is not the best part of an ocean crossing, but for many who are on their first crossing it’s one of relief and excitement. The welcome and safety of Blue Lagoon Marina and Hotel complex is second to none. Friendly dock workers assist with a safe passage through the reef for deeper drafted vessels. Fuel is available along with a small but well stocked mini market for life’s little essentials. Local services for everything else are within a taxi ride. The local transport system is mini vans who like to make a lot of noise but charge very little. A twenty minute ride to Kingston is usually $2 xcd.
The excitement of new adventures to be had on foreign soil, the ARC + fleet is usually made up of the slightly more adventurous sailors exploring the Cape Verde Islands before heading to the sun drenched beaches of the Caribbean. Those pioneers with a sense to venture beyond the marina complex are in for a treat.
The dream of white sand beaches and isolated coves is enough temptation for many. However you should not forget that the Caribbean Islands have so much more to offer.
St Vincent’s interior is stocked with an abundance of plants (some legal, some not!) and once the boat jobs are completed there are many sites to see around St Vincent. Kingstown the bustling capital appears at first a little crazy and disorganised as people rush from shop to bank to church, parking is an absolute hoot with random locals charging for spaces that don’t belong to them. Street sellers with fruits and vegetables are in abundance. Quite the change from the mid-Atlantic serenity, but a friendly smile soon provides a welcome familiarity.
Venture a little further up the leeward coast to find the stage set for Pirates of the Caribbean where again a few “Vincy” folk will welcome you and show you around the museums and of course the bar.
St Vincent is not as yet truly developed as a tourist island but it is trying with organised hiking trips to the volcano at Soufriere. Kingstown tours guide you through the hustle and bustle with a great stop off in the botanical gardens established in 1765. Take a local guide and visit the waterfalls of Baleine for a refreshing cold, well cool, dip.
For those with a little more luxury in mind the Spa resort on Young Island offers everything a lady may need or require from pedicure to pony tails or just a day of spoiling yourself with lush fresh juice cocktails on a secluded almost private beach.
Sundays have yet to be spoilt in St Vincent - many restaurants are closed and the shops all keep the doors locked - but it’s a great day for renting a car and taking a drive up the windward coast to see the volcanic beaches and rugged coast line. Swimmers must be aware on this coast as the Atlantic swell constantly batters the beaches creating dangerous under currents.
There are forts and lookouts scattered along the coast line as reminders of the English and French invasions. Fort Charlotte has the cannons facing inland to fight off the Carib Indians. On the windward side of the island in the district of Charlotte is Black point Tunnel. Where you can view original Carib hieroglyphics these caves where used as hide outs by the Caribs as the French tried to take over the island.
From deep sea diving to Distillery tours St Vincent really has lot to offer explore enjoy and return but don’t tell too many people …….