Mayreau and Petit Saint Vincent

Somehow, despite spending three months in the Grenadines during hurricane season, we didn’t manage to visit all the islands. Sad back then, but unexplored territory for our second trip! So from Canouan, we sailed down to Saltwhistle Bay at the top of Mayreau, where we found an assortment of mostly-closed beach bars and some friendly beach cats. Also Captain spotted birds on our boat.

Due and Music were there, and someone had some info on a hike around the island, so of course that’s what we did. The first leg takes you up to an old church, with a tiny chapel and a great view out over the Tobago Cays.

Down the hill a bit brought us past some impressively ramshackle construction, to a small, otherwise empty bar (social distancing!) that served us cold Hairoun beers and popcorn.

At which point we were getting kind of hungry, so we continued a little further down towards Saline Bay to find a restaurant someone remembered. We were served a [tasty or inedible depending whether you ask Andrew or Jazz] plate of food in what felt like a treehouse up on the highest level.

After lunch we left the road for the return trip, which passed through a series of different ecosystems that reminded me a bit of Mustique. (Jazz missed this section as she had a scheduled phone call. Got to keep in touch!)

Having now seen the whole island, we headed down to check out Petit Saint Vincent. And as we neared Union Island, we spotted this beauty northbound. Apparently she is a working cargo ship, the totally engine-less Tres Hombres, and delivers chocolate and coffee from Grenada.

PSV is a private island at the southern tip of SVG, just across a short channel from Petit Martinique, which is part of Grenada. Our guidebook (affectionately the “book of lies”) from before the pandemic obliquely mentions that many people get around the inconvenience of the island not having a customs office by stopping by on their way between countries. Regular coast guard pass-bys underscore that that quasi-legal border crossings are no longer acceptable during the pandemic.

PSV is beautiful, but currently closed to visitors: they’re one of the resorts that shepherds guests directly in from the airport, and thus serves as their own private quarantine. So we had to be content to look from the shore. We did visit the tiny sandbar, Mopion, but the wind and swell were too strong for it to be the pleasant snorkel that people had described to us. Ah well; my dream of taking the cat out off-leash will have to wait.

After a day or two of looking wistfully at the beach, we zigged back north to Saline Bay, on the south-west of Mayreau. There, we swam into shore for a nice walk along the beach, where a big empty outdoor bar area with hundreds of chained-down chairs makes it clear that this is an occasional cruise ship stop. It’s a pretty spot, if a little rollier than we expected. The rollers produced nice splashes at the rocks on the corner, and inspired us to fix an occasional click in our bimini top. Captain, of course, sleeps through everything.

All this time, we were keeping up on the COVID numbers, which were low in absolute terms but consistently rising. And as we we watched, we felt more and more that SVG was not going to get a grip on its outbreak any time soon. It was time to find a safer place to be. So we started heading north again. After a brief stop to check out the crew bar at the Sandy Lane marina, of course. On our way in, we got to see the full moon rise over the marina, really stunning.

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