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BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada #217157
02/10/2020 10:52 AM
02/10/2020 10:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 8
San Diego
A
Amigo Offline OP
Traveler
Amigo  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 8
San Diego
Leaning towards a Bareboat PowerCat trip St Lucia to Grenada instead of our normal BVI charter. Have done the BVIs several times w wife and 3 Sons in their early 20s....and absolutely love those islands. But would be excited to ‘change things up’ and see the Islands to the South . Looking for Pros n Cons. Don’t want to get down there and wish we were in the BVI :0)

Last edited by Amigo; 02/10/2020 03:53 PM.
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Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #217166
02/10/2020 11:31 AM
02/10/2020 11:31 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 193
SF Bay Area
O
OneEyedJack Offline
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OneEyedJack  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 193
SF Bay Area
We did it on a sailboat and had a wonderful time. I was going to add that we sailed for about four days before we ever threw in a tack, just to keep things interesting, but that would be a moot point on a power cat. Departing St. Lucia, you cannot see St. Vincent, so it draws on your navigation skills a little bit and it is an open ocean passage for about 7 hours on a sailboat. No worries, St Vincent is a pretty large target. Boat Boys can be annoying, but play along and expect to pay a little extra for services. It's not bad. There are many more interesting anchorages along the way than in the BVI. Do it, you'll love it!

Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #217176
02/10/2020 12:25 PM
02/10/2020 12:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 282
Ottawa, Canada
UncleLuff Offline
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UncleLuff  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 282
Ottawa, Canada
Haven't done St Lucia to St Vincent and Grenadines. I was thinking about either the st Lucia to Grenada one way or return trip from St Vincent. I have done to charters in the Grenadines both out of Grenada.

The big difference is the length of sail (from St Lucia and the Pitons to Bequia or Grenada St Gorge to Carriacou (first island in the Grenadines chain from Grenada). Regardless of where you start you will have a long sail to get to where you want to go. Once you get to the Grenadines sail distance is more aligned with what you are used to in the BVIs. ALso if you do the one -way you will also have a long sail from Carriacou to St George and the Port Louis Marina.

Sailing conditions would be similar with strong trade winds from the east generally. more current than what you would expect in the BVIs and SFD channel as the Atlantic flows into the Caribbean through the island passages.

Most islands will not be as refined as you would get in the BVIs where there is a great bar or restaurant it seems in every harbour/island. Having said that Bequia is supposed to be beautiful and well worth two nights, Mayreau, Salt Whistle Bay is one of my absolute favorite beaches and bays. If you want swanky you can stop for the day at Palm island if they have room on a day pass which includes lunch and all you can drink ($$$$$) or stop by Petit St. Vincent for dinner at the beach restaurant. Chatham Bay is also a nice relaxing spot. Union is take it or leave it but you will have to stop by to check out so, stop by Happy island and enjoy.

Boat boys are not that big of a deal. We always chatted with them, offered them a beer or a coke, give them $10 ec if they helped with a mooring or guided us to a particular anchorage spot. If you ask them to get you something make sure you are clear on the price! Do not buy ice from Tiger (boat boy at union) he charges you 4x what you can get it for at the local marina! Also if you are heading into Union, and you see a boat boy frantically waving you off a particular route, you might think you are going to run aground, in reality he just wants to guide you to his Mooring ball and charge you $60EC for two hour use... didn't make that mistake twice!

I am sure you will love it but it is more of an adventure than BVIs!

Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #217211
02/10/2020 04:32 PM
02/10/2020 04:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 235
California
Sunnykm Offline
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Sunnykm  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 235
California
I am headed down to St Lucia in May for a 10 day southbound to Grenada. First time to visit this area. A bit anxious about the 7 hour plus open water sail south of St L to St Vincent but really looking forward to seeing a new part of the Caribbean.

I have been lurking in the Southern Caribbean forum but not as much information as the BVI tab. Any ideas of other forums with windward island knowledge?

Miss the BVIs so much and can't wait till the next sail to be back in paradise.

Last edited by Sunnykm; 02/10/2020 04:33 PM. Reason: semantics
Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #217215
02/10/2020 04:48 PM
02/10/2020 04:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 282
Ottawa, Canada
UncleLuff Offline
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UncleLuff  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 282
Ottawa, Canada
yeah, this forum is not as busy as the BVI and St. Martin Forum. But you can find some good info on that trip through search past posts and trip reports.

Other option is to go to cruiser's forum and go to the Atlantic and Caribbean destination forum. search grenadines, Grenada, st lucia, etc...

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f19/

Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #217244
02/11/2020 12:26 AM
02/11/2020 12:26 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 334
Vail, CO
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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caribbeangirl13  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 334
Vail, CO
100% do it. We LOVE the Grenadines. Even on a powercat I highly recommend doing the one way St. Lucia to Grenada. There is so much to see and never enough time. Grenada is absolutely a must see. It is a beautiful, unique island full of culture. I'm a bit partial as I grew up there. I would be happy to give itinerary recommendations if you would like but some must sees are: The Pitons, Bequia, Tobago Cays, Petite St. Vincent and Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau. The Grenadines are a bit like the BVI used to be back in the day and are still quaint. There are still plenty of beach bars (we can also give lots of recommendations on those as well). I also travel with early 20 year olds who like a little excitement (as in bar scene) so love the BVI's, however, they can't wait to get back to the Grenadines again. If you decide to go, get Chris Doyle's Cruising Guide. He is a family friend and very knowledgeable of the area.



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Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #217263
02/11/2020 10:16 AM
02/11/2020 10:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 154
Eastern MA
T
tothedogs Offline
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tothedogs  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 154
Eastern MA
I have a trip report from a 2018 one way from St. Vincent to Grenada at: http://www.traveltalkonline.com/ubb...o-grenada-jan-2-13-long.html#Post152856.

To shorten the trip down from the Pitons, you can clear into SVG at Wallilabou and spend the night there, or motor the short distance to Keartons for the night. If you go there, call the Rock Side Cafe in advance as the last time we were there there were only 2 moorings to tie off to bow and stern. They will send people out to assist. You will also have many volunteers from Wallilabou offering help - wave them off and use the people the Cafe sends out. Dinner with Orlando and Rosi is very good. This will leave you about 3 hours sail to Bequia.

We are going down again late June for 10 days with a start/return on St. Vincent. As Uncle Luff mentioned, south of St. Vincent the boat boys are no big deal and we find them helpful in most cases. Before you place an order with them, verify the price and currency. After many trips to the BVI, we now generally prefer SVG or the SVI for the more laid back atmosphere.

Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: tothedogs] #217366
02/11/2020 07:36 PM
02/11/2020 07:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 334
Vail, CO
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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caribbeangirl13  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 334
Vail, CO
Originally Posted by tothedogs
I have a trip report from a 2018 one way from St. Vincent to Grenada at: http://www.traveltalkonline.com/ubb...o-grenada-jan-2-13-long.html#Post152856.

To shorten the trip down from the Pitons, you can clear into SVG at Wallilabou and spend the night there, or motor the short distance to Keartons for the night. If you go there, call the Rock Side Cafe in advance as the last time we were there there were only 2 moorings to tie off to bow and stern. They will send people out to assist. You will also have many volunteers from Wallilabou offering help - wave them off and use the people the Cafe sends out. Dinner with Orlando and Rosi is very good. This will leave you about 3 hours sail to Bequia.



I would recommend skipping St. Vincent on your way down and just going straight to Bequia from the Pitons. You can clear out of St. Lucia from Rodney Bay, spend the night at the Pitons and clear into Bequia the next day. You just have to let the Rodney Bay office know you won't be leaving St. Lucia until the following day. Just my 2 cents as St. Vincent is beautiful too.



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Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #217706
02/14/2020 06:45 PM
02/14/2020 06:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 57
Laserking Offline
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Laserking  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 57
We did a round trip from SV (I believe it was Blue Lagoon) several years ago. Stopped at Mustique, Mayreaux, the Tobago Cays, Petit St. Vincent, Union Island, Bequia and back. It's much more sporty sailing than in the BVI. Bigger seas, higher winds, tighter anchorages. No mooring balls generally, so being comfortable anchoring in a tight spot is a must. The boat boys are no problem, but security is a bit dicier than in the Virgin Islands. You have to lock your dinghy motor nightly, lock your cabin when you go ashore, etc. There have been several instances of cruisers getting boarded and assaulted in the middle of the night in SVG. To be fair, I've not heard of any attacks on bareboaters. The islands in general are poorer and grittier than the BVI, and they are not totally set up for yachting tourism like the BVI. You have to watch your fresh water more carefully, although most of the yachts now probably have water and ice makers.

I very much enjoyed the sailing down there. It's beautiful, but you have to do more preparation. There are a couple of long sails down and back (not to mention the 7 hour open water sail if you depart from St. Vincent). I'd definitely do SV-Grenada one way. Personally, I would not sail there with just my wife. I'd want one or two more men on board, and I would not ever anchor in an anchorage where I was the only boat. It's safe down there, but requires more caution.

Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #217749
02/15/2020 10:02 AM
02/15/2020 10:02 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 500
BaardJ Offline
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BaardJ  Offline
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Posts: 500
Amigo - As a stepping stone to open water passages and more remote cruising, I recommend the St John-St Croix-Spanish Virgin Islands (Vieques, Culebra, Culebrita) loop. Start from St Thomas then head to either St John or Culebra first depending on the 7 day forecast. You have a 32nm open ocean reach (4-5 hrs on a bigger cat or mono) between St John and St Croix. This trip requires a bit more self-sufficiency and skill than the usual 7 day loop around Tortola. You'll encounter few charter boats along the way. There will be no boat boys (or Boaty Balls). You'll have only one Customs & Immigrations encounter to deal with when you enter the Spanish Virgin Islands (ie Puerto Rico), but this can be handled electronically on your phone using the CBP ROAM app.

I've done this loop several times starting from CYOA Yacht Charters in St Thomas. What I really appreciate is that you have wonderful backup options if you arrive in the islands and get snakebit with several days of 25+ kt winds and 10+ ft seas or a large north swell (as we did this January with nearly a week of 30+ kt winds followed by several days of 10+ ft north swells). At least with my wife and crew, they have no interest in long open water passages in those conditions. Instead we simply adjust our plans and stay within the more protected waters around St John and the BVI (with numerous anchorages to choose from that are protected from high winds and/or large north swell) until the conditions improve.

CYOA in St Thomas has a great selection of boats (though no power cats) and offers excellent service.

Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #218252
02/20/2020 06:44 PM
02/20/2020 06:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 184
Texas
Twells Offline
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Twells  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 184
Texas
You will not regret it. Beautiful. More sailing, less stopping. Jaw dropping beauty.

Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #218548
02/23/2020 07:35 PM
02/23/2020 07:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 5
New York
R
read33 Offline
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read33  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 5
New York
I’ve done the Grenadines a few times. All out of St. Lucia. Once up to Martinique, 3 or 4 times south down to PSV and back to St Lucia and most recently from Rodney Bay one way to Grenada. All on monohull sailboats. All bareboat charters with the Moorings. The Grenadines are stunning. Bigger than the BVI in every way.... the seas are heavier, the winds are heavier, the sails longer, the islands more remote, more rugged, more mystical, more foreboding and probably more beautiful than the BVI. In the Grenadines you feel like you are on your own because you are- cruising without a net, but he rewards are marvelous. My highest recommendation is to do the one way from Rodney Bay to Grenada. It allows for more leisurely island hopping and will allow you to see Cariacou and Grenada- both fantastic. Also while sailing from the Pitons to Bequia is a thrill.... beating back up on the return trip is a little bit laborious, a rougher run, and it can be a concerning run if conditions are not ideal for the St. Vincent to St. Lucia run when you “must” have the boat back by a certain date/time. You want 10 days minimum

Re: BVI vs St Lucia to Grenada [Re: Amigo] #218549
02/23/2020 07:52 PM
02/23/2020 07:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,784
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Offline
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sail445  Offline
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Posts: 2,784
VI,NY,AZ
I’ve gone down an up island quite a few times and always during Hurricane season when the winds are milder and the seas calmer and return October or November before the winter winds and seas.


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