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Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 #196549
06/02/2019 08:21 PM
06/02/2019 08:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 75
california
moore5678 Offline OP
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moore5678  Offline OP
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california
Hi everyone! Thanks to all of you for the excellent advise, suggestions & information. Grenada is a beautiful country (our 2nd time there) with the nicest people:).
Here’s the itinerary we took to help future sailors thinking of traveling there
There were 18 of us with 3 boats- 2 444 Catamarans & a 41 ft monohull. .
1st of all- This is NOT the BVI’s, not even close. If you start from the south you have a 5-6 hour sail in pretty rough waters just to get to the next island. So this is a sailors paradise. Altogether we probably sailed well over 25-28 hours from south Grenada to Bequia and back so do not take people here that don’t like sailing🤗
Flew in on 5/17 & stayed at Blue Horizons- fantastic spot. Ate at Umbrellas👍🏻👍🏻
I had hired Chris on TA to pick us up at airport so next morning, he took the guys to the boat briefing & all of us girls to Foodland. Worked out great because after we shopped for all 3 boats, they walked our food to the dock. We only provisioned our drinks, water & alcohol. The fresh food was bought at store & dry food was brought from home in our suitcases.
2nd night but first on the boat- sailed to Grand Mal Bay after visiting what’s left of the sculpture garden. So sad. Ate onboard
3rd day sailed 5 1/2 hours to Sandy Island to play & relax before motoring over to Tyrell Bay for the night. First experience with Boat Boys was good. They helped us get 3 balls near each other .. Ate at Lazy Turtle- excellent food & drinks! Check out was easy, only captain had to go check us all out..
4th day-sailed to Union to check in. Beautiful bay & water colors. We finally felt l8e we were in the Caribbean:). The kite surfers were amazing .. Happy island was closed . It appears that his website is not correct on times. Make sure the boards are open:).
This was our first experience with the aggressive Boat Boys. They fought over the 3 of us as we came in. BTW. We NEVER paid less the 60EC for a ball.. Not sure where folks are paying 20? After collecting they all take turns coming to you to sell you their BBQ which we wanted to do.... So Mr Best got our business there but we forgot to make sure it was on the beach.... alas it was 2 streets back off the beach walking thru tied up goats, cows & weeds😜🤗. We all took it in stride because the house was nice with outdoor patio & bar, with excellent food! When in Rome:)
5th day- sailed to Tobago Cayes. Mr Best had gone ahead & had his people there ready & waiting to set us up on the balls. That made the other BB’s mad. They yelled at us that we weren’t being fair.. we weren’t spreading the wealth. We told them we wanted to do another bbq on the beach so to come back later with their proposals. We just wanted to relax & swim with the turtles etc. This was a pain to us as we wanted to hook our own balls & do our own thing but they’re pretty pushy. We did try to say no thanks but they wouldn’t leave us alone... We finally did swim with rays, turtles & starfish. Pretty rolly there FYI.
6th day-
The next day we made up our mind about the bbq & choose Mr Best based on a much lower price for same thing with 4 bottles of wine thrown in.. OHMYGOSH was that ever a bad decision. The others (boat boys)kept coming by & getting mad at us ... Again, we’re newbies & were shocked by the attitudes they had but this wasn’t the worst part..
We hiked up to the top of the hill & hung out swimming etc while some of the sailors onboard decided to take the monohull out for a sail. We had 4 experienced sailors & 2 other guys that joined them to sail towards Canouan. 5 minutes into the sail, they hit a reef... Not good. We were told by the coast guard as they flew out to help them.. The Boat Boys took off to help too & that was the fiasco.. At one point 6 of them tied up to the monohull in 4 directions to try to be the ones to pull it out at the same time the coast guard was trying to pull them out! They were screaming & yelling at each other...
Long story short, they were pulled out by CG with the bottom 3-5 inches of keel damaged slightly and p
Had to pay the Coast guard $100 because they wouldn’t leave until we did..
The Boat Boys stood on the ends of our boats YELLING at us to pay them $100 USD per boat because they’d helped. We offered $100USD total. They were horrible. After much yelling by them at us, we gave them $300 USD to get rid of them. Awful experience. Tobago Cayes was our least favorite spot on the trip because of the Boat Boys..
Had the bbq dinner on the beach, was just ok. It could’ve been our moods🤨
7th day- sailed to Salt Whistle Bay, had the best time there! Great BB’s and moorings. Paddle boarded and enjoyed the outdoor shopping & cute little beach bars. Favorite stop for me! Ate onboard
8th day- sailed to Bequia, took 3 1/2 hours and a decent sail. Admiral Bay was great spot. We had lunch at Macs pizza & kitchen & it was excellent! Dinner at Frangipani & not so much. 2 hours to get just so so food. We’d made a reservation & were the only people in the restaurant. Don’t waste your money here..
9th day- long sail back to Chatham Bay- 2nd favorite place to stay on the trip! Had to anchor but very protected & serene. Great snorkeling on the RIGHT side of the bay in a little cove. Millions of fish 🐠. Loved this bay..
10th day- checked out at Union & tried to stay at Petite Martinique but too rolly for us. Went down to the backside of Carriacou and stayed in Hillsborough. Not a great spot but served our needs, tiny grocery stores and not much happening there. Still rolly but not as bad.
10th day- 5 hour sail south to Tru Blue Bay . Sailed on Leeward side & had a great sail! Could actually enjoy the netting & play some cards inside without being pitched all over. Had a great last nights dinner at the restaurant there.
Next morning sailed back in to turn in the boats. Had a bit of an issue with Sunsail which we’re working on.
Turns out that ‘yacht damage waiver’ doesn’t cover yacht damage actually, just catastrophic damage like a boat sinking? We are fighting this issue with Sunsail & will keep you updated. As of now, they’ve kept the monohull deposit of $1200 until they tell us how much it is to fix the keel..
all in all, a fantastic trip with great people! That’s what makes or breaks your trip- the people you travel with so choose wisely:)
If you have any questions, I or my husband will be happy to answer..

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Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #196780
06/05/2019 02:28 PM
06/05/2019 02:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 339
Ottawa, Canada
UncleLuff Offline
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Ottawa, Canada
Hi Jamie; that is too bad about your experience in Tobago Cays. Not want you want to deal with when on vacation. They say there are two types of sailors, those that have run aground and those that will... Regarding Beach BBQ in TBS, there seems to be an order that the boat boys take for incoming boats. We experienced the same thing when we had pre arrange a BBQ with Desperado (aka Taffa) in Union. When we approach the strait between Petit Rameau and Bateau another boat was yelling at Desperado and only when we explained to him that we had reservations with Taffa that we made in Union was when he calmed down. I suspect that in the slow season three boats would be a nice haul for those BBQ establishments. Also Salt whistle Bay and Chatham bay were our two favorites, nice calm nice bars and strong rum punch!

Just curious where the mono hull ran aground? and yes keep us posted on what happens with the damage deposit.

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #196791
06/05/2019 04:21 PM
06/05/2019 04:21 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 373
Pacific NW
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snmhanson Offline
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Thanks for the report. We sailed that area in March of 2018 and visited many of the same anchorages as you. We went St. Lucia>Grenada, but I found that the farther south we went the more pleasant things got (with the exception of Mustique which was very nice but very expensive).

Like you, we really liked Salt Whistle Bay. Plenty for the family to do, plus I'm a kiteboarder and actually preferred kiting there over Union Island. The winds were better that day compared to kiting at Union so that could have been the difference. Sandy Island was awesome too. We spent an afternoon there but should have stayed for the night. Instead we did the same as you and went around the corner to Tyrell Bay which was not a highlight for us. Tobago Cays were OK but kind of stormy when we were there.

I can relate to some of your challenges. Though we didn't have any issues with the boat boys in the Tobago Cays (other than being gouged a bit for our lobster dinner IMO), the boat boys to the north in St. Vincent were another story. I understand the challenges they face and that they are trying to make a living, but having to deal with such pushy characters can certainly put a damper on your vacation. We would be much more receptive to them and probably stick around and spend more money with them if they were more polite and respectful to us. Oh well, I guess I'm the visitor and it's their home so it is what it is. Also, we found out as well how thin the water around the Tobago Cays can get when we briefly ran aground trying to hug the east side of the anchorage. Fortunately we were going very slow and the bottom there is all sand. Still kind of embarrassing though. Our charter company did dive the boat but didn't say anything - even after I mentioned that we may have "nudged" the ground a bit.

If I have to be honest, I'm not sure we'll do another Grenadines charter. If we do we will probably start from Grenada like you did and spend more time in the southern parts of the islands. If you haven't sailed the Leewards yet I'd recommend them. Challenging open water and longer distance sailing like the Windwards, but no boat boys and the locals are friendlier based on my experience.

Matt

P.S. I am also curious where they hit the reef?

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #196798
06/05/2019 05:09 PM
06/05/2019 05:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 75
california
moore5678 Offline OP
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moore5678  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 75
california
As you’re coming into Tobago from the Northwest after leaving Mayreau, you have to navigate around some rocks. It was actually to the left of the rocks going towards the east. They had just gotten the sails up to sail around Canouan...
We’re finally hearing back from Sunsail that they’re looking into this & will get back to us. Someone dropped the ball in their customer service department since we’ve been home a week & I called last Wednesday... But hoping for the best outcome.

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #197634
06/14/2019 04:40 PM
06/14/2019 04:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
Charleston, SC
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CHS_JDE Offline
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Charleston, SC
I have to say, we had a much different experience. We left out of St Vincent week before Memorial Day. Used boat boys in Bequia, Tobago Cays, Saltwhistle without any issue. Did the beach BBQ in Tobago Cays and it was the only one going as far as we could tell. Food wasn't fantastic but the scenery was great. Had a relaxing time. It was windy and rolly there but nothing unmanageable. Mooring balls were checked everywhere and were in good condition. Mustique for two days and really thought this was a good decision. Balls were all chain and secure. Saw more turtles there than in the TC. Did a taxi ride around the island that was really pretty fun and the driver was knowledgeable. Set up through staff at Basil's. Basil's is overpriced for sure and not that impressive. Only bad part of the trip, if there was one, was the ride from Mayreau to Mustique. Wind was right on the nose. We tacked upwind for a while (Lagoon 400) and eventually gave up. Motored into some big swells upwind. Otherwise great weather, especially from Mustique to Bequia doing 8 knots in 12 of breeze on a broad reach. The kind of sail that makes you forget all the bad days at once.

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: CHS_JDE] #197881
06/18/2019 12:53 AM
06/18/2019 12:53 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 75
california
moore5678 Offline OP
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moore5678  Offline OP
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Posts: 75
california
Our experience was great! We loved the trip, just not the Boatboys...
Still waiting on decision from Sunsail on rudder damage. Sorry I said Keel above🙂.

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #198335
06/22/2019 10:23 AM
06/22/2019 10:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 73
Dundas, Canada
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NeilCanada Offline
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Dundas, Canada
Thanks for the post. I am currently booked for July 2020 in Grenada. Have chartered BVI X10, Antigua and St Maarten x2..first time to Grenada. Your experience with the boat boys has given me pause and I am now reconsidering. Although circumstances occur...I am on vacation. Dealing with the overzealousness and rudeness can damper an otherwise great experience.

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #198337
06/22/2019 10:43 AM
06/22/2019 10:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6
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Javelin Offline
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Great trip report.
We’re the rocks marked on the chart?
If they weren’t marked on the chart , you can edit the Navionics chart to show their location, if you have the Lat/Lon coordinates of their location.
This would be of great benefit to all sailors using Navionics.

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #198629
06/25/2019 07:30 PM
06/25/2019 07:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,001
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sail445 Offline
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Originally Posted by moore5678
Our experience was great! We loved the trip, just not the Boatboys...
Still waiting on decision from Sunsail on rudder damage. Sorry I said Keel above🙂.


Now now don’t let the boat boys ruin your trip they’re only training so they can join the Somali pirates

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #199799
07/11/2019 11:25 PM
07/11/2019 11:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 75
california
moore5678 Offline OP
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moore5678  Offline OP
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california
To let everyone know, Sunsail charged our friend $895 to fix the Rudder. They said there was damage to the bottom of the boat but ALL of our guys checked & found no damage.. it’s a ‘we said, they said’ thing so we’re stuck paying the money... We still don’t understand why there was any charge when insurance was purchased? I would double & triple check what the insurance covers that you are forced to buy with these charter companies.. They’re supposed to go over it with you at the Charter briefing before you set sail.. Ours did not with any of the 3 boat captains...
buyer beware for sure!

Re: Our Sailboat Trip report for May 2019 [Re: moore5678] #199834
07/12/2019 03:30 PM
07/12/2019 03:30 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 373
Pacific NW
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snmhanson Offline
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My understanding of the yacht damage "waiver" is that it reduces your exposure but does not eliminate it. You still have to leave a security deposit and your liability is limited to the security deposit you pay. Essentially you're buying a lower deductible. You don't have to buy the "waiver" but if you pass on it you have to put down a $10,000+ deposit so I think they just assume everyone will want to purchase the waiver.

That said, I tend to get a little nervous when returning a charter boat as there is ALWAYS some sort of damage from previous charters such as scratches on the hull, paint rubbed off the keel, chipped gellcoat from dropped winches, etc... I've always received my deposit back but I'm waiting for the day when they claim I was responsible for damage that I didn't do. I guess I should be sure on the briefing to note any damage to the boat (and dive the hull to check the bottom?), but we are always in such a hurry to get off the dock that it never happens. On our last charter we didn't even go through the boat inventory - I just signed on the dotted line...

NeilCanada - There will be boat boys pretty much wherever you go (outside of Grenada), but we found them to be much more considerate once we were south of St. Vincent. We just chalked it up to a charter expense and utilized their services. Just make sure everyone on the boat knows not to lead them on if they aren't truly interested in what they are selling.


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