We spent almost a month in Martinique waiting for borders to open up so that we could head south. As soon as we heard that SVG – Saint Vincent & the Grenadines – were opening up again we contacted the authorities to enquire about the new Covid formalities to enter their country.
Within 24 hours they’d got back to us with all the details. We would have to;
- sail directly to the quarantine area in Young Island – without stopping along the way;
- get tested upon arrival;
- wait for the results onboard – it could take up to 48 hours.
In Covid times, rules can change literally any minute, so we decided to seize the moment and go!
We took off from St. Anne around 6pm, accompanied by our friends on board of Living Daylights, Luca and Leyla with their 3 beautiful children. It was a great overnight sail across to St. Lucia and along its coast.
Around 5 am we spotted the majestic Pitons in the first lights of the day. I was sitting on the little bench on the port side of the bow, taking in the warm breeze, feeling part of the night, and really connected to the universe, when I heard splashes around me; it was a school of dolphins which ended up escorting us all the way to the end of the island. Magical!
By 8 am we were still a few miles away from the North side of Saint Vincent. The wind had picked up and it was now blowing at 35 knots. The sea was very flat and Gladan was doing 9 knots with only the jib on! Considering that at 9.30 am we were expected in Young Island to be tested for Covid 19, there was no time to waste and we were glad for the extra push the wind gave us!
We got to Young Island 15 minutes before our appointment, just in time to take a quick shower after a sleepless night. At 9.30 o’clock we were on the dinghy dock with the others.
The organisation was great and within 30 minutes we were done with the test and ready to go to sleep after our long night of sail. The nasal swab was not particularly pleasant – unless you enjoy when someone’s trying to reach your brain through your nostrils, you’re not going to like it!
The swab lasts just a few seconds – the runny nose will stay with you for much longer though! Ouch!
Twenty-four hours later, we received an email with the results: negative! We were free to go. We wasted no time..we went out to celebrate with a few drinks and a delicious dinner!
The morning after, before heading south to Bequia, we found the time to climb the 255 steps up to the top of Fort Duvernette, a tall outcrop from which to enjoy an incredible view. The English built this fort to defend the colonial hub where ships were loaded with sugar before sailing off to England.
After only a few hours of navigation, we got to Bequia – which we had shortly visited over New Year’s Eve, when the only Corona we all knew about was to be served very chilled! Good old days….
Be careful when you go to Bequia…It’s got that Hotel California kind of vibes…once you’re there, you never want to leave! All the people we know agree with us; it’s one of the friendliest islands in the Caribbean’s and attracts only the nicest and most interesting people.
Which is why it reminds us of Leros, in Greece, the island where our sailing adventures (almost never) started from….we liked it so much there that we stayed one and half years before finally setting sails to explore the world!
A quick list of things to do in Bequia;
- The Rum Shop Tour, to mingle with locals and support small businesses;
- Try one or… all the beautiful hikes of the island;
- Have freshly made, incredibly tasty cocktails at the floating bar;
- Try breakfast at The Plantation House: you’ll get the best pastries and full English breakfast of the island, in very sophisticated surroundings;
- Eat pizza and more at Mac’s Pizza & Kitchen;
- Enjoy sundowners at Jack’s beach bar – Princess Margaret Beach.
To avoid being sucked up by the island, after 10 days in Bequia, we made our way to the Tobago Cays.
Definitely one of the best places in the Caribbean’s – although I’m sure I’ve said that before… :). Tobago Cays is a group of 5 uninhabited islands (Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Petit Tabac and Jamesby) surrounded by a 4 km Horseshoe Reef, with wildlife and pristine waters.
Definitely the best place for snorkelling and diving, with thousands of different fishes, turtles and a few nurse sharks. Paradise on earth!!
In high season you can eat bbqed food on Petit Rameau’s beach. There are tables and benches under the trees and 3 to 5 different stalls selling drinks and food. At the beginning of January 2020, we had lobsters served with rice and salad. Really tasty and so popular you need to book in advance to make sure to find space!
This time round, at the beginning of July, we had the Cays almost to ourselves and really made the most of them. The islands are totally wild and you need to get provisioning beforehand as there are no shops or bars. Some fishermen will stop by daily to sell fish or bread and pastries though.
When exploring the little island of Petit Tabac, we bumped into some volunteers taking care of the marine park. They told us the island had been a filming location for the first Pirates of the Caribbeans’ movie and mentioned we could walk around the whole perimeter. After the first few minutes of our walk, we started running as quickly as we could… trying to escape from the thousands of mozzies feeding on us! Wild stuff!