Come away with us to Grenada and the Windward Islands. Grenada lies just 12 degrees north of the equator and is the starting point for our ten day tropical island cruise. Further, this trip provides a much needed escape from winter. The minute you step aboard one of the sailboats we’ve chartered from Horizon Yacht Charters in True Blue Bay, you will find the island rhythm takes over. Days become marked by sunrises and sunsets; how much or how little happens in between will depend upon weather, timing, and your interest level. Some ports offer the best beaches and snorkeling, while others are known for their vibrant villages, rum shops, and quirky beach bars. The islands vary from hilly with lush rainforests, to dry and windswept with coral reefs protecting perfect white beaches, crystal clear waters, and varied sea life.
Saturday, February 11 - Crews will make their way to Horizon Yacht Charters located at the True Blue Bay Resort in Grenada. The island is served by Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND), and is a short distance from the charter base. We will stow our provisions, clothing, gear, etc. and then relax after a long day of travel for most of us. There is so much to see and do on Grenada that you may decide to arrive early or stay later to be able to see and do more. We plan to find a local restaurant for dinner and sit by boat so crew can get better acquainted.
Sunday, February 12 - We plan a reasonably early start to head north, along the coast of Grenada, to Dragon Bay and pick up a mooring ball for the night. This is only an 8 NM sail so we have some time to make sure any problems are handled before leaving True Blue Bay. Depending upon weather and our arrival time, we may dinghy to the Underwater Sculpture Park for some snorkeling. Dive Grenada offers escorted dives here, since no dives on your own are permitted. Or we can snorkel from the dinghies and look for the statues. There are also local guides available for snorkel tours
Monday, February 13 - We head to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou - 30 NM to our north. With average winds from the east typically between 10-18 knots, this will be a pleasant sail. Carriacou is part of Grenada, so no customs check-in required. Dinner ashore is the plan here, as there are a few nice restaurants and a couple of choices for re-provisioning fresh produce and bread in this quiet harbor town. The cafe Lambi Queen is recommended by our cruising guide. Lambi is local jargon for conch and this place is known as the “best lime” on the island. Happy hour is from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.
Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine's Day) - After a sweet breakfast, we’ll sail 11 NM to Union Island and enter St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Our port of entry will be the town of Clifton, and also our overnight anchorage. There is a local market for re-provisioning fresh fruit and vegetables, a Grand Union, wine shop, and many French dry goods, as well as gift/boutique shops.
Wednesday, February 15 - We leave Clifton harbor as early as possible so we can sail 5 NM over to the Tobago Cays to locate a safe anchorage. Since this is a short distance, there are a lot of options including sailing south of Palm Island and back north to the anchorage. This magnificent marine park is ringed by a coral reef and home to the Baradel Turtle Sanctuary, where green and hawk billed turtles are plentiful. We can snorkel close to the turtles, but please don’t touch or chase them. Again, there are some great dive opportunities here. See: http://www.tobagocays.org/attractions.htm
Thursday, February 16 - Lay day to enjoy this true tropical paradise, or just catch up on your reading and relaxation. In the evening we are planning a group barbecue on one of the small islands in the area. This is a real treat and a must when visiting the Grenadines. Turtle is not on the menu.
Friday, February 17 - We’ll set a course for Salt Whistle Bay, a sweeping half-moon bay on the island of Mayreau. It is a classic, not be be missed part of this cruise area. This is only a 4 NM sail so we again have opportunity to sail before picking up a mooring. We need to arrive early in the afternoon to find a suitable anchorage, after which we’ll be free to explore the island and beach comb the windward side for small treasures and wonderful photos. Or perhaps climb to the top of the hill of this 1.5 mile long island and find beautiful panoramic views from the old Catholic church at the top. As a reward, there's a nice little restaurant at the top for lunch. Dinner that evening can be onboard or onshore.
Saturday, February 18 - We set sail for Petite Martinique as we work our way back to Grenada. This 10 NM trip will have a brief stop at Clifton, Union Island for the skippers to check out of St.Vincent, and then proceed to our anchorage. This quiet island is reputed to be the last vestige of the way the Caribbean “used to be”. Quiet, peaceful and less than 1,000 inhabitants, the residents here depend upon boatbuilding, fishing and seafaring for their livelihood. TripAdvisor recommends the Palm Beach Restaurant & Bar, and so does our cruising guide. They also have two free customer moorings rated as very safe
Sunday, February 19 - From Petite Martinique, it’s a 43 NM reach south to St. George, the capital of Grenada and our port of entry. After the skippers clear us in, we'll be allowed to go ashore and explore the town. We are planning a dinner ashore at one of the many restaurants in this busy harbor. There are quite a few to choose from and we’ll decide whether to dine as a group, or separate into interest groups. The town is surrounded by a hillside of an old volcano crater and has the traditional horseshoe-shaped harbor.
Monday, February 20 - From St. George we will set sail south for True Blue Bay 8 NM; which will allow time for some nice sailing before returning to the Horizon Yacht marina base in the late afternoon. We will have our traditional mismatched offerings for the Must-Go Cocktail Hour that evening….which will, if we’re lucky, be dinner. If not, we can enjoy a shower on land and dinner ashore.
Tuesday, February 21 - We have to be off the boats by Noon, but we’re sure that some will have early morning flights. But for most of us, there will be time for breakfast, packing and boat clean-up before leaving the boats and either to home, or to a local hotel if you plan an extended stay.
Jeanneau 44i - Indigo
Bavaria 45’ - Dream Maker
The cost of the trip is $1,500.00 (Skippers $758.00). The trip price includes charter fees, boat damage insurance, fuel, cruising taxes, and most of the mooring ball fees. Provisioning, airfare, and other incidentals are additional and will be handled by each boat's crew.. A $150.00 non-refundable deposit and Release of Liability and Zero Tolerance Form must accompany your reservation form. Please make your check payable to The Sailing Club, Inc. and mail it, along with your completed reservation and release forms, to Mary Ann Gordon at the address below. Reservations will be processed beginning August 5, 2016 with a random draw of those received by that date. All reservations received after that date are on a first-come, first served basis. A second payment of $650.00 will be due September 15, 2016, and the final payment of $700.00 is due November 1, 2016.
NOTE: A separate cancellation policy applies to this trip. Cancellations prior to November 1, 2016 will receive a refund, less the $150.00 deposit. Cancellations after that date are not refundable, regardless of reason, unless a replacement is found. Travel insurance is NOT included in the trip price. Confirmed participants should make their own decisions regarding insurance that would provide coverage appropriate to their needs, and that they feel best protects them in their individual situations. One useful resource for comparing plans is www.insuremytrip.com. As always, read all policy terms and conditions carefully.
A pre-trip meeting will be held at a time and place to be announced. All participants should make every effort to attend in order to meet your crewmates, plan your meals, and make travel plans.
Please note that sailing conditions are dynamic, that your safety, and that of your crewmates, depends on your good physical health and agility.
Assistant Trip Leader
Mary Ann Gordon
2714 Packer Court
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
2006 South Branch Drive
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889