After a fun time exploring the old whaling station in Petit Nevis, we pulled out our genoa and set sail for Mayreau. It felt good to be lazy sailing, with the wind behind us and only our genoa out life was easy. As you head south it can be hard to figure out which island is which as it there seems to be another small island popping above the horizon everywhere you look. This long chain of islands is however a great natural barrier against the swells which the Atlantic had thrown up making for some great calm watersailing.
After a couple of hours of super chilled cruising we spotted Mayrea off our bow and could just about make out our anchorage for the night, Salt Whistle Bay. The anchorage is full of mooring buoys for 65EC a night. If you’re like us and on a somewhat limitedbudget anchoring is your only option. We ended up anchoring in 5 meters over sand towards the entrance of the bay, this was however pretty rolly even with a fairly low swell. If you’re brave / shallow draft enough there is room to anchor in front of the moorings especially in the northern part of the bay.
After a little explore ashore and an uncomfortable night at anchor we decided to move around to Saline Bay as there is a wreck just off the headland and a promise of some calmer seas in a wide-open anchorage. When we arrived in our new anchorage there were only a couple of boats, leaving tons of space for us to drop the hook. We got as close to shore as possible to help keep the rowing to a minimum. When anchoring you must be careful not to anchor too close to the ferry dock in the northern part of the bay. While we were anchored we saw a very close encounter between a catamaran and the ferry which was not going to stop for anybody… Once we we’re happy our anchor had held, we jumped in the water to check out the snorkelling just off the southern headland. Unfortunately, just like Bequia, the water was still pretty murky so we decided to give the wreck a miss and head ashore (not before having some rum shots with one of the boat boys – don’t ask!).
After securing our dinghy to the dock (just south of the ferry dock) we headed up the hill to see the island and visit the old church at the top with some great views of the Cays promised. The sights at the top were amazing, with 360 degrees view of the Cays and the islands. We’d been excited about the Cays before, but after seeing this, we were even more keen to get there. The free diving and snorkelling looks unreal. On the way back down we noticed a small stone almost hit our heads, after a few more steps a local appeared in her porch very apologetic peeling a local fruit. She went on to offer us some for free fruit and tell us about their wonderful island and simple way of life they have.
I’m now sat, beer in hand, watching the sunset deciding what to do and where to go tomorrow. I think the Tobago Cays are calling…
Salt Whistle Bay Summary
Anchorage: This is a very picturesque anchorage however due to the moorings buoys (65 EC per night) there is not much room let to anchor. If you anchor in the entrance it can get very rolly and if you venture further in you need to be careful of the reefs eitherside of the bay.
Provisioning: There are lots of beach bars and restaurants on the beach and the locals are likely to come around offering to sell their catch of the day. The main town is only a short walk where there are more bars and a few local places where you can pickup fruit and veg. This is a very small island, so apart from the essentials, it can be hard to come by anything else.
Overall: This was a lovely anchorage, however due to the roll and huge charter catamarans which filled up the bay it wasn’t quite for us.
Saline Bay Summary:
Anchorage: This is a large fairly well protected bay where you can anchor in 4 – 10 meters over sand. There is lots of space, but you must be careful not to block the ferries dock on the northern end of the bay (it may not stop for you!). There’s a dinghy dockashore when you can safely secure your dinghy to go and explore the rest of the island. You must give the northern headland a wide berth due to reefs and a wreck (which is a good dive spot).
Provisions: Same as Salt Whistle.
Summary: We loved our stay in Saline bay, with flat waters and friendly locals it was a great place to see what the island had to offer.