A St. Lucia sailing itinerary has many possibilities. You could spend the entire week in St. Lucia waters to enjoy leisurely sails and sojourns ashore to shop, sightsee, and sample gourmet fare in upscale restaurants. But for most sailors the attraction of the Eastern Caribbean is the chance to combine open-water, down-island romps in fair winds with pleasant days of island-hopping a short distance to swim, snorkel, and experience the culture and ambience of the smaller isles in the magnificent Grenadines just south of St. Vincent. The longest passage is between St. Lucia and St. Vincent, and beyond are myriad islands in a tropical paradise (see St. Lucia maps). A one-way charter between St. Lucia and Canouan opens up even more time in the Grenadines because there’s no need to retrace your steps. This is a very attractive alternative St. Lucia itinerary for many sailors.
Marigot Bay to the Pitons – 9 nm. After enjoying a refreshing lunch at one of the many restaurants near the marina, set sail on the first leg of your adventure with a short passage along the island’s western shore. The lush green rain forest rises into the clouds atop Mount Gimie and the other soaring heights that make St. Lucia so beautiful. Soon the conical twins, Petit and Gros Piton, both of which are more than 2,400 feet in elevation, appear off the port bow. Pick up a mooring north of Petit Piton, and head ashore to explore the natural wonders of the area, which include waterfalls and sulfur springs.
View day 1
The Pitons to Bequia – 55 nm. Awaken early to get under way for day two of your St. Lucia itinerary. Sail south with a fair wind off the beam across open waters to the high, rugged island of St. Vincent. The clouds often obscure the upper heights and appear as a cottony white smudge on the distant horizon atop a shimmering turquoise sea. This is Eastern Caribbean sailing at its best, with the sails trimmed perfectly for a fast passage to the splendid cruising grounds of the Grenadines. Many world cruisers say this part of the Caribbean is the best of the entire region. Blue Lagoon, at the south end of St. Vincent, is an excellent harbor; many sailors stop there en route to Bequia from St. Lucia. Otherwise, keep sailing the remaining distance to Admiralty Bay, Bequia’s main harbor.
View day 2
Bequia to Mustique – 14 nm. A cruise in the Grenadines wouldn’t be complete without stopping at this exclusive, privately owned island, home to approximately 90 sprawling mansions of the world’s rich and famous, though that’s not its chief attraction. Mustique is special because it’s so unspoiled. Sailors are welcome to hike and bike the roads and trails; touring via taxicab is another option. You can pick up a mooring in Britannia Bay, then go ashore to explore. Stop by Basil’s Bar, one of the most famous in the Caribbean, for dinner and drinks in an informal setting. Of course, upscale dining is also available!
View day 3
Mustique to Tobago Cays – 18 nm. A fast passage to the southwest will take you from the highly civilized and tasteful ambience of unspoiled Mustique to Tobago Cays Marine Park. These five uninhabited isles are among the most beautiful in the Grenadines and are seemingly made for sailors who love snorkeling, scuba diving, beach combing, or simply relaxing in the cockpit in a natural setting away from the bustle found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Horseshoe Reef hems in the cays, providing protection from the trade wind swells. All manner of sea life is present, including sea turtles.
View day 4
Tobago Cays to Mayreau – 4 nm. Still very much in island mode, another day of pure leisure is in order. It’s only an hour or less to the next recommended anchorage, Mayreau’s Salt Whistle Bay, and along the way there’s plenty to do and see. Palm Island is a wonderful spot to drop the hook and enjoy lunch ashore. Casuarina Beach is beautiful and has a pleasant beachside restaurant. A major yachting center in the southern Grenadines, Clifton Harbour on nearby Union Island hums with activity. It has plenty of shops and restaurants. Anchor for the night a few miles north in Salt Whistle Bay and enjoy dinner at the Salt Whistle Bay Club.
View day 5
Mayreau to Bequia – 24 nm. For sailors on a round-trip St. Lucia sailing itinerary, it’s time to make the miles north back to Bequia’s Admiralty Bay. Another stop there will provide additional time to sample the island’s delights. Hike or take a taxicab to the top of Mount Pleasant, check out the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, visit the Bequia Maritime Museum, window shop, or dine ashore at one of the many restaurants, ranging from casual to the more upscale. An alternative well worth considering is beautiful Friendship Bay, on the south side of the island. It’s quiet, the white-sand beach is beautiful, and the anchorage is well protected from northerly swells. The views of Petit Nevis and Isle de Quatre are captivating.
View day 6
Bequia to The Pitons – 53 nm. Getting under way early for the passage north past St. Vincent and back to St. Lucia will provide the best of both worlds: a fun open-water sail with time to enjoy the beauty of the Pitons and the town of Soufriére. Treat yourself to a fine meal at one of the restaurants.
View day 7
The Pitons to Marigot Bay – 9 nm. Although you won’t want to sail back to reality (you can always come visit St. Lucia again!), the final leg of your charter will be a quick jaunt north back to the Moorings base. Please check in by noon.