Start a Grenadines sail at St. Vincent’s Blue Lagoon

Pack for a Purpose

In 2009, Rebecca Rothney of Raleigh, North Carolina, came up with the idea of encouraging travellers to maximize airlines’ checked luggage allowance by taking much-needed supplies to the destinations they visit. Over the past six years, Pack for a Purpose participants to the Caribbean have supported educational, health and animal welfare projects. For example, sailors who took part in last fall’s Black Boaters Summit trip to Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina in the British Virgin Islands packed on board and delivered a variety of school supplies for the children at the territory’s Autism Center. Each charitable project on the Pack for a Purpose website comes with a specific list of desired items. Beneficiaries are located on 14 islands from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic south to Grenada and Curacao. “The wonderful ability that yachtsmen have that people flying do not is the ability to take as much as they can carry. Just maximizing the supplies they choose to take is a wonderful way of saying thank you to the inhabitants on the islands that they visit,” says Rothney.

Dark View Falls on St. Vincent offer a great gateway to the Grenedines. PHOTO: St. Vincent and The Grenadines Tourism Authority.
Dark View Falls on St. Vincent offer a great gateway to the Grenedines. PHOTO: St. Vincent and The Grenadines Tourism Authority.

The waters surrounding St. Vincent are a pearl of a cruising destination. First, this Windward Island south of St. Lucia and to the east of Barbados is home to Wallilabou Bay. The big draw here is seeing some of the set remnants used by Disney when filming Pirates of the Caribbean. There are moorings at this quiet anchorage, a local seafood restaurant on shore, and the nearby Wallilabou Heritage Park is a great place to swim in a waterfall. Second, the southern part of St. Vincent is the great gateway to the Grenadines, an idyllic 37-mile stepping stone of islands to the south, which includes charming Bequia, well-heeled Mustique and the marine reserve at the Tobago Cays. A recently completed refurbishment makes the Blue Lagoon Hotel & Marina, located in the safe haven of Cannash Bay on St. Vincent’s southern tip and 11 nautical miles from Wallilabou Bay, is a perfect place to start a charter. The now bright-decor rooms earned the hotel a number one rating for accommodations on St. Vincent on a popular travel website. The hotel complex offers a restaurant and bar, café, beach bar, grocery store, chandlery, boutique, fitness center, swimming pool, dive and watersports facility, car rental, concierge services, and a Horizon Yacht Charters base. The full-service marina, the only one of its kind on St. Vincent, offers in-slip water and electric, free Wi-Fi, sail loft, laundry facilities and a fuel dock. Plans are underway to expand the marina up to 200 berths. Blue Lagoon is an official port of entry to St. Vincent as is Wallilabou Bay.

By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating Magazine July, 2015