Tag Archives: Tobago Cays

Ryan, Paulette, John, Randy, Theresa & Ronan in St. Lucia (Jan. 2018)

As the famous New York Yankee catcher, Yoggi Berra used to say, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it” – by Randy

As we have communicated to you before, the cruising community is different than that which our land based neighbors are accustomed to. We are, by definition, a group of transients with different itineraries, capabilities and goals. We have been cruising in the Caribbean for over 3 years now and we have crossed and recrossed paths with dozens of cruising families that we have enjoyed sharing our cruising dream with. Having passing acquaintances with other families is just part of the lifestyle. That said, we have developed some unique and close bonds with a select few. One of the special cruising families that we have shared a particularly close friendship with is John and Paulette Lee of M/V Seamantha, a Kadey Krogen 58′ trawler.

Paulette & John on the bridge of M/V Seamantha

Paulette & John on the bridge of M/V Seamantha

Tobago Cays (June 2016)

Petite St. Vincent  (June 2016)

Patton

Patton

We first met John and Paulette in the British Virgin Islands 3 years ago during our initial trip south through the Caribbean. When we arrived to spend our first hurricane season in Grenada, we ended up with a slip right next to Seamantha in the Port Louis Marina. John and Paulette spoiled our Cocker Spaniel, “Patton” with fresh bowls of his favorite vegetable, cauliflower, on the aft deck of Seamantha. They have watched our boys, Ryan and Ronan grow from little boys into capable young men. Throughout our trip, we have shared countless wonderful experiences with our cruising buddies. As the saying goes, friends are the family that you get to choose and John and Paulette have certainly become a big part of our family.

M/V Seamantha arriving in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

M/V Seamantha arriving in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

After watching the devastation and subsequent recovery of the Caribbean after one of the worst hurricane seasons on record, we have decided it is the appropriate time to turn the Pilots’ Discretion north and head back towards the United States. We are actually looking forward to retracing our route through the Caribbean and points north. It will be an opportunity to revisit some of our favorite spots. With our decision to turn north we have arrived at another one of those intersections in the life of a cruiser. Our friends on M/V Seamantha are departing St. Lucia this week to head south and so it is that we have arrived at Yoggi’s infamous fork in the road. Pilots’ Discretion and Seamantha will be taking divergent paths which in many ways is sad. We will not be saying goodbye, but rather, we will say “until we see you again.” So, as you depart Seamantha, we wish you fair winds and following seas.

Ryan, Paulette, John, Randy, Theresa & Ronan in St. Lucia (Jan. 2018)

Ryan, Paulette, John, Randy, Theresa & Ronan in St. Lucia (Jan. 2018)

PD1 heading ashore, Baradol Island, Tobago Cays

TOBAGO CAYS – by Theresa

Tobago Cays

Tobago Cays

At long last, we arrived in the beautiful Tobago Cays in the Grenadines, West Indies! Just a short cruise (2 nautical miles) from Mayreau, the Tobago Cays Marine Park consists of five (5) uninhabited islands (Baradal, Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Petit Tabac and Jamesby) surrounded by a horseshoe reef. Our first night in the park we picked up a mooring ball directly in front of the turtle sanctuary just off Baradal.

Baradol Island, Tobago Cays

Baradal Island, Tobago Cays

Ronan giving the 'OK' on the mooring ball, Baradol Island, Tobago Cays

Ronan giving the ‘OK’ on the mooring ball, Baradal Island, Tobago Cays

After receiving the all clear on the mooring, we snorkeled ashore, through, and around, the turtle sanctuary where green and hawksbill turtles feed off the sea grass.

Green Turtle, Baradol Island, Tobago Cays

Green Turtle, Baradal Island, Tobago Cays

We saw hundreds of starfish, so many, that they appeared to form underwater constellations.

Cushion Starfish, just off Baradol Island, Tobago Cays

Cushion Starfish, just off Baradal Island, Tobago Cays

Cushion Starfish, just off Baradol Island, Tobago Cays

Cushion Starfish, just off Baradal Island, Tobago Cays

Needless to say, the snorkeling was amazing!

Southern Stingray & Trunkfish just off Baradol Island, Tobago Cays

Southern Stingray & Trunkfish just off Baradal Island, Tobago Cays

Palometa & Conch just off Baradol Island, Tobago Cays

Palometa & Conch just off Baradal Island, Tobago Cays

Once ashore, we explored the uninhabited island where tortoises, iguanas and birds roam freely.

Our second night in the Marine Park, we picked up a mooring ball in the cut between Petit Rameau and Petit Bateau. We had considered snorkeling ashore, however, we saw multiple sharks and rays swimming just off the boat so we instead opted to take the dinghy ashore. Petit Rameau was inhabited by mostly goats. Petit Bateau has a nice trail that runs around the island and provides nice views of the surrounding islands.

Hiking Petit Bateau, looking towards Baradol Island

Hiking Petit Bateau, looking towards Baradal & Jamesby

We have been to multiple marine parks while cruising the Caribbean and have enjoyed the pristine beauty of them all. The Tobago Cays Marine Park was no exception and we highly recommend stopping here for anyone cruising on or around these waters. We would have stayed in the park longer, however, there was some weather moving in and so we opted to leave and continue our journey south towards Grenada. Our next stop, Petit St. Vincent and Petite Martinique . . .

Mayreau looking towards the Tobago Cays

MAYREAU – by Theresa

After departing Bequia, we continued our journey south to our next Grenadines island destination, Mayreau. From Bequia, the run to Mayreau is only 23 nautical miles. Our passage was smooth with 3-6 ft. seas.  When we arrived in Salt Whistle Bay, we picked up one of the newly installed Marine Park’s mooring balls.  After diving the mooring ball, the boys went kayaking and then swam ashore. There were several other “kid boats” in the bay, so there was plenty of “boat kid” activities over the next couple of days, including one boat kid birthday party on the beach.

Boat kid (Cole's) birthday party, Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau

Boat kid birthday party, Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau

At 1.5 square miles, Mayreau is a much smaller island than Bequia. You can walk from one side of the island to the other in approximately fifteen (15) minutes. The hike is uphill in both directions, but well worth it in terms of both scenery and exercise. Behind the church at the top of the hill there is an excellent vantage point for looking out towards the Tobago Cays, Canouan, and Union Island.

Mayreau looking towards the Tobago Cays

Mayreau looking towards the Tobago Cays

We continued down the only paved road on the island to Saline Bay, which is where cruise ships drop off their passengers during the busy cruise ship season. Since we were there in the “off” season, we had the entire beach and bay to ourselves.

Saline Bay, Mayreau

Saline Bay, Mayreau (with Union Island in the background)

Saline Bay, Mayreau

Saline Bay, Mayreau

There is a large Salt Pond located directly behind Saline Bay. Its pretty pink hues made up for the attendant sulfurous odor!

Saline Bay, & Salt Ponds, Mayreau

Saline Bay, & Salt Ponds, Mayreau

Salt Ponds, Mayreau

Salt Ponds, Mayreau

Salt Ponds, Mayreau

Salt Ponds, Mayreau

After exploring the island we settled back onto the boat to enjoy the sunset from the bow.

Theresa & Randy enjoying sundowners and the sunset on the bow, Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau

Theresa & Randy enjoying sundowners and the sunset on the bow, Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau

After enjoying all that Mayreau  had to offer for a few days, we set off for our next Grenadine’s island destination, the Tobago Cays (pictures to follow in our next post).