Tuesday, July 2 - Thursday, July 4, 2013
Welcome to the site of the hands-down, most spectacular sunset we've ever seen! Okay, so it was six years ago when we first visited the Grenadines on a charter boat with friends John and Bonnie. We'd come through a hellish rainstorm to get here, but were rewarded with a purple sky that we've yet to encounter again.
There were no purple skies this time, but the Tobago Cays still offer some of the most gorgeous cruising grounds in the Caribbean. Made up of the five uninhabited islands of Baradel, Petit Bateau, Petit Rameau, Jamesby, and Petit Tabac, the Cays are sheltered to the east by the massive Horseshoe Reef.
You can anchor inside the reef, and look out at the open ocean with nothing between you and the African coast. The cays plus four surrounding islands are now protected under the Tobago Cays Marine Park, offering plenty of snorkeling, diving, bird watching, and LOTS of turtle sightings.
After anchoring off Baradel at noon, we wasted no time jumping into the water. We swam towards the roped-off turtle viewing area, but saw even more turtles in the deeper grassy areas around the anchorage. We finally stopped counting at 15 turtles, and also saw two stingrays and a dozen trunk fish. Incredible!
We also had plenty of evening entertainment, thanks to a happy hour aboard Yachtsman's Dream with Lela & John, plus Harry & Melinda from Sea Schell and Polly & Mo from Motivator. John & Lela have a beautiful catamaran, and Lela's a fantastic cook. They REALLY made us want to switch to a cat. Thanks, guys!
Wednesday and Thursday offered more of the same...gorgeous snorkeling and turtle encounters by day, happy hours with other cruisers by night. Wednesday we hiked up Petit Bateau to enjoy fantastic views of the reefs surrounding the Cays and Petit Tabac to the east, and Mayreau and Union Island to the west. That night, we hosted a happy hour/barbecue on Pipe Muh Bligh.
Between JoHo's kebabs, our chicken wings, Trudy May's breadfruit "potato" salad, It's Perfect's awesome dip, and Motivator's tuna ceviche, we had more food than we knew what to do with. (Did we mention we eat really well on this boat??) Polly & Mo also brought makings for 'Ti Punch, a Caribbean specialty that involves fresh-squeezed limes, sugar cane syrup, and just a wee bit (yeah, right) of rum. Rene mixed it up with our favorite sipping rum, Zaya (Storyville & Alternate Latitude, we were thinking of you!), and a grand time was had by all.
Thursday was a final snorkel with JoHo, followed by yet another happy hour aboard Motivator. Polly & Mo were terrific hosts, but we found ourselves with a new dilemma: do we trade Pipe in for a catamaran or a motor cruiser??? (Kidding...we love our Winnebago of a boat!)
It was a short stay in the Tobago Cays, but a memorable one. We LOVE this place! It's time to continue south towards Grenada, but we know we'll be back. Till next time...
For more Tobago Cays pictures, click here.
Fellow cruisers, FYI: it costs $10 EC (about $4 US) per person per day to stay in the Tobago Cays park. We figure that's about 25 cents per turtle...well worth it!
2 years ago