Off the Beaten Track
reproduced courtesy of imray, laurie, norie, and wilson ltd. (www.imray.com)
|When you get to Carriacou, don't head for Tyrrel Bay, the usual stop for cruisers. Instead, if your draft allows, sail inside the reef on the weather side of the island to enjoy the diving and anchorages there. You'll have to rely on eyeball navigation, but it's worth the trip.|
From Kendance Point north to Windward lies four miles of glorious sailing inside the barrier reef with nothing to windward of you except Africa. Eyeball navigation is necessary, but 9 feet can be carried inside the reef north to Windward, though from Point St. Hilaire any boat drawing more than 7 feet should proceed under power at dead slow or send the dinghy ahead to sound the passage because hurricanes have passed through this area since I last sounded it in the early years of this century on Li'l Iolaire, my 28-foot J. Francis Jones yawl.
It's been 30 years since I sailed north up the west coast of Grenada-the hard way-to Carriacou. Since the mid 1970s, I've always sailed up the east coast in stages. The "experts" tell me that I'm nuts. One kind of expert has usually spent his previous career in the Mediterranean or in the Pacific and has been in the Caribbean for only a few years. His time in the Caribbean has mostly been behind a desk running a bareboat operation-a very tough job, but he's not out cruising. The other sort of expert is a cruising yachtsman who's been in the Caribbean for four or five years and now knows everything about these islands.
It's possible that in the 50 years that I've spent in the Caribbean, I've learned a few things. The Caribbean hasn't been ruined. You can get off the beaten track.
Don Street is available as a rock, tide, and wind pilot for those who'd like a guide while exploring off the beaten track in the Caribbean. For more information, visit his website (www.street-iolaire.com). Street will give presentations at the 2008 Newport Boat Show in Rhode Island and at the 2008 U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis.