by Jacqui English, E-Commerce Officer, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority
Heading from Kingstown’s Cruise Ship Terminal, our first stop with Fantasea Tours power catamaran, was along St. Vincent’s leeward coast to pick up a few guests at Buccament Bay Resort.
On the two-hour ride to Tobago Cays the boat vibrated to the up tempo beat of salsa and soca. We were also entertained by a few prying fishes which darted in the ocean. The male crew outfitted in red shorts and white t-shirts, eagerly served local soft beverages and rum punch. During different occasions seats were shifted as cool waves sprayed several passengers. However, some persons didn’t appear to be bothered, as they munched on un-parched peanuts soaked in rum punch.
Filled with chatter and laughter Fantasea Tours catamaran chiseled the leaping waves, while we passed the inhabited islands of Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island and many uninhabited cays. As we approached Tobago Cays spread before us was a picturesque view of Petit St. Vincent, Petit Martinique and Carriacou.
The Tobago Cays Marine Park is infamous for sailing, snorkelling, diving and its huge horseshoe reef. The five cays of Petit Bateau, Petit Rameau, Petit Tabac, Jamesby and Baradal comprise the Tobago Cays. Petit Tabac was a site for the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Petit Tabac is located apart from her sister cays, and is accessible by a dingy, due to the protective reef.
Set against a backdrop of the Friendship Rose schooner and yachts anchored in the cays, Fantasea Tours entered Petit Bateau; a couple was seen donning their snorkelling gear and plunging into turquoise waters, also another vessel headed past us, decked with passengers revelling in this haven. Cameras snapped and flickered to capture these perfect photo opportunities.
Then came the moment everyone was longing for – disembarking on Petit Bateau to sink your toes into the white sea-shelled sand, dive into the translucent sea, or to just imagine that you’re marooned on an enchanted island. I opted to snorkel amidst the coral reef and pretended to be one of the multi-coloured fishes. A few visitors on board Captain Yannis’ catamaran ‘Typhoon’ sampled a taste of splendid swimming.
Our next island retreat was Mayreau for a swim at the superb Salt Whistle Bay. Along the beach there was an assorted display of local colourful fabric. The shoreline also offered a bountiful supply of juicy wild sea grapes. Then we headed to the charming Bougainvilla Restaurant on Union Island for a delectable seafood lunch.
After lunch we stopped at Palm Island Resort, which would provide the night’s accommodation for two of our fortunate passengers. I just couldn’t resist a quick dip on Palm’s phenomenal beach.
Then it was time to return to St. Vincent. As the boat glided home I enjoyed the salty splashes on my body, and the gorgeous view of the round moon high in the daytime sky, then came the glorious descend of the purple pink sunset, an ultimate closing cast of a divine day.