After our stay in Clifton we were keen to get out and go exploring again – despite the winds! A friend recommended Petite St Vincent and there was a good write up in the guidebook about Petite St Martinique, it’s close neighbour, so we set sail.
Petite St Martinique
Actually we motored across to Petite St Martinique. No sooner had we cleared the scary reefs of Clifton harbour than a huge squall came over, 30 knot plus winds and a splattering of rain to boot. As soon as that had passed through we were pretty much there, so we never got around to hoisting the sails. Oh well, at least the batteries are charged.
Simon had made a reservation at Palm Beach restaurant which meant that we could take up one of their two moorings. The winds were still big on the approach and we were searching among the millions of fishing buoys to find the one we needed.
It was like a needle in a haystack so we called up the restaurant on the radio and they came out to help us secure the lines. Once we were about 100 meters from land the wind dropped a bit. Finally no howling winds just a brisk breeze!
The mooring buoy was pretty close to shore so we rowed in and took a mooch around town. Strangely enough Petite St Martinique, is not part of Martinique or Union Island, it’s part of Grenada so we have to apologise for flying the wrong flag (and not clearing customs…ahem)
To call it a village is really pushing it, hamlet would probably be closer to the mark. But it’s as cute as a button with colourful fairytale homes, some old and some brand spanking new.
We walked past the school which had pictures and facts painted on the wall. I learned a thing or two.
Just as we were passing school finished and all the kids came tearing out. It’s funny but wherever you go, the sound of children breaking free of school is always the same. The kids were all well behaved and pristine in their colourful school uniforms. They were friendly, the older children escorting the younger ones home. They didn’t bat an eyelid at a couple of strangers wandering through their streets.
Later we saw a small ferry come into the dock bringing the big kids from the big school which must be on one of the bigger islands.
One of the things that continues to surprise us is how remote some of these places are. No bank, no mobile top-ups, just the simple things in life like bread, fish and veggies. Like in Clifton many of the buildings were multipurpose – home and shop, shop and bar. There’s no tax here so alcohol is pretty cheap – we purchased a bottle of vodka to add to our cellar for next to nothing.
What they also do really well is beach bars.
I don’t think Simon can bring himself to pass one without partaking in a beer – just supporting the local community he says. This one was particularly picture-perfect, complete with locals playing dominoes and a panorama view of the beach and islands beyond.
As it happened we were the only people at dinner, I think the wind has put many people off travelling around the islands. Instead of being weird it was actually quite intimate. The location was stunning, a garden setting, with the sound of the waves crashing in the background.
The many fishing boats tied up outside all had their lights twinkling away (I know, usually we’re cursing them!)
The food was excellent, a family business with great service all around. They also came out to make sure we made it back to the boat in the dinghy as we had just rowed ashore and the wind had picked up. I think that was service or maybe they’re just up for a good laugh!
We made it just by the skin on Simon’s index finger. Otherwise I’m sure we would have blown back off down the beach again. Would definitely recommend Palm Beach restaurant on Petite St Martinique – the mooring buoy is good too. Actually the restaurant said you could use the fishing fleet moorings as they often go out to sea for weeks at a time. At the moment they’re all in hiding from the wind – like us!
Petite St Vincent
Petite St Vincent is the island opposite – joined by a reef.
It’s pretty much a stones throw away and so we arrived before 9.15 in the morning. That’s got to be some kind of record!
This is place is also stunning, but is the polar opposite of its neighbour. It’s a fancy 5-star resort that they sometimes allow yachties to visit.
Everything on Petite St Martinique is quaint and fanciful, even though some of the houses are like mansions. The people and the living is simple.
Whereas in Petite St Vincent everything is grand and with prices like $1700US per night for a one bedroom cottage the people are… well the rich and famous. The resort also offers the option to rent the whole island – if you have to ask the price you can’t afford it!
The rules for yachts are simple, you can go to Goaties beach bar and along the beach from there to the dinghy pier but no further. Do not pass go, and do not collect $200!
In fairness, their guests come here to be away from prying eyes and are spending a good nickel or two for the privilege while we just rock up in a boat and drop anchor for free.
The beach is amazing, the snorkelling is good too.
At Goaties the atmosphere was great, the view stunning, the food is good and the pina coladas are STRONG.
Most of our fellow diners were from boats so I guess the rich and famous prefer to keep themselves to themselves in the fancy restaurant up the hill.
In actual fact we preferred the food and pina coladas at Palm Beach restaurant in Petite St Martinique which was half of the price, shhhh just don’t tell anyone.