Sailing the Windward Islands Day 4 – Wallilabou Bay, St. Vincent

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.” — Lovelle Drachman

Day 4 – Wallilabou Bay, St. Vincent

The six-hour-plus sail was glorious. We had a fair wind off the beam across open waters. The distance is about 40 nautical miles, depending upon the direction of the trade winds and your route. We were really starting to enjoy our time on the sea. Our muscles no longer ached and we reveled in the physical labor of pulling up anchor, trimming sails, tacking to port and starboard, and taking turns at the helm.  I loved being at the captain’s wheel, enjoying the balmy breezes, and the changing appearance of the ocean and its wildlife. The trade winds blew between 18 and 20 knots out of the northeast, with a comfortable temperature in the low to mid 80s. This was a sailing adventure I would never forget.

We shared duties at the helm. I loved it.

We shared duties at the helm. I loved it.

Wallilabou Bay is the first port of entry on the western side of St. Vincent for boats arriving from the north.  The island is incredibly beautiful. The high peaks and steep slopes are covered by dense green forests. This wild terrain, along with fierce tribes, are the reasons St. Vincent was among the last of the Caribbean islands to be settled by Europeans. It is the largest of the 32 islands that comprise “the Grenadines”, extending some 45 miles to the southwest, like a kite’s tail.

Bird's eye view of Wallilabou Bay

Bird’s eye view of Wallilabou Bay

Coming into the harbor at Wallilabou was crazy. There were more boat boys jockeying for position than seemed possible. Most were getting in our way, and they were very persistent. The efforts of Alexander coming out a half mile at Soufrière spared us this hectic anchorage. There was a natural stone arch at the north end of the entrance to the bay that we passed on our port side, and then a long stretch of 10 to 12 already-moored boats we had to navigate through.

arch rock

Arch rock at the entrance to the bay.

This would be our only stop at St. Vincent. We had been warned away from Kingstown harbor, and opted for Wallilabou. Other sailors had told us of stolen boats while they were ashore for dinner or shopping. And the backstreets could be dangerous in Kingston, they said.

With the abundance of boat boys wanting to help with the lines, we dropped both bow and stern anchors, and settled in for a dinner on the boat, but not before diving down to personally check the anchor’s hold on the ocean floor with our diving masks. We two ladies had become over-zealous shipmates.

Enjoying a meal on the boat with a local brew from St. Vincent, Hairoun. We also enjoyed Piton and Carib Lagers.

Enjoying a meal on the boat with a local brew from St. Vincent, Hairoun. We also enjoyed Piton and Carib Lagers.

small beer labels
(Wallilabou Bay would become the location for the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” in 2003, long after our sailing adventure.)

Sailing Distance — Soufrière, St. Lucia to Wallilabou Bay, St. vincent– 40 nautical miles.