The Windward Islands aren’t for every milk-run Caribbean cruiser. Quieter and more remote than the developed neighbouring Leeward Islands, it is a destination where guests take most meals aboard and the jet skis often stay in the garage; they are forbidden in many areas.
Nevertheless, Adrian O’Neill, captain of the 59.4m Y.CO charter yacht Oasis encourages his more intrepid repeat guests to explore the Windwards. His itinerary reveals the charm of these islands: dramatic scenery, inspiring walks, swimming in clear waters, lounging on pristine beaches and that ever-elusive Caribbean ideal – seclusion.
Welcome guests aboard in Grenada, then anchor in Mount Harman Bay for an afternoon of watersports and swimming in the glass-calm sea – the ideal way to rinse off a flight here. Later, get crew to serve cocktails and canapés followed by dinner at anchor.
Visit the colourful market in Grenada’s capital, St George’s, where stalls are piled high with spices grown on the island. Guests can also hike in the rainforest where the sporty among them can jump from waterfalls. Then have lunch as the yacht motors out to a protected bay for the afternoon. Then cruise overnight to Union Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Transfer guests by tender to the beach, which has already been set up by the crew with chairs, umbrellas, towels, sunscreen and drinks. After a morning on the beach, motor 30 minutes to Petit St Vincent and enjoy lunch onboard. Explore the idyllic island – turquoise water, reef, a sand islet and a lagoon with water shallow enough for young children.
Motor to Tobago Cays at 8am, when the sun is high enough to see the reefs; anchor between three islets with waves breaking on the reef in the distance. We often fish here, trailing a couple of lines behind a tender. Guests can also snorkel in a large area of shallow water on the inner side of the reef. In the late afternoon motor to Canouan Island.
Guests can now leave or join by private jet from a runway extension completed in 2007. Continue the cruise with a morning swim then a massage at Canouan Resort Spa. During lunch motor to Mustique in time to visit the boutiques on the shore side. Make a reservation for guests to dine at the Firefly Hotel overlooking Britannia Bay.
Today, guests can tour Mustique then lounge and swim on the white sands of Macaroni Beach on the Atlantic side of the island. Now head to Lagoon Beach – I get the crew to pre-prepare a barbecue under a palm hut, then after lunch guests can paddle and swim in the shallow, calm water. In the early evening go to Basil’s Bar for cocktails, lobster and live music amid rustic Caribbean décor. After dinner, motor overnight to St Lucia.
Guests wake to a magnificent view of the Pitons – guests can climb one of these two peaks after breakfast or go for a trail hike. If they’re feeling less active go for a drive through a volcano during the visit ashore. You can relax and swim after the excursions or St Lucia offers good diving for a wide range of abilities. Finally guests can enjoy cocktails and dinner while watching the sun set over the Caribbean Sea – a perfect end before the departure from St Lucia’s international airport the next day.