29 August, 2011

Casting off the anchors in the Grenadines

One of my favourite things in the world is the feeling of sailing on the open water; with the sea wind blowing in my hair, and the sun beating down on me. My number one place to do this? The Grenadine islands in the Caribbean. When I was a little girl, my parents took me on a day trip from our base in Barbados on a traditional wooden island schooner called 'The Scaramouche'. It is one of my favourite childhood memories, and I am lucky enough to have been able to go back and experience the trip again since.

There are many ways to tour the Grenadines, but it feels so much more authentic doing it on a traditional boat, rather than a modern catamaran. The Scaramouche is a 60ft vessel which was used in the movie 'Pirates of the Caribbean', and is also one of the last working schooners in the West Indies. After a fifteen minute flight on a small aircraft from Barbados to Union Island (the southernmost island of the Grenadines), you board the Scaramouche, and your perfect day begins.

Sailing smoothly through the islands, you stop at places like Mayreau (the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines - about 1.5 square miles!), and the Tobago Cays to indulge in a spot of snorkelling - if that's not your thing, then you can either stay on the Scaramouche, or head to the beach. An incredible lunch is served on board, and copious amounts of rum punch, and other drinks are available if you so desire - well...it would be rude not to, they are included in the price of your trip! The crew really can't do enough for you, and with numbers limited, it's never busy. On the three occasions I've been on this trip, there were less than ten guests on board.

My top tip? Get yourself out to the front of the schooner; lie back and chill on the rope nets. It's here where you can fully appreciate the creaking of the rigging; the sound of the Caribbean sea below, and the pure majesty of sailing in such an amazing piece of craftsmanship.

Does this sound like your perfect day trip? Have you experienced a sailing trip that lives long in the memory? If you want more information on the Scaramouche, click here.


  1. Love your photos, Mandy! You can't beat that beautiful sandy beaches and translucent turquoise water. While I haven't been on sailing ships like the Scaramouche, I have been on small-ship cruises of Alaska's Inside Passage and the Galapagos Islands that I will long remember.

  2. Thanks for the comment Nancy - always great to get some feedback. Your sailing experiences sound amazing - I'd especially like to go to the Galapagos Islands - wow!

  3. Hey, Mandy. Great post! It's wonderful to read another point of view on one of my all time favorite trips! This was also our young son's first sailing trip, too, but I doubt he'll remember... He was just 6 months old.

    If you get a chance, I posted the whole story in 5 parts at UncommonCaribbean.com. You can see them all here:

    Sailing the Grenadines Part 1: Three Simple Questions Make Travel Amazing

    Sailing The Grenadines Part 2: Passing the Pitons and on to Bequia

    Sailing The Grenadines Part 3: Bequia to the Tobago Cays… And Lobster!

    Sailing The Grenadines Part 4: Paradise is Not For Sale, But it Can Be Rented

    Sailing The Grenadines Part 5: Patrick vs. the Volcano

  4. Thanks for the feedback Patrick. I'll have a look at your own story - lovely to hear about other people's adventures, especially when you've had the same experience!