Our last stop before the Tobago Cays, was Mayreau, a lovely little atoll with an area of barely .46 square miles and a handful of inhabitants (about 270). We spent our first night in Salt Whistle Bay, where my old captain impressed me with a game of chicken against a catamaran trying to take our anchorage. Approaching Mayreau, we were neck and neck with this boat for a couple of hours, and it was getting late. Salt Whistle Bay looked crowded judging by the number of masts, and it’s a first come-first served deal. The cat entered the bay first and a boat boy lead them to a spot on the north side of the picture-perfect cove, close to the edge. Cap’n Pete, meanwhile, had chosen a spot he liked in the middle, (the last good spot, really), and made ready to anchor while I kept us in place. Then the boat boy arrived, leading the catamaran to the very same spot! The other boat told us they’d been told to anchor where we were preparing to do so. Peter told them that that was also his plan. Without another word, he went about his business. Meanwhile, the catamaran with it’s crew of dickheads (Peter’s words) was hovering over the spot, nosing its way insistently into place. It was a real parking lot showdown, drama on the high seas. Of course, I would have backed off, bowing to the “authority” of the boat boy. But Peter was right. We were there first, no need to be pushed around. We took the spot. Finally, the catamaran backed off and the dickheads got stuck in the crappy place behind us!
However beautiful Salt Whistle Bay may be, it was incredibly crowded and choppy with the NE swell. So the next day we left early for Saline Bay, which turned out to be our sweet spot. The first in a long while.
We anchored far from the other boats, on the south side of the bay, in a cove tucked in near the rock face by Monkey Point. Instantly, we knew we’d found the kind of place we’d been searching for.
Close to this rocky ledge, we could jump off the back and go snorkeling around, no need to take the dinghy. The coral was vibrant and healthy and chock full of fish. We had lots of privacy, no other boats around us (we don’t always wear a lot of clothes, particularly this heat!). Plus, we could easily get to shore and go visit the town, if we wanted.
No pesky boat boys, just the occasional fishermen selling their wares (best spiny lobster ever and a silk snapper, all for less than 30€)! It was a free anchorage and the 4G worked great, so we enjoyed this stop to the hilt. We made a single pilgrimage into the village to see the church that was
built at the very top, with a serious rainwater collection system integrated into the edifice by a rather visionary priest. There are several restaurants and small hotels, a grocer, and a liquor store, all lining the steep main road through town.It was a wonderful place to stop and breathe for a few days, and I hope our anchorage spot will be available again when we pass back though there.
For the divers there is the wreck of a WW1 English cruiser in about 10 meters of water located in the channel between Salt Whistle bay and Saline bay, clearly indicated on Navionics, however there is no marker buoy as as we could tell.