The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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Dramatic St. Vincent Volcano

Current Location: Buccament Bay, St. Vincent
Current Position: 13 11.47 N 061 16.06 W Click to view map.
Distance sailed since last post: 11 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track here

The last time we were in St. Vincent we had booked a guide to take us up the Volcano. Unfortunately the path was impassable owing to debris from Hurricane Tomas – remember? The one that didn’t happen while we were sitting in Port Eggmont in Grenada?

So the guide (Sailor’s Wilderness Tours – excellent) gave us a rain-check for a later date.

So, after a short sail from Bequia we returned to our previous anchorage in Buccament Bay, gave Sailor a call, and went hiking.

This time the path had been cleared. It is quite a trek up, about 3.5 miles each way, and pretty steep. At one point you are traversing a narrow ridge with steep drops off on each side – visible now that the hurricane had removed a lot of the vegetation. But the path is good, and there are no scary bits. Just keep plodding.

As we climbed the vegetation gradually changed. First was tropical rain forest. Then the trees got smaller and sparser, and finally disappeared altogether, leaving the slopes covered in ferns and low lying bushes. From a distance it looked rather like the Scottish highlands. The rocks were volcanic black – the source of all the black sand beaches around most of St. Vincent.

The volcano is perpetually shrouded in cloud. Which means it also rains a lot. And today was no exception. We were absolutely drenched! But it was warm enough, so no problem. At the top it was cool, but still manageable with or without a light wind-breaker coat.

Eventually we reached the rim of the crater. The wind howled, the fog cleared and… what a view! A huge crater with a lava dome poking up in the middle. So dramatic.

Then the clouds came in again, the rain started up again, and we made our wet descent back down into the tropics.

We stopped for lunch (all included in the tour) and then wound our way back down the windward, east coast, around the bottom of the island and back up the other side to Buccament Bay.

St. Vincent is fun. It is mountainous, rugged, undeveloped and poorly set up for tourists, though it does get a few cruise ships coming through. But we found the people helpful and friendly and had no hassles from anyone.

Definitely worth the visit.

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