St. Vincent and the Grenadines Stories and Tips

Different islands/Different personalities: Tobago Cays

The Tobago Cays are not just one island, but a chain of deserted islands (except for all the boats anchored off them) that constitute a national park. I have dubbed them the "Adventure Islands" of the Grenadines. The islands are protected from the ocean by Horseshoe Reef and the snorkeling here is the best we've found in the Caribbean, rivaled only by Anegada in the B.V.I. In fact, it rivals many of the reef dives I've ever taken. The water is a brilliant turquoise that entices you to jump off the boat the minute you set anchor, and fades to blue, green, gold, and brown as you get closer to the reef. There are dinghy moorings positioned along the reef so you can anchor in the clear, deeper water, and then dinghy out to where you can literally snorkle for hours without becoming bored. It is a magnificent close-to-the-surface aquarium that provides snorkelers with sights that are normally available only to those who scuba dive. (For those who do want to dive, Grenadines Dive specializes in the Tobago Cays, and they will come and pick you up from your boat. You can also give them a call if you are staying on a nearby island and want to dive the Cays. Contacts for Grenadines Dive are as follows -- Phone: 458-8138; e-mail: gdive@caribsurf.com; website: www.grenadinesdive.com.)

When you finally decide that you have to stop snorkeling to eat something, the sandy beach of any one of the four islands making up the Tobago Cays provides a perfect setting for a beach barbeque. (Please take your trash with you when you're finished partying, though.) If you've neglected to provision well, boat vendors will be along offering fresh fish and lobster, fruits, ice, and bread. They also sell T-shirts and jewelry, but before you buy a T-shirt from one of them, look for someone who has a clothesline of shirts set up on either Jamesby or Petit Bateau Island. Wilma Dember sets up her "shop" on one of these two Cays most days and has great-priced, high-quality T-shirts for only 35EC$, a much lower price than you will get from a boat vendor and also much lower than you will find in most shops on the islands in the Grenadines.

After the barbeque, head back to the boat and relax on the deck under a sky decorated with a confetti of stars while planning your next adventurous day in the Cays. Bet you can't do just one!

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