Thursday, March 1, 2012

Windward versus Leeward

Island have both windward and leeward sides; the windward side is the one facing the wind, and the leeward is the more protected side. Most anchorages are on the leeward side, for obvious reasons. It’s the height of the cruising season now, which means that there are scads of charter boats (as well as non-charter) crowding the anchorages. So we’ve gone windward on our last couple of islands: Mayreau and Canouan. Both these islands have nice reefs off of their windward shores, which blocks most of the swells and waves. Since the wind is blowing right at you and the island is at your back (a lee shore), you’ve got to be sure of your anchor holding, but we always double check it to make sure we’re firmly stuck. And boy, is the extra effort worth it! Here are some pictures of the anchorages, with huge swaths of sand flats, great reefs, and tremendous underwater visibility.  And the best part; no one else is here! It was quiet, it was peaceful, it was dark at night, everything our last leeward anchorage wasn’t.
Crowded anchorage (leeward)
Our Canouan anchorage! (windward)
Our Mayreau anchorage - the other boat was gone before nightfall (windward)

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