Tobago Cays

by Adrian on January 5, 2015

We’ve arrived in the Tobago Cays. This small set of islands is surrounded by a huge horseshoe shaped reef which protects it from the huge force of the Atlantic swell.


The reefs protect yachts from the waves, but the wind blows unabated. The last few days has seen a consistent 20-25 knots of trade wind, so the prime anchorages to the windward side of the islands were very gusty and very uncomfortable. We stayed overnight (paying our EC$10 (£3) per person conservation fee) and anchored in the lee of Petit Rameau where a bit of shelter could be found.

The islands are fringed with Palm trees, white sandy beaches and coral. Even out here miles from anywhere the locals set up evening lobster and fish bbqs for visitors. DSCN2224.JPG

BaguetteBoat boys come around in their little wooden speedboats offering to sell lobster, fruit, bread and fresh baguettes. We politely refuse most things unless we need fruit or supplies, but this time we were offered something for the next morning, so ordered a baguette. Perfectly on cue this morning, the buzz of a hard driven motor heralded our warm, crusty breakfast.

This is one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean with coral white sands and clear turquoise-blue water.

Tobago cays

There is a buoyed-off area in the lee of one of the islands called Turtle beach. We tried taking the dinghy around to snorkel looking for turtles, but were driven back by wind driven waves tossing the dingy around and covering us with mountains of spray. Instead we landed on one of the nearer islands and had a walk around. Landing and getting out of the dingy was exhausting, as you can see by the (obviously Russian!) woman in this picture.


After breakfast this morning we took the boat around the corner into the full force of the near gale and anchored as near to the beach as we could. The sea had a violent chop on it, so instead of swimming a couple of hundred meters we snuck the dingy around the buoys and landed it on the spit of turtle beach.

Surprisingly, once away from the beach, the water was clear and we found turtles bobbing up and down doing their stuff generally disregarding us.


Despite the serenity underwater, the snorkelling was very tricky with a horrible surface chop and current that Jax struggled with and ended up having problems with water ingress into her cheap mask and snorkel. After a bit of a struggle with the conditions she persevered however and found her way back to the beach, tired but ok.

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