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 Canouan - Profile

Location

Lying south of Mustique and north of Mayreau, in the middle of the Grenadine archipelago, Canouan is an island of only 5 square miles.

Despite that, Glossy Bay Marina (a multi-million dollar development and the first super yacht marina) opened to yachts in April 2017. Situated next to the airport runway on the SW side of the island, the marina is now open to visitors with development of phase 2 (resort, yacht club, landscaping etc.) on-going.

The island is "divided" in two. The northern portion is run by a large resort development exclusively for guests. The southern portion, for the locals, is where the new marina is situated.

The island has incredible beaches and great walks and hopefully Canouan will still manage to retain some of its sleepy, rural charm once the JCB's move out.

Yacht Security

Canouan suffered throughout the summer of 2015 when numerous boats were boarded in Charlestown Bay (18 reports) and the majority of these burgled. Cruising guide author Chris Doyle confirmed that the thief was apprehended and jailed (see comment at bottom of page) which is good news for the island.

Following a winter of no reported incidents, a locked yacht was burgled again here whilst the crew were ashore in June 2016 and night-time boarders and burglaries continue to be reported in 2017. Be sure to secure all your valuables and lock your boat securely at night and when going ashore (even ventilation hatches).

Last updated July 2017.

Position 12° 42.6'N, 61° 20'W.

Clearance

Customs and Immigration office is the Canouan Revenue Office located at the ferry port at the main harbour in Charleston Bay.

There are also Customs and Immigration offices at the airport, adjacent to the new marina. Open 07:30-19:00 daily.

It is intended that a Customs, Immigration and Coastguard office will be provided in the Marina Plaza on completion.

Last updated May 2017.

Customs
Tel:784-482-0774
Opening hours: 08:30-16:00(Mon-Sat), 09:00-12:00, 15:00-18:00(Sun)

Docking

Charlestown Bay

This is the main anchorage on the west coast of the Island, lying open to the NW. Visiting yachts can anchor anywhere, except close to the Tamarind Beach Hotel which is full of moorings.

It can be uncomfortable here in strong NE winds with a northerly swell. Whilst holding is good in sand, the strong gusts coming off the hills can cause boats to swing all over the place and this can be worrying, especially with the wind howling all night. It can often be quite rough here.

The mooring buoys close to the shore belong to the charter fleet and are not available to visiting yachts.

Other moorings in the bay belong to Marcus and John, both provide a number of services to visiting yachts.

The jetty at the Tamarind Beach Hotel can be used to come ashore in your dinghy, but use an anchor to keep your boat clear of the pier. With a swell running, it can be quite tricky to land on the dinghy dock safely. If landing on the beach, be aware that huge waves can appear from nowhere and somersault the boat.

The hotel welcomes cruisers and has WiFi and will sell you bread. Also boats will call to sell you fish, lobster, bread, water, ice and diesel.

If buying diesel be sure to filter it well - it is unlikely to be clean.

Moorings yacht charters have a new big dock here right next to the Hotel and there is also a small wooden dock in the southern part of the bay.

Other Anchorages

Yachts can also anchor in Rameau Bay.

It is however no longer possible to anchor in Corbay - a useful protected anchorage but now out of bounds due to new ownership (see comment at bottom of page).

Anchoring and kite-surfing are also banned on the east side of Canouan.

Marinas

A new marina (The Glossy Bay Marina) opened here in April 2017 alongside the airport runway. Visiting yachts should call the Marina on Channel 68 and normally will be directed straight to a berth depending on size, draft and utilities required. Otherwise yachts may proceed and moor port-side-to along the quay directly in front of the Marina Office from where they will be allocated a berth.

Smaller yachts should be aware that the marina can berth yachts up to 100 metres LOA which may be restricted in their ability to manoeuvre on and off their berth and in the entrance channel. Securite messages will be broadcast on VHF16 and 68 whenever a large yacht is entering or leaving a berth.

Taffia Hill breaks most of the prevailing wind so wind along the marina channel is less than outside, but not by a lot. The smaller yacht berths are at the Eastern end of the marina where shelter is greater.

The airport closes at 7.00pm. Flight movements are pretty infrequent (4 SVG Air flights per day, 1 Mustique Air and a few private flights).

Important Note:

The safety department at SVG Air strongly urges yachts to avoid the area within 2 miles of the airport's final approach area.

On numerous occasions vessels have been crossing the final approach path at Canouan, at the same moment an aircraft is on its final approach. This poses a problem to both the aircraft and the yacht alike, especially at night or in low visibility. This is especially difficult for a pilot unfamiliar with the area.

Last updated May 2017.

Glossy Bay Marina
Glossy Bay, Canouan , Saint Vincent and the Grenadines , VC0450, W.I.
Tel:+1 784 431-2828 (Manager’s cell +1 784 431-8554) ,VHF Channel 68
Facilities currently available: Electricity 50 & 60 Hz, 16, 32, 50, 63A Single phase. Water, Duty Free Diesel & Gasoline, Marina Office, Marina Lounge, Marina Concierge, Showers, Laundry, Wi-Fi, Garbage Disposal, Waste pumpout, Bar, Swimming Pool, Restaurant (Shenanigan’s).
The Marina has 24 hour security patrols and is in the process of installing a CCTV system and fitting out a Security Patrol Boat.
More to follow on completion of Marina Plaza in late 2017. Contact the marinan for an information sheet of FAQs.
John's Marine
VHF Channel 16 , (photo courtesy of SY Wild Goose)
Moorings, Ice, and high quality desalinated water from the Tamarind Hotel complex at $1 EC per gallon (.37 US).
Marcus (Iceman)
Charlestown Bay
VHF Channel 16
Supplies ice, gas, moorings and water and will try to assist in other ways.

Noah D.
Noah D. says:
Jul 26, 2017 07:11 PM

Reported on the Grenada Cruisers Information Facebook Page, July 26, 2017:

Just a quick heads up and warning for those planning to stop at Canouan.
We were on a mooring off the Tamarind Beach Hotel when, at 0120 this morning it started raining. When I got up to close the cabin windows, I noticed someone in our cockpit sitting on the floor. When I banged on the door (which we always lock) he got up and jumped over the side and swam off.

gaero
gaero says:
Apr 29, 2017 09:18 PM

Burglary in Charlestown 26./27. April 2017

We read regularly in Noonsite about the safety and security incidents. Today we are in the unfortunate position to report to you what happened to us.

We entered Canouan, Charlestown Bay on 26. April 12:00 on anchor. Visited the town and went back to the boat around 17:00 and stayed on board the entire evening and night.
Closed all hatches except one in the salon of our catamaran. The front hatch was slightly ajar to get some air. It was a windy night and the wind-generator was working full power.
During the night while we were asleep, somebody entered the ajar salon hatch and went into the salon and stole money from the pockets of my pants and out of the wallet of my wife. The intruder also took two mobile phones that were on the navigation table for charging.
He took cash and mobile phones only. Also he was very diligent and even closed the zipper of my wife's wallet.
In the morning at first it was difficult to detect the theft. We reported the incident to the local police station in Charlestown.

It was the first such incident that happened to us.

Though I don’t want to give up my dream of continuing to live on my boat, the incident left us with some thoughts.
Do we have to be glad he or they did not wake us up at gunpoint and wanted more valuables from us?
Yet while we were on shore and locked the boat up anybody could go on board start the engines and sail away with the entire boat. How does the sailing community take further measures to prevent robbery and theft?

In conclusion I recommend NOT to stay any longer in Charlestown Bay nor in front of the Tamarind Hotel, where a mooring was faulty and a 61.5 ft catamaran was washed on to the other side of the bay on to a reef and the sand.

The solution is the newly opened (April 2017) beautiful marina behind the airport on the SW side of the island. The charge is 1 USD per ft, an easy price to pay vs. the USD 2500 damage the burglary cost us.

The sad thing about it is that if you go to the insider bar near the fruit and vegetable markets people say that it is just one guy notorious for doing so. And he lives in the bay above where the coast guard is located!

Canouan as such is a friendly island with a nice ambience. It has a very good - not to say the best - deli shop in the southern Caribbean and even stocks Italian Grappa!

Thalahan
Thalahan says:
Feb 21, 2016 01:47 AM

We found Charlestown bay to be unpleasant with very strong gusts. Landing a dinghy on the Tamarind Hotel pontoon is easy, pontoon is in good condition. You can get wifi at the hotel for 10 usd. Drinks are expensive at the hotel so we found a local beach bar right beside the commercial pontoon where you can run your dinghy up onto the beach and buy a beer for 7 EC$. The North half of the island is not accessible (it's private) so don't bother renting a golf cart. Signs of construction at the South of the island where they are putting in a new marina beside the airport.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 10, 2016 10:40 PM

Security Update and other cruising info. from Chris Doyle (8 February, 2016):
In Canouan I am happy to confirm the story that a man was put in Jail for robbing a boat. He is in for at least two years, and since he was in jail they have not had a single other incident. One of the water vendors caught him coming out of the water naked at night and recognized him and reported him to the police. He had stolen money on him and I am told he pleaded guilty.
There has not been a single incident since he was arrested so we can say Canouan is as safe as anywhere else and maybe safer at the moment.

There are now two moorings and water vendors. Markus, whose son Mark is usually running the boat aided by Sharka, and John Compton, who is not yet in my guide but he can be contacted: Channel 16 or 1-784-593-0875. Both are excellent and will help in any way you want. They charge only $1 EC a gallon and deliver alongside. Their moorings are good and cost $50 EC.

New yachting regulations have been put in effect for Canoaun by Government order (rather than a new law). The first is because a rich Italian has bought Corbay (Anse La Guyac) and put in a ton of sand and a huge restaurant that is private and only open to his friends and associates. He desires the bay to be completely private so the government have banned anchoring in this bay, which is a pity as it is one of the most secure anchorages in Canouan and I have ridden out much bad weather here. At first he put a line of buoys across the entrance which caused an outcry among locals who had it removed. Beach access is still allowed and yesterday well over a hundred locals had a beach party to send the message this kind of privatization was not on. They were very peaceful and respectful and had a great party.

The government has also banned anchoring and kite-surfing on the east side of Canouan. The locals at the party let us know in no uncertain terms they want us to be able to anchor in these places and are angry at what is happening. Do visit Canouan soon, and use the local services to help support them.

Hejira
Hejira says:
Jan 23, 2016 08:50 PM

Charlestown Bay Canouan
We have been told from several independent sources that the ‘petty thief’ targeting yachts in the Bay has been apprehended and is now serving 5 years.
The local businesses are frustrated that the ‘bad press’ persists and, as a result the number of visiting yachts is significantly diminished.
This is a delightful destination and we took a mooring, eat and provisioned ashore and filled water from Marcus’s ‘bowser boat’ with absolutely no problem.
It is such a shame that the community is suffering to such an extent as a result of (apparently) out of date information.
Nick Mines
SY ‘Hejira’

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 21, 2015 03:19 PM

This was posted on Grenada Cruiser's Group Facebook Page - 14 July, 2015:
Our boat was just boarded on Canouan while on mooring at Charlestown Bay. The gentleman (John) who rented us the mooring had suggested we close our entry door while sleeping and lock up securely if we leave the boat, he had even warned my husband a second time later that afternoon when he dropped off his business card. We had closed our door when we went to bed but were awakened by a noise on deck. We hollered and he quickly jumped back into the water. Thankfully he didn't have time to steal anything and didn't offer to hurt us but I am a little shaken!

Hugh Moore
Hugh Moore says:
Mar 10, 2015 01:24 PM

Charlestown Bay, Canouan, (St Vincent and the Grenadines)

In Canouan I can recommend John, from John's Marine VHF 16 for moorings, Ice, and high quality desalinated water from the Tamarind Hotel complex at $1 EC per gallon (.37 US). John has his own moorings and his own water boat. He is a really good guy. He used to work for Marcus, but Marcus' son is now working with his father and John is on his own. They are all nice folks, but hopefully people will give John a call.

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St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Attackers Caught and Awaiting Trial - Further Details  (01 Aug 2011)

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St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Tobago Cays - Armed Robbery - Updated Detailed Report  (15 Jul 2011)

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Caribbean, Southern Windward Islands - Burglaries during Dinner Hour  (27 Jun 2011)

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New Webcast Service for Caribbean Weather  (20 Oct 2010)

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Caribbean: St. Vincent, Chateaubelair, Assault and Robbery  (05 Nov 2009)

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Yacht Attacked At St Vincent: More Comments  (04 Jan 2008)

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Yacht Attacked At St Vincent  (04 Jan 2008)

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Yacht Attacked At St Vincent: Comments  (03 Jan 2008)

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Cruising News from the southern Caribbean  (03 Nov 2003)