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 Chateaubelair - Profile

Location

This large, friendly fishing village is situated on the Leeward (west) coast of St Vincent, just south of the volcano of Soufrière. Commonly referred to as just "Chato", it is the the fourth largest town in the country.

The bay is very green and beautiful, with palm trees hanging over the water and local families fishing and playing on the beach.

Local attractions include trinity falls, darkview falls, and rock carvings which are an archaeological find and are believed to have been left by Carib Indians.

Sadly a yacht suffered an armed robbery here in 2015 and another an armed boarding in October 2016. See security section below for details.

Position 13° 18'02"N, 61° 14'28"W (bay entrance)

Clearance

See St. Vincent Formalities and Fees for full details on clearance.

Whilst this has officially been a Port of Entry since 2003, the extremely friendly Customs Officer, Cherry Sparkle, who made cruisers so welcome here for many years, moved on in 2015.

Latest reports are that the Customs office is never open (even though there is "supposed" to be a Customs officer here), and the police station no longer deals with Immigration.

Yachts can try to call Customs on 17844572421 or 17844572411 to find out the latest.

Note that Cumberland Bay is only for anchorage after checking in with Customs. Yachts going directly to Cumberland Bay to avoid clearance fees can be fined.

Last updated June 2016.

Docking

You will likely be met by George, a boat boy who paddles faithfully out to meet every single yacht that comes in, day or night, and helps them to anchor. He hasn’t got his hand out all the time, although most people will be more than happy to give him something for his troubles.

This is a good anchorage, especially in the eastern half of the bay, however northerly swells in the winter months can cause difficulties and security can be a problem here (see below).

There is a couple of restaurants and a bar on the beach front, and in town is a gas station, mini-market and bakery.

Security

This bay was avoided for several years by cruising yachts due to a number of armed boardings and robberies in the past. From 2009 to 2015, no crime against yachts had been reported here and the situation appeared to be improving.

However sadly, in May 2015, a charter yacht anchored alone here was boarded at night and the crew assaulted and valuables stolen (see CSSN report).

Recently in October 2016 a yacht (anchored nearby another yacht) was boarded my four men with machetes and the captain attacked (see CSSN report).

Until the situation improves, it is recommended that the anchorage here is only used during the day to briefly clear in but then move on.

Cruisers report that locals are friendly and helpful and are keen to see more cruising boats return to the bay. The coastguard does random patrols here to make sure no one is being harassed, however as with everywhere now it's best to take basic safety precautions and lock all hatches before going out as well as at night. Keep anything of value out of sight.

Last updated March 2017.

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