St. Vincent, Wallilabou Bay: Night time boarding – February 2012

Published 11 years ago, updated 4 years ago

At 0400 hours Saturday 25 February, SV JOANA had our first “unauthorized boarding”.

My wife and I sleep in the aft cabin of our center cockpit Roberts 53. We awoke, hearing someone walk across the poop deck. I opened the hatch, observed a local black man, unarmed, wearing only a black bathing suit (approximately 35 years old, no facial hair or scars) – bending down observing our mask/snorkel/fins. I yelled at him to “get out of here” repeatedly. He was stunned by my appearance and quickly moved back, descending into the water and swimming to shore.

We were anchored in 80’ of water at Wallilabou St Vincent, with a stern line ashore. He was not threatening, but he was obviously caught in the act of theft – and left with nothing. There were at least 12 other boats in the anchorage that night.

What we did right: The anchor light and 3-night solar/LEDs provided adequate ambient light for security purposes. The boat was completely locked up, hatches, portlights, and companionway.

What we did wrong: We left a few “attractive” items on deck that could be stolen, but absolutely nothing was reachable from the water’s edge. To steal anything, a thief would have to walk on our decks. In my hast to confront the intruder, I did not try to take his picture, blind him with a flashlight, or arm myself with a billy club.

I did report the incident to the Hotel, by email and in person later in the afternoon. The Hotel called the local police, but since nothing was stolen, they didn’t want me to make a formal report. The boat boys that work this anchorage told us that the week before, a German cruiser (not charterer) was boarded and sobbed – silently. Apparently, he has been coming to Wallilabou for years.

There is news on Trip Advisor of another recent incident in Wallilabou where a yacht was boarded and robbed at night whilst the owners were dining ashore.

I don’t wish to distract cruisers from traveling to St Vincent, but all cruisers must take precautions, particularly with the closing of hatches and companionways. Other than the boarding, we have enjoyed our time in St Vincent.

Wade Alarie


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