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SAINT VINCENT
Saint Martin






Brief History


First settled around 5000 BC by the peace-loving Ciboney, then by the Arawaks and the war-like Caribs, St Vincent has had a colourful and turbulent history. A Dutch slave ship, wrecked off Bequia in 1675, brought the first Africans who inter-married to create the Black Caribs whose descendants live here today.

Fought over for nearly a century by the French and British, sovereignty was settled on the British in 1783. Today, St Vincent and The Grenadines is an independent democracy and part of the British Commonwealth.

The fascinating blend of African, Indian, Asian and European influences are expressed in the lifestyle of the people; through religion, sport, music, cuisine, arts and crafts. The annual carnival (Vincy Mas') is a showcase for the best in calypso singing, steelpan orchestras, soca music and masquerade costumes. Cricket and soccer matches are played and watched with a passion.


Location


St Vincent & The Grenadines is located in the Caribbean Sea, 1600 miles southeast of Miami. Situated at 13║ 15' N and 60║ 56' W, we are between St Lucia to the north and Grenada to the south and 100 miles west of Barbados. The islands form the southern-most segment of the 400 mile long chain known as the Lesser Antilles which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean and links South America and Trinidad to Florida and North America.


How to get there


American Eagle operates a scheduled service between San Juan, Puerto Rico and Canouan. Air Caraibes, Bwee Express, Caribbean Star and LIAT provide scheduled services from other Caribbean islands to St Vincent & the Grenadines. Mustique Airways, SVG Grenada Air and TIA are available for private charter.


Hotels


For those of you arriving the day before the charter starts or would like to explore the island and remain in a resort a few days, we can assist with hotel reservations. You may opt for a prior night sleep aboard subject to availability. Prior night sleep aboards cost 50% of the daily rate of your boat.


Food


You will find excellent French Creole cuisines throughout The Windwards. Seafood includes fresh local crab, lobster and Lombi, a large shellfish served from a barbecue or cooked in a delicious spicy sauce. Martinique rum is well known in the Caribbean and strongly recommended as the sun goes down - though beware - it is much more potent than its flavour suggests!


Provisioning


Provisioning can be done on arrival at the base, there is a mini-market on the dock, which offers a wide range of food items. Alternatively, provisioning can be arranged in advance with the goods waiting for you.


Climate


Temperatures range from 24C (75F) to 30C (80F). Dry season is Jan - April, rainy season July - October. Average annual rainfall is 80" on the coast and 150" inland.


Clothing


Light informal clothes. Visitors should not wear swimsuits or mini shorts in the streets or stores. Bring long pants and hiking shoes if you intend to hike


Immigration


Except for nationals of Canada, UK and the USA, all visitors must have valid passports. All visitors must have a return or ongoing ticket. Visas are not required.


Customs regulations


Small quantities of alcohol and tobacco are duty free, as are personal effects and tools of profession, trade or employment. Other items are dutiable or restricted.


Credit cards


All major credit cards are generally accepted by hotels and car rental companies


Currency


The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is linked to the US. One US dollar is worth about EC$2.70


Government


On October 27, 1979 St Vincent & The Grenadines gained independence from Britain. The government is democratically elected . The Crown is represented by an appointed Governor General.


Population


St Vincent and The Grenadines has a population of approx. 112,000 (Jan 1998). African, East Indian, Portuguese, Carib and European heritages are present, where English is the official language.




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St. Vincent & The Grenadines: Practical Travel Information 3. Please note: Information on this sheet is believed to be correct but not guaranteed

 








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