Going to Union Island was not high on our list of "must dos," but it was on the way south so we put it on the itinerary. Some ten years ago, we made a one-hour stop in Union while chartering and we were not impressed. Add that to the fact that the island name is not the least bit enticing and there is nothing of major interest there, and our expectations were low. But when we anchored in Chatham Bay, our opinions began to change. Our view was of an island with a long white sand beach and a dramatically mountainous outline. It was very striking.
We knew other boats in the harbor and joined them for a lobster dinner on shore at Shark Attack. While the atmosphere could be described as minimalist (a picnic table in the sand surrounded by trees) the food was excellent. To most people, lobster is an expensive, lavish meal served in an elegant restaurant. In the islands it is a barbecue.
In addition to the beautiful beach, Chatham Bay is also known for the shrieking winds that funnel through the mountains into the bay. We were there during some particularly high winds (gusts clocking at 40 knots) and the boat sailed and thrashed on its anchor. Under the extreme pressure, we saw rope turn to liquid as our anchor snubber line exploded, leaving a trail of black goo across the deck and down the side of the hull.
As islands go, Union is a fairly large one, but we put on our hiking shoes, walked around most of it and found some of the most breathtaking views we have ever seen. We were pleasantly surprised to see such a lovely island.
We ended our tour of Union Island in Clifton, a yachting center in the Grenadines surrounded by reefs. We visited the charming little town and made a sundowner stop at "Happy Island," an island built entirely out of conch shells. By the time we returned to our boat, there were so many boats squeezed into the anchorage that the boat in front of us had to pull forward so we could leave.