Written by Missy Johnston

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Mayreau

Definitely a “secret” island of the Caribbean, Mayreau is part of the nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and also the smallest island of this nation at only 1.5 square miles with 300 residents. Be sure to stop in at Mayreau on a crewed yacht charter of the Grenadines for a taste of the Caribbean as it once was, and still is, however in only very tucked-away locations. Only able to be visited by boat, visiting Mayreau by crewed yacht charter is a great way to see this small little island virtually isolated in the 19th century.

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Mayreau Windward Side

The main village of Old Wall, where most of the local residents live, sits on the southwest end of the island. The village has a school for grades 1 – 6, several churches and one main road. Electricity is new to the island as of 2002. In the center of the island is a salt pond, from which the locals once harvested and exported salt, however while salt is still harvested, it is now for local use only. The locals of Mayreau now make living from fishing and tourism. There is one resort on the island in Saltwhistle Bay, a popular anchorage for visiting yachts, called the Saltwhistle Bay Club.

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Saltwhistle Bay

Most of Mayreau is still privately owned by the Eustace family who inherited the island from the Saint Hilaire family through marriage. The Saint Hilaire family owned Mayreau since fleeing France during the Napoleonic wars and grew Sea Island Cotton and cocoa, with the locals farming the land, on a system of land tenure, involving paying a share of profits to the Saint Hilaire family in return for the use of the land for farming and a place to build a home.

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Underwater Coral in Mayreau

The Saltwhistle Bay Club, with 10 rooms for overnight accommodation, welcomes visiting yachtsmen. The anchorage in Saltwhistle Bay has lovely crystal-clear water over a sand bottom. The Club also has a beachside restaurant and bar. Surrounding Mayreau are great coral reefs offering outstanding snorkeling and diving. Visit Mayreau for a glimpse of the past, very friendly locals, a lovely anchorage at Saltwhistle Bay, and spend time ashore and snorkeling and swimming on the great surrounding reefs.