St. Vincent and the Grenadines

July 16

We discover that the best snorkeling in the whole country is right next door.
Map of July 16th's travels

I guess I've gotten used to the frogs. They didn't keep me awake at all last night. Only my husband did, and only a little. In the wee hours of the morning, he was fighting with the latch on our door in the dark. I turned on the flashlight and fixed it for him. The morning was mostly sunny when we got up (1). Or not really up. We spent an hour or two reading in bed. Joel finally convinced me to get out of bed, because he was hungry (and it was time for breakfast).

After breakfast I put on my suntan lotion, but it needed to dry before going into the water, so I walked along the beach. There were sea turtle tracks going up the beach around in a couple of circles then back down. One of the spots of sand was disturbed. I wondered if it was trying to find a place to lay its eggs? It didn't look like it had, because the area of disturbed sand just didn't seem large enough.

Matty relentlessly digs for crabs

Snorkeling this morning was wonderful. The sun made everything glitter. The water close to shore was perfectly clear, but as we went out farther it started getting murky. Further out was still nice snorkeling just not the perfectly clear water of the area of ledges closer to the beach.

There was a dive boat out in the bay that we snorkeled past, on our way back we saw them down in the water. I loved watching the big bubbles come from the drivers towards the surface. It would be huge like a large mushroom cap and occasionally break in two. Sometimes, for no reason that I could discern, the huge bubbles would break up into a reverse shower of tiny bubbles. In addition to the divers I saw a red urchin. I had never seen one before and had to look it up in the book. It turns out its name is "reef urchin", what a boring name for a pretty creature.

We came back over the sandy part of the bottom on the way back. There were lots of small flounder and sand dollar shells all over the bottom. I went down and picked one up and brought it back to the beach. Joel stayed in the water longer and found an interesting puffer fish. It was orange and had iridescent orange and green eyes. We tried looking it up in the fish book (2) that the resort has but no luck. It was shaped like a ballonfish and was the right size, but the color was nothing like any ballonfish I've ever seen before.

Ballonfish hiding under a ledge

Chucky made us stuffed mussels and pasta for lunch. It was wonderful, but a little too rich for me. I love food that is rich and fried food too, but can't eat much of it since it too rich. After lunch we went down to the beach and read in the shade. Well, Joel said he was reading but I could hear him snoring in the hammock.

Around 2:00pm, Brian came over to take us to the bat cave. He didn't want to wake up Joel, but I knew that Joel would just keep sleeping if I let him, so woke him up

The bat cave was in the next cove to the north. It is a cave at the waterfront that is flooded so you can swim through it. The ceiling of the cave is a nesting place for hundreds of bats (hence the name).

Swimming through the bat cave

It was weird being in the cave with bats flying over. It was dark in the middle of the cave, but you could see the opening to swim out. You enter from one side of the cave and swim out another. The exit was beautiful; it was a crack in the wall that went down very deep. The cave was black and there was a "V" of bright blue Caribbean ocean to swim towards. Once out of the cave, we swam around the point along a wall and back to our starting point. Joel and I went through the cave again. I was surprised by the bat activity. I usually think of them sleeping during the day, but they were zipping back and forth along the cave.

I mentioned how much I liked underwater ocean walls. I love when the ocean floor drops down and you can't see the bottom. So Brian took us to another wall a few coves over; specifically, he took us to New Guinea Reef at Quetelles. This wall was gorgeous. Much nicer than the one by the bat cave. There were some fish, but the best feature of the New Guinea Reef was all the coral, and sponges, and other odd things. I saw some strange underwater creature, that we have still not identified. At the time I thought that it was some type of hydroid, but couldn't find it in any of the books. In addition, there was a yellowline arrow crab hiding in one of the coral formations. I would have loved to have spent more time at New Guinea Reef, but after a half an hour, it was time to head back.

When we returned to the resort, Joel spent some time walking around the resort taking pictures. You can see all of these pictures in the Petit Byahaut photo gallery. Then, later in the afternoon, Joel and I sat around at a table near the beach playing Lost Cities until dinner.

Dinner was wonderful, as usual; this evening it was shrimp. I'd tell you what kind of sauce, but, I'm not sure. Joel thought it was the beast meal we've had so far. Oh yeah, I got an avocado salad that was good too. I was not very hungry, but I wanted to try a dessert. In the past, we've eaten too much dinner to consider the idea of dessert too. But tonight, I ordered bananas flambé. Despite not being hungry at all Joel and I polished it off (3).

The suites at Petit Byahaut

If you are thinking of staying at Petit Byahaut, here are some of my observations about the choice of suites. There are only five suites (rooms) at the resort, and since we were the only guests, the other suites were free to examine while we were there.

Although all five suites are different, they are also somewhat similar. Each suite has a large bed enclosed in a screen-in room (or tent). The rest of the suite is out in the open. There is always a deck area with chairs and a hammock or hanging hammock chairs. The bathroom consists of a toilet, sink and shower, and in most of the suites, these facilities are out in the open, although usually behind the main area or behind a wall.

Suite #5 is named the "Lookout". This is an appropriate name since suite #5 has the best views of the bay, being located high up on the hillside, near the front of the resort. Suite #5 is the only suite you can see from the water. And the view is wonderful, as you can see in this picture. But, because of its location, it has the longest and steepest access path and I would worry about climbing back to the suite at night or in the rain.

Suite #1 is named the "Original Honeymoon" suite. This is the only other suite with a view of the ocean, although the view is nowhere near as nice a view as suite #5. Suite #1 is also unique in that it has a large tent enclosing the bed instead of a screened room as with the other suites. Suite #1 has a very large deck that is separated from the bedroom tent. It also has the easiest access to the beach and restaurant, with the shortest access path.

Suite 3 at Petit Byahaut, seen from entrance

Suite #4 ("Pillow Dreams") appears to be the largest suite. The screened in bedroom area is large enough for an additional cot, and there are two bathroom areas. Suite #4 is clearly designed for a family; the deck is large enough that an additional tent could be placed on the deck, providing sleeping quarters for the kids. Suite #4 is the only suite on the south side of the dry stream bed, and it is the closest suite to the restaurant (although not to the beach). However, I felt that suite #4 provided the least amount of privacy since the area around it was more open than the area around the other suites, and suite #4 was more easily visible from the paths.

We were in Suite #3 ("Hibiscus Hideout"), which was the suite furthest back from the water. Suite #3 has the nicest bathroom area, since there is actually an room with four walls around the toilet, sink and shower. And there was ample cabinet space in this room for us to unpack our duffle bags. The deck was between the bedroom and the bathroom, giving a more enclosed feel than the other suites. And instead of a hammock, there were two hammock-like swings (although after one swing fell down, with me in it, I was reluctant to spend much time in them).

The remaining suite, suite #2 "Tangerine Dream", was on the hillside between suite #1 and suite #3 (the suites are almost in numeric order, if you ignore suite #5). It shares most of its access path with suite #3, so it was also quite some distance from the water. Although I remember looking at this suite, there was not much about it that stood out.

Footnote 1: Normally, we would not be surprised by sun in the Caribbean. However, we were visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the rainy season. We checked the long range forecast before we left the Boston area, and the prediction for St. Vincent was rain every day for the next week. Our first full day on the island was true to forecast, but, fortunately, the rest of the two weeks were all rain free (except for one night).

Footnote 2: Petit Byahaut has the most wonderful set of reef guides that we had even seen. The books were so beautiful that we bought a set for ourselves once we got back home. The set of three books is The Reef Set: Reef Fish, Reef Creature and Reef Coral by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach.

Footnote 3: There is no fixed menu at Petit Byahaut. Instead, every night Brian presents you with two choices for entrees, and two choices for deserts. The choices are different every night, and they are always wonderful. Most evenings, Daphne and I had different entrees, so we could sample all the offerings.

 Back to July 15   Go to July 17 
Introduction | July 14th (travel day) | July 15th (Falls of Baleine) | July 16th (Petit Byahaut) | July 17th (La Soufriere hike)
July 18th (sail to Bequia) | July 19th (Union Island) | July 20th (Sandy Island) | July 21th (Tobago Cays) | July 22th (Petit Tobac)
July 23th (arrive at PSV) | July 24th (West Side Beach) | July 25th (Atlantic Beach) | July 26th (Mopion) | July 27th (travel day)
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