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. 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.
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.
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.
The Saltwhistle Bay Club, on Saltwhistle Bay, is a great anchorage for visiting yachts, as 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 outstanding snorkeling and swimming on the surrounding reefs.
Visit Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters Website for more information.