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Travel Question...Union Island

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trnsprt
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Local Beach: Frisco, N.C.
Favorite Beaches: Ft. Desoto, FL. Sprecklesville, HI. Hatteras National Seashore, Fire Island, NY.
Style: Learning
Gear: Slingshot Rally, Best Waroo, Slingshot Ignition
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Travel Question...Union Island

Postby trnsprt » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:41 pm

Anyone done a trip to Union? My friend plans a trip for 8 of us every year. He'd like us to do Union. Was worried about hauling all the gear on multiple flights. Just curious if anyone had experiences chartering a Catamaran to Union? Or Chartering a plane from Barbados or anything weird like that? It's gotta be expensive? Just asking if anyone has any intel. I'm sure I can also ask the kite operations there for advice. Thanks in advance if anyone has first hand experience.

mbs
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Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby mbs » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:37 am

I did it in March 2017. Here is my two cents...
In my opinion the only way to do the grenadines is by boat. There are several catamaran operators geared to kiting. We went with Zenith Ocean Voyages, and captain Gerrard who is the owner/ operator aboard the meercat. Most memorable was the five star cuisine prepared by the Michelin trainer chef. The boat had Crazy Fly sponsorship with all new CF boards and kites so it was not even necessary to travel with gear. If you plan to stay on union, I will say that you need to be prepared for rustic - the accommodation around tronet’s place looked a little rough. The beach and bar at the kite spot was a chill place to hang out though, and tronet threw a full moon party complete with him kitjumping over a bonfire wearing a neon suit. The party was off the chain, good music and good vibes.

As far as kiting at union island, I will say that frigate bay is a MUCH better spot than the happy island spot in front of the tronet center. Although the happy island spot looks good on the internet, in actuality it is a very narrow strip of water with a crowded anchorage of sailboats and their tall rigs waiting to snag kites down wind and a rocky shoal upwind, with too many riders crowded together in between the two. Frigate bay is the better spot at union, reachable by boat and there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out with butter flat water and beautiful scenery at frigate.

But if you go aboard a catamaran you will see that there are even better spots than union very close by. The Tobago Cays are absolutely incredible. It is flat on the inside with a reef break on the outside. Snorkel on the reef or swim with the sea turtles when you’ve had enough kiting. Salt whistle bay on Mayreau, is what comes to my mind if I dream of what a Carribean paradise is supposed to look like - amazingly beautiful.

Anyhow, grenadines are great. You should go by boat and visit Union island, but DO NOT limit your trip to only Union.

trnsprt
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Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:58 pm
Kiting since: 2012
Local Beach: Frisco, N.C.
Favorite Beaches: Ft. Desoto, FL. Sprecklesville, HI. Hatteras National Seashore, Fire Island, NY.
Style: Learning
Gear: Slingshot Rally, Best Waroo, Slingshot Ignition
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Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby trnsprt » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:08 am

Thank you!

Rando1994
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Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby Rando1994 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:22 pm

Union is def worth the trip. Also, the catamaran charter is also a great idea. However, be certain your catarmaran charter is booked out of union. NOT St. Lucia. The St. Lucia charters have to sail south for 12 solid hours to get to union. That is partly overnight and the until after lunch the following day. Essentially you lose two full days of kiting due to the 12 hour sail on each end.
Plus, from St Lucia heading south it is rather open water and the beating you take from the bouncing catamaran is something you'll never want to do twice. Literally was launched into the air from my forward cabin bed. Repeatedly. Our charter was a 46' leopard. A very nice, comfortable, newer vessel, with an expert captain and skilled chef/mate.

The kiting at union is awesome. Shallow, clear, beautiful. Take a trip to the top of the mountain. Don't let anyone talk you into hiking it. It is a long way. Get a ride. The views are sooo worth it.

Frigate is a great spot. The downwinder from Union to Frigate is a must do. It's tricky to find the reef break to get into the protected bay upwind of Frigate, and it's also a bit sketchy but well worth it.

Also, the Island Punch at Happy Island is not be be missed. :o

trnsprt
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Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:58 pm
Kiting since: 2012
Local Beach: Frisco, N.C.
Favorite Beaches: Ft. Desoto, FL. Sprecklesville, HI. Hatteras National Seashore, Fire Island, NY.
Style: Learning
Gear: Slingshot Rally, Best Waroo, Slingshot Ignition
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Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby trnsprt » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:57 pm

Great. Thanks.

mbs
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Location: NW Florida

Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby mbs » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:19 pm

Our boat did go out from st Lucia. We left as the sun was setting and sailed all night to get to union. Didn’t lose a kite day, we were pulling in to frigate just after sunrise, and the guests slept during the passage. It was an extremely rough ride though. Likewise on the way back we made the passage at night and arrived back to st Lucia in the morning. Maybe did lose some kite time there because didn’t kite on the day we got off the boat.

Downwinder from Tobago cays back to Union even better than happy island to frigate.

salvino
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Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby salvino » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:22 pm

Also, there are multiple daily flights from Barbados to Union. The airport is right next to Tronets place.

matts
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Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby matts » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:20 am

we had a great time on union island!! but:
- transfer by plane from Barbados is a cool experience if you have never flown in a smallish plane, but forget about your kite luggage! we waited 3 days... and even a North R&D guy (you cant have better connections than that) waited two days. The customer service from the airline is absolutely horrible.
- the apts. at the spot are super convienently located, but the place is run far from professional... the roof was leaking massively, electrical installations have seen better days, breakfast was very minimalistic (scrambled eggs were not included), cleaning staff tried to sell 'souvenirs'. but the staff was very friendly!

definately do a boat trip and at least a hike on the hilltop close to the airport, very scenic!
despite other comments, the staff at the kite center was very friendly.

trnsprt
Rare Poster
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:58 pm
Kiting since: 2012
Local Beach: Frisco, N.C.
Favorite Beaches: Ft. Desoto, FL. Sprecklesville, HI. Hatteras National Seashore, Fire Island, NY.
Style: Learning
Gear: Slingshot Rally, Best Waroo, Slingshot Ignition
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby trnsprt » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:25 pm

I really appreciate the info. One guy is not a boat guy and also some of the folks are picky about accommodations. Everyone's worried about the kite gear making it. So I think Union may not work for the group trip. But you guys have inspired me to make a trip solo and try to book single occupant on a catamaran trip. It sounds like a cool spot.

The info you guys provided probably saved a ton of trouble and frustration. It also helps me plan a solo trip.

Thank you all. Great info.

JeremieT
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Re: Travel Question...Union Island

Postby JeremieT » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 pm

Hey,

Quick update on the post,

Yes with a catamaran the trip is amazing but not great if some of you do not like being on the sea 24/7, also transferring from a neighbor island kind of eat away a couple days at your trip. But the experience is great.

Kitesurfgrenadines.com (our website) have all the info on accommodations and spots :)

The alternative is to stay right in the middle of the Grenadines on Union Island or palm island and we can take you around all the spots and neighbor islands (every spots are located no more than 5 to 15min speed boat away) and then Go back to your room at night and sleep comfortable :)

The best spots are out the door of your room you don’t even need to take a boat !

We also organize downwinders.

We are agents for all accommodation options on the island from cheap to high end luxury private islands and villas so if some of you are picky I am sure we can find them the best options :)

Gear rarely gets delayed unless you guys travel at very peak holiday days like Xmas new year. 90%of the guests usually get their gear on time or a day max.

If delayed we have 2017-2018 brand new north kites and boards for rent at the center.

Best time from November to July

Hope this help


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