Ins & Outs of SVG 2019

Located at the heart of the Southern Grenadines, and surrounded by some of the best sailing and diving waters in the world, Union Island moves very much to the beat of its own drum. The British Crown bought Union Island from the last private owner in 1910 and set up a Land Settlement Scheme to sell 2 and 4-acre lots to the islanders at peppercorn prices. While the tiny landed society survived on subsistence farming and fishing, many inhabitants had to leave in search of better opportunities. Today, the improved economy revolves around fisheries, exporting several thousand pounds of conch per week, and tourism, which has created sufficient jobs to allow more locals to remain at home. With a population of approximately 3,000 souls, well ministered to by 12 churches of various Christian Exploring UnionIsland

denominations, Union Island also has a primary and secondary school, a medical clinic, a bank, a post office, a police station and an airport. Radio Grenadines, a non-profit online radio station, shares local news and community insights. Themaincrops arecornandpigeon peas, but local farmers also grow a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables that are sold at the Clifton market, along with produce from the mainland. Union Island is also famous for its high quality salt, produced under drought conditions at the Belmont Salt Pond, which is sold for EC$10 per lb. The small but busy Clifton Harbour is the centre of the day-chartering industry in the Southern Grenadines. Scaramouche, Wind and Sea, Yannis Sail, Chantours and Grey Goose provide a good selection of tours. This sheltered anchorage is the most popular mooring in Union as it is close to Bougainvilla Hotel, Anchorage Yacht Club, C&A Enterprises Supermarket, several very good restaurants and bars, and a few guest-houses. CliftonHarbour offers amazing conditions for kitesurfing and kiters flock to the excellent facilities at JT Pro Center’s Kitsesurfing School on Kite Beach, including a beach bar, which is a cool place for non-kiters to go to relax or enjoy some stand up paddling. A new “must see” for visitors to Union Island is the

124 MAYREAU 124  Union Island

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