This episode, we travel throughout Union Island and adjust to “island time”. First we check into St. Joseph’s House where we’ll stay for this portion of the trip. Initially, we were disappointed St. Joseph’s was a ten minute walk into town, restaurants, and nightlife. Once seeing how busy Clifton Town was, we changed our minds and were thrilled we were ten minutes from town! The walk also helped speed our adjustment into island time. Simple tasks such as going to dinner made us slow down since it required ten minutes of walking, a few stops for photos, then the nearly hour long wait as our meal was cooked from scratch. A lazy afternoon was enjoyable too from St. Joseph’s, where I could enjoy a cold beer on our balcony and look out to sea. The oppressive afternoon sun was waging war against the tradewinds which continually cooled my sunburned forehead before the sun could force out a drop of sweat.
For anyone heading to Union Island to kitesurf, I would recommend you also check out JT Pro Center’s accommodations and see if they fit your budget. St. Joseph’s House is a great option, but we ended up paying for a big locker to keep all our kite gear at the Pro Center which was an additional cost AND an additional 10 minute walk to the other side of town back towards the airport. After 3 days of this trekking I think we’d adjusted into island time pretty stinkin’ quickly.
After a couple hours kitesurfing during our second day, we paid a few Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC’s) for a water taxi out to Happy Island. We’d heard the Caribbean’s best rum punch could be found at Happy Island, and immediately began conducting research. Between the pulsing island music interspliced with karaoke, the crystal clear water dotted with sailboats, and the kite surfers performing tricks right in front of our research area, I can’t quite remember whether or not the rum punch was the indeed best. I was able to chat with Janti, the owner and source of the karaoke voice, and I do remember telling him how good the punch tasted as it washed the salt from my gills. Between the sunburn from kite boarding earlier and our thorough research, I may need to go back once more to make certain that it was in fact the best rum punch in the Caribbean.
The next morning, we crossed the street from St Joseph’s House and found our way down to the beach through wreckage caused by Hurricane Lenny (Lee) in ’99. The water here is protected by a half moon reef, making it perfect for snorkeling. Accustomed to the many piles of conch shells around the island (used for tide fishing and building the base for new islands alike), it was a treat to find a shell with the sea snail still alive.
For our third and final night on Union Island, we dressed up as much as the humidity and heat would allow, then caught the free shuttle offered by the renowned Sparrow’s Beach Club. I’m not sure why, but the restaurant was void of any other guests the first half hour. Since there were three servers and just our single table, our service was attentive to say the least. It almost felt like we were such high-rollers we had rented the entire restaurant for our personal use. However, I quickly blotted the lobster juice smeared across both cheeks when four other American guests walked in so as to not embarrass Jenny or let them know just how recently I’d evolved from the cave. After dinner, drinks, and dessert, we strolled down to the empty beach amazed how comfortable we still felt despite our lack of clothing (back home it was probably near freezing temps).
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