Mayreau is small privately owned island with deserted beaches, one hotel and one guesthouse. It is only 1½ square miles and 254 people live there, mostly descendants of slaves imported by the Saint-Hilaire family who acquired the island after fleeing France in the Napoleonic Wars. The Eustace family inherited it through marriage on the death of Miss Jane-Rose de Saint-Hilaire in 1919 and their descendants still own all but 22 acres purchased by an Canadian family and 21 acres belonging to the government of St Vincent, on which the village is built. The village, with no name, is tightly packed on the hillside above the harbour. You can reach it only by boat and the Barracuda calls on its way from St Vincent to Union. There is no deep water dock, though, so goods and passengers are offloaded into little boats and dinghies which then struggle to the jetty in great danger of being swamped by a wave. The beaches are glorious and Mayreau is a popular stop-off point for yachties, particularly in Salt Whistle Bay, a perfect horseshoe-shaped bay in the northwest, on a spit of land with a long, wild beach on the other side, which is to windward. Many day charters include the bay as a useful lunch stop when visiting the Tobago Cays. The only disadvantage to its popularity is that it can be noisy at night in season with revellers enjoying entertainment at the restaurant and on board their yachts.
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