John and Mary Caldwell

Palm Island is home of the famous Palm Island Resort, established by Mary and the late John Caldwell.  John was the author of the book “Desperate Voyage,” where he described his ill-fated passage from the U.S. to Australia to rejoin Mary after the war.  They eventually ended up in the Caribbean.  John was known for planting palm trees everywhere he went, earning the nickname “Johnny Coconut,” so we can thank him for some of the palm-lined scenery we enjoy today in the Caribbean.

They acquired Prune Island (later known as Palm Island) and established a resort.  John was a show unto himself, and entertained guests with his friendly charm and many stories.  Sadly, he passed away in 1998, and the resort has since been sold, renovated, and re-opened under new ownership. 

Day Anchorage

Palm Island is a day anchorage only.  You might work it into your schedule as a lunch stop while en-route between Mayreau, Tobago Cays, Union, or PSV.  The anchorage is fairly spacious, so just pick a spot and go in.  It gets deep fairly quickly, so you’ll need to come in close to anchor.

Outstanding Beach

Casuarina Beach on the west side of the island is absolutely beautiful, with its picture-prefect blend of golden sands and bright turquoise water.  This is one of the loveliest resort beaches I’ve seen in the Caribbean, and certainly ranks in my Top 20 Caribbean Beaches list.  A swim here is a must.

Palm Island Resort

The world-famous Palm Island Resort is spread over the entire island.  This holiday paradise offers all-inclusive hotel and villa accommodations at astronomical rates.  While the resort is definitely beautiful, their rates under new management are now as steep as the PSV Resort, which is far superior, in my opinion.  It is no longer financially viable to consider adding a night at the Palm to your cruising itinerary.

There is a path known as “Highway 90” that winds its way through the tall coconut groves around the resort, providing resort guests with a great venue for that pleasant morning stroll.  Unfortunately, the new ownership has imposed limitations on where cruising visitors can venture on the island, and Highway 90 is now off-limits.  A very pleasant security guard is on duty to make sure you stick to the beach in front of the resort. 

They don’t call this place a paradise for nothing.  If you do manage to follow the shore around to the windward side of the island, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the reef surrounding the island.

Worlds Coolest Customs Inspection

Stop at the Sunset Bar for a cold beverage after your swim, or perhaps have lunch.  The bar extends to a shaded patio on the edge of the beach, offering a great place to sit, enjoy the scenery, and watch the world go by.

The resort is a port of entry for resort guests, and as such, has a Customs inspection station on the premises - the main bar at the Sunset!  At certain times of the day, a Customs Inspector can be seen sitting at the bar, clearing guests into and out of the country.  Definitely something you dont see every day.  Where can I apply for a job like that?!?

Last Updated: July 1, 2004
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