New York Times: The Grenadines

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Storm clouds bunched ahead like an unmade bed as our captain gunned his single outboard motor straight into the oncoming swells. Thwack! Every 10 seconds, we bounced high then slammed down hard, drenched in salt spray, on the wooden bench. Even more thrilling -- or maybe terrifying -- we could see no life jackets aboard. It was just another island crossing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

To see more than one or two of this Caribbean nation's 32 mostly uninhabited islands, which stretch in a roughly 56-mile-long crescent closer to Venezuela than to North America, you'll need a boat. Flights between islands are hard to come by, and if you do find one, takeoffs are unpredictable.

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