Monday, 2 June 2014


Bequia pronounced Bek way
25th May Sunday
13 00 16 N 61 14 58 W

Safe in Bequia after a very bumpy sail from St Lucia.
We had lifted the anchor in Rodney bay around 12:30 - 01:00, ok it was very dark with no moon but we were able with the deck lights to see the anchor locker and chain direction. This time at least the anchor wasn't fouled.

When we started the sea state wasn't too bad and the wind noting to shout about around 14 knots so it was a force 4, boat speed 5.3 SOG so we should be in Bequia in around 13:00 ish. Passing by the anchorages we wanted to avoid like Marigot, Soufriere and Viau Fort all of which have iffy reputations for safety, moorings and holding.

Headlands are notorious for throwing up strange currents, seas and wind so its always expected but both the end of St Lucia, St Vincent and the channels between are described as more than normal. Only on Friday a brig The Unicorn sank off the tip of St Vincent, thankfully everyone was safe. 

Lets just say the winds increased to force 6  with winds at times touching 25 knots, the wind isn't so much a problem as we were well reefed and sometimes when the wind dropped and the sea flattened out a little we increased the jenny. As we passed St St Vincent we had a nice calm, ish sail but as we reached the headland it built up again then into the channel for the repeat bashing.

However the sea is the problem when it changes direction completely and throws us about which is not pleasant at all, quite frankly we are getting tired of the battering we get.

view in the anchorage
Locals in the shade
So we were still getting very strong winds as we came close into the anchorage and it was difficult to say the least staying into wind to take down the mainsail. Someone warned us about the "Bequia Blast" so we entered with bare poles. (no sails) This anchorage is quite large with a small marina and moorings but the moorings have an iffy reputation for not being well maintained and boats breaking free so we chose to anchor. There are some very shallow spots and shoals too which need to be avoided at all costs.

So at anchor we have put out 35 metres of chain plus the snubber to stop the snatching which should be sufficient for us and the expected high winds due to come through even though this is supposed to be a protected bay. The water is pretty clear thats why we prefer to come in in the daylight so we can see sandy spots rather than weed or rocks, we always take a good look how other yachts swing and try to find a place a safe distance from other yachts.

customs and immigration
One of the better dinghy docks
We have just found out via Chris parker the weatherman that this year has been the worst year for strong winds in years, typical for us.

The Gingerbread hotel
Local church
Our spot is Admiralty Bay close to Princess Margaret Beach formally known as Tony Gibbons Beach, she was caught bathing topless here, oh dear where have we heard that one before.

Don with his big gun
The Queens plaque for the tree

The Royal Palm
The Queen has been here after visiting St Vincent she planted a tree, not that there was much evidence just a dead small palm tree. Prince Edward and the countess of Wessex came here and planted a royal palm too. More about the royal visit below

Monday 26th 
Went ashore did the normal checkin with customs and immigration, paid our dues, 35 $ each for a months stay which covers us for St Vincent and other islands we plan to visit before Grenada.

We had a smashing lunch Don had the Goat lunch and me a mahi mahi roti at the Fig Tree restaurant which has free wifi then went to the tourist information for the 3rd time. On the door it said closed but someone opened it and said they were having a meeting, it was the owner of the restaurant we had just had lunch at was in there at the meeting.  

 Took a walk several times there is always something going on, we found 2 places that build model boats, one of which built a replica of the Royal yacht Britannia which was presented to the Queen, its now in the yacht Britannia the museum,  there was a thank you letter from the Queen to see. When we were on the dinghy dock I spoke to a boy that was sailing his model yacht, he came second in the annual boat race, its a very popular sport, he had built his own boat.

A green whale in the path
The information we had from the tourist information looked good and there seems lots to see here so later we can take a look around.
Goats going for a walk, well we did so why not?
This island as in most of the Caribbean there is an abundance of colour even though its not rained much, there are flowering trees and plants bursting with colour.
Another flamboyant tree or flamboya as they say here  

Well "hello" little fella
Strange looking crab
Broken ! this guy is going nowhere
We walked about the island where we could, I did take lots of photos so I'm posting a few more for you to get a taste of the island.
Nice des res?
This guy was waiting until he saw the fish
Then he threw the net, I was to slow to photograph his catch but he had at least 15 fish
Don chilling out well we had walked a way
Bequia is a place where people kill whales, someone said 4 a year but then I read 2. The island is legitimate right to hunt them but only with an open wooden sailing boat roughly 25ft long, a small crew and the harpoon man with a wrought iron harpoon, rope and a lot of sweat, done the same way as you may have read in Moby Dick, it must be one heck of a task considering the whales are so big. Apparently when caught they are taken to a small island to be butchered and every part of the whales are used. No matter what our feelings are they are killed for food and not fun and not like the commercial Japanese or Norwegian huge boats where they use explosives.
However I feel that they would make a better choice of making the transition from hunters to conservation providing whale watching for tourists and hope the islanders lose their taste for whale meat.

One of the whale boats that was used
So we took a tour which took us to the whale museum, not that we think its ok but to be better informed, the driver was the brother of the chief harpoon mans  so he was very informative. His name is Noelle and runs the taxi business. He took us over the hills where the views were amazing, we saw the atlantic side, lots of surf over the reefs.

The Atlantic side of Bequia
The tour took us to the Old Hegg Turtle sanctuary, where we met the guy who runs it. This guy takes the babies from the beach, rears them until they are 5 or 6 years old then releases them back to the same place he picked them up. The turtles are all Hawksbill Turtles, he has no help from the fisheries or government its only the donations given to him that keep the sanctuary open.

More information here

and here

From what we have seen so far we quite like it, everyone if friendly, polite and always up for a chat. I have a feeling we will return there is more to see and learn of this place. Provisioning here is amazing I even managed to find some HP brown sauce which I have been rationing on the boat for the last 2 seasons.
No wonder all the cruisers we have spoken to like it here.

There was much more to put on this blog but I needed to get it finished before we left the island so I may add more later

Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy

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