Bequia

June 3. We said goodbye to the Pitons and left Soufriere just before 6 AM.

Goodbye Pitons (It's a cloud, not volcano smoke)

We planned to skip St. Vincent and sail to Bequia, a trip of a little over 50 miles. The big decision was whether to go on the windward (eastern) or leeward side. The theory was that We would have steady wind but bigger seas on the windward side; the leeward side would have smoother seas, but the wind could do anything as it flowed over and around St. Vincent’s mountains and coasts. As we cleared the south end of St. Lucia we found the wind to be just a little too forward on the beam to make good time working our way to the eastern side of the island, so we set a course towards the west side.

The sail was good and uneventful and took about 10 hours. The wind stayed fairly steady for most of the trip, although we did have to motor for about an hour in a calm behind St. Vincent. We trolled the whole way, but never got a nibble.

Our friends on Reach left Marigot Bay about the same time we left Sourfriere. They made a little better speed going between the islands and motored a little more in the calms, so the arrived about the same time we did.

We arrived in Admiralty Bay, Bequia, and anchored off one of the beaches on the south side. Bequia is one of the landmark spots on our trip. Typically yacht insurance will not cover you for damaged from a named storm unless you are outside of the hurricane zone. This zone varies by insurance company, but for many of us the southern line is right through the Admiralty Bay. For insurance purposes, we have reached our goal.

It was an easy dinghy ride into Port Elizabeth where we cleared customs. Port Elizabeth is a typical small Caribbean town although it seemed brighter and livelier than most. There is a small area in the center of the waterfront for commercial shipping, but the rest is lined with small beaches or walkways. There are quite a few restaurants in town and along the waterfront. There are also a couple tackle shops and marine supply stores. Wallace and Co. helped us out getting some charts that were missing from a chart kit we bought back in the states.

Downtown Port Elizabeth

There are quite a few dinghy docks available around the waterfront. Two more popular ones are the one with a security guard near the taxi area and another behind the vegetable market and dumpsters.

Looking out into the harbor

A number of boats arrived within the next day or two and many of them knew each other already. The socializing began. We (and many others) were invited for cocktails on Peking (Jerie & John), a steel trawler, where we met a lot of people including Ann Vanderhoof, author of the popular cruising book, “An Embarrassment of Mangos.” Another night found us on the catamaran Nauti Nauti (Alllen & Patricia) to watch Captain Ron. Yet another night was pizza at a local restaurant to celebrate Jane’s birthday (Roger, Sereno 55) and then back to Don’t Look Back (John & Bobby Jo) for cake and ice cream.

How many people can watch a movie on a catamaran?

Our anchorage was right off a beach near a boulder and coral reef area. We could swim there from the boat. We saw a lot of fish and many other interesting creatures. Rays, crabs, lots of eels, and some good sized squid.

One of the squid that landed on the deck. He will soon be bait

The squid also came to visit us. One morning we got up and found a couple squid on the deck. Evidently something chased them and they jumped out of the water. That night when we came back from the movie we found a couple squid on the deck. The next morning there were six more. We put three of the freshest squid into a ziplock bag and saved them in the reefer so we could use them for bait later.

There are always squid marks at the accident site.

The downside to this free bait is that they squirted their ink on the side of the boat and on the deck and it’s difficult to get off.   I also found a squid on the bottom of the anchorage. It was a fishing lure that someone lost, so at least I’m a little less in the hole regarding lost fishing gear.

Found this lure on the bottom - is this what a fish thinks a squid looks like?

Daytime activities included Jackie starting to collect sea glass and other odds and ends for jewelry making.

Jackie, Jerie, and John collecting hard, red seeds for jewelry making

We took a couple hikes around the island, which is quite beautiful. One was to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary where Orton “Brother” King is trying to bring back the hawksbill turtle.

A little turtle at the sanctuary

To quote from his website, “I keep the turtles in my sea-water ponds, feeding them on canned tuna for six months. Then they are fed small fish (sardines, etc.) until they are 3 years old (14 inches long) at which time they are released into the ocean. This gives them a better chance to survive, and instead of one from one thousand reaching maturity, this project will help repopulate the ocean sooner with about fifty from one hundred.” His little sancturay is very impressive.

A turtle - up close and personal

One of the cats leaves for the Tobago Cays

Next: Tobago Cays

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One Response to “Bequia”

  1. BBG London Says:

    Thanks for the info. You have done a good job communicating your message. Keep up the good work.

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