Bequia, 13.00.54N 61.14.32W

David Batten
Thu 27 Feb 2014 14:31
After saying goodbye to our guests on the 17th February, we spent the next 2 days sorting out laundry, cleaning and stocking the boat up, plus an evening drink with our lovely neighbour, Hans and the Petronellas.  Thursday 20/2/1014 we left Rodney Bay for the last time this year. We had a night of rain just to remind us how wet it has been.  We had a good sail to Soufriere, where we spent the night off the Harmony Restaurant.  Very good snorkelling but the water round the boat was full of invisible stingers, not very pleasant!
Last Night in St Lucia, off Soufriere
Last evening in St Lucia, off Harmony Restaurant looking towards the town.  Note the rainbow on the right side!
Friday 21/2/1014.   We left St Lucia in good time and set sail for Bequia, electing to go past St Vincent as the general opinion amongst the yachting fraternity is that it is not a good place for yachts.  We chose to go down the windward side  and have no idea if this was the sensible thing to do.  Off Gros Pitons it was very rough much further out than Doyle’s guide would suggest and it was also rough with a strong current at the Northern end of Bequia.  We had a good sail and for the first time since we arrived in the Caribbean, we took out all the reefs going down the coast of St Vincent and carried a full main for the rest of the trip.  We also called up a tanker, Ocean Breeze, as she altered course for us  but not in a way that made her intentions clear!  No worries, she passed well behind us as she told us she would, but it did illustrate how useful the AIS is in such situations.  We reached Bequia just after 4.00pm and picked up one of Phat Shag’s moorings.  He has a good reputation for maintaining his buoys although he was not working himself that day, having hurt his foot on a cleat.  After a brief explore of Port Elizabeth, it was early to bed as us oldies find the constant wind very tiring!
betasmallWelcome Sign on the Dinghy Dock
The Welcome message on the dinghy dock that greets you in Port Elizabeth.
Saturday 22/2/2014.  Not having had much exercise over the last 2 days, we embarked on all action day, starting with a hike up the hill behind Port Elizabeth towards the Turtle Farm.  From this road, the are some stunning views and it is easy to see why Bequia is so popular.
betasmallThe Anchorage at Admiral Bay      betasmallbetasmallA Bay on the Windward Side of Bequia
View of the Port from the town and one of the bays on the windward side of the Island.
For future information, the Turtle Farm is usually shut on Saturdays, but fortunately the man who runs it was there and we had his undivided attention and learnt about his mission to try and save at least some of the local Hawksbills which are still hunted by the locals for meat, in spite of being endangered.  The farm both increases turtle numbers a little, but every turtle saved is a bonus and serves to educate the local children so they grow up wanting to preserve rather than hunt the turtles.  We wish him every success with his mission.  
betasmallFully Grown Hawkesbill Turtle at the Turtle Farm    betasmallBaby Turtles at the Turtle Farm
One of the 3 full grown turtles at the farm and some of the baby turtles.
After visiting the farm, we walked back along the road and had a swim and delicious lunch at the Sugar Reef Resort.  The American owner is very keen to meet all the dinning guests and the dinning room has been beautifully redecorated to provide an exceptionally pleasant environment for a lunchtime stop.   Sorry, no photographs of Sugar Reef, but below is the sort of bay you find on the windward side.
betasmallOne of the Bays on the Windward Side
Then it was back to the boat for an afternoon snorkel off the Devil’s Table, which was somewhat limited by the very strong current sweeping the unwary out to sea if they ventured too far.
Sunday, 23/2/2012.  A day of relative rest, exploring the retail opportunities in St Elizabeth, which doesn’t take too long, but we enjoyed the market, bought another wrap around skirt for the Skipper’s wife and went into Doris’ for the most expensive Greek Yoghurt you can imagine, but it is not available anywhere else and some cheaper yoghurt form Maranne’s.  We then walked to Friendship Bay on the South side of the Island for a swim and picnic lunch.  Definitely not somewhere to take the yacht, as the swell runs into the bay making it very uncomfortable.  Good snorkelling though, in the company of a local boy who wanted to go in with us, not sure why.  The family and friends were enjoying Sunday on the beach, which remains uncrowded with just a few tourists and a few locals.
betasmallFriendship Bay Anchorage    betasmallSunday Afternoon at Friendship Bay
Friendship Bay anchorage and local family enjoying Sunday afternoon in the bay.
Then we walked back to Tony Gibbons beach for some excellent snorkelling off the headland between this and Lower beach and a good hike back up the hill and round to Port Elizabeth.
betasmallThe Skipper after picnic lunch, Friendship Bay    betasmallPort Elizabeth from Tony Gibbon's Beach
The Skipper in Friendship Bay and Tony Gibbons Beach looking towards Port Elizabeth.  Just a few yachts!
Monday, 24/2/2014.  We planned to go to Mustique, but there is a new boat in “town” Truant, a lovely Nordia 55 belonging to Lyster and Sheena, who have been round the world, inform us that Mustique is rather rolly.   They are based in Devon and know many mutual friends, so a date for 6 o’clockses on Alcedo was made and we lazed the day away, chatting to the “Jades” in town, having a drink with the Truants at Ginger Bread with another couple, David and Sylvie, who also know the Caribbean very well and swimming and today, a siesta!
Tuesday, 25/2/2014.  We keep meaning to leave Bequia, but after discussing laying up in Trinidad with the “Quaddies”, Adrian and Chris, who have been there for years and were most helpful, we spent another lovely day snorkelling and walking and another delightful 6 o’clockses with the “Truants” on Truant.  Martyn Brake, who built Alcedo, would have loved doing her interior, all beautiful woodwork in tip top condition.  Tomorrow, we really will leave and because the weather looks reasonable, we have decided to brave the swells off Britannia Bay and go to Mustique as we may not have the opportunity again.