With the weather forecast predicting that the winds would move south of east we made a hasty departure from St Lucia on 18th May to sail 70 miles south to Bequia in the Grenadines. This meant an early rise to set sail at first light. Like many other yachts we sailed past St Vincent. It had a poor reputation for safety 13 years ago and it appears that nothing has changed. So the aim was to get to Bequia in the light. It was not a good start to the passage down the west coast of St Lucia when the clouds rolled down from the hills and opened up with heavy rain for 30 minutes or more, with visibility down to 30 metres. It eventually cleared up by the time we got to the Pitons, but the skies remained overcast the whole day. We had good wind for the inter-island passages (St Lucia to St Vincent, and St Vincent to Bequia), being around 20kts and we made good speed on a close reach, although we were fighting a current of 1 to 2 kts most of the way across to St Vincent. We had very little wind in the lee of the islands and part way down the coast of St Vincent the wind actual came from the south west, albeit light. Going across the open sea to Bequia we were very lucky to be given a display of acrobatics by a large (50 plus) pod of dolphins. They were the first we had seen for weeks and although they didn't come close enough to identify them, they did give a magnificent display, with many jumping well clear of the water and some reaching heights that would have challenged captive dolphins.
We arrived in Admiralty Bay, Bequia at 17.30 and dropped anchor in Princess Margaret Bay. It's a lovely spot just to the west of the only town (small village), Port Elizabeth, but easy enough to dinghy in. The water in Admiralty bay is quite shallow with patches of white sand which give colours of many shades of turquoise, so the dinghy trip into town is a delight. Very little appears to have changed in 13 years, except the Customs office. It was a small wooden building with all the paperwork filed in piles several feet high all around the sides. It's now brick built, large and air conditioned, and the best Customs office we have come across in the Caribbean. Nearly every neighbouring island has been a different country so we have to check out of one and check into the next. That generally entails visiting Customs, Immigration and the Port Authority. In some places it's all done by one person, in others you go backwards and forwards between the different officials until everyone is satisfied. I have done it so many times that I now know passport numbers, ship registration numbers etc. all off by heart! Bequia is very charming with restaurants and small shops dotted around the water front and joined by a small path right along the water's edge. It is a very quiet and pleasant place to stay. As the weather was good for moving on to the Tobago Cays, we did not stop as long as we had intended.
In many places we have had lovely skies in the evening. The following was taken from the boat at anchor, looking west out of Admiralty Bay.