John and Susie Blair.
Sun 20 Jan 2013 18:28
For our first proper day's windward sailing we set off from Carriacou's
Tyrrel Bay relatively early (09.00).
Mustique lies 35 miles to the north and we sailed up the windward side of
Carriacou to make the best of the prevailing wind. Navigation through the
myriad of shoals and reefs on this passage means one cannot relax for long,
our chosen route took us on a sometimes weaving passage through depths as
little as 10 feet! the water so clear it looks shallower so it's quite
un-nerving I can tell you. (Oh, we caught a Barracuda and let it go!)
As we closed on Mustique we could see fabulous villas perched on the
hillsides, many on this privately owned island are holiday homes for the
mega rich and famous. The Doyle guide reveals some glamorous names....Mick
Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch....and of course, the late Princess
It's hard to believe that we've visited so many islands already, today is my
birthday and the last time I did this trip it was only now that we made
landfall on Barbados so we've had a massive headstart.
On reading the guide book 'Basil's Bar' is prominently featured, listed as
'the most informal and popular establishment on Mustique' it's built of
thatch and bamboo and perched on stilts over the water with waves lapping
underneath. This is the Caribbeans most famous Beach Bar and venue for the
world famous 'Mustique Blues Festival' (voted in the worlds top 10) (end
January) though the festival also visits Bequia.
Also interestingly? Prince William and Kate love Basil and the Bar so much
that he was invited to their wedding and even recreated his bar for them in
London complete with 84 tons of sand, two vintage fishing boats, coconut
trees etc!! (the Duchess spent her last night as Kate Middleton there).
We arrived in the afternoon and were shown to a mooring (anchoring is
forbidden for small yachts) the last time i was in the Windies I mistakenly
thought the US$75 fee was per night, it's actually for three nights but by
the time I found this out I'd sailed up island and the chance was
Right from the start... even before you step ashore, you feel you're
somewhere very special. The sea seemed extra clear and blue and the
manicured shoreline befitting the expectations of the 'uber rich' in this
We were soon ashore and the first place we arrive at is.....Basil's! We went
inside and checked out the menu....as one would expect of an establishment
of this calibre prices were certainly geared to the well heeled but, as a
birthday treat, Susie insisted we dine there and I must admit the food
sounded sumptuous to say the least! As a further treat from Susie, she
arranged for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne to assist us in washing
down Basil's own recipe Coconut Shrimp and Filet Mignon and an additional
surprise was Basil himself coming to sit with us for a chat and congratulate
me on my milestone birthday....It certainly was a meal to remember and I
felt very special....Thanks Susie x.
After the meal, instead of desert we informed the waiter that we intended to
visit another famous Mustique establishment, Boutique Hotel
Restaurant...'Firefly'. He immediately made arrangements and within five
minutes a hotel driver (In dicky-bow tie) appeared to take us to the
Firefly was ultra-fab! one of the most beautiful restaurants I've ever
visited with a view to match. As we walked in, some well-to-do folks were
gathered around a piano listening to some fun tunes their friend was
playing, we ordered a cocktail and sat in the window just in time to see the
sunset over Britannia Bay and Chelone....truly awesome.
A few minutes later and 'Happy Birthday to you' was playing! Susie had
slipped a note over to the guy tickling the ivories...my day wasn't quite
over yet! We chatted with the others, they were most interested in the fact
that we'd sailed here from Wales....especially Susie having come along too.
The Firefly driver offered to return us to the dinghy dock but with it being
such a lovely evening and not too late we decided to walk the short distance
back (well, Susie did!). Now of course it's dark innit! I took no notice of
our route on the way up the hill so now we take a wrong turn or two until we
are confronted with Airport Runway lights....!! Ah, definitely lost! so we
backtrack and try a different route....lost again! back up the hill and the
Firefly, by now closed and in total darkness, though what's that over there?
an electric golf buggy thingy! OMG, with the keys in the ignition!! Ahh,
soon we were silently cruising the lanes around the south side of the
Island.....We did find the harbour and though I wanted to leave the buggy
there Susie insisted that now we know our way we should take it back so we
did....they'll never know!
Back aboard Chelone and time to watch the new Bond movie 'Skyfall', we
got it from Bequia the other week and kept it to watch until now.
So, we,ve been doing the usual exploring etc, Susie did some sunbathing
yesterday while I took our dinghy 1/4 mile off the harbour to the 'Montezuma
Shoal', a buoyed reef where several ships and small boats have come to
grief, one lying in 40 feet depth though so clear is the sea here that it
looked as though you could reach out and touch it (See pic).
Last evening we decided to check out another posh eaterie....'The Cotton
House'. We acquired a free lift and passing the grass airstrip as a plane
took off we arrived at this most beautiful establishment set in manicured
lawns complete with a small lily covered lake.
We signed the guest book (Lord and Lady so and so had already signed in)
before wandering around, there were no other guests to be seen (Probably saw
us coming) so Susie relaxed browsing through an array of delightful coffee
table books while I took a few snaps....it was so photogenic.
Dinner was to be a beachside BBQ so we took a stroll there and though the
food sounded great and the scenery beautiful it was a little too quiet for
us and so we elected to return to the harbour and a nightcap at Basil's.
Loads of monsoon like rain in the night (the first we've seen in weeks!) but
glorious again here now.
'Sunset Jazz' tonight at Basil's (Live entertainment) so that'll be our last
dollop of Mustique, next we're off to St.Vincent, 15 miles to the north.
Thanks so much to everyone for the Birthday messages received ie Mike
Dickman, Steve Sula, Anna Ward, Jon & Babs, Thor, Katie, Georgie, Aysha,
Afonso Zagalo, Rob & Sam, Geoff & Ade and a special Thank You to my lovely
Brazilian friends Dorival & Catarina....I played the Rostropovich's Prelude
while sipping a beer in the cockpit on arrival (great internet onboard in
Sorry if I've omitted anyone.
Now where's that lilo?