Bequia, Grenadines Position: 13:00.647N 61:14.405W

Bill and Judy Stellin
Mon 14 Jan 2008 13:45
We are now at anchor in Bequia (pronounced Bek-way) in their lovely bay.  This is the first of the Grenadines you come to from the north, where we had been, in Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia. 
After a late start we headed south to our present location, partly sailing and motoring.  The winds were light and from astern which made sailing rather slow.  It dawned on us we were going to violate the cardinal rule of sailing in the Caribbean and that is "don't sail or enter harbors or anchorages at night".  We passed and left the island of St Vincent to starboard during the daylight, but it gets dark very suddenly in the tropics.  When the sun goes down, there is only a few minutes before it is pitch black dark.  At the southern tip of St Vincent we entered the Bequia channel, notorious for strong currents and gusty winds.   Heading across this six mile channel we could see Bequia looming in the darkness without a single shore light.  It was really eerie as we have made landfall hundreds of times in the dark and always there have been shore lights of some sort.  Not on Bequia; absolute darkness, no house lights, no road traffic, (no roads), nothing.  We pressed on to Admiralty Bay which the pilot warns is strewn with shoals and unreliable lights. It was a very nerve racking approach and we vowed never to do it again.
As it turns out, it was a piece of cake.  We entered the bay, dodged dozens of anchored boats, went straight to a spot on a shoal about 15 feet deep, anchored, had dinner and went to bed.  No big deal.  The next day, we moved further into the bay where we are now and took a mooring because anchor holding is spotty in the bay.  Mostly a thin layer of sand over rock or in weeds.
I must say, I am finally becoming at ease with the Caribbean.  The people here are friendly, they smile, the water is clear, the fruits and vegetables are edible and better priced and the restaurants are good.  Prices are even a little cheaper than Saint Lucia.  Now all the more, I realize how much I disliked  Saint Lucia and Barbados.  It was mainly the people. Just a simple smile and less crabiness would do wonders to improve the general feeling those beautiful island exhibit.  My views are shared with everyone we've talked to since we have been in the area.
Today is Judy's birthday and we celebrated by going out to dinner with our Kiwi friends, John and Katherine on Blizzard.  We first met them in the America's Cup port in Valencia then ran into them again in Tenerife, the Canary islands.  They sailed from New Zeeland to the Med just to watch the Cup races and now they are on their way back home. Now that is dedication to the sport; 27,000 miles over 21 months.  We have sailed a lot, but it has taken us 11 years to put 27,000 miles on the log.
The restaurant had a great band from Sweden, of all places,  which we danced to and that  made Judy's day  really complete.
This morning, Sunday, we went to mass in their only Catholic church.  Our timing was perfect.  Mass started at 8:00AM, we got there at 9:00AM just in time for the consecration (that makes attendance legal) and about 45 more minutes of singing, hand clapping, handshaking and good old gospel type worship. It was a  proper Catholic mass, just gussied up with typical southern black influences.