Morlands Cruise - St. Lucia, Bequia and Mustique

Fri 11 May 2012 11:00
13:00.498N 061:14.318W
Friday, 11 May. Bequia
Thursday, 10 May.  The Morlands arrived on Wednesday from London so Thursday morning was a gentle start.  Swim after breakfast. Chrissie has a massage at Te Kaye, then we motor to Soufriere before lunch and pick up a mooring under the cliffs by the bat cave.  Michael and I took a taxi boat to town in order to clear out.  More forms in triplicate but the officer forgot the carbon paper so I had to do it all over again.  No matter, we’re on island time.  When done, we move to La Jalousie, in a dramatic setting between the Pitons.  Pity the weather isn’t better but still you can’t ignore the grandeur of these peaks. La Jalousie is a luxury hotel developed by Colin Tennant after he had left Mustique.  We went ashore and took a look around.  It’s very well done and they are selling off the villas if anyone wants one (or two) with a “guaranteed” return of over 5%.  Very few guests in residence that we could see, but the staff were very nice.
Friday, 11 May. Set sail for St. Vincent in cracking E5/6.   It starts well but at one moment the sea builds and we take a couple of breaking waves on our beam with a bit of a crash.  Bear away quickly for a more comfortable ride.  Later I discover that a panel in the port heads had been buckled by the impact of these waves, but no structural damage that I could discern.  As we reach St. Vincent the wind dies and we motor along the coast looking at possible anchorages, but there are tales of security problems and E is keen that we press on to Blue Lagoon on the  South coast, past Kingstown.  As we go around the south, approaching Kingstown, we are headed into the wind and sea.  Although it's only a few miles to Blue Lagoon (which I can see and is full of masts) it’s about the same distance to Bequia on a nice beam reach, so we alter course and say goodbye to St. Vincent, hello to Bequia.  Admiralty Bay is large and well protected, offering lots of mooring which is good because there are plenty of boats here.  We go in quite close and pick up a mooring off the Frangipani Hotel.  It’s 55 miles since we left in the morning.
Saturday, 12 May.  Go ashore, check in, look around.  It’s nice, particularly the model boat maker and not forgetting my rasta friend President Kennedy who instructs me in the elements of their religion.  “Give thanks, man” he exhorts while explaining why they are so “fiery”.  “It’s the ‘erb, man”.  Love it. 
Sunday, 13 May. Our plan is to sail around to the south of the island to Friendship Bay where we can spend the night and cross to Mustique in the morning.  In Friendship Bay we are almost the only visiting boat and there is a bit of a swell.  There are two hotels; one is closed while the owners sort out a legal dispute, and we walk to the other and have delicious lunch, following which we modify the plan and head straight to Mustique where the harbour master, Slick, helps us pick up a mooring.  Ashore it looks idyllic with white sandy beach, palm trees, mown grass and we can glimpse luxury homes here and there among the green foliage.
Monday to Wednesday:  We just hang out here but are unable to pick up wifi so have to go ashore to Basil’s Bar for internet.  No hardship.  On Tuesday we rent a car (actually a golf cart) and tour the island, lunching at the Cotton House Hotel beach cafe.  We swim, paddle the kayak and walk about.  There are so few people about it feels like we have the island to ourselves.  That’s not true of course and visiting boats come and go, as do aircraft from the tiny airport.  But it is quiet and there are hardly any other people at Basil’s when we take our morning coffee and catch up on emails.
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Thursday, 17 May.  Time for Morlands to leave.  They take the ferry at 0715 to Kingstown, then the plane to St. Lucia, via Barbados, and finally their flight back to London.  It should be an interesting journey.  Bye bye Morlands.