On boxing day the sun finally came out and the winds kicked in and we had a beautiful sail south to St Vincent
In St Vincent we moored for the night against the remains of the Pirates of the Caribbean set
We then sailed the final few miles to Bequia where it started to feel like the Caribbean
We said goodbye to Roger on the 28th and spent the day sorting the boat and re filling the aft cabin with ‘stuff’. The next day we booked a couple of dives with Dive Bequia which were really good, the visibility was amazing and we saw loads of fish.
We weren’t sure how long we would spend in Bequia but we soon met up with quite a few boats we knew and decided to stay for new year. We had quite a few impromptu drinks on other boats plus tea and Christmas cake on Stella which was great fun.
It turns out the weather was not quite so bad here for Christmas but we still had fun in the rain. The Norwegians all had a big barbeque on the beach in Bequia and it is a tradition every year to each pay EC$70 (£17) towards the local orphanage, they then go and meet all the children the next day and give them the money which is really nice. There were 26 Norwegian boats on the ARC this year, the second most represented country after the UK. This may be because Norway is booming at the moment as they produce a lot of oil and gas. They are a really nice bunch and seem to have formed a really strong group amongst themselves.
On New Year’s Eve we had Sestina, Toucan and Mariposa for drinks on our boat and then moved on to Mariposa for late night drinks and even a bit of dancing. At midnight there was a fantastic firework display over the harbour and lots of boats let off flares which created a fantastic atmosphere.
The next morning one of the super yachts limped in to the inner anchorage having been hit by a rouge tug boat – someone estimated it will cost up to $1m to repair that!
On New Year’s Day we finally headed south to Tobago Cays the jewel in the crown of the Caribbean and it was truly amazing. The sea is bright turquoise and really beautiful - the pictures don’t really do it justice. Near to where we anchored we could dinghy out to the reef where the snorkelling was fantastic with lots of brightly coloured fish. In the grassy area near the boat there were also lots of turtles and sting rays. Sadly we don’t have an underwater camera so no photos. We also took the dinghy over to many of the nearby sandy beaches. Once the sun set the partying continued as Mariposa and Toucan were also here for the first couple of days.
There were lots of stunning super yachts anchored nearby. We liked to think that despite their millions they still have the same view as us, swim in the same sea and look at the same fish!
We left after 3 days for Union Island stopping at Palm Island on the way where we swam ashore for a beer.
After Union Island we went to Carriacou before arriving in Grenada. We are a bit behind schedule having arrived in St Lucia a week later than planned and then having been delayed by the rain so need to get a move on. Grenada is stunning but we do not have long as we need to be back in Bequia to meet Alan’s mum who is meeting us for 6 days on the 15th. So far the sailing has been fairly easy as we have been heading SW but with the winds from the NE or E it will be a bit of a slog to get back so I hope we make it in time.
Sorry we have been a bit slack in updating our blog but time just seems to fly by plus we wanted to wait until we had wi-fi so that we could send some photos.
We were originally planning to sail back via Bermuda and the Azores in May / June but are now contemplating doing the east coast of the US instead and then shipping Stella back in September as it will the be too late in the season to sail back. We’re still not sure if this is going to be possible as we need to have a US visa which you can’t get unless you enter on a recognised carrier. We think we may be able to get a visa by getting a ferry from UKVI to USVI and then keeping the I 94 which is valid for 90 days but are not sure if this is then valid for the mainland. To apply for a visa properly we either need to go to Trinidad or Barbados, neither of which are on our itinerary. Now we have wi-fi we are starting to research it and it is not obvious – if anyone has any knowledge or advice on this we would be very grateful.