Mon 2 Apr 2012 13:14
Hello from Bequia
We arrived in Port Elizabeth, Bequia after another good sail from Canouan on the 21st March in company with JI, Sunshine, Moondance and Nino for a few days and then we all sail of in different directions before meeting again in Grenada at some point. Chris and I along with Maris and Sue visited Bequia for New Year 2010/11, it was very busy then and not much has changed, more houses maybe, lots of ex pats. Seven square miles, home to approximately 5,000 people, traditional boatbuilding, fishing and tourism keeps this Island going, a fair number of luxury yachts call in here on there way to Tobago Cays. You are able to check in and out of customs on Bequia and a lot of people come here rather than go to Kingstown on St Vincent, Kingstown has a reputation as being not very cruiser friendly, lots of stories about robberies and violence mainly due to the drugs problem on the Island, we shall check it out by using the daily ferry from ferry. Bequia is allowed by the International Whaling Commission to take two Humpback Whales a year as their Aboriginal Tradition, hunting them in small sailing boats in the traditional way. The second day we arrived we heard they had caught a whale and were towing it to the whaling station on the south end of the Island, great excitement around the Island! We then heard it had escaped and the following day we watched the small sailing boat called ‘Don’t Ask’ stalk a whale in the south corner of the bay, when a speed boat arrived as back up they harpooned the whale, all by hand,from the small sailing boat, and we watched as the whale dragged the marker bouys around breaching and heading out to sea with the speed boat in pursuit, to loud cheers from the local overlooking the bay. The harpoon came unstuck and the second whale escaped, all this for ‘tradition’ ‘our heritage’, well I can think of lots of traditions that have become obsolete over the years and I think this should be one of them.