December 31, 2019. Destination Bequia. We left Marigot Bay, St. Lucia, early morning to be in time for some New Years Eve celebrations with Sander and Wanda. We sailed along the east coast of St. Vincent. Expected that side of the island to have better winds, but the wind was slow. It took us almost all day to finally arrive at about 17.00 in Bequia. In the Bay of Port Elizabeth. And wow, what a pretty entrance. Very busy with boats but that was because of time of year with many festivities going on in Bequia. We met up with Sander and Wanda and we had a great evening! Cooking, drinking and talking, laughing. And after the impressive fireworks, we went to Bar one. Bar one is a floating bar right in the middle of the bay. Famous for their strong but very tasty and freshly made cocktails … And guess what …. we anchored quite close to the bar! Maybe going to the bar that evening was not a really good idea as we all had headaches the next morning and we have been lying around the boat all day. Sending messages to each other .. pffffff I can’t move, my head is banging. Such fun haha! But no worries, at the end of the day we started all over again! What a great way to start the new year!
Bequia (/ˈbɛkwiː/ or /ˈbɛkweɪ/) is the second-largest island in the Grenadines at 7 square miles (18 km2). Bequia means “island of the clouds” in the ancient Arawak. The island’s name was also ‘Becouya’ as part of the Grenadines. The native population are primarily a mixture of people of African, Scottish and Island Carib descent. A substantial number of white Barbadians also settled the Mount Pleasant area of Bequia in the 1860s. Many of their descendants still inhabit the area. The island capital is Port Elizabeth. The bay is called Admiralty Bay. Yachts stay here the on anchor or pick up a mooring ball. Going ashore you find friendly, low-key locals “under the almond tree,” the chosen meeting place. Stroll along the Belmont Walkway to the Gingerbread for homemade nutmeg ice cream, or go to Frangipani, run by the daughter of a former prime minister. Continue to lovely, golden Princess Margaret Beach, or round the bend to Lower Bay. For grocery shopping go to Dora. Just behind the main street. She has a wide selection of veggies, fruits, Asian curries, Italian choices. It really is amazing what she carries. Not very cheap but a must go! In the main street, you find a ‘normal’ supermarket, small boutiques, restaurants, fruit vendors, the fish market, the fruit market etc. It’s a very colourful island. And also for me the feeling we finally came to the Caribbean! Friendly. laid back, colourful.
January 2nd we went for an island tour. We had a great tour guide. One of the people from a whaling family. You find all the tour guides right there where you come out of the dinghy dock. We choose an semi open vehicle. First stop was at the Mauvin Model Boat Shop, it’s a Bequia speciality. Excellent craftsmanship of shiop models.
When following the road along the waterside you come at Fort Hamilton. Located in Port Elizabeth at the northern end of Admiralty Bay. Essentially a canon battery and look-out, the fort was constructed by the British in the 1700s. Though little of the fortification remains, you can still see cannons as well as enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the bay. The magnificent view obtained from this 300-foot high hill was a major reason why this site was chosen for a Britsh battery. Constructed during the late 1700s, Fort Hamilton protected the entire Admiralty Bay from attacks by American privateers and French raiders. According to local tradition a misfired cannon aimed at an enemy ship, split the island’s southwestern tip, separating it into two small cays.
Fort Hamilton was named after Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) a founding father of the United States Constitution. Het was born on the West Indian Island of Nevis.
On our way to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, you pass Springhouse Bequia, the Firefly plantation and a beautiful but rough beach as it’s situated on the Atlantic side of the island. It’s called Industry Bay and Park bay. This side of the island is beautiful. Quite some wind and rough scenery. For all the information of the Turtle sanctuary follow this link. https://turtles.bequia.net
Next, we went to the south side of the island. To Friendship Bay and the area called La Pompe. Here you find the Whaling museum. The island has an active whaling station in a low-key and very traditional way. By IWC agreement, local whalers can take four whales a year, and in some years they do not get any. The whaling season is between February and April. At this time of year humpback whales leave their northern feeding grounds and head south to mate and bear young. Few people are left in Bequia with the skills necessary to hunt them ~ a daring feat in an open sailing boat, using hand-thrown harpoons. On the rare occasions that they make a kill, the hunters tow the whale to Semplers Cay for butchering. To find out more about Bequias history and whaling follow this link. https://www.bequiatourism.com/history.htm
We stayed in Bequia till January 5, 2020. Then we sailed to Mustique. The island of the rich and famous!
St Vincent and the Grenadines is a multi-island country. The Grenadines are a chain of small islands that lie on a line between the larger islands of Saint Vincent and Grenada. Part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles.
In the Northern part, you’ll find the islands of Bequia and Mustique. The Southern Grenadines consist of Canouan, Mayreau and Union Island. There are 10 uninhabited islands are Palm Island, Petit Saint Vincent, Tobago Cays, Isle à Quatre, Baliceaux, Bettowia, Petit Mustique, Petit Nevis, Petit Canouan. and Savan. The Grenadines is known for the haunts of the rich and famous – yachting, diving and fine beaches. Many rich and famous have a house somewhere around in one of the islands!