Bequia, here we come!
Bequia, here we are! We have salty decks from our close reached sail!
We got anchored in Admiralty Bay, tidied up, washed the salt off the bright work and wind shields, and just enjoyed this new anchorage and its sun set!
We had business to attend to in Bequia. This year we wanted to use a smaller headsail that we’ve carried, stowed under our berth since we’ve owned Nancy Lu. We thought it would work better down here in the Eastern Caribbean with the stronger trade winds than our big sail . The problem was that it didn’t have sun-protection for when it’s not in use and furled(wrapped around the forestay). We knew there was a guy that could do that for us here. Bequia is known for skilled boat service people.
So after we got the sail down (we used it to sail from Carriacou), Mark changed the fuel/water separator on the dinghy motor,
and we were off to take the sail to the shop (and take the trash in).
A townsperson made a couple of bucks by carrying the heavy sail to the shop. Guys wanting to help with things at Port Elizabeth’s town dock is a common practice in Bequia. We haven’t found the guys doing this to be pushy, well maybe pushy, but not intimidating, so we’re happy to use their services from time to time.
This gentleman helped Mark get the dinghy docked another day.
We saw a familiar sailboat (with a new paint job and some other modifications) moored in Admiralty Bay —Exodus! In Grenada, we saw the documentary, Vanishing Sail, about the building of THIS wooden boat. It was the last boat built by Alwyn Enoe and his sons in Carriacou, using the traditional tools and methods, from making a small wooden model to work from, to chopping down the trees and dragging them to the building site, to caulking with cotton, to building with hand tools, to launching by rolling the boat into the water on logs! Someone has since bought this special boat after it came in 3rd place behind Zemi and Genesis, also built by Alwyn Enoe, in the 2013 Antiqua Classic Yacht Regatta—Traditional Class A! If you’re as fascinated by the story behind this boat and the people associated with her as I am, you can learn a little more here!
We did a little snorkeling at Devil’s Table at the Northwest end of Admiralty Bay:
White spotted Filefish
Nice sea fan
Sea Plume, a type of Gorgonian Coral
Sharptail Snake Eel
Christmas Tree Tube Worms among the star coral
Featherduster Tube Worm among the Star Coral
I also snorkeled here along the shore of Port Elizabeth, but I wouldn’t recommend it…all I gained from the experience was some itchy stings. I seem to be prone to becoming prey to whatever it is that inflicts these chigger-like whelps that seem to multiply after you’re out of the water. After much Google searching and asking around, I’m still not sure what creature does this to me!
Port Elizabeth, the town along the shore of Admiralty Bay is picturesque:
I had to get one of these for my mama who likes birds! They’re hand carved from coconuts.
We like eating at Gingerbread, a little resort!
The setting is serene.
Mark got the same thing he got last year, a fresh tuna salad sandwich!
The Anglican Church
I like Oasis Art Gallery where you can find beautiful pieces by local artists. I bought a couple of prints of the original mango painting that I’m standing in front of with the artist who created it.
On our last day in Bequia, I visited the Bequia Maritime Museum run by this unassuming old gentleman, Lawson Sargeant. It seems that this man who is famous in Bequia for his exemplary model boat building, has had a stroke, but he still takes you around and painstakingly shows you every exhibit and answers questions. This visit pulled at my heartstrings and was very educational, adding to my already great appreciation for artisans and skilled workers of these Caribbean islands and our elderly population, in general (Okay, I’ve swallowed the lump in my throat.). One of the exhibits is a framed photograph of Mr. Sargeant, in his younger days, presenting a scaled model of HMS Brittania, which he hand crafted, as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II when she visited The Grenadines back in the day! Prince Phillip is pictured close by in the background. From what I understand, the model is still displayed in the Royal Yacht Club in England. The Queen sent a thank you letter to the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (which Bequia is a part) which mentions Mr. Sargeant personally! The letter is exhibited in his museum, as well!
This year we took a taxi to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary and saw interesting and beautiful sights along the way:
ruins of plantation
I’m not sure how ecologically sound the turtle sanctuary is, but it was fun to see the babies. This place got it’s start because the founder, a retired man, would go out and collect eggs, hatch them, and keep them at the sanctuary until they had a better chance of making it in the wild (6 or 7 years old). That’s pretty much what still takes place. He’s kept a few turtles well past the juvenile stage, one or two because of deformities, others…’cause he likes them?
I think the owner also likes dogs!
It’s a nice place.
Scenes in the harbor:
Friendship Rose, the last wooden schooner completely built by hand in Bequia was moored in the harbor. Back in the day, it was used as a ferry, mailboat, and supply ship among the Grenadines. Today, its owners offer day tours.
An impressive sailing cruise ship visited Bequia for a day.
I usually dive to get a look at how our anchor is set. It held great during a big west wind blow that came up one night. We had just sat down with a big bowl of freshly popped corn and a movie when the blow came through. We felt like we were sailing on a close reach, bashing through waves, in 35 knots of wind for about an hour. We were awakened in the middle of the night when we lost ALL wind, but were left with the surge rolling into the bay. This makes the boat rock dramatically from side to side when the boat swings sideways to them—not comfortable. Two of our buddy boats left and went on to Martinique. One of them was anchored close to shore, and were warned by locals that they would end up on the beach if they stayed through the storm. The other boat was planning on leaving early the next morning anyway, so rather than roll all night without going anywhere, they just got underway. We stayed since we were waiting for our sail to get finished. It wasn’t bad after we got some wind in the anchorage to keep the boats facing straight into the swells.
They’re taking advantage of a natural waterpark…
so are these two!
We got our sail back, hoisted it, furled it, got a good night’s sleep, and left for Martinique on an overnight sail the next afternoon after I toured Mr. Sargeants little museum.