Sunday, 20 November 2016

Back to Bequia

Back to Bequia 

Thursday 14th April 2016 we raised anchor at 0730 and headed north. With about 10kts SE and not much swell all day we had a gentle sail eventually having all the sails up with no reefs. Can’t remember when we last did that.

Aptly named!

It took 9 hours to sail the 46 miles accompanied by Red Billed Tropic Birds, Sooty Terns and Red Footed and Brown Boobies. Dozens of Laughing Gulls gave us a cheerful welcome to Princess Margaret beach. 

The walk down from Tanty Pearls

We caught up with Ansari and Remedy with socialising on the boats, walks down to Lower Bay for excellent lunches at Dawns CafĂ©, a few meals at Cheryl’s Fig Tree restaurant and a really steep walk up to Tante Pearls with magnificent views over the bay.
Lunch at Tanty Pearls

Tuesday we woke up to big northerly swells rolling in which got worse as the day progressed. Eventually we moved right into the bay and took a mooring where it was perfectly calm but we could watch the huge waves crashing on the shore.



We stayed on the mooring until Friday hunting all over town for a new battery for my mobile phone which we eventually ordered from Sunny Computers on the opposite side of the bay. It will be here next Thursday – not bad.

We had an interesting walk with Kathy and Peter to Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. Up the steep hill behind Port Elizabeth, out of town and into dry forest. 

Hiking to the Turtle sanctary

We eventually followed a track down to the sea into an old coconut plantation, the trees at least a hundred feet tall. There were also the remains of a sugar making factory, no buildings, just the kiln areas and foundations. It was a very pretty bay with a small island and a few fishing boats and nets drying under the trees.

Over another hill and then we were at the sanctuary. We have been before and it is rather whacky. The owner used to hunt turtles but later decided they needed conservation so he has a few indoor pools with a selection of turtles. I think he is well meaning but many of the turtles had bits missing. Apparently they bite each other and don’t let go – their normal way of feeding. 


 A few larger ones have holes drilled in their shell and when he goes spearfishing he takes one with him for a swim in the sea! We gave him a donation unsure of whether we should encourage him or not!

Not part of the Turtle sanctuary but a piece of space junk from a satellite rocker launcher - It fell from the sky and washed up on the beach!

On the way back we stopped for a very welcome drink at the Sugar Reef right on the beach as well. We decided the lunches were a bit pricey so headed back to town for a delicious roti at The Porthole.

With the swells subsiding we left the mooring and returned to the anchorage off Princess Margaret beach. The bay was empty but not for long and we were soon surrounded by friends old and new! Looks like Bequia is going to be very sociable again! 

The Plantation house announced they were showing a movie one evening. This seemed like a nice idea as we haven’t seen a movie for ages. We turn up at the appointed time to find the staff fiddling with the projector, computer and sound system. An hour and a few rum punches later they were still fiddling and no movie, eventually the movie was officially cancelled! Oh well never mind we met some nice people while we were waiting so not a total loss!

Anchored off the beach we spend time snorkelling the reef between Princess Margaret and Lower bay, 


This is really a good spot as we always see so much interesting life here. Rowena had fun trying to photograph all the blennies and gobies which are mostly less than 5cm long.

Seaweed Blenny

Saddled Blenny

Bequia seems to be one of those places that is difficult to escape from! The skipper has now taken on the job of controller for the local VHF radio net and what with a never ending social whirl of lunches and sundowners, it looks like we will be here a while! This presents other problems, the propane tank will need refilling and we will have to get water soon. 

How to remove a Booby from the mizzen  - with the aid of a sharp stick!

Deciding to use Daffodil’s water barge to water up as we are almost empty and take on 60 gallons. Later we discover that the water has a funny soapy taste! We change the filter but that doesn’t improve things much. We are going to have to get bottled water for drinking and cooking until we have emptied the tanks. This is the first time we have had a problem in four years away. (Make a mental note to self to taste all water before putting it in the tank).


Repairing the last whaleboat in Bequia. No longer used as they have finally stopped whaling but it is planned to use it for whale watching trips to give the full whaling experience!

We have been here for 3 weeks now and as much as we like it here we really need to be going somewhere else, we are after all cruising. Tobago Cays here we come!