When you really like a place you tend to go back. So it is for sweet Bequia. With 5000 inhabitants it has a quaint island vibe and people here seem genuinely happy. The waterfront is dotted with small restaurants and art vendors. We sit at Mac’s to do internet while gorging on pizza called Nirvana made with pesto, shrimp, bacon, and local sweet peppers. Mmmmm!!! The BEST! (Eric has requested this be added to the Gato menu.)
Today I went for my 2nd SCUBA dive here and as I floated 60′ below the surface surrounded by the most exquisite colors outside the rainbow I am reminded why I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was 15. It also explains why I am not a snow bunny. There are so few colors in the winter (not to mention I hate being cold) and I am obsessed with colors. The mind relaxes into the zen mode when underwater and as I look for the underwater creatures I struggle to memorize all the color combos and find a way to paint them! For those who are curious, the reefs are healthy and the sea life is thriving. We saw moray eels. lobster, shrimp, crabs, rays, barracudas, and countless reef fish including one of my favs the Parrot Fish.
As with most blogs, I need to back up a bit and post what I wrote when we first arrived.
BEQUIA BLOG 3/11
After some epic windsurfing we left Tobago Cays but not before one last morning session of blasting around in 20+ knots on our Kona Boards.
Eric and I especially love the Cays. Why? Turtles and rays swim happily around you, the reef that protects it is beautiful to swim on, the color of the water is spectacular and other than the Bahamas we have not seen water this shade of blue. The locals are friendly, bring fresh fish and croissants to your boat, and the windsurfing and kiting are in clean fresh breezes where you can slide over the shallows and boats don’t obstruct your path. It’s safe mon.
Our sail to Bequia was in 20-25 knots so we put one reef in and used the solent jib. Waves were 6-8’ and we happily cruised upwind at 9-10.5 knots. It was a fun fast sail as it’s only 25 miles from Tobago Cays. The best part was we were sailing again. Our time out was well spent and the work and time spent upgrading and we are finally reaping those rewards. Just the 2 of us slicing along with spray and wind blowing our hair back and whenever we caught each others eyes it was not without a huge grin and a twinkle in our eyes. We were doing what we both love, and doing it together on a boat that we’ve both loved. It’s kind of like sharing a kid, or if you haven’t had a kid, a pet that you are crazy about. We’ve had all 3 so we know how it feels. We are invested physically, emotionally, and financially. We are all in!
We arrived in Bequia several days after a northern swell rocked the harbor. Stories included monster waves that tore out docks and had boats disappearing from view in the troughs between the swells. Luckily there is a southern harbor that has shelter from this direction called Friendship Bay so many cruisers went there. When we arrived Admiralty Bay was back to normal and full of charters and private yachts because Bequia is a favorite for anyone who comes this far south. It has charm as it’s small, safe, has good reefs to dive, a pathway that wraps around the bay with restaurants and small stores filled with art, gifts, and veggies from nearby St Vincent, and Gingerbread houses up on the hills.
Sadly it is a place where whaling is still practiced but they allow only 2 per year and some years they kill none. They use 100% of the whale and share the meat with other islanders. I saw a turtle necklace on Union Island made from whale bone that I really liked but had to walk away. Buying it would support the killing. Nuff said.
We walked up the hill and found a pottery shed owned and operated by a couple of artists from the UK who make beautiful pieces. They were busy making 100 trophies for the Bequia Cup. I happily added a new coffee cup to my round the world collection and commissioned a 12′ mermaid/octopus bowl as well. Can’t wait to see and use it!
Bequia has a long tradition of sailing, boat building, and racing. The kids learn early and they have a good program supporting the youngster to move into bigger race boats. They sail to other islands to compete and have had great successes and loads of fun.
We visited the turtle sanctuary and had a close of touch and feel for Loggerhead turtles. The babies were only 4 weeks old and they will release them when they are older to fend for three own.
It is not without sadness that every time we leave an island as we crawl our way north, we realize we may never see it again. After spent 3 seasons down here we’ve made numerous friends both on and off the water, and feel connected to this beautiful part of the water world. The thing that keeps our spirits high is now we can looking forward to cruising the Pacific. The stories we hear about diving on the atolls, meeting chiefs and bringing gifts to islanders, and knowing we will visit some very remote and exotic places is more than enough to look forward to.
We have a year to prepare and the time will fly, so for now we embrace the beauty of the Caribbean and will always hold it close to our hearts.