We are anchored off the small Island of Bequia in the Grenadines, half way accross the world but we are continually bumping in to people we know. Half the crews of the ARC seem to be here and in a villa on the other side of the island are our old friends Laurie and Ian enjoying a Christmas break with friends and family.
Talk about a room with a view, their villa, perched high in the hills, looks out to the Atlantic Ocean. We joined them for the evening yesterday, not only did they serve us a fantastic fish curry, they gave us a few hours on firm ground to relax.
The high winds came as forecast and Monday night there was pandemonium as gale force gusts screamed across the bay. Anchors and even moorings were dragging, we spent all night watching out for problems, our anchor held firm but the catamaran in front of us was not so lucky. Rick spent a few tense hours on deck as they, fast asleep, slowly but inexorably drifted in our direction. Eventually he managed to wake them, flashing a high powered torch through their hatches and they turned their engine on with only 3m to spare. As we chatted with others the next morning nobody had had much sleep and all had there own tale of near misses to tell. Thankfully today – Wednseday – the winds have finally eased but the bay is still quite rolly.
The dingy has been a feature of our stay here, it is our only means of getting from the boat to shore. Riding into the high winds, especially with all five of us onboard has been very wet, protecting the paper wrapped baguettes an impossibility. However, it is vital and tying it securely to the boat imperative but today it has “escaped” twice, we are lucky to still have it! The first time Matt dived in to get it back, the second time a passing water taxi rescued it for us, I think there needs to be some serious knotting lessons for the crew tomorrow.
Despite the rather lively anchorage, we like Bequia it has a small town feel to it, everybody is very friendly and it lacks that feeling of intimidation we felt in St Lucia and St Vincent. As we wandered around the few streets that make up the main town, buying bits and pieces for our Christmas celebrations, there was a happy mix of boaties, tourists and locals. The interior is made up of lush, tree covered hills and the coast is rugged. Where we are in Admiralty Bay, there are two great beaches, one of which has a fun restaurant/bar, there are plenty of jetties for dingies and good snorkelling.
Rachael, Matt and I swam around the small, rocky headland that devides the two beaches and saw a good variety of fish, including a small, black and white moray eel that was swimming in the open instead, as is normal, hiding amongst the crevices of the rocks and a shoal of Caribbean Reef Squid that look much like cuttle fish, rather strange creatures but fascinating to watch. Rach and Matt also went for a dive on a reef further out where they saw many more and much bigger fish.
We plan to leave early in the morning tomorrow and sail to Tobago Cays, a few low islands and a horse shoe reef with stunning turquoise seas, where better to spend Christmas Day.