Away from the crowds!
6-8 Having planned on leaving St Lucia when we woke up, we woke at midnight. Thankfully we went to bed at 9 P.M. so we had a few hours of sleep. The sail was absolutely perfect. A beam reach allowed us to average over 5 knots and we arrived in time for lunch. Bequia is the northern most island of the Grenadines, part of St Vincent. The main harbor is Admiralty Bay and customs was an easy process with the new eSeaClear.com web site. A tour of the market to pick up some fresh produce and a short tour of the town and we headed back for a nap.
6-10 Several boats were in the harbor that we knew and a cocktail party ensued with a pot luck of appetizers. One of the boats we had not seen since the Bahamas. 'An Embarrassment of Mangos' is a book written by a couple on their first voyage through these islands a few years ago, it tells of the experiences many of us have in those first few months as we acclimate to the cruising lifestyle. They were signing autographs on both that book and the newest 'Spice Necklace', more about the Caribbean adventures. We also met another couple from Wisconsin, that makes about four couples that we have met in the last 2 weeks.
6-11 After a few days we need a break from the RV park atmosphere and sailed around the south side of the island to Petit Nevis, a small uninhabited island that was originally a whale rendering facility. They actually still hunt whales with spears in 26 foot row boats, they are allowed 2 a year. We took the dingy to shore to explored a bit then decided we needed a swim. Snorkeling was fabulous with lots of coral and many fish. We are the only boat here and it is shaping up to be a perfect sunset. Tomorrow we are up and off to another island in the Grenadines.
6-12 Raising the sail and then pulling up the anchor, we silently began our trip to the Tabago Cays. Wind cooperated again to create an effortless sail. Sailing for years in areas where you had to tack every 30 to 40 minutes, we now set the sails and reach our destination hours later, with only a slight adjustment every now and then.
6-14 The pristine Tabago Cays is a Marine Park and the water is the color of turquoise, aquamarine and sapphires. Beaches of while sand surround the tiny lush islands and all is bordered by a shallow horseshoe coral reef. This coral reef is teaming with a kaleidoscope of fish, stingray & shark and sea turtles are everywhere. This reef is very shallow, from 12 feet deep to so shallow we cannot swim over the coral. We have been here three days now and snorkeling every day has been a must. I have taken many underwater pictures and even a video of Steve swimming along side turtles.
As with almost all harbors the Boat Guys show up to sell fish, bread and produce. Last night we had fresh grilled Red Snapper (purchased) with Wild Mushroom Risotto and Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta (on my homemade baguettes). Yup, just us two on our boat. Oh, and we met someone else from Wisconsin!
6-15 Reluctantly we hauled up our anchor and moved on to Union Island, the last in the Grenadines, so we can clear out with customs. With it's dramatic mountainous outline and the picture perfect local market, we are glad we came. A squall decided to hit the area just as we had finished our stroll through town. By the time we got to our boat we were drenched, thankfully most of the hatches were closed but we still had a bit of a mess to mop up.
A boat guy came by and we purchased fresh conch, actually it was so fresh that after we told him what we wanted and went out to the reef and found some for us! Conch Fritters tonight, mmmm they are the best!