Willilabo and Bequia
20 July 2007 | The Grenadines
We motored out of the early morning calm inside Marigot Bay and turned a button hook to raise the main. The wind was in the high teens and we had the full main and jib up. We reached down the coast of Saint Lucia taking a last look at the graceful Pitons enshrouded in low clouds. Our destination was Willilabo in Saint Vincent.
We sailed across the channel at nine knots and quickly had Saint Vincent in sight. As an island it reminded me much of Dominica. Unfortunately, Saint Vincent is an island with a drug problem. Don't get me wrong, Dominica and Saint Vincent grow their fair share of marijuana for internal use. It's seems that it is more of a cash crop in Saint Vincent. Walk into the wrong field of crops and you may not walk out.
We arrived in Wallilabo and were immediately mobbed by boat boys. The cruising guide author Chris Doyle describes the glare you get when you deny their services as a "Calcutta Look". Very accurate.
It is a fun looking little harbor. The bay stared as Port Royal in the Pirates of the Caribbean and enjoys a nice new, but old looking, dock for the trouble. There are lots of caves in the cliff walls and the town looks wild and intriguing. Unfortunately the anchorage is poor. You pretty much have to pick up a mooring and tie back to a palm tree or an old quay. The whole bay is fairly deep with the exception of the small shelf running in front of the beach.
The mooring hassle and the mob of boat boys eliminated this anchorage as an option for us. On the way out I suggested that a guy rowing a skiff should not cut off a 15 ton cruising yacht. I could still hear him cussing me out as we turned south in deep water. These boat boys seem to think that they are entitled to get in the way, provide help that you don't desire, and then charge you what they like for it. Other notable adjectives would include rude, intrusive, and nasty bordering on threatening. As we left we watched seven boats pass Saint Vincent by on the way to the Grenadines from Saint Lucia. I wonder why...
There are spots on the south side of Saint Vincent you could anchor. Kingstown, Young Island or the Blue Lagoon for instance. Kingstown is the capital and a big shipping port. The Blue Lagoon is a Sunsail base. Nix. So off we sailed for Bequia.
Bequia is a wonderful little island which acts as the northern gateway to the Genadines. The large and well protected Admiralty bay is littered with yachts and commercial craft of all types. Bequia has a yacht friendly customs facility and many restaurants and beach bars. We entered the anchorage around 16:00 and cruised around a bit to scope things out. We ended up selecting Princess Margaret beach for its picturesque white sand beach and its distance from the main town. Close but not too close.
Kelp Fiction joined us after a bit and everyone took a swim in the blue water. It was nice to be in a new country. Customs was closed for the day so we climbed back aboard and shut down for the night, after dinner with a Star Trek episode, of course.