The Old man and the Sea
17 February 2010 | Bequia
The Old Man and the Sea
Last night we spent the night in Chatham Bay and had a rather good time making friends at Vanessa's, one of the bars on the beach (and when I say bar I mean shack that dispenses alcohol and has picnic tables to sit at). After a lively conversation with a German couple about how "courteous" the french sailors are, we were getting ready to leave when a family stopped us and asked if my dad's shirt was refering to the bars of Kingston Jamaca or Kingston Ontario. It turns out the family was from Toronto and two of the kids go to Queens College in Kingston. We discussed important topics such as eating lunch at Stoney's and the sad decline of White Mountain Ice Cream. And making a small world even smaller I had actually met one of their best friends only a week earlier in Chicago. Later on we joined with some of the locals and our German friends for a party on the beach where I drummed and sang Bob Marley tunes with one of the Rastafarians.
The entire time I have been here Dad has been very good about letting me sleep in. Today however he woke me up at 6:30am so we could start our sail to Bequia early. We would have had to return to Bequia today anyway because I am flying home tomorrow, but we wanted to get here by noon so that we could see the turtle sanctuary. We ended up making recod time, sailing at 7.5 knots at one point, and made it from Chatham Bay, Union Island to Admrialty Bay, Bequia in 4 hours.
The Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary is on the windward side of the island so we had to take a taxi to get there. On a side note, taxis here are nothing like what I'm used to in Chicago. They are all Nissan pickup trucks that have benches built into the bed of the truck with a canves canopy overhead. Oh, and they all have names painted up them like Passion, Mr. Wonderful, Pick u Up, ect. When you take a ride in a taxi here it is not simply just a ride, the drivers also like to play tour guide pointing out interesting sites and giving you the history of the Island.
The Old Hegg Turtle Sancuary was started by "Brother" King in 1995 to save the sea turtles in the area from going extinct. Infant tutles are brought into the sancuary soon after they hatch (they are actually caght by putting a tire around the nest) and are kept there for about 4 or 5 years until they are strong enough to survive in the wild. Without the help of the sancuary only 1 in 3000 baby sea turtles survive. It is basically a Neonatal ICU for turtles. Just like I take care of human babies to small to survive on their own Brother King does the same thing for the sea turtles. And just like premature babies have a lot of spunk and personality so do the sea turtles and they very much enjoy being tickled. They can actually feel the top of their shells and when you stroke the shell it tickles them. We shot a video of this hopefully it will be posted soon.
It was a great last day in the Caribbean for me and I think the Old Man enjoyed riding around on land for once.