Magic's Adventure

21 April 2009 | Georgetown
17 April 2009 | Mayaguana
11 November 2008 | St Croix
07 November 2008 | St Croix
22 October 2008 | St Croix
21 September 2008 | St Croix
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
14 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
07 September 2008 | Scotland Bay, Trinidad
21 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
09 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 June 2008 | Bequia
05 June 2008 | Bequia
02 June 2008 | Bequia
28 May 2008 | Bequia
27 May 2008 | Bequia
26 May 2008 | Bequia
25 May 2008 | Guadaloupe


06 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
We left the bay at Wallilabou at 7.45am on June 1st. Once out of the lee of St. Vincent we picked up a very nice breeze and had a good sail to Bequia. We were anchored in Admiralty Bay by 10.30am. Bequia is the most northerly of The Grenadines and is a popular stopping point for cruisers. As a result there are good services for yachts available on the island and the old tradition of boat building thrives here.

We spent the afternoon strolling around Port Elizabeth, Bequia's main town (in fact Bequia's only town) and here, as well as the usual bank and post office, we found a wide variety of restaurants and shops. We ventured into Doris' Fresh Food Market, noted in the guide as stocking a large selection of gourmet foods and were pleased to find what we believe to be the best choice of fresh produce and deli-type foods outside of the French islands. On the way back to the dinghy dock we ventured into the fresh produce market. Now we are used to the enthusiasm of the local vendors in the Caribbean but the zeal of the Bequia stall holders went beyond anything we had experienced so far and I was quite glad that a group of us had ventured in together. Normally you will have all the vendors shouting at once for you to come and look at their produce, a noisy but acceptable situation. These guys would invade your space, pushing avocados, grapefruit and mangoes almost into your face. We appreciated that it was now coming to the end of the season for them, the island was quiet and they had a living to make, but this was intimidating. In the end we walked out without buying anything and although we did go back later in the week for fresh produce, I always made sure that Dave walked in ahead of me!

June 3rd was my birthday. We had heard about a turtle sanctuary on the other side of the island and wanted to visit. The sanctuary had been established in 1995 by a local diver and fisherman, Orton King, who wanted to protect the hawksbill turtle which was under considerable threat from hunting both for its meat and for it beautiful shell. King started by collecting hatchlings from Bequia's beaches and raising them until they were old enough to stand a chance fending for themselves. The sanctuary now looks after both hawksbill and green turtles, raising them until they are 5 years of age at which stage they are released back into the wild. He has also helped to raise awareness for conservation in Bequia.

Dave & Michelle (Daniell Storey), Rose & Tom (Sojourn) and Jake & Carol (Offline) joined Dave and me for the hike. We took the main road out of Port Elizabeth and then wandered along the shoreline road until we came to Friendship Bay. Here we came across a regal stand of palms, and Dave couldn't resist climbing up to gather some of the coconuts. We enjoyed a stroll along the beautiful beach, drank some fresh coconut water and took a break in the shade of the palms before heading around to the next bay where we found the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is a simple shelter housing some salt water ponds. Turtles are kept in the ponds according to age and size, although there are a couple of full time inhabitants who have their own exclusive residences. Being used to human contact, as you approach the pools the turtles swim to the side and vie for your attention, obviously hoping for food. They have no problem being touched and although the hawksbills will occasionally try to nip the green turtles are wonderfully gentle and inquisitive. We cannot help but be concerned that this fondness for human company must be a disadvantage to the animals once they're released into the wild. But seeing as over 800 turtles had been returned to the sea between 1995 and 2006, and that many of these specially marked turtles are still often seen in the Grenadines, hopefully our concern is unfounded.

Unfortunately the sanctuary now has a questionable future. We heard during our visit that the land on which the refuge is based is government owned and it is a prime, waterfront piece of real estate. Until recently the government had turned a blind to the presence of the sanctuary but now they want the land back. No alternative has been offered to 'Brother King', and his volunteer staff is uncertain of what the future may hold. Hopefully some solution to this problem will be found and this worthwhile resource for the turtles will be allowed to continue to exist.

After the sanctuary we hiked back to the Friendship Bay Resort where we stopped for a drink before a local driver gave us a lift back to Port Elizabeth. We had a few hours to get ready for the evening activities!

Early in the evening Dave & I went ashore and had a margarita at a local waterside bar before heading to Mac's Pizzeria where we met with 16 cruising friends for a birthday party. We had great pizza and then came birthday cake! Carol (Offline) had made a wonderful pound cake topped with raspberry jam and Rose (Sojourn) made chocolate brownies and supplied the candles. It was a lovely evening enjoyed by everyone and certainly for me a birthday to remember.

The next few days we spent snorkeling, playing Mexican Train Dominoes at the Gingerbread Restaurant & Bar or strolling around Port Elizabeth. The weather had been unsettled and we were quite happy to stay close to the boat. On June 6th we hauled anchor at 10am and along with Daniell Storey, Offline and Sojourn headed for another island in the Grenadine chain, Canouan.

We were anchored in Charlestown Bay by 2pm, took a drink ashore for a sundowner at sunset and spent another 'rolly' night. The following morning we hauled anchor and left. Apart from the 'rolly' anchorage somehow Canouan just didn't have a good feel for us. And anyway, we wanted to get to the Tobago Cays.
Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Make/Model: Baba 40
Hailing Port: Ipswich
Crew: David & Donna Glessing