WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT BEQUIA? IT IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL CARIBBEAN ISLAND - IT IS SMALL, CHARMING, PICTURESQUE, COLOURFUL AND EXTREMELY FRIENDLY. IN OTHER WORDS - IT IS AS CLOSE TO PERFECT AS YOU CAN GET. BUT A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS - - - - - - - WE ENJOYED OURSELVES SO MUCH THAT WE STAYED EIGHT DAYS !!!
DAVE'S LOG -
Admiralty Bay, Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines - (for pictures please see Windward Islands on the left in a pink block)
Lat 13 00.601
Lon 61 14 507
Logged 53.4 KM
We took advantage of a very favorable wind forecast but poor wave/swell forecast to head down from St Lucia to St Vincent and on to Bequia and Mustique. Nancy totally enjoyed the latter island, having been one of the few she has never visited. She explored every inch available for the public and honestly thought she would run into Mick Jagger, David Bowie & Iman or Shiana Twain in the street, just jogging along I suppose. It's too bad Princess Margaret has died as she would have loved meeting her. (She had already interviewed Princess Anne and Prince Andrew when they were in the BVI - but then only Margaret had a home on Mustique.)
The swell was forecast as 7-9' from the ENE will some wave chop from the SE of 3-5. For a change they seem to get it pretty good but for a bit of swell from the SE also, which made for some decent lumps and holes one of which got us in the 30 miles of open water. We took a good pitch, roll, fall thru the wave crest and scrambles of a couple of things that should have been tied down but weren't. It did get our attention though as it snuck up from the stern quarter (NE)just as a good SE swell and wave chop hit the Port bow. Sort of the up, down do the funky hustle dance step ;-) Just when 95,000 lbs moves in several directions at once it lets you know that Neptune can always play with you :-)
We left under a gorgeous rainbow with a few large dolphins but they didn't want to play today, too busy fishing I guess. Some lt rain showers just enough to keep the salt off the pilothouse windows.
We left at 0555 and had the anchor down at 1300. Still a lot of boats in Bequia considering the lateness of the season. Many bareboats getting in those cheap summer charters.
We anchored in front of a boat that we've seen many times running up and down the islands but never had a chance to invite ourselves aboard. Oceanwolf is an ex German 120' X 32' X6' ferry boat converted by the owner to a private yacht. It is their floating home. Wolf and his partner run it themselves. Check www.baloonews.com and click on Oceanwolf for some pictures. Who says a couple can't operate a big boat for cruising??
Finally in Bequia we feel like we are getting into safer water as the Grenadines are just around the corner and then down to Canouan, Carriacou and on to Grenada.
In general this season the winds & seas have been a lot more than is typical for June and July. Nancy has loved the snorkeling but hasnot been able to do as much as she had hoped, which of course is every day. Don't know what it means other than its just been a bit rough. We have friends who are still in St Maarten waiting for a good window to cross direct to Venezuela but it has either been rough up there, in the middle or near Venezuela so they are still there and getting nervous about it. St Maarten doesn't have a good hurricane record over the last 10 years
Small shop here makes some good ice cream so that along is worth the stop to pick up a 2 liter tub!!
Dave & Nancy
Caribbean Cruise '07
Bequia on the trip up - - -
Sawn Song seems to be the good little ship that I'd hoped she'd be. Comfortable ride and a nice sea boat. The stabilization tank is worth its weight in gold as we seldom get a 5 degree roll even in 10-12 ft beam seas.
Nancy has really adjusted well to not having her twice weekly art clubs, do's, the bridge club and other activities. She's now stuck with me 24/7. I do keep on my best behavior for her tho........
As with all big complex things Swan Song keeps me busy with things that seem to not last as long as the marketing brochure says they should. Some vendors have been great and other won't give you the time of day. I had a new spare flojet pump that I installed that didn't work at all. Never been out of the box. Flojet said "oh, that is out of warrantee mate. Been in the box too long"! Others have expressed me parts and complete new assemblies to get an item working correctly.
I did treat myself to an AIS system for Xmas and it's a great help on passages. Unfortunately it's sensitivity seems to be crap. I seldom get anything over 10 miles and usually only 4 or 5 miles. Yet the specs indicate that 30 miles is the norm. This one is from Milltech and they have agreed to send me a new one BUT won't pay the express charges so I will wait till I get back to the BVI for it.
We plan to head west about next year and visit Columbia, Panama and up the Central American Coast. This will depend on the Cuban situation as we see that Bush once again just signed an extension to his draconian measures re Cuba. So this trip to get to Florida will wait till we can cruise the North coast of Cuba enroute to Key West from Yucatan.
After we have tired of shuffling the Caribbean we will go thru the canal and perhaps down to Ecuador...lots of great reports from fellow cruisers/travelers about the place. Safe, nice people and cheap!!!!
BTW, Venezuela is wonderful. Lots of bad press unfortunately as Chavez is as bad for Venezuela as Bush has been for the US. We were in the best marina in Puerto La Cruz for several months using it as our base for cruising the islands. We had trouble spending $1500/month including food, marina, eating out, etc! I was paying $1800/mo just for a slip at Nanny Cay!!!
So we'll be back in PLC for hurricane season in mid Aug thru October again this year. The cruising around this area is fabulous. No other boats as they all seem to be spooked by the "crime reports" that are in every nautical publication and on the websites. In over 30 nights of anchoring in some pretty isolated spots where we were the only non-fishing boat we never even got an adrenalin rush. Everyone we talked to was amazed at this as the "reports" would have us drawn and quartered after a night or two!! Our dinghy, aka "tender" is towed as its too big and heavy to hoist on the top deck. About 1500 lbs!. Again everyone has said it would have a half life of
hours if we didn't lift it. Well after towing her over a thousand miles she's still behind Swan Song ready for the next trip :-) Having her in the water all fueled with 30 gals in her belly and a spare tank is a nice alternative to a liferaft, IMHO. She has a range of about 120 miles, a VHF, GPS, EPRIB, radar reflector, Chart plotter and a chart of the whole Caribbean.
So if for some reason Swan Song were to stumble and we couldn't prevent her change of ownership to Neptune we'd have a very useful platform to go looking for an island to set up an new life on. Sounds way much better than any of the liferafts I've ever tried out!!