We left Martinique on the 23rd, heading for Bequia (pr something between Beck-Wee and Beck-Way!) – with recommendations from many cruisers about Bequia ringing in our ears. We broke the passage in two with an overnight stop in St. Lucia, but didn’t get off the boat (so no need to check in/out). The following morning we left early – 6:00am – with 90+ miles to go, we hoped we’d be able to get to Bequia in daylight. We left alongside a Catamaran ‘Savana’. Initially the winds were light so we motor sailed, but as we passed the Pitons at the southern end of St. Lucia, the wind grew and we were able to sail a rhumb line easily towards St. Vincent. Savana and Toodle-oo! had been motor sailing pretty close to one another, but as the winds slowly picked up and we turned engines off, they pulled away from us… until the winds filled to over 15knots – at which point we were faster than them! We’ve got ourselves a boat race!
We came up to St. Vincent still close together and I fully expected the winds to die, but they stayed up and we were able to continue sailing in the lee of St. Vincent – an island we’d been advised to stay clear of for security reasons. Pity as it looked rather like Dominica in the northern part of the island. The wind had dropped some, so Savana was now well ahead, but again, as we came to the south end of St. V. it picked up again – with gusto! The south end of St. V didn’t look so appealing – much more habitation (like Martinique) so we were glad of our plan to bypass.
Sailing on to Bequia required a tightening of our heading and a current was flowing in Bequia Sound that was significantly adverse, requiring an even tighter heading – we were close hauled. The wind came up to a solid 15 – 18 with a few gusts to 22 and 25, but we maintained full sail and went for it! Savana was way off to our leeward side, such that we suspected they were headed elsewhere, but as we approached the island they tacked – now well behind Toodle-oo! Line honours to Toodle-oo!!!
After a couple of false attempts, we set the anchor in the north side of Admiralty Bay, at about 4:30pm – plenty of time to spare before the light failed.
In the morning, we checked into Bequia – and there was the crew of Savana. Unfortunately, they were French(!) so either didn’t want to talk with us – or couldn’t… (or were sulking!)
We took a Taxi Tour to get our bearings – it’s a nice island with a lovely feel. I can understand why people keep coming back here.
Back in Admiralty Bay, as we walked along a shore side path, I spotted a dive company and decided to look in to see how easy it would be to get my certification… 4 days later, here I am, a certified PADI Open Water Diver! Woo Hoo! Now I can spend lots of money on kit and then scrub the bottom of Toodle-oo! as my reward! During the training, we dived to over 50ft on coral reefs. Quite remarkable surroundings with colourful fish everywhere. On the final dive, I took my Go-Pro along for the ride – now all I need to do is work out how to make the files smaller so that I can link them to this blog for all to see.
We plan to stay in Bequia for a few more days before moving further into the Grenadines on our way down to Grenada, where Toodle-oo! will probably be hauled for some bottom paint and a general look-see.
All well aboard – we’re having a blast!