That's It! We're Here!! - we can finally call ourselves Cruisers with a capital "C"!
|Anchorage Tabago Cays|
That was the feeling upon finally dropping anchor in Bequia (Beckway). Not that Bequia was so far from Wallilabou, St. Vincent, our last stop. We departed the morning of May 17 and just 5 hours and a15NM broad reach brought us to Bequia, the Northern and largest island of the Grenadines. But this was it, what we'd been aiming for all along.
The Grenadines are a group of nearly 100 small islands, islets and reefs in the Southern part of the Windwards. Most belong to St Vincent but a few, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, in the South belong to Grenada. Considered one of the greatest sailing areas in the world. It's where you find all you were dreaming of when you planned to come to the Caribbean. White sand beaches, coral reefs, coconut palm trees, beach bars and restaurants that are not much more than a hut and a BBQ grill. A variety of small islands not co-opted by mega hotel chains and huge cruise ships. So if the coral isn't as pristine as it once was, the fish not as plentiful and most of the islands have limited services...who cares. The colour of the waters vary from cobalt to pale turquoise to everything in-between. Wonderful anchorages are everywhere; some look out beyond a sheltering reef directly into the Atlantic with Africa your next landfall. You know that every second you can stay is magical!
|Wooden boats under the trees in Bequia|
Bequia & Carriacou were famous for boat building. Prior to the 1970s trading schooners built in those islands plied the waters from Trinidad Northward up the island chain. There is still a boat building tradition. Locally built wooden boats still fish the waters and try to best each other in local regattas.
Bequia has a history of whaling and is still allowed to take 4 humpback whales a year, but they must be fished in small open sailboats with hand thrown harpoons. Needless to say they often don't get any.
|Tanisha showed us the whale museum. Her grandfather is head harpooner.|
|Path along the cliffs to the bars & beaches of Bequia|
This good holding is important for while we were here the trade winds were seriously blowing and due to the hills surrounding the anchorage they'd get held up for awhile then come gusting down into the bay. We'd see winds go from 13kts up to 40kts within minutes then back down to do it all over again. Wild! Luckily most days the winds would go down during the evenings and night before picking up again with daytime heating.
|In Bequia water & diesel come to us!|
|Baby turtles at the Turtle Hatchery|
|Teen Age Turtle|
Provisioning is great here there's a Rasta market for fruits and vegetables that can get rowdy but the produce makes braving the ribbing worthwhile. Doris's Fresh Food market, in an entirely hand varnished Bequia house, has such things as anchovy stuffed olives for Roy's martinis and leg of lamb for a special dinner onboard. You can see why we stayed so long!
|Looking for Mick at Basil's Bar|
|No Mick but tortoises are everywhere!|
|Breakfast at Sweetie Pie Bakery and still no Mick Jagger!|
|Preparing to snorkel. Look at that water!|
Local vendors came up and offered freshly caught red snapper which we cooked immediately. We snorkeled out on the reef plus around one of the small islets and then in the turtle sanctuary. It was great!!
Pinch yourself, life is too perfect!!
So of course something had to give - our phones quit! What!! We're trying to re-rent 7th St plus help arrange Lindy's visit, she's flying to meet us - Yey!!
Is it the cell towers? We ARE at the edge of the world!
Other cruisers are using their phones - something's wrong!!
So after only two days we motored the 5 miles over to Union Island to get wifi and the ability to call AT&T using Viber (VoiP service).
Union IslandHome to a world class Kite Boarding school, a tiny island with a tiny bar called Happy Island and another East facing anchorage behind a reef. Plus a front street that Crayola must have painted.
|Colourful Front Street Market|
Phone problem - Roy's phone number had been hacked and AT&T had shut down our account to stop International calls from being made. A morning and afternoon of frustration finally resulted in my phone being turned back on and a new sim being sent to 7th St for Roy. How can this happen? The phone and sim are here on the boat!!!! Grrrrrr!
We're enjoying Union. Did a little hiking, bought some conch, love the market LOVE Happy Bar and sundowners while watching the kite boarders perform for the boats in the anchorage. We even took the shuttle and spent a day at Sparrow Beach. Been here a week, how time does fly.
|Happy Bar at Happy Hour|
|Happy Island built of shells, home of Happy Bar|
Our aim is to clear out of SVG soon. Customs is here in Union. We'll then head 5 miles South to Petit St Vincent(PSV) and Petit Martinique(PM) before moving on to Carriacou and clearing in to Grenada. Petit Martinique and Cariacou belong to Grenada but the two Petit islands are so small no one expects clearance in either one.
|View from Fort Hill overlooking the reef of Union Island and looking towards Petit St Vincent and Petit Martinque|
It's all set. Lindy will fly into Grenada June 11 then take the ferry to meet us in Carriacou. Plus John Edward and Laura have booked their trip to meet us in Grenada on July 6th.
July 7th is John Edward's 40th birthday (my baby boy!!!).
|Roy slaughtering the coconuts!|
My New Favorite Sundowner
Fresh coconut water
Any amount, any order ...
"You put di rum in di coconut you drink it all up!"