Monday 21 January 2013


Bequia has a welcoming feel as we motor against the wind and up into the shelter of Admiralty Bay, a huge natural harbour which provides protection from the trade winds and the northern swell. From the entrance to the bay up to its head at Port Elizabeth is over a mile and the deeper into the bay we venture the calmer becomes the anchorage. On the southern side of this wonderful harbour is Princess Margaret beach, a deeply shelving sandy shore and it is here that we drop our anchor.

Like other towns in the Grenadines the houses on Bequia are all painted in a combination of red, green, yellow and blue, giving the bay a festive feel. There must be a hundred yachts here and yet the water is crystal clear and inviting in shades of aquamarine and pale blue over white sand. On the beach is Jacks restaurant and bar with a dinghy dock reaching out across the beach and into the shallows. We tie up and have lunch in the shade, savouring the calm of the midday sun, cooled by the sea breeze. After lunch I go into the town of Port Elizabeth for a haircut. The barber is clearly unused to cutting western hair and he uses his shears to give me a close crop, even shorter than the barber at prep school.

Shopping for provisions in Bequia is a slow process and we go to see Doris, famed for her amazing stock of produce which she hosts from her chalet style house in the back streets of Port Elizabeth. Doris is highly recommended in Doyles Guide, the cruisers bible and as we arrive there is a stream of like-minded European cruisers milling around the entrance and browsing the shelves, exclaiming with delight when they recognise familiar brands which are hurriedly transferred into shopping baskets lest others claim them first.

Dinner on our final night in Bequia is at Jacks Bar again and we see our friends from KO-KO, a Najad 57 who are also working their way north towards St Lucia. We arrive back at the boat early, unlocking the companionway and switching on lights. Caroline calls up to me, finding water in the master cabin, thinking that we must have left the hatches open. I distinctly remember closing the hatches and yet there is water on the floor, the duvet is wet and one of the windows in the saloon is open. We realise that we must have disturbed a burglar who has swum to the boat, entered through an unlocked hatch and on hearing us return, has escaped out of the saloon window and jumped into the water. Nothing has been taken despite phones, cameras and laptops lying on the saloon table, and we learn an important lesson that no matter how friendly the locals appear, a large yacht is a juicy target.

We leave Bequia early the following morning, punching the northern swell and sailing close-hauled as we work our way north up the west coast of St Vincent and then across the channel to St Lucia with the distinctive silhouette of the pitons on the southern tip. We pick up a mooring in Marigot Bay, a small and picturesque natural harbour surrounded by palm trees and mangroves, famous for having been the set for the original Dr Doolittle film with Rex Harrison. The next day I clear in at the customs office on the dock, then we motor a short distance up the coast to Rodney Bay, which brings back great memories of the finish to the ARC only a month ago. Mother is leaving us today to fly back to the UK and I accompany her in a taxi to the airport, a long drive down to the south of the island with Melrose, our taxi driver, who is a great cricket fan and on the drive back we reminisce about the great West Indies players of the past. Mother has been amazing, jumping in and out of dinghies, swimming off the boat, wading through rivers and generally being a great sport.

Today we meet up with the Girls for Sail in Rodney Bay and tonight we are off to the Jump Up at Gros Islet, then a few days in Martinique before returning to the UK.


  1. Hello there ! just a small correction KO-KO is beautiful Najad 57 skippered by Ellen and Haakon.
    Thank you for your beautiful blog.
    Enjoy Caribbean !

  2. My apologies Ellen and Haakon, now corrected!