26 Dec 2014

[Captains Blog] Bequia

We have put Tumi through her paces on the way down from Martinique to Bequia, and she sailed beautifully between the islands, reaching nearly 10 knots at times, even triple reefed. We kept up with the larger catamarans and even outpaced some of the smaller ones that were racing down the leeward side of the islands trying to get here before us to pick the best anchorages. It was a very satisfying trip with winds of over 30 knots on the beam. We and the boat ended up here covered in crusted salt from all of the spray our bow wave created along the way, so an immediate shower was in order on arrival in Bequia to feel human again. The boat had to wait for a rain shower to achieve the same effect.

On the way, we noticed that the sea birds have adapted their hunting techniques to make the most of the boats like ours ploughing through the water and disturbing the many shoals of flying fish that scatter off to the side of our bow skittering over the waves to find a safe distance before splashing back in. The brown boobies (there are a lot of them around in the sunshine, and not all of them have wings) ride the winds, soaring just above the wave ahead of the boat waiting, and once the flying fish break surface, they swoop down, diving into the water, slicing through the surf and emerging a second later with a fish in their beak. Then it is onto the next one and the next one. I saw one bird chasing down a larger fish that glided for about 200 metres, but the fish was lucky on that occasion and got away, much to the booby's chagrin. For me, it was fascinating to see how creatures continue to develop their skills and evolve, Darwin eat your heart out!

 Once here we dug the anchor well into the seabed on the western side of Admiralty Bay and made sure that we weren't moving, then it was my job to get the dinghy down from the davits, put the outboard engine on, and go ashore to clear in. It was after 4pm when I got ashore and so we suffered the extra cost of overtime payment which I wasn't expecting, but the immigration lady was very pleasant, which softened the blow.

Bequia is just as we remembered it from 4 years ago. The familiar waterfront, the Rasta fruit and veg market, the restaurants, bars and various stores are all still there, and it is a real pleasure to be back. It seems that the island hasn't been spoilt in our absence. The technology available has moved on, and we now have a Bequia phone number, which we purchased along with a data plan so we can access emails and the internet over the phone network, and now we have a Tumi network all of our own to hook into. It makes life so much easier as we don't need to go ashore and have a drink in one of the bars just to access the web. I'll just have to stock more beer on the boat!