Posts Tagged: ‘Bequia’

The Bequia Blast

February 27, 2012 Posted by Deb

We knew that Friday (2/24) and maybe Saturday would be the last good sailing days before both the wind and seas built significantly so we turned the boat from a condo into a boat and headed South at about 5:30 a.m. We gave ourselves plenty of time to cover the 66 miles because the mountains on both St. Lucia and St. Vincent suck the life out of the trade winds and I’m kind of anal about sailing when I’m sailing and not firing up the diesels. We had a gorgeous sail off the wind all the way and passed several monohulls. When we sailed these islands 17 years ago, it was rare to see another boat other than those we were sailing with. This corridor was a traffic jam, requiring course changes six or seven times for other sailboats.

As we rounded St. Vincent at the blazing speed of about 1.3 knots (I kept seeing wind just up ahead … kind of like water in the dessert), we lost power to the port side of the boat including autohelm, navigation, refrigeration, winches, and the windlass. Not a big deal to old monohull sailors who either never had that stuff or were used to it being broken a lot of the time. We did have Deb’s Xoom with the Navionics application and charts and I am a convert. We have paper charts and at least five or six backup GPS capable devices but that little app is our preferred navigation device. The user interface is great, you can use it anywhere on the boat, and it appears to be very accurate.

We remembered Bequia as having bad holding but it made up for it by being deep. We weren’t disappointed. We knew we’d only get one shot at dropping the hook unless we wanted to crank up 150 feet of chain by hand so we were very careful and went ahead and blew the anchor job anyway. Deb tried to crank up the chain and gave up after a few feet. Plan B was to bounce the anchor along the bottom and hope to catch something (and get away from a monohull we were too close to). We caught something that seemed good enough but we were very close to another boat. Deb patrolled the area with our dink to keep me from getting run over while I dove the hook. It looked OK but not great and our options were about zero so we called it a day. I figured we’d be OK unless the wind kicked up. We were anchored near an area called the Bequia Blast for the way the hills funnel the wind. The Bequia Blast hit just after dark with gusts over 30 knots and we did anchor watches all night long with Deb taken the ugly midnight to 3:00 a.m. shift. There’s an anchor watch app for that on the Xoom but we hadn’t downloaded it and we don’t know if we would have trusted it anyway.

On Saturday (2/25) we were refreshed with all of a handful of hours of sleep in the last 48 hours and all we had to get done for the day was to clear in, find an electrician, pull the hook, and find another place for the boat. Missions accomplished by noon thanks to Daffodil Marine, their electrician, and their moorings. We’re expecting Chris Doyle to show up any minute if he isn’t here already and Prince Edward had been shadowing us as well. We got to see the Prince Edward fanfare all over again as the British warship arrived. What it means for us is that we can’t use the main dinghy dock and we’re probably walking around town underdressed.

Spent Sunday (2/26) hiking to Peggy’s Rock, high point of the island with an incredible view of Admiralty Bay.

Hike to Peggy’s Rock

Boat Boys Have Changed

February 25, 2012 Posted by Deb

One thing I’m noticing as a difference between 15 years ago and now is that the Caribbean seems much more sophisticated. No more boat boys from Waterworld. In St. Lucia I really enjoyed having fresh fruit and vegetables brought to my boat everyday and knew I would miss that when we moved south. But today, in Bequia, guess who came by offering his wares — the bread boat with hot fresh croissants. Very nice!