We had a nice beam reach to Bequia from St. Vincent with a consistent force 5 blowing. Just before we rounded the northern point the swells got a bit choppy and steep, but this was short lived. Unfortunately, due to our genoa being fairly old and stretched (with many hand sewn repair jobs!), furling it so the sun protector covers all of the sail isn’t an easy task… this was made much more difficult as the winds picked up just as we were entering the anchorage. Many furling attempts later, we motored into Princess Margret Bay which is the middle of the three bays. As our outboard is STILL broken, we aim to anchor as close to shore or a dinghy dock as possible. Thankfully we found a little spot in 3m over sand not far away from the dock at Jacks bar where we felt happy leaving our dinghy for our trips ashore.
The water in Bequia was not all that clear, so we decided to give free diving a bit of a break and spend a day or two doing some exploring inland. We wondered over to Friendship Bay (another possible anchorage on the south east coast) to check it out. Although there was loads of room to anchor, free mangoes, and even a little wave on the exposed part of the bay (for surfing!), we decided that the surf wasn’t good enough to compensate for the amount of protection the bay had…. It would’ve been a very sleepless rolly night!
The next day we walked over the top to the turtle sanctuary which was a lot further than we thought and flip flops were not the best choice of footwear! It was a 15 EC entry per person and unfortunately a bit of a sad sight. It’s hard to make judgement as anoutsider who doesn’t fully understand the logistics / local ways, however to me it felt like these turtles were not in a good way. There wasn’t enough room or water in the enclosures for them to swim and develop properly. They seemed weak and tired which was sad for us to see. I felt that with the amount of money they were generating from tourists, they should’ve been able to provide better facilities to care for these amazing creatures. I do however respect that they are trying to care and taking action for an important cause.
After spending a few more days relaxing, working, and meeting up with friends we were excited to sail south to Mayreau, but not before a quick stop for some snorkelling at Petit Nevis, a tiny island just south of Bequia. The holding here is good with lots ofspace for anchoring. There is a bit of a swell wrapping around the corner, but nothing too bad! Once I’ve finished my cup of tea, we’ll fly the genoa for a couple of hours of what should be some good easy cruising.
Princess Margaret Bay / Port Elizabeth
There is loads of space to anchor in several bays in shallow water over sand. You can take your pick from a long picture-perfect beach, to a busier town close to provisions. There are at least three dinghy docks dotted along the whole bay which makes gettingashore easy. There is good shelter from most angles, however if there’s a north swell running it’s worth sticking to the northern end of the bay as the swell can wrap around and make it a little uncomfortable.
Provisioning / Facilities
There are shops in the main town selling fruit, veg, tins, beer, etc. but you will also find some small market stalls where you may well get better value for money! Bequia is a touristy island and you therefore have a large range of bars and restaurants to choose from (if you are on a less strict budget than us!). There is even a small chandlery on the southern end of Port Elizabeth, just before the footpath to Princess Margaret bay. It is however well worth asking locals for help when trying to source different parts – they are more than happy to help. Handy Andy is a good person to get in contact with for anything!
Bequia is perfectly nice, with good beaches, a vibrant town, and nice people. We found it a little touristy in parts and with murky waters we were keen to head south in search of good free diving. You could however easily spend a week or two exploring and relaxing before using the fairly good provisioning to stock up before heading onwards to the islands where provisions aren’t quite so easy to come by.