Christmas Day In Bequia
We spent Christmas Day in a greater state of idleness than the day before. Of course, this was only to preserve energy for the walk to the Bequia Beach Hotel with the JaJaPamis and the crew of Moya at later that evening for dinner.
As planned, just before the sun went down, Jan-Dirk picked us up in the dinghy and off we went to the dinghy dock, dressed in the best clothes we could dig out of the locker. Unfortunately though, on the long walk along the beach to the hotel, we were subjected to an unpredicted downpour. So rather than arriving in a state of sartorial elegance, we each looked as though we’d selected clothes from a charity bag. Still, it was an improvement on the last time we turned up wearing nothing other than shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops. The mostly British guests appeared most displeased – hence the effort to outdo the patrons this time. Even some of the kids in our gang wore ties. Eventually, we dried off and regained a degree of respectful appearance. And the 5-course dinner was excellent, the service smiley, the band played great music, and we staggered back to the dinghy dock stuffed and happy.
On Boxing Day we had enough of the swell, so we upped anchor and moved around the corner to Admiralty Bay. We knew Per-Erik and Lotta on Voyageur (from our rally) to be there, so we headed off to find them and anchored close by in the north of the bay.
Admiralty Bay is a very different experience to the last anchorage. There is no rolling, but there is lots of wind. Sheltered by the hills, it should be as calm as a boating lake, but the trade winds find their way over those hills and into the bay with some force. We have seen gusts of 30 knots here. Despite the wind, however, we wouldn’t trade it for the rolling. After a number of sleepless nights at Friendship Bay, we have slept here as though anaesthetised.
On our first night, we had dinner with the gang from Voyageur at Mac’s Pizza on the waterfront, losing a battle with a 15-inch pizza each. We should have known better when the waitress said to Maria, “If you eat it all, we will give you a free dessert”. And when the pizzas arrived, you could see that Mac’s profit margins are in safe hands. Those things are enormous and were good for breakfast lunch and dinner the next day.
The next evening, Per-Erik and Lotta joined us for drinks on Lady Jane. It was their last night here before heading towards Martinique, so it gave us the opportunity to say farewell and send them on their way with a gin and rum induced hangover.
On 30th December we moved to a mooring ball close to the shore and even closer to JaJaPaMi – they are the boat next to us. A variety of contractors own the mooring balls here. Blue Sky own ours, but those behind us belong to two other characters, often seen bickering with each other when a new yacht arrives in an attempt to lure them to their mooring ball. Yesterday we saw a charter yacht being drawn to one of the moorings, then the other and back to the other, according to which mooring contractor shouted loudest. It’s weird, and it isn’t pleasant for the skipper. Fortunately, we didn’t have to experience that as Jan-Dirk and Jana reserved the ball for us. But it is entertainment.
Shops and Stuff
In contrast to the disorganised mooring ball malarkey, there’s a lot of organised enterprise here in the harbour. You can get diesel, water, ice, and most other things delivered to your boat just by calling one of the services on channel 67 or 68. Yesterday Maria arranged Daffodil services to come by on their bright yellow boat to pick up our laundry. It was delivered back washed, dried and folded this afternoon. You don’t get this sort of service in the Solent, and I think it’s brilliant.
Stuffed full of yacht services and places to provision, Bequia is a great place to pick up supplies and boat bits. The prices aren’t too bad either. There are two chandleries in town and more shops than you can count on the fingers of two sets of arms. There are restaurants and cafe bars aplenty. We’ve tried a couple of them: Chameleon, where the coffee and smoothies are fabulous; and Maria’s Cafe offering free wifi in excellent contrast to the miserable service (we are sure the waitress forgot to put our order through to the kitchen). There are stalls upon stalls of fruit and veg floggers, and even a beer and wine wholesaler who will deliver your purchases to the dinghy dock free of charge.
A beer delivery service may come in handy for several of the boats today. It’s New Year’s Eve, known as Old Year’s Night here in Bequia, so we will be celebrating with some of our Cornell Rally buddies who have also arrived in Bequia. There is a mission out on shore at the moment to find a more cost-effective place to eat out. The Plantation House (where we planned to go) is a lovely place, but at $60 US per person – children or adults – it’s a bit expensive. But it’s the fireworks that are famous here in the bay, so wherever we go, we are sure to be well entertained.
Happy New Year!