Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bequia, our first visit

February 19 - 23

We arrived into Bequia after a short sail from St. Vincent (9 miles in 17 knot winds). While we were in St. Vincent Paige and her friend Felix collected some new "pets" for our boat. Four geckos, two who remained with us. Paige named them "Chomps & Skipper".

Paige and her gecko
"Chomps" & "Skipper" - Paige's geckos hanging out on her window latch
best buddies
As we were rounding the point into Admiralty Bay we noticed a dinghy heading our way jumping in the waves. It turned out to be the famous photographer Kenmore Henville of Bequai Photo Action ( He snapped numerous photos of Element and her crew under sail and delivered a USB key and a print all professionally packaged for us to preview the following morning. Here is a link to the photos he took:

His prices are outrageous but his photos are amazing. We chose to buy the print but nothing more due to our budget constraints. He keeps the photos forever on his site so, if we choose to order them later they will be available.

As we entered the bay we noticed our friends Maple were anchored in Lower Bay so we decided to drop anchor right behind them. We got ourselves lined up and as I was about to deploy the anchor it decided to stop working. In fact there were sparks and a very unhappy noise. We were forced to head back into Admiralty Bay and hooked up to a mooring buoy for the night. Shaun pulled the thing apart and found the problem, a sheared pin between the motor and the drive shaft. Thankfully he was able to replace it with a stainless steal screw in the same diameter and length. A perfect fit. During this time we were surprised by a visit by our friends from Maple. We hadn't seen them since September in Palma de Mallorca. It was such a pleasure to see them, catch up and to have the kids play. Jordan and Iris had a hard time saying farewell at the end of the visit. We always tell the girls that it isn't goodbye, it's see you next time.

from left to right: Amber (friends of s/v Maple), Ella (s/v Maple crew), Jordan,
Iris (s/v Maple crew), Archie (friends of s/v Maple)
The following morning we had to make a trip to the local hospital clinic as Jordan had been sick since we came back from Canada. It turned out that she had bronchitis and an ear infection. We waited approximately an hour but were then seen by the doctor. I had asked at the front desk what the charge was and was told that there wasn't one. I was however shocked when the doctor asked for a donation........ I made my donation to the doctor and to the hospital chalking it up to an interesting experience. All of the medications for children with the exception for the antihistamine (which the hospital didn't carry) were free at.

After the doctors visit we stopped in at Doris's to pick up some provisions. Bring your wallet as it is extremely expensive for groceries. She has a good selection but pricey, pricey, pricey. We then quickly stopped to grab some fruit and veg at the market near the dinghy dock on the way back to the boat. The selection is really good.

We have been shocked at the prices of provisions in the Caribbean. Expect to pay 2 to 3 times more for groceries, and the selection is not great. We know now that St. Lucia and Martinique are two of the best islands to stock up before heading south.

We ran into our friends from s/v Auriga (Helmut, Antje and Felix) and agreed to meet them the following morning to see the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary ( We also mentioned to them that Dive Bequia ( offers a free beginners scuba class for free, every Tuesday at 1:30 PM. It just happened to be a Tuesday and Paige and I were already signed up so, Antje and Felix joined us. The only item needed was the small booklet to read through.

We met Antje and Felix at Dive Bequia, took our short multiple choice test and signed our lives away. Kathy was our dive instructor. She brought us out into the sea water and explained all of the gear and taught us the basics, how to clear a regulator with breath and with the regulator purge function. Kathy also taught us how to grab the regulator if it is lost and how to clear a mask if water has leaked in. Once we were all clear on the basics we knelt underwater and watched her complete each task followed by each of us performing the same. We then took a short swim underwater to get a taste for scuba diving. Once we completed this portion we were qualified to do our first open water dive. Paige and I are officially hooked.

The following morning we met the crew of s/v Auriga and grabbed a taxi (Nugget Taxi Service) to the turtle sanctuary. We read in our Doyle guide that we could walk there but are extremely happy to have used the taxi service as it was a LONG way. We arrived at 9:30 AM and unfortunately the founder Orton King was not there. If you do go and would like the tour with Orton , he usually arrives at 10:30 ish. We were however greeted by a staff member who allowed us in to take a look at the current resident Hawksbill turtles.

There were several pools with different aged turtles. There was one baby, several 5 year olds, a 16 year old, a 19 year old and a 28 year old. I discovered the 16 year old loved its shell to be rubbed. As soon as I started rubbing it got super excited, it was the coolest experience.

Upon leaving, Jordan asked if she could get a t-shirt. We said no but the fellow gave her one anyway. It was such a nice gesture that we donated some money.

the one remaining baby turtle from a bale of 80 turtles
Paige and Jordan rubbing a 16 year old turtle
this turtle went crazy when I rubbed its shell
close up
surrounding views at the turtle sanctuary
We met up with the crew of Auriga for drinks at Jacks later that evening. Felix and the girls took a walk to the caves and then played at the beach before we headed back to the boat.

view from Jack's
dingy dock at Jack's
We were planning on leaving Wednesday to head to the Tobago Cays but chose instead to visit with our friends Nadia and Manuel of s/v Manado who happened to drop anchor right beside us. While we were visiting they pulled out their drone and took some awesome footage of Element and Manado anchored in Princess Margaret Bay.

Nadia releasing the drone
While in Bequia we also were able to get together with another kid boat s/v Elojoha who have 3 children. Paige had her first paid babysitting gig on their boat. This allowed Ana and Emanuel to have an adult evening, the first in six months. The six adults headed over to Jack's for some beverages. The following day Elojoha and Manado headed out. It was a great visit.

farewell Manado we will see you soon
Bequia has been one of my favourite islands to visit so far. They are equipped with laundry services, water, diesel and lobster (15 EC per pound = $7.50 CAD per pound) all delivered to your boat. The fruit and veggie stands have a good selection and there are some provisions available in the shops. Knights Trading is the cheapest by far bur Doris' has the best selection of meat. Princess Margaret Bay is close to Jack's and a wonderful beach. I look forward to returning soon.

the diesel and water boat

Follow our video adventures on our YouTube channel: Video adventures of s/v Element

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