We tore ourselves away from Admiralty Bay on Thursday and motored the few miles around the headland to Friendship Bay on the south coast of Bequia. We needed to get further east to make the angle for Mustique easier to sail the next day. The weather worsened as we past the little airport and we could see the squall approaching. Fortunately we were heading directly into the 30 plus knots of wind and driving rain but the worry was that we needed to get through a narrow gap with dangerous reefs either side and the waves were whipped up quickly.
Visibility was very poor so we motored just fast enough to keep virtually stationary until it passed and then ploughed on through steep waves crashing onto the rocks around us. It is not very often I feel uneasy when sailing but this was one of those times when my head was saying ‘this isn’t a good situation’ but we got into the bay and managed to anchor in the NE corner before the next squall arrived.
We were the only boat there apart from some empty ones on moorings. The swell pushed in over the reefs, causing Beyzano to roll from side to side and it was a very uncomfortable night with barely any sleep. So at 0630 the next morning we left, with 2 reefs in the main and set sail for Mustique. The wind was still tight on the port bow but we made Britannia Bay in less than 2 hours. The only danger is a shoal just west of the bay but it is well marked with a buoy, which flashes at night.
There are about 30 very strong moorings here with heavy chains down to huge concrete blocks. With only 4 boats in the bay we had plenty of choice. We have 3 metres under our keel but it is crystal clear water and you don’t need to snorkel to see the fish.
The island is very picturesque and well kept but as it is private and most of the residents are wealthy celebrities, that is no surprise. Everyone has been very helpful and friendly, including our fellow sailors and the harbour master who gave us the lowdown on the island and where to go. Basil’s Bar is the famous waterfront venue and has good free WiFi. There are skips for rubbish and a luxurious dinghy dock next to the ferry dock. Supermarkets, fish market, excellent bakery and a vegetable stall are all near the dock. You can hire golf carts to tour, take a taxi if you want to know which celeb lives in which house, or just hike as it is a tiny island and has lots of paths leading to stunning beaches.
The cost of the mooring is 200 EC$ but that is for 3 nights. Trouble is, if you only want to stay 1 night, it is still 200 $. This fee is for a boat up to 70 feet long but only those up to 50 feet can use the moorings. Larger vessels have to anchor but still pay the same fee.
The weather is calmer now and it didn’t rain at all yesterday! We swam a few times, went to Basil’s to check emails around sunset and sampled their cocktails before returning to the boat for the evening.