Been in Bequia for 3 weeks now and still very happy to stay put! I never cease being stunned by the clarity of the water or beauty of the Caribbean and still say ‘wow’ regularly! Seeing every pebble and the tiniest ripple on the sand, some 20 feet under the boat takes some getting used to and I’m not even snorkelling.
We had Miranda, Brooke and Jesse over for a BBQ one evening to thank Jesse for getting us through our diving course and Brooke had just arrived from Canada. She was getting used to the heat and hoping to see the fabled ‘Green Flash’ as we watched the sun fall from the sky.
When Steve was here with us in March we didn’t realise how brown the hillsides were but following a few days of rain last month, the trees and shrubs are a vivid green and the island looks even more beautiful.
Some days we have paddled the kayak to the beach and snorkelled on the reef. No rays this time but lots of fish, all different shapes, sizes and colours. They all get along, or so it seems from the surface.
On Wednesday we hired a jeep to ‘do the interior’. As we don’t have international driving permits, we had to buy a 6 month local permit for 25 US$ at the customs building but the car only cost 25 GBP for the whole day and he said not to bother bringing it back until the next day. No paperwork, collision waivers or anything like that ☺
The drive on nearly every road on Bequia only took 6 hours and that included a long lunch at the Firefly. Hardly used any fuel! We started off in the south, with the airport. Both the Whaling and Boat Museums were shut! Apparently you need a taxi driver to take you to the Whaling Museum as they can open it up for you.
Then a steep drive up to the viewpoint above Mount Pleasant where you can see the Atlantic side. The island is narrow in the centre, with the bay taking a big chunk out of the western side, so once on top of the hill you start descending to the other coastline.
Near the airport is a tiny harbour where colourful fishing boats were hauled up. Friendship Bay, the whaling centre is nearby with Semper Cay, the area where the whales are beached for processing. Bequia has already caught the 4 allowed each year.
Going back into town, we headed north and east, stopping for lunch at the Firefly Plantation, a five star hotel. We were the only people there as it is ‘off season’ so the grounds and pool were empty. They normally do tours of the plantation for 2.50 GBP but the guide was ‘off’ as well! Lunch was OK, nothing fantastic for twice the price of the Fig Tree but the setting is lovely.
Then on to the Turtle Sanctuary, which we visited last May. The baby turtle pool didn’t have so many this time but they have at least added a brick for them to play with. It was good to see them diving down a little to swim through the holes but I wonder why they don’t put vegetation in the pools too. Don’t they get bored?
Rob amused himself talking to a huge turtle trying to escape his pool. He was strong enough to get his head over the side and could see the sea. Must be very frustrating to hear and see the ocean when you are stuck in a small, empty, plastic pool.
Final stop was the fort in the NW of Admiralty Bay and a fine view over the harbour. You can easily see the sandy patches for anchoring. As we drove back we saw our friends on ‘Jambalaya’ sail in and caught up with them later. Didn’t think we would see them until November, so a nice surprise and as they are here for a few days we can catch up properly and see how Antigua Classics went.
Tonight it is Fish Friday again at the Fig Tree and we are booked in! Tomorrow we are helping out at the Reading Club, it being a fortnight since the last one. Staying in an island for a while certainly means we can take part in local life and Cheryl is starting up a debating society next, another way to improve the education of local children and adults.
Monday we plan to do another dive to a different location to our training dives and then clear out in town on Tuesday to head north. Plan to stop in on St Lucia to join ‘Nemo’, as we haven’t seen them since January and both boats will then go to Martinique for provisions and continental style bars! With 1st June approaching, we are bound to stay south of Martinique for the hurricane season unless we update our policy, so will be back in Rodney Bay by then.