Bequia: Take 2; Sailing to Grenada.

We anchored back in Bequia off Jack’s Bar on Saturday the 15th August. On Monday the 17th, Annie and number of the cruising ladies, took the ferry to the main island of St Vincent, to do some shopping and have a long lunch.

Gary and Dirk having drinks at Jack’s Bar.

The menfolk enjoyed the opportunity to get on with some work and chatting over coffee, before hitting the Rendezvous bar next to the ferry dock to await their beloved’s arrival at 5:30pm. The ladies were suitably lubricated in the ferry bar on their ferry return journey. The Covid pandemic has much to answer for.

During the following week we had our bimini infill panel fitted with new zips after the wind shredded the existing ones in the Tobago Cays. For most of us, a valid credit card is a necessity today – to my relief, a replacement Visa card for the next four years arrived in Bequia from Australia, during the week.

Annie and I did an eight km walk to Spring Bay to visit the Firefly Plantation Hotel.

Most Caribbean Islands grow sugar cane and they produce rum with an alcohol content of 40 – 50%. Supermarkets stock more rum brands than beer or wine, with 5 litre casks of cheap rum on their shelves. A lot of  locals supplement their income by running pubs or rum shacks from home – like speakeasy’s or shebeen’s elsewhere. Boredom having set in, on Saturday the 22nd August, 12 of the cruisers went on a rum shack tour through town.

The start of the tour.

The view from Fort Hamilton.

Having started at 2pm and visiting 7 local rum shacks, where the music was pumping and dancing the rule, we finished with dinner at the Rendezvous at 9pm, thoroughly sozzled. I have a confession to make: my first meeting with the demon drink at 18, had me motherless on rum and coke. In the 55 years since, I haven’t touched rum. In the spirit of supporting the local industry, I re-acquainted myself with the local rum punch, but it will be while before touching it again!

Our first pub with the friendly pub owner.

From here, it started going downhill.

This pub owner showing us the moves, while Bob enjoys his ganja slow boat.

White men can’t dance – so the ladies stepped in.

Esprit has not been out of the water for 18 months, since her last haul out in Greece and maintenance work was becoming urgent.Trinidad informed us during the week that due to a spike in Covid infections, we won’t be able to enter, to haul out our boat for the foreseeable future. I emailed requests for quotes, to boatyards in Carriacou and Grenada, Venezuela, the ABC Islands and Panama. Grenada Marine came back with a detailed and reasonable quote for the work required, so we decided to make Grenada our next stop.

We decided to give the dinghy a good clean up at Lower Beach.

The problem is that Grenada is in the process of changing their current 14 day Covid quarantine protocol at the end of August, hopefully to follow the SV&G protocol for PCR testing on arrival and free movement afterwards for persons testing negative. Currently St Vincent and the Grenadines have had 60 Covid-19 cases, all recovered, with no deaths, whereas Grenada has had only 24 cases, all recovered, with no deaths. That may just require us to be quarantined on arrival. So we are waiting for the 1st September for answers.

Annie and her dinghy cleaning offsider.

In the meantime, our younger daughter Michelle settled into her UN role as a protection specialist in Papua New Guinea, flying to the southern highland province, to conduct training of her team of community mobilisers in the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children, and to convene with the provincial council of women.

Michelle and her PNG community mobilisers.

Grand opening of the hall.

It also allowed her to attend the opening of a new village hall, partially funded by the UN, with the local people in tribal dress and body art, to celebrate the event. Her weekends are busy with pottery classes and a kiteboarding club.

Traditional dress.

Kiteboarding in PNG.

Michelle mainsheet trimming with her UN colleagues.

A tropical disturbance developed over the windward islands with heavy rain setting in at our anchorage over the weekend of the 30th August.

Torrential rain won’t stop our Friday arvo drinks in the water.

Wednesday evenings the Figtree has roti’s on the menu and Samuel playing the violin, so we decided to step out for a romantic evening. The roti’s were excellent and Samuel had us almost in tears.

Sunset from the Figtree deck.

Samuel on violin.

A generous and tasty meal.

The 1st of September came and Grenada started the SeaClear system for entry, which means you have to register on this database and then have a Covid-19 PCR test on arrival, which if negative, allows you to enter without quarantine. We tried, but couldn’t register on this site, despite numerous emails to their software support people. By the 4th September, we decided to leave Bequia and go anyway.

Esprit’s route to Grenada.

We stocked up with provisions, had dinner with friends on the 4th at the Figtree and set off on Saturday the 5th to sail south. We had an excellent 30 nm sail to the Tobago Cays, where we anchored inside Horseshoe reef.

Stocking up.

This was followed by a stop at Union Island to check out of St Vincent and the Grenadines. We then enjoyed a relaxed sail past Carriacou, overnighting at Ronde Island (right next to “Kick ‘em Jenny” an underwater volcano), before sailing down the West coast of Grenada to tie up in St George’s for check-in.

Location of Kick’em Jenny just north of Grenada.

Underwater profile.

5 Comments

  1. Gail

    I love reading the blog, but haven’t acknowledged to you guys enough that this is a Terrific expedition.
    If you have access to Netflix watch My Octopus Teacher.
    Safe travels and hope for good winds. The Caribbean Sea off Colombia was pretty choppy for us in the month of Feb.

  2. Carla

    Thanks for sharing your traveling journal and fantastic pics again I really wish I could enjoy these beautiful places with you and ‘shake my belly dancing’ for a change…or re try Kite surfing ahahah
    Well you know what I mean her sis been just avoiding people and keeping distances (and the Covid situation got much worse so far). You guys look so radiant and happy and I have to say that the look of 3 days non shaving bird really suites capitan Dirk… SO please take a deep for me over there .Good wind.
    Bandida

  3. Marty

    Great post as usual Dirk.
    You both look fit and well – liked the beard look by the way!
    Your “coffees” looked interesting.
    Safe Sailing,
    Marty & Sue.

  4. Jeremy Wiley

    Hi guys, Looks like Covid in the Caribbean is the place to be. Hope Esprit’s hull clean-up has gone well. Spring has sprung, Namaqua land covered in its floral finest and all well here in CT. Look after yourselves especially with that lethal rum around. Best wishes J&G

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