Sunday June 19th 2011, We are writing this from Elizabeth Harbor in Bequia in the Grenadines. Bequia (pronounced Beck quay) is a beautiful island just south of St. Vincent. St. Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Petite Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, the Tobago Cays, Union, Petit St. Vincent, Palm Island and others make up the northern part of the Grenadine islands – the southern part includes Grenada.
As we arrived in Bequia, we were greeted by a boat boy – though it was more like a man on a hollowed out jet ski with an attached outboard – asking if he could help us find a mooring. The boat boy ‘vendor’ is common in the southern islands – sometimes much more organized than other times. Prior to our arrival in Bequia, we thought to call a marina and book a slip, so we didn’t need help attaching to a mooring ball.
When we saw the ‘marina’ and I use that term loosely – we decided to go for a mooring ball instead. We probably stay at a marina more than most other serious cruisers, but it sometimes makes checking into a new country a little easier, and it’s hard to deny the convenience of warm showers, internet, well taken care of bathrooms, pool (sometimes), restaurants on site, sometimes even grocery and other stores, electricity (allowing ease of A/C on board) and if we are really lucky and it’s a very nice marina – we even have cable TV. Costs of marinas vary – usually the least expensive is $1US per foot per night – the most we have spent is $2.50 per foot per night. We are 37 feet (though sometimes we have to pay 1.5 times since we are wider than a usual boat). So, for less than $40 a night we can tie to a dock, enjoy the amenities and see the town that way. In this case the $1/ft./night included a dock – with electricity – and that’s about it. We were expecting some tough weather and weren’t sure the dock could survive…….no bathrooms, no showers, no cable tv….etc.
We decided on a mooring in front of Frangipangi – a famous hotel and bar/restaurant in Elizabeth Harbor. We were helped by Di Di on her boat – she was in charge of 3 moorings and we were happy to have a safe and friendly place to anchor Molly Bloom. Prices for a mooring range from $15 – $25 US a night – we are getting the lower range here. So maybe you can see that for the difference between $25 and $37 having a marina is sometimes worth the extra expense to us.
We tied up just in time as a storm came barreling through the anchorage just minutes after we were safety tied up…… after a good night’s sleep, and calling the local laundry boat to pick up ours, we had a wonderful chance to visit the town. The pictures you will see below are taken on our walk this morning…..oh and Yes, there is a boat here that will p/u and deliver laundry, deliver ice, water, fuel etc..we had a wonderful trip into town.
Bequia is a delightful village of prettily colored houses on the hillside and wonderful flowers and trees. I included the picture of the bank, just so you would know where we were/are and I’m not making it up
Wow……yellow coconuts, beautiful flowers (wish we knew what they all were), notice the ‘Gingerbread’ finish to many of the buildings and the gorgeous colors. The tree you see Ron reaching for, and the one full of green fruit is a breadfruit tree. You will recognize the coconut tree – even though yellow, and I have no idea what the flower is that is pink and squiggly – if you know, please tell me. You will see Molly Bloom in many of the pictures and also our newest addition to the animals of our trip – wild, walking the streets, roosters!
Tomorrow is the beginning of Bequia Carnival – and they start with J’ouvert – wake up, steel drum bands at 4:30 am! Guess we better get our sleep to be ready for tomorrow!!!!