I finally got a good forecast for the trip from Rodney bay to Bequia. It is a long haul and in the past I would stage out of Soufriere beneath the Pitons in St Lucia and overnight in beautiful Chateaubelair in Northern St Vincent. But the government of St Lucia have come up with a money making wheeze, They made much of the coast a marine park charging both entrance fees and mooring fees and Chateaubelair has become a place to avoid after some altercations probably drug related. After all some of the best ganja is grown in Northern St Vincent.
So being a tight fisted and safety conscious Scots git I decided to stage out of Marigot which is a little way South of Rodney bay and made up my mind to stop in sleepy Buccament Bay in Southern St Vincent.
I left Marigot at about 6.30 am under power but was soon sailing and the current must have been helping as the GPS was soon showing 7 knots over the ground where the boat was clearly only making about 5 knots through the water. [ Note to self “ Stop being a big girls blouse and fit the log transducer. It is only a 2 inch hole in the bottom of the boat. How much water can come in?” ]
The current reversed at the South end of St Lucia but the wind picked up and we were still showing 5 to 6 although clearly going quicker than that. As we got into the channel between the islands we settled down to 6.8 to 7.3 with occasional 8s. As we got into the lee of St Vincent I was expecting the wind to die but there was enough North in it to funnel it down the west coast and we held the breeze to within a couple of miles of Buccament Bay. I thought briefly about going on but could see boats ahead of me motoring across the short channel between St Vincent and Bequia so I stayed with my plan and pulled in to Buccament. What a change, no more sleepy little fishing village, a big seafront hotel and mini marina is being built and there is additional construction of houses everywhere.
I got the hook down and soon realized I was going to need a stern anchor otherwise we were going to roll all night. At this point I thought buggerit Bequia would have been doable and I would have been there before it got really dark. Got the stern anchor sorted and suddenly found that I was really tired almost too tired to eat! A quick pressure cooker curry with the Garam Masala that Iris bought out from Germany with her was just the job, that and a G&T while the rice was cooking and the sun setting. Aaaaaah I was sacked out by 8.30.
After a long lie in I set off to cover the last few miles down to Bequia and unlike last night the wind was fair so off with the noisemaker and I hung the rags on the sticks and we were off doing what sailboats are supposed to do. Rounding up in to the harbour surprised me as the same Pistachio green trimaran was where it always had been, the Friendship Rose was there and Daffodils ice/water/laundry/diesel/trash/etc services were going about their businesses as tidily as ever. Not everything changes..
Hood down, sails bagged and I was off to find customs and immigration. A simple procedure but they asked to see the boat papers, well I have been waiting for them since last December and they finally got to me in St Lucia [ duplicates the originals are in a black hole somewhere. ] It was the first time an official had insisted on seeing the boat's full documentation, just as well I had them to hand.