Monday, November 15, 2010

BEQUIA Friendship Bay and Petit Nevis

Bequia is a great place to stop and smell the flowers. We have been exploring it from the popular anchorage of Admiralty Bay. This is a popular anchorage with both liveaboards and charter boats because it caters to boaters rather than cruise ship visitors. There are stores, restaurants, chandleries, a fuel barge that delivers to your boat, customs facilities, ferries, dive shops and more.

But we sailed around to the other side of the Island to visit the island of Petit Nevis and the Friendship Bay anchorage on the south side of Bequia just a little easy of Petit Nevis.

I wanted to stop at Petit Nevis because it was the place they used to cut up the whales they harpooned. It turns out the whaling station was established in 1886 and remained a working site untill 1993 when two whales were caught and processed there.

But there has been a resurgence of interest in whaling and whaling in Bequia today is done just as it was when Nollie Simmonds' ancestor, William Wallace, started it. The whale is hunted from an open wooden boat, launched from the shore and powered by sail and oars.

"With a double ended wooden skiff, six men, some wrought iron harpoons and a lot of rope. A lot of sweat and muscle."

As Petit Nevis is now a privately owned island [ but looking for new owners ] a new working site was built on Semplers Cay by the entrance to Friendship Bay and a whale was procesed there on the 6th of April 2010 according to a local we spoke to.

We enjoyed a snorkle around Petit Nevis and I got this good shot of an angel fish being cleaned of parasites by a little blue fish.

We headed over to Friendhip Bay and were hoping for a sundowner at the famed Mosquito Bar but it did not seem to be open.

When we went for a walk ashore we found out that although Lars and Margaret Abrahamsson have operated the Friendship Bay Hotel for the past 19 years they have had it tough since 2006 and on Friday, April 23, 2010, three receivers of Roy Bailey of Ernst & Young in the Cayman Islands and Guardsman security took control of the premises and asked the hotel’s guests, as well as management and staff to leave the property.

We met one of the receivers who made us welcome on the site and even offered us free water from the hotels tanks but we had just filled up before coming round here [RATS]

Aparently the property has been shown to a variety of potential buyers but all have shaken their heads and walked away.

So this Caribbean Hotel is still for sale [ price negotiable ] as is Petit Nevis.

Did I mention the price for Petit Nevis? No; well just $15 million US to you sir.

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