Bequia

It was an early morning departure again as we headed to the island of Bequia (pronounced “Beck-Wee”). We departed at 5, but after yesterday’s sickness, I decided to try to stay in my bunk and sleep until we arrived.

I got up at just before 8 as we were nearing the island, and the crew was lowering the sails. We dropped anchor and the bell called us to breakfast. The were serving pancakes, bacon and tropical fruit (Sheri had Brandon make a dish of only fruit for her). I added a little nutmeg syrup on top of my pancakes; it’s a really distinct flavor, and not overly sweet.

We finished breakfast, and got our things ready in the cabin, sunscreening ourselves for a day at the beach and in town. We got on the dinghy and headed over to town with the other passengers. Most of them were going on a tour of the island–we weren’t. We talked to Nick (who did 17 weeks on Windjammer Cruises, mixing the old and new companies), and he said we made the right decision. He gave us a few tips of stores we should visit, and we were off.

We immediately fell in love with Bequia. It was one sidewalk and one road paralleling the beach. The stores were painted bright colors, and the people were friendly. We first went into the bookstore. Sheri found a great cookbook, but decided to buy it after we returned to the states, instead of adding weight to the suitcase. The bookstore also sold scrimshaw–intricate carving on camel bone, whale bone and ivory. Bequia is one of the few places in the world that can still hunt whales (4 a year), but with the old ways of hand thrown harpoons. A local artist carves the intricate work, and we decided to buy me a small pocket knife with a island scene on one side and a dolphin on the other. Sheri always gets jewelry, and I rarely buy anything but a nicknack for the shelf.

We stopped by the tourist office for a map. Sheri found a flyer on the local restaurants, and it said that Mac’s Pizza (which everyone had raved about, but had said was closed for a few weeks) was actually open. The tourist rep called, but there wasn’t any answer. We decided to try it for lunch (since we weren’t sure what we were doing for dinner). As we left, a man offered to sell us fresh lobster–oh if we only lived here!

We kept strolling through town. None of the stands were selling apple bananas, but we kept on a lookout. We passed on store where the owner was sitting on the front step planing wood off his miniature sailboat–Bequia is known for their craftsmen who make replicas of boats. The store looked small and we decided to keep going.

We walked up a hill and saw Nick who told us a better shop was around the corner which was good, because we were close to turning around. We topped the hill and kept going to the end of the stores and restaurants, where a more residential area began. We are intermittently checking fir wireless connections, and I finally found an open one. So we sat on a bench next to a dock, and reconnected to the web for a little while. The sun reflected on the water. People were coming and going on their daily errands. A man came up to the dock to clean his fishes.

We finally left and headed back the way we came. We stopped in the second boat replica store/museum. We entered, and saw the tables full of one foot to several foot tall replicas of ships. They were amazing detailed, with full rigging and small details. We met Augustine on the back of the shop working on a boat, and he said it takes home about three months to do one of the replicas. It was amazing work, but nothing we could get in a suitcase.

We walked back through town, and to the other side of town where there were more restaurants (many closed for hurricane season which was just ending) and hotels. We walked along this brick walkway, chasing away the scurrying crabs and trying not to slip on the mossy parts. We found Mac’s Pizza, and decided to have lunch here. We ordered the lobster pizza that everyone had raved about. Sheri saw the ships dinghy and rushed to tell them that we wouldn’t be back for lunch. The pizza came and it was delicious–perfectly cooked lobster topping a thin crust pizza and a mild cheese. For dessert we had the key lime pie, which was also wonderful. We were getting ready to leave when a storm moved through and it started pouring. An hour later, it was dry and sunny again.

We headed back to the dock, but instead of heading on to the beach (with sand and bugs), we decided to go back to the boat, and swim over the side. We got back, dropped of our stuff.the crew put the ladder over the side,and pulled out the rope swing. Sheri went first and then I went. Soon a handful of other passengers were also swinging off the boat and dropping into the warm water; Scott, the captain-in-training, even donned his swimsuit and joined the passengers.. Sheri was definitely the best as she kept improving her form.

We headed finally tired and went to our cabin to shower. When I went up to the top deck, Sheri had been making everyone drinks with the Liquor 43 that we brought from the US to share. The nice mixture of Liquor 43, orange juice and club soda was great, and everyone seemed to love the drink.

At 4:30, Brandon served us up wine, fruit and cheese. There were several good red wines. And the cheese was from a woman on Bequia that specializes in cheese and wine. The cheeses were many: Gouda, Manchego, Brie, Jack, and a really good local goat cheese.

The cook had the night off as all the passengers felt like having dinner onshore. Half were going to Coco’s Restaurant and the other half were going to Mac’s Pizza, even though we had it for lunch, we decided to go back for pizza. We joined four other passengers in the dinghy along with Scott who decided to join us for dinner. The dinghy took us to a dark dock, and luckily Nick had brought flashlight for the walk to the restaurant (no extra light along the path, as most restaurants were closed. We arrived at Mac’s and told them we now had 7 people and they quickly rearranged for us. The table split a large lobster pizza and a medium fish pizza (the captain’s favorite–which had mahi mahi, garlic and cheese). We had a lively conversation, and were ultimately too stuffed to even have dessert. We called back to the boat for the dinghy, and we headed back to the dock. We went straight to our cabin, exhausted from the busy day.