Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Arrived in Bequia

23rd May 2006
Arrived in Bequia

May 23, 2006 Tuesday Port Elizabeth, Bequia

Traveled 61NM today; total so far is about 500NM.

Great beam reach and then broad reach sail until we reached south end of St. Vincent; then we were close hauled, right on the bottom of the red, tight as we could get it until we reached Bequia. Winds ranged from 22 kts to 30 kts all day; seas 7-ft to 10-ft. Great day of sailing, at last.

When we arrived in Bequia, we were approached by a boat boy right at the harbor entrance wanting to "help" us with a mooring. We told him we were going to anchor. Then we tried hailing Daffodil's on the VHF to get a mooring ball in their area. We plan to have them deliver fuel to our boat tomorrow, so we wanted to be nearby. Daffodil's said they were sending someone out to assist us with the mooring. The mooring balls here do not have any type of pennant attached. Someone comes out in a small boat and takes your line and ties it off on the bottom side of the mooring ball. Anyway, some guy shows up in a dinghy and tells us that there was a mistake and that Daffodil's is full and doesn't have a mooring available for us. He told us to hail African on VHF channel 68 and get on a mooring on the other side of the harbor.

Bill spent several minutes trying to hail African. Several people answered and someone said that Wild Larry would be out to help us with the mooring at African's mooring ball field.

While all that was going on, another guy came up way too close to the side of the boat and tried to talk to Judy while Bill was on the radio. She told him to leave us alone right now. He then sped up and went in front of our boat, turned crosswise to block our progress, and came to a stop. Judy started yelling at him and turning the boat trying to avoid hitting him. Then he came back near the cockpit and tried talking again. Judy yelled at the top of her voice for him to "get the f**k away from our boat or we were going to be hit him." He looked really pissed off, but he finally left. Those of you reading this, if you know Judy, then you know just how loud she can yell when really pissed off. This happened while Bill was on the radio, so everyone in the anchorage heard Judy yelling on the radio. Maybe now the boat boys will stay away from our boat.

Wild Larry showed up in a bright pink "go-fast" boat and helped Bill tie off on a mooring ball. Bill just didn't feel right about the whole process; so when he saw African helping another boat moor near us, Bill called him over to our boat. Sure enough, we had been highjacked; the ball we were moored on did not belong to African. So we moved over to one of African's moorings. We are much happier because this ball looks much better maintained.

We then went ashore to the Whaleboner Bar for a cold drink, and a short walk around the beach bars. This is again an island that we have not visited in 20 years. It has changed quite a bit, but still the same lovely place that we remember. Want to visit Mac's and see if he still serves the famous lobster pizza. We plan to stay here 2 nights. Then will be on our way, probably to Mustique next.

Bequia has a strong whaling history. The men would go out in these tiny boats that they built locally. They would gather round and spear a whale and then tow it back to the island for slaughter. They used every bit of the whale; it was not over-kill like the Japanese still do. Bequia still holds a license that would allow them to kill up to 4 whales per year, but the skills are being lost as the older generation ages. They have not gone out to hunt a whale in a couple of years. Their long whaling history might now be finished.

The Whaleboner Bar has bar stools made from whale vertabrae, and some other whale bones around the place. Maybe we will get some photos tomorrow.

BTW, does anyone know why flying fish fly? If you do, please post on our message board. We have seen thousands of flying fish; and they definitely do fly a long distance. We can't imagine why they do this.

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