Dawn broke somewhat cloudy, winds were around 15 knots plus a bit as we raised sails and headed south. We had a pretty good day’s run planned to sail south past St. Vincent, then turning more to the southeast for the crossing to Bequia. This year once again, with recent reports of increased violence against cruisers, we sadly bypassed St. Vincent. We know it’s playing the odds, but with these reports, we choose to improve our odds and avoid St Vincent, for now. We want to visit there, but until the security situation improves, we’ll take a pass.
Typically, when you round the southern end of St. Vincent and turn southeast towards Bequia, wind comes more on the nose and increases in velocity as soon as you clear the lee of the island. You can pretty much see the line where the winds pick up and the seas increase, and you need to make sure you’re ready for the Bequia Blast.
Knowing from last year that Bequia’s professional photographer, Kenmore, would likely be shooting at us from his high speed inflatable somewhere outside Admiralty Bay, I wanted to have the boat ready, sails perfectly trimmed, when he approached. He still caught us by surprise when, two miles off shore in 20 to 25 knot winds, we saw his inflatable bouncing over the wave tops. I hustled to trim the sails, but he started shooting before I was 100% ready. Kenmore stayed with us for about 30 minutes shooting more than 150 photos of the boat as we romped through the waves, and we ended up buying his entire set later that day. Off to the right and below are two shots he took; Joy thought I was going to run him down as he took these and several similar photos. Nice job, Kenmore!
After dancing our way through the waves approaching Bequia, we rounded the corner at Devil’s Table reef, headed directly into the wind, lowered and furled our sails, then motored into the harbor in search of a good spot to anchor amongst the hundreds of vessels already moored.
Anchoring in Admiralty Bay is generally good, but there are a few hard patches and a deep hole or two to avoid. Those spots are not all marked on the charts, so it’s really helpful to have at least one of the cruising guides for this area on board. We found an open spot in about 20 feet of water over a clear sand bottom, and after settling in, we dug the Rocna in hard, backing down on the rode until it was stretched out tight. Nice.
My earlier analysis of that day’s forecast said we would have fantastic weather for the long sail, and we experienced one of those perfect sailing days with no rain, clear skies, and fair winds. Our three boat buddies rely on one of the fee-paid professional subscription forecasters, and he told them to wait a day for nicer weather with less chance of rain. All three of them sailed in the next day wearing foulies, soaked, and their boats were salt covered from bow to stern. Hmmm. We all actually got a chuckle over that one.