Ah-h-h we had a beautiful day in Bequia. After a rough crossing from Tobago Cays we awoke to a beautiful morning in Admirality Bay. We arrived in the harbor in the dark so we weren't able to see how many yachts and sailboats were anchored there. We were surprised to see so many anchored close to us. We have to hand it to the skill of the Mandalay crew. They brought us safely into our anchorage among all these vessels using a handheld light. We excited a few people on one sailboat when we pulled in. I think the light sweeping across their deck woke them up and they feared getting run into. They hurried out on deck and observed until we were safely anchored.
We enjoyed a morning dive with Dive Bequia (see review) and returned to the Mandalay just in time to change quickly for lunch on shore at Mac's Pizzeria (see review). We shared a table with some fellow sailors from South Carolina and enjoyed getting to know them. They were retired, love to travel and are great fun! The much anticipated lobster pizza was excellent as well.
After lunch we made our way slowly through the one main street in Bequia. This was our first island stop to have shopping on it. So we enjoyed the many cute boutiques and shops. I found a little handmade seahorse in one shop that I bought for the auction that will be held on board ship for the benefit of the school on Mayreau.
After walking around we took a taxi over to Friendship Bay Hotel on the Atlantic side of the island. We had a drink at a cute open air bar called Spicy 'N Herby where the bar stools are swings. The bar sits right on the beach so it was a great place to relax and enjoy the ocean view.
We returned to the Mandalay mid-afternoon for our daily Snacks & Swizzles served on the main deck. Windjammer has a nice tradition of starting every morning with Bloody Mary's and Sticky Buns and then serving Snacks & Swizzles every afternoon 5:00. I was never up early enough to enjoy the Bloody Marys but we sure enjoyed the afternoon Rum Swizzles.
We capped our day in Bequia off with a wonderful dinner at CoCo's. This was the first port during this cruise where we stayed at anchor during the evening hours. Although we enjoyed all of the meals on the Mandalay it was a nice treat to be able to enjoy a dinner on shore. We took one of the open air taxi's to the hilltop where CoCo's sits overlooking the harbor. Sitting, dressed up, in the back of a customized pick-up that passes for a taxi on Bequia I felt like I was in a troop mover. There were benches to sit on but hopping up into the bed of a truck in a dress is an awkward thing to do. It added to the experience though. One of our group from Colorado kept us in stitches on our taxi ride down the hill after dinner. He was telling us about a place out West where he played tic-tac-toe against a chicken. Sadly he never beat the chicken. I'm not sure I'd admit that.
A night-cap in the court-yard bar of the Frangipani Hotel completed our Bequia experience.
We loved this laid-back tropical paradise. Life on the island is completely oriented to the sea and boat building is still the tradition here. Bequia's population is about 6,000 and the community is made up of fishermen, sailors, master boat builders and whalers as well as artists, professionals, and retired people. It's an interesting place. One area which we didn't visit but someothers on board the Mandalay did was a place called Moonhole. It is west of Page Farm on the southwestern end of Bequia and is a private development of seventeen houses designed by American Tom Johnston. The houses are built of stone, hanging off cliffs, and sometimes enveloped by them. According to villages at Paget Farm, the space seen through Moonhole rock circle captures the sky such that it looks like a moon peeking through. We heard the visitors from Mandaly describe it as a 'Flintstone' village. They were fascinated with the architecture.