Bequia, St. Vincents & the Grenadines

Feb 16, 2019 - Sea Cloud


We left our anchorage in Iles des saintes at 1 p.m. yesterday and sailed through the night. We made good speed averaging 9 knots. The sun rose at 6:27 a.m. over St. Vincent on our port side. We moved ever further south and our latitude at 9 a.m. was 13.18. We furled sails at 8 a.m. and had all the square sails up, even the skysail on the main mast. It was a glorious sight to see Sea Cloud under full sail. We had a light wind from the port quarter. At 9:30 a.m., National Geographic Photographer Robin Moore gave his talk on photography and the importance of light and color in creating memorable images. The wind picked up by 10:15 a.m. and we set the spanker sail for the first time. At 10:35 a.m. the crew held a full safety fire drill. Safety aboard Sea Cloud is the highest priority.

At 2:15 p.m., the captain dropped anchor in Admiralty Bay in Bequia, facing the lovely village of Port Elizabeth, our immediate destination. I could see the Hamilton Battery, named after Alexander Hamilton’s father, off our port. Alexander himself was born on the island of Nevis. We boarded tenders and landed in Port Elizabeth after a brief ride.

Bequia was settled first by the Taino and then Carib. Scots were bought over in the 18th century as indentured servants in considerable numbers and they have remained here. The demographics of Bequia is thus unlike many of the other islands we have visited; it has a substantial Euro-American population. Surnames of the early settlers, like Davis, King, and Olíver, persist and everyone on Bequia seems to be related. Main street in Bequia is enchanting. I particularly enjoyed the visit to the boat museum, the Rastafarian market, and the lovely Anglican Church. The Bequians are expert boat builders and sailors, and are permitted by the International Whaling Commission to take three humpback whales each year, but only by artisanal methods—in simple, open boars with handheld harpoons.  

Some of our guests took the scenic, coastal Belmont Walk to reach our destination on the island, Jack’s Beach Bar, where a good number of us ended up. This famous place sits directly on Princess Margaret Bay and has to be one of the most idyllic spots in all the Caribbean. There we enjoyed all sorts of fruit punches, some with rum. The water in the bay was just right, neither too cold nor too hot, and the color: a clear, crystalline blue. At about 400 yards, the bottom was clearly visible 25 feet below.

Dinner was served on the Lido Deck. Afterward, we were treated to music by a local band, Kings of Strings. We’ve known the players in this band for many years and they never fail to impress. Everyone loved their playing and singing.


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About the Author

Tom Heffernan

Historian

Tom, a native of New York City, who has had a life-long passion for travel and exploration, is the Kenneth Curry Professor of Humanities at the University of Tennessee and the founding Director of the university’s Humanities Center. His areas of interest are anthropology of religions and historical linguistics.

About the Photographer

Alex Krowiak

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

A childhood surrounded by the woods and streams of Pennsylvania initially sparked Alex’s curiosity about nature. That curiosity eventually led him to pursue degrees in biology and environmental studies at Boston College. During his time there he conducted research on carnivorous plants in Iceland and kelp forests in South Africa. Together these diverse experiences provided him with the background and passion to become a teacher. 

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