Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Mar 03, 2019 - Sea Cloud


Captain Nemerzhitskiy had told us that we would start our morning with a couple of hours pitching east into the trade winds to position ourselves for a strong morning of sailing through the Grenadines. And a strong morning it was, as the sailors went aloft at 8 a.m. in 25-knot winds from directly abeam to set the sails. With the wind so strong, we set the lower and upper topsails and the topgallants above those, but by that time we were already heeling too much to set the higher royals. And wow, what a sail!

The island of Canouan sat off our port bow and the rugged limestone rocks of Sevan Island and Mustique were further east to starboard. Flying fish scattered before us while brown boobies wrestled the winds. We reveled in sailing glory while shielding our coffees on the leeward rail. Historian Tom Heffernan gave a fascinating talk on the religion of Rastafari while the Lido Bar canvas flapped and whipped in the winds.

Before we knew it, and sooner than we would have liked, we were passing the island of our afternoon destination, Bequia, and the captain called to the sailors to begin striking sails. It was a wild morning of sailing before we turned into the wind to make our way to Bequia for our afternoon anchorage.

Bequia has a very different feel from the other islands we visited this week, with its maritime and boatbuilding background and a population that is largely descended from Scottish indentured servants. It is a hub and communication center for modern-day sailors of the Grenadines, and as such, has a delightful and colorful local character with interesting shops, vendors, cafés, and restaurants.

Tom Heffernan led a walk past the Rastafarian market and onto the model boat-building museum, while photographers Alex Krowiak and Celso Montalvo offered a photo walk along the attractive Belmond Walkway. Almost everybody ended up at Jack’s Beach Bar on Princess Margaret Beach, where the Sunday afternoon music had many of us dancing on the beach and in the water. It was a beautiful scene and a fantastic afternoon, one that continued back aboard Sea Cloud where a local string quartet Kings of Strings keeping the rhythm on the Lido Deck after dinner. Many of us retired feeling that we had to find a way to return to Bequia and stay a little longer…

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About the Author

Tom O'Brien

Expedition Leader

Tom O’Brien has been leading and designing expeditions for Lindblad Expeditions since 1985. With a background in physical geography and conservation, a Bavarian heart and a Celtic soul, Tom has been one of the most passionate advocates of the expedition experience around the world for the last twenty years. Many of the local people and communities that we work with today are the result of friendships that Tom and his expedition mates developed many years ago.

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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