Admiralty Bay, Bequia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines

This particular morning we clear customs into the sovereign nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This grouping of thirty or so jagged islands, of volcanic origin, is well known among cruising sailors. Snug harbours, dramatic, rainforest clad peaks, and numerous pristine reefs entice us as well. Before the smartly attired officials even finish their coffee in our library, we head down the gangway and into busses, toward parrot habitat high on the peaks, and botanical gardens overlooking St. Vincent’s capital port of Kingstown. An hour’s drive and we are in the green, cool of rainforest. We ascend a trail and cross a stream speaking calmness to us. Steps and a bridge snake between enormous moss-draped boulders, hobbit style. We rest, leaning against buttressed, tendrilled, and gomier trees, the raw materials of the Carib Indians canoes. Tantalizing parrot squawks overhead quicken our pace toward the viewing platform and its window out of the thick canopy. Our view is across two ridges. The sound of water rushing through boulders emanates from the nearest valley. With binoculars we get a sense of scale. The trees on the far slope are giants, survivors of hurricanes, too remote for the chain saws, home to the endemic parrot. He is known locally as “Vincie.” Soon two come in from behind us with a racket, twisting through the air like fighter jets, flapping tight, like ducks. There is a flash of yellow, a little green, and they disappear behind the middle ridge. Then four more, much louder and closer. A tighter bank to the left reveals a lot more yellow, set off by maroon, white, and green. Arguably the most spectacular of the Caribbean island parrots. Quite satisfied, we head back down the lush green tunnel, with a bit of added bounce in our step.

The small passage south to Bequia takes about an hour. As the sun falls and begins to sear the waters to the west, the National Geographic Endeavour drops her anchor in Admiralty Bay. We now share an anchorage with some of the most pelagic of cruising yachts. Stern flags fly the colors of Britain, Germany, France, and Denmark. Home ports due to windward, uphill from here. Sailors on these vessels are not just from these places, but have sailed from these places. These are blue water cruisers, with wind vane steering auto pilots, multiple reef points on the main sails, dodgers, and wind generators to keep navigational equipment charged on month-long passages. Admiralty bay is a destination. They will stay and mingle with like-minded blue water vagabonds. And then when the whim strikes, day or night they pull their hook, throw up sails, and are gone to the next Caribbean port. And in this tradition we visit the town, share some stories about where our blue water ship has been and where she is going, and we make for our next port: Saint Lucia.