January 3, 2012 Bequia
We have been in Bequia for almost a week and keep finding reasons to stay. This is by far one of the friendliest places we have been. The people in town greet you, and you them, as you walk their streets. The shop keepers acknowledge you with big open smiles and ask how they can help you find what you need. No one rushes you, and no one hassles you to buy things. One does not feel new or like an intruder here. The streets are paved and the architecture is a blend of Europe, Scandinavia, and the Caribbean. Buildings are painted every color available and tall graceful palm trees shade each well kept property. There are many hotels and restaurants all along one strip of land, and two gorgeous beaches to walk upon and enjoy water sports. Many people come for a month at a time and rent houses on the slopes above Lower Beach and enjoy the 4-5 beaches the island offers. The favorite mode of transport is a thing called the Moke, made by Mini Cooper--Dave has to inspect each one. Restaurant food is reasonable to expensive, your choice, and we finally found some free internet sources. A tour of the whole island can be done in two+ hours. Every evening there is a breeze that carries the island smells out to the boat, and gently sways us through happy hours.
Night life does exist; there are bands on Friday and Saturday that play till 3 AM. American boats are outnumbered 10 to 1. We are surrounded by boats brought here from mostly Scandinavian countries, and some chartered by the French, we just melt together into a close fitting rotating mass of swirling objects as the wind moves us at her will. Tied to a mooring buoy, there is only 20 feet of individual space between boats. You could almost hop over dinghy by dinghy to each other. So friendly is a good way to be in harmony with the situation. Polite boat vendors vie for your business and daily there are loud arguments amongst them as to who is servicing which boat. But as fast as it starts, it stops and one wins the business with no involvement from others.
For Christmas the area next to the ferry landing was fully decorated, lit, and a stage was erected for the caroling contest. We missed that but heard it was loads of fun and entertaining watching the professional groups, followed by the impromptu groups, which were then followed by individuals who were either talented or just brave. We arrived a few days later but they were all still talking about that night.
New Year's Eve started with 6 large lobsters ($7.00 per pound) and dinner on our boat with Miclo III, (Ellen, Rob, and Lizzy). After dinner, champagne, and dessert we walked around town and found a local bar. There they were BBQing chicken, and selling cold beer. We sat with a local fisherman and learned much about local conditions, politics, government, wives, and life on the island. Time flew and before long it was 11:40. We headed back to our boat for a front row view of the firework display. It was spectacular! The rockets shot up, the explosive colors spread far and wide, rapid multitudes of irruptions ignited one after another or on top of each other. There was no pause, no empty unlit space in the midnight sky for fifteen minutes. Not being night owls we found ourselves waking up on New Year's Day around 11:30 A.M. and reading the day away. Dave and I both started and finished our own books that day. Since then it has been rough weather. A tropical wave from Africa is whipping over us; seas are 9-11 feet, winds 20-27, rain comes 7-8 times at night and 4-5 times during the day. Our plans to leave here have been delayed, more books have been pulled out, and projects are being considered.
Speaking of projects we learned a new one called CRAFT (Can't remember a f------ thing). CRAFT gets in the way of projects (like when you can't find the tools you need). WAWCOOOS is another new word. Coming up from Carriacou we coined it to fit the ‘waves and wind coming on over our sides’ that carried gallons of water into our salon and spare bedroom. Sneaker waves do exist. Well, our lives are simple and fairly boring for now as we sit with another set of books, our morning coffee, and contemplate what we will thaw for dinner tonight. Hope all is well, and, that you are all doing well as this year moves ahead.