Laura’s favorite soft drink, locally made Hairoun Bitter Lemon, as viewed from the Frangipani Restaurant, Admiralty Bay, Bequia

We departed the anchorage of Rodney Bay, St. Lucia at 4:00 am on February 20 bound for Admiralty Bay, Bequia Island in the nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There were quite a few squalls during the passage, with high winds and bumpy seas, particularly in the channels between islands. In 2004, we did this same passage with Laura’s mother, sister and brother-in-law and is was nothing like the 2019 passage. Good thing.

Sailing past the “Pitons” on the southern end of St. Lucia
The Pitons are illuminated by a beam of sunshine during a squally sail down the length of St. Lucia

I started out by trolling two fishing lines from the stern of Sabbatical III. Almost immediately they caught sargasso (Sargassum) weed. There was weed patches everywhere, particularly in the channels. I hauled in the fishing lines and cleaned off the weed and reset them, but soon found it to be useless to try.

Catch of the day on Sabbatical III: sargasso weed

We arrived in Admiralty Bay, Bequia in mid-afternoon and found it crowded with boats. It is a popular spot with sailors and it is easy to see why. Although the wind constantly blows strongly off of the hills, there is good protection from waves and the town of Port Elizabeth is charming and only overrun with tourists on the days when a cruise liner anchors outside and ferries in their passengers in motorized pods. Even then, we know which places to avoid. On those days Princess Margaret Beach (named after Queen Elizabeth’s sister) is one mass of bodies laid out in the sun. We just hike up and down a steep hill at the end of that beach and wind up in Lower Bay with an uncrowded beach and a couple of small beachside restaurants.

Our friends Dave and Melinda from the boat “Sassoon” were anchored at the other side of Admiralty Bay when we arrived and it was nice to spend two weeks with them catching up. We shared coffee or tea and cake at the Gingerbread House, our favorite cafe, where we sat under the huge “almond tree.” We also shared walks, lunches, and snorkeling with them.

With Melinda and Dave of “Sassoon” at the Gingerbread House.
The Gingerbread House and “almond tree” with the convenient dinghy dock in the foreground.

We left Bequia on March 6 and sailed further south to Tobago Cays. We will write a separate blog about Tobago Cays and about our time at Cumberland Bay on the big island of St. Vincent. On the way north from Tobago Cays, we again anchored in Admiralty Bay, Bequia for another week (March 13 to March 20).

Most days we enjoyed strolling on the recently restored Belmont Walkway. This ocean front walkway is a major attraction on Bequia for visitors and locals. It starts in town running alongside Belmont Beach and continues over a headland to Princess Margaret Beach. At the other end of the beach another trail leads up and over a headland and connects with the road leading down to Lower Bay.

Signpost for the Belmont Walkway and Princess Margaret Trail, with Admiralty Bay in background.
Princess Margaret Trail, Bequia
“Pizza Hut” on the Belmont Walkway, Bequia
Sign in front of bookstore, Belmont Walkway, Bequia
Fruit and vegetable stand, Port Elizabeth, Bequia
Mark at Princess Margaret Beach, Bequia
Selfie taken at Fort Hamilton (as in Alexander Hamilton) above Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Sign at the Whaleboner, Belmont Walkway, Bequia
Laura’s Restaurant, Port Elizabeth, Bequia
Laura climbs aboard after one of her many swims off of Sabbatical III, Admiralty Bay, Bequia