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Saturday June 29th- July 3rd, 2002
Bequia, an Island of Sailors and Boats

We woke to find ourselves in a large, but well protected harbor with a myriad of fishing, charter, and cruising boats. A sliver of beach lay to starboard and far off in front of our bow we could make out the main town. We had a slow morning and opted to move the boat closer to shore in shallower water before getting too settled in. Our anchor wasn't quite staying dug in as well as we'd have liked, so Curt stayed with the boat while I cleared-in with customs.

Bequia quickly became one of my favorite islands so far. While the island seems to be fairly small, there are plenty of small stores, restaurants and shops. The inner harbor is bustling with fishing boats as well as some larger freight type of vessels. The town in Admiralty Bay winds along the beach with a flower and palm-lined walkway where you find folks selling jewelry, or grilling fish in the sand, or perhaps working on their handmade boats in the shade of a palm tree.

Bequia is known as an island of sailors and boats. Linked to the outside almost entirely by the sea, old traditions still prevail. Boats are still hand built right there on the beach. The island actually used to be an active whaling station, though the trade is now dying out. On the rare occasions that they do actually make a kill, the hunters tow the whale to nearby Petit Nevis for butchering.

You can tell the island has truly embraced cruising sailors as an important part of their community. In Admiralty Bay, they even have one of the greatest services for boats at anchor we've heard of. Daffodil's has a fleet of boats that (at your request) will come to you at anchor to pick up your laundry (wash, dry and fold), fill up your water and fuel tanks on the spot, sell you ice and even some basic food items. They'll even take away your trash! We called them on the VHF and they were beside our boat in no more than half an hour to take away our laundry. It was delivered back to us the next day and we weren't even onboard to pay the bill! On another afternoon, I went to a store to stock up on a few items. Doris' Fresh Foods had so many of the goodies we were used to at home, I had almost eight bags of groceries to carry the half mile back to the dock before dinghying them back out to Force Five. Doris insisted not only insisted on personally driving me to the dock, but taking me to another out of the way store to find an item she hadn't carried (a sponge). She said the yachties had been so good to her, she would do whatever she could to return the kindness of their business.

All of this, along with the Caribbean's trademark sea, sand, and climate make it a storybook destination. It's no wonder we later came to learn many boats camp out here for months at a time! When True Blue and Jammin' arrived the next day, we celebrated by having them over for dinner… a kick-off for the next few days we spent lazing around Admiralty Bay snorkeling and doing some minor provisioning.

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