Up at 6:30am, haul anchor at 7am and set a bearing for the west side of St. Vincent. Between St. Lucia and St. Vincent winds were 20-22 knt ENE. We had 10 FT seas/swells in the aft port quarter that at times looked a little ominous. We kept one reef in the main and jib, and hopped along at 8.5 to 9 knts.
We had been warned that the east winds really start ripping around the northern tip of St. Vincent, but today they weren’t too bad. On the west side of the island the winds dropped to 15 knts, so we shook the reefs out.
When we reached the southern tip of the island, the winds dropped to 4-5 knts and in the interest of getting to Bequia, we started on of the engines. About a mile south of St. Vincent, the winds started picking up so we sailed again with full sails. A couple of miles later the winds perked up to 27 with gusts to 30, so we double reefed and skittered along at 9 knts, and once saw 11 knots surfing down a wave. There were lots of whitecaps and some of the swells got back up in the 10 FT range. An exciting ride into Admiralty Bay on Bequia, and into Port Elizabeth.
The place was packed with boats, but we finally found a suitable spot reasonably near the Customs office so we could dingy in to get cleared. It took 3 attempts to get the anchor set properly and positioned with enough space between adjacent boats. The gusts come through the harbor with a lot of energy and we hang out on the boat watching our setting before convincing ourselves that we aren’t dragging anchor.
We lock up Ginger and all of us dingy to shore in search of the Customs office, then we stroll around the town and find a good restaurant (Coco’s) where we have fish, chicken and Conch (in chowder and curry). Excellent caribbean fare.
It’s a nice town but a little more crowded than we’d like so we’ll head out tomorrow, probably to Tobago Cays, which is a place that we’ve all been looking forward to experiencing.
We’ve been getting doused with salt water on most days, and our clothes can pretty much stand up on their own. We will also seek laundry facilities in the near future. It’s awesome having a fresh water shower on the boat. It’s about the size of a phone booth and is also where the head/toilet is, but it is very nice to wash the salt and sweat off.