Bequia and Mustique

Tinkering around on the deck. Photo:
I arrived to Bequia low on diesel and wine, and set off to the city of Port Elisabeth trying to find supplies. The place was surprisingly touristic, with a choice of many bars and restaurants, good shops and a lot of delicacy stores. One can find anything from great French wine to Swedish hardbread to Beluga caviar there - such a difference from all the rest of the islands south of St Martin!

At the approach to Bequia, the boat was photographed by the local "celebrity" - a yacht photographer who makes his living and fame by heading out to the bay any time a new boat approaches. He balances in the dancing ways in his tiny dinghy and takes photos. Upon arriving and hooking up on anchor, he's already done with producing a very professional choice of photos, with frames and everything. The vanity took its toll and I ended up buying some.

I checked out the city, the nearby areas and the beaches, spent a night in the harbor, got some diesel (and some wine) and went further. Unfortunately, I could no longer stay too long at any island, the sailing season was ending rapidly and I needed to reach Panama Canal for a timely crossing of the Pacific. I was in a hurry!

Sailing towards Caniuan and Tobago Cays however, I couldn't stop looking to port side, where the silhouette of Mustique was showing on the horizon. It's the celebrities' island, privately owned and having great beaches and great restaurants as well as being the residence of people like Mick Jagger and David Bowie. The list of people who has been attracted to here over the years range from Bill Gates to David Duchovny, Kate Moss, and Amy Winehouse. It's quite expensive to lay by mooring here (anchoring is prohibited unless absolutely necessary, and then you still have to pay). The restaurants are top-of-the-line, and everything else is made of stardust and money. But it's also a nature reserve park, with wildlife and clear water of the highest notch. Here is what the supermarket looks like, for instance. I was not planning to go there. But I just couldn't resist spending a night in the local bar, where the locals and celebrities are reported to sit down by the piano and start playing any usual night. Maybe David Bowie would perform, maybe he wanted to come sailing and fishing with us? Anyway, I seized the helm and took to port. Mustique - here I come!

Just in front of Britannia Bay, as I dropped sails, the engine turned out to be unwilling to start. The startmotor was not working, so I had an hour or so sailing back and forth and trying to fix it. At the end, I managed to fix it and start, so I could enter the harbor as the sun was low at the horizon. So beautiful here! Stunningly so. I took a quick shower and made myself ready to go. I knew though that the other crew member was going to take a long time to get ready, and I really wanted to get a sunset drink at Basil Bar (listed by Newsweek as one of the top 10 bars in the world). So I left the dinghy for the crew to use, got in to my swimming gear, put my best dress and shoes in a watertight bag, and swam ashore.

It took about 15 minutes or so. The staff at Basil's were smiling and following as I was making progress - damn, all the crazy things you would do for a fancy drink... Finally, I stepped on the shore. The watertight bag turned to be serving me for much too long though, and needed to be replaced. Yes, it was leaking. So when I took out my purse and tilted it, a liter of water ran out from it. The dress was also soaking wet. But it's no problem - on with the dress, on with the fabulous shoes, and enter the bar like a star. I got my drink and the staff assured me that it was not a problem that I was dripping wet – I was very welcome indeed.

Receiving a warm welcome to Basil's Bar! Despite being dripping wet. Photo:
I enjoyed a drink and the lovely hospitality. The crew arrived after the sunset, and we set off to Firefly Restaurant - the one with the piano, and had a splendid top-notch meal. Yes, it lived up to the reputation. And yes, there was a jamming session.

What I did not know was that I would spend a few more days in this once-in-a-lifetime place. Not by choice though, but by necessity. See next post!