Yesterday's 75 mile passage started with a night-time departure so the alarm went off at 02.15 and we left Rodney bay at 3.00am; at least we were treated to the dawn light over the Pitons as we sailed down the coast (with some motoring when the wind shadow of the island saw our speed drop below 3 knots). Once into the channel between Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent, the next island in the chain, the wind increased had a steady Force 5 and we enjoyed a good reach down the windward side of Saint Vincent, though with the Caribbean current against us for most of the way.
Bequia is part of Saint Vincent from a legislative point of view but geographically is one of the Grenadines and it's a really popular sailing destination. The only town, Port Elizabeth, sits at the head of a large, beach fringed bay called Admiralty Bay (you get the feeling that the Royal Navy has been here before) and, yes, the water in the anchorage really is as blue as it looks in the photo. As we anchored a large manta ray slowly circled around us, the white underside tips of its wing showing above the water every now and then, and this morning Graham snorkelled around the boat and could see that the anchor was firmly dug into the sandy seabed. The only downside is that it's a slightly rolly anchorage so we have deployed our sea anchor anti-roll device, last used off the Vigo Ria.
We are looking forward to exploring ashore (Graham had a quick look around town after clearing in with Customs and Immigration and reported back that it's a bit touristy but fun); the hills are densely wooded and this morning a brightly coloured parrot flew out over the anchorage. We'll probably spend a few days here – our anchor spot is about 300m off the lovely white sand beach known as Princess Margaret Beach and Jack's Bar will need investigating. It's a bit of a long dinghy ride into town but we're in no hurry and there's always the splendidly-named Phat Shag water taxi if we need it. The work done on the boat certainly is proving successful – in the bright sunshine we have fully-charged batteries and are running the watermaker with amps to spare, whilst the fridge is running far better for its water-cooling; before we'd have been thinking about firing up diesel generator every day.