Monday, November 15, 2010

Back in Bequia

So the Southern Grenadines are a bit of a mess as far as financial services, fuel and food are concerned. Clifton on Union Island has food and an ATM that doesn’t work for our card but no (filtered) fuel. You have to go to Petite Martinique for that but they don’t have much food (or so the book says) and no ATMs at all (or so the book says)[1]. We haven’t had much luck with the local ATMs for getting cash unless it’s from RBTT so we decided that with fuel and food also running low we had better blast back to Bequia where we can get all that done in one place. The plan is to do all our provisioning, laundry, refuel, get some more cash and take on drinking water all in a day. That’s a tall order for us in this country. Wish us luck.
Our sail back went better today (not so off course and no squalls). This time I decided to account for the 2.5 knot tidal current in my course planning and almost ended up right where we were hoping to go. Unfortunately the wind didn’t cooperate as it backed NNE later in the day making it hard to keep to our N course (close hauled the whole way). In the end we were only off by about a mile after spending an afternoon covering 17.
Back in Bequia we managed to squeeze into a tight spot anchored off Tony Gibbons beach amongst a bunch of catamarans. We didn’t have much daylight left after everything was settled but that doesn’t seem to be a problem in this area. No fewer than 5 boats snuck into anchor after sundown. One even had the local ferry breathing down their back as they threaded their way into the harbour. Not something that we want to repeat if we can help it. We did take the opportunity to critique those who did and discussed strategies if we ever found ourselves in that situation.
1: The guide book doesn’t mention any ATM and is light on what the store there carries … one thing we’ve learned here is that when a guide book says “lots of selection” or “big store” that means “corner store” or strip mall sized private grocer to us (not much). So when they say “small store” you can expect only a dozen shelves or so and not much fresh goods. When we do get to visit Petite Martinique we’ll be sure to check out the store and fuel dock to see what they actually have.

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