The sun rose at 6:10 a.m. in a cloudless azure sky. A gust of wind sang as it rushed through our riggings. After breakfast, Tom Heffernan presented a talk on the languages of the Caribbean, and then Captain Svendsen discussed the major renovations on Sea Cloud during its drydock whilst Covid raged. No area of this grand ship was overlooked.
We dropped anchor in Admiralty Bay in front of the lovely village of Port Elizabeth, our destination. The Hamilton Battery was on a bluff off to our port. It is named after Alexander Hamilton’s father who lived here for a few years. Alexander was born and raised on St. Kitts, as many people know from Lin Miranda’s smash hit Hamilton. Once ashore, Tom walked us to Sargeant Brother’s Model Boat Shop. The artisans explained the tradition of building whaling vessels. In the 1980s, they presented Queen Elizabeth with a five-foot model of the royal yacht Britannia. We also visited a market and marveled at the size of the breadfruits. The vendors went out of their way to tell us how to prepare it. At our next stop, Tom introduced us to an old friend of his and a practicing Rastafarian named Chris.
Bequia was settled first by the Taino and then the Carib Indians. Their name for the island is Bequoya, meaning Island of the Clouds. Scots were bought over in considerable numbers as indentured servants in the early 18th century, and they have remained here. The demographics of Bequia are unlike many of the other islands we have visited, with substantial Euro-American and Afro-Caribbean populations.
During our walk through the town of Port Elizabeth’s main street (the only main street!), we were on our own. The street was ringed with small tables selling all sorts of local handicrafts. Some guests visited the lovely Anglican Church built in 1827. The two principal religions on this island of six thousand are Roman Catholic and Anglican.
Our final stop is always a hit – Jack’s Bar. This famous place sits directly on Princess Margaret Bay and must be one of the most idyllic spots in the Caribbean. The bay is named after Princess Margaret, who was a frequent visitor. She had a home on the nearby private island of Mustique. At Jack’s Bar, we enjoyed Haiouran, the local beer, and all sorts of fruit punches with rum. The bay’s crystalline blue water was the perfect temperature. I swam out about 400 yards and could still easily see the bottom, 25 feet below.
Tonight, we had a lovely dinner on the lido deck. The food on Sea Cloud is fabulous. How they manage to put together such elegant meals in such a tiny galley is a mystery. We had a special treat this evening as a local group, the Kings of Stings, came aboard to play, and Solana (a longtime friend and a native of the island) introduced us to life on Bequia. Things got joyous, and a conga line made its way around the lido and spanker decks. What a full day.
We leave later tonight for Carriacou, a small island in the neighboring Grenadine Islands. The St. Vincent Grenadines and the Grenada Grenadines are separated by a latitude line. All the Grenadines north of 12.5 degrees latitude belong to St. Vincent, and the Grenadines south of the line belong to Grenada.