Bequia: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Happy Easter from Gumbopirate
Happy Easter from Gumbopirate

April 12, 2009

Our days in Bequia have been a flurry of activity as it is Easter Regatta weekend and people are here from all over the world.  There are so many boats, people and activities here that it is hard to find time to sleep! 

On the first day of racing, the Pirate and the Cajun took the dinghy to the starting line to watch the action.  The boats were a thrill to see as they sailed and tacked right near each other waiting for the start. There were lots of near misses and yelling crew as they were sailing so close to one another jockeying for a great starting position.  Cousteau joined the crew of First Home and participated in the first yacht race of the Regatta.   Our anchorage neighbors Chris, Rachel and Lilly aboard Hogfish were also sailing in the race.  After the race, we attended the Bequia Regatta welcome party and met lots of great people and enjoyed the free Mount Gay rum they were passing out.  The Louisiana boat Acadia took first place in the race- Go Cajuns! 

On day two of the races, the Pirate and Cajun were invited to crew aboard Chris and Rachel’s sailboat Hogfish Maximus.  The name is derived from a very ugly fish found mostly in the Bahamas that while ugly, has the most delicious and delicate white meat .  Their boat, while not the new and fancy racing look, is pure beauty for what it represents- Chris built it himself and it has been their home for the last 15 years, where they raised their two daughters and it has crossed the Atlantic.  The Pirate and Cajun had a great time aboard Hogfish for the around the island race.  It was Cajun’s first monohull racing experience.  We realized just how much work racing a monohull is.  For 5 hours we were constantly in motion- pulling sheets and lines, riding the rail, switching sides, and finding the best wind to push us over the finish line.   Chris, Rachel, Lillie and their sailing dog “Bequia” were awesome hosts and we learned quite a bit. 

After all of the day’s excitement, we decided to treat ourselves to a fabulous French meal at Maria’s French Terrace.  The owners John and Claudine are excellent hosts and great people to talk to.  They prepared a fantastic meal for us: duck magret, t-bone steak with Roquefort sauce, French onion soup, stuffed crabs, champagne and vanilla rum.  We had to be rolled out of the place we were so stuffed.

But unfortunately things had to end on a bad note that day.  Our friends Chris and Rachel (Hogfish) had their dingy stolen from the dock while we were all on shore.  The dingy was custom built by Chris and made to fit atop their boat.  There were two other dinghies stolen beside theirs.  It is very disheartening and really put a damper on things. 

On Easter, after spending the morning helping our friends try to find their stolen dinghy, we all went to Friendship Bay for the sandcastle competition and crazy boat race.  We sipped margaritas, attended an Easter fashion show and danced on the beach to the sounds of an island band.  It was a beautiful day!

Bequia has been fabulous because of the people we have met here and the wonderful experiences we have had.  These good things have far outshined the unfortunate actions of bad people who prey on the innocent and hard-working.  It is doubtful that we will return to the Regatta (and neither will many others here), but we will have great memories from this one. 

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