Bequia | Distant Shores Sailing Newsletters

Grenadines - Bequia to Tobago Cays

In my last newsletter "St. Lucia to Bequia" we had just arrived in Bequia, one of the Grenadines in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean.
We made landfall at Bequia at sunset and anchored off Princess Margaret Beach in Admiralty Bay, Bequia’s main anchorage. Although pretty it can be a little rolly here in certain conditions so it’s actually better and more convenient to anchor closer in towards the town.

On our first day ashore the weather wasn’t good. It bucketed rain for most of the day so we didn’t take any photos in the charming town of Port Elizabeth where we went to clear-in. The Customs and Immigration office is conveniently located right near the town’s main dinghy dock, opposite the ferry dock. For more information click here. We’ll be doing more filming in Bequia in the fall so will have lots of great photos to show you then. However on the second day we had a nice stroll along Princess Margaret Beach.

There are caves and grottoes at the south end of the beach that are fun to explore.

We were accompanied by 3 local dogs as we went for our walk, all friendly.

Bequia really caters to yachts. There is a boat that comes around daily that can fill your fuel and water tanks right at anchor. Bequia is a popular destination for charter boats and cruising sailors alike so although it’s only a tiny place there are several chandleries, sailmakers, etc. and lots of upscale restaurants and food shops. You can get just about anything here.

The guys on the fuel/water boat will also take away your garbage. They charge $5 EC or about $2 US to collect a large bag. A great service!

On Sunday July 21st we left Bequia and sailed 25 nm miles south through the Grenadines passing Mustique, Canouan and Mayreau - destination the Tobago Cays.

The Tobago Cays are a group of several little uninhabited islets in the protection of the huge Horseshoe Reef. Our last visit here was 21 years ago and we were delighted to see that it hadn’t changed much. It is now a national park with park fees of 10 EC ($4 US) per person per day which is collected by a very friendly park warden.

If you have followed our adventures over the years you know we love the Bahamas and the beautiful swimming pool blue water there. The water surrounding the Tobago Cays is the closest we have ever seen to the Bahamas water. Ribbons of blue hues varying with the depth of the water are a joy to the eye.

The beaches are sugar white sand and you can often see turtles on them and in the surrounding water. Since the Tobago Cays are a protected area you are not allowed to fish but local boat vendors come by and sell fresh fish and conch they’ve caught elsewhere.

Paul just had to climb up the mast to get an aerial view.

It’s a long way up our mast! You can see Horseshoe Reef in the background. The reefs are all that is protecting you from the swells of the open Atlantic Ocean in the Tobago Cays. Anchored behind the reef you are looking straight towards Africa! The snorkelling is good on the reefs but you do have to be careful of the currents. There are mooring balls to tie your dinghy up to so you don’t risk damaging the coral with your dinghy anchor.

After all the fresh air, sunshine, and snorkelling we had a good appetite so Paul made a delicious curry for dinner. Both Paul and I love to cook!

We spent 2 days and nights anchored in the Tobago Cays and then went on to explore another favourite Grenadine island, Union Island, to the south. But more on that next time...

More News

Interview on The Sailing Podcast
We recently did an interview with David Anderson on discussing the highlights of our 23 years of cruising, ways to earn a living while cruising, and our recent experiences participating in the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers). Click here to listen.

Kind regards,
Sheryl and Paul Shard
Aboard SY Distant Shores II
Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Click here to check out our DVDs for more cruising adventures and tips!

Distant Shores TV Show Facebook
Distant Shores TV Show Twitter

St. Lucia to Bequia

Our visit to St. Lucia was a quick one this time ‘round since we had spent several weeks exploring the island in December following the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers).
So early morning on Wednesday July 17, just 5 days after our arrival, we set sail from the Rodney Bay anchorage headed for the island of Bequia in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It was another morning of relaxed sailing as we travelled along the leeside of St. Lucia passing the port of Castries doing 7.5 kts under main and genoa. When sailing here in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean there is almost always a nice breeze on the beam. Love those trade winds!

Towards the south end of St. Lucia are the Pitons, famous twin peaks. The local beer is named after them.

We still had a good signal on our iPhone as we sailed. We have a local sim card in it from Digicel that includes a data plan so we could post updates to the Distant Shores TV social media sites (
Twitter and Facebook) as we sailed along the autopilot steering while we both stood watch.

Just as we passed by the Pitons a big squall came zooming across the island heading out to sea just missing us!

We have a radar overlay on our Raymarine chartplotter which shows the squalls (the pinky purple blotches) indicating the squalls passing behind us as they roll off the Pitons. We’re now entering the St. Vincent Channel at the south end of St. Lucia so will be in open water for about 30 nm.

Although there are squalls behind us, the view ahead is clear and sunny. We have a great sail across the channel to the north end of St. Vincent.

When we get to St. Vincent we see lots of rain showers along the coast of the island but fortunately none come out to sea.

We saw this amazing low-level rainbow as we sail along!

In fact we saw lots of rainbows as we sailed past St. Vincent. Magical!

In the late afternoon we reached the south end of St. Vincent and headed out into the Bequia Channel. Now close-hauled we furled in the genoa and furled out our small self-tacking jib which is great in these conditions. Just 9 nm to go to Bequia in the Grenadines!

Sheryl on the stern rail bench steering with the Raymarine autopilot remote. St. Vincent in the background.

We make landfall in Bequia at around 1830, just before sunset.

It’s been 21 years since we were last here anchored in Admiralty Bay in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines! Many fond memories.

We anchor off Princess Margaret Beach and have dinner on board in the cockpit. Customs and Immigration is closed until tomorrow so we’ll go ashore and clear-in first thing in the morning...

Have a good evening, Everyone!

Sheryl and Paul Shard
Aboard SV Distant Shores II
Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Click here to check out our DVDs for more cruising adventures and tips!

Distant Shores TV Show Facebook
Distant Shores TV Show Twitter