Early yesterday morning we sailed in to the bay at Port Elizabeth on the island of Bequia and in to the real Caribbean. The bay is surrounded by wooded hills spotted with wooden houses. At anchor there are many boats and locals float past selling water, ice, diesel, laundry services and taxi rides.
As we entered the bay a passing diving boat shouted across the water “welcome!” We passed what looked like an outing of the Royal Yacht Squadron all flying their white ensigns. Maybe that explains all the chaps called Julian and Rupert in town.
We anchored in see through water and dived on the anchor to check it was firmly in the sand. With the dinghy we rowed the short distance to the beach and then walked along to the customs house arriving just after they opened for the afternoon. Customs gave us a yachting permit for a month (which we can extend) and at the next counter immigration gave us six month visas. It all took about fifteen minutes and they let us pay in Euros.
Next stop was a mobile phone shop where we bought two SIM cards. We now have St. Vincent and Grenadines telephone numbers, 8GB of data, an hour of free Youtube a day and a flat for local calls. We can spend all day ringing each other or make some local friends quickly.
The locals all seemed friendly. Mostly they were sat in the shade selling stuff. We bought a local courtesy flag which is flying on our starboard spreader and some mangos & oranges. On the way back along the beach we stopped off under a huge tree for ice creams and beers while watching the locals repairing a boats engine while stood chest deep in the sea.
In the evening the beach bar turned the music up and we fell asleep rocking gently in paradise.