Whether you are in need of fresh provisions, active night life, great diving, or a beautiful hike, Admiralty Bay on the island of Bequia is a can’t miss anchorage.
Bequia is an island steeped in history. Influences from the French, Spanish, and British give this island a unique blend of culture. Nothing is quite as unique as Bequia’s ties to the whaling industry though. This island is one of the few places in the world still legally allowed to take four humpback whales a season using traditional hand thrown harpoons from small open boats. Local artisans create some amazing scrimshaw and whaling clearly plays a large part in their local economy and culture .
When approaching Admiralty Bay it is best to shoot for the middle of the channel. Two reefs flank either side of the entrance and Devils Reef to the North extends pretty far out; keep an eye out for any larger ships leaving the ferry terminal as well. Once inside Admiralty Bay, you will have plenty of options for good holding ground or a mooring ball. It’s best to try and get something closer to shore as the outside anchorages can pick up some swell. If you are planning on taking a ball, give African a call on channel 68. His moorings are conveniently located in front of the Bequia Plantation Hotel, are well secured, and you won’t get any of the swell.
If you need to clear in or out of customs, you can conveniently do so at Admiralty Bay. It’s recommended to dinghy over to Jacks Beach Bar and enjoy the waterfront walk that leads all the way into town. Speaking of Jacks Beach Bar, if you or any of your crew are interested in a beach day with great cocktails and food, an accommodating staff, and maybe a spa treatment or two, this is a great spot. Keep your ears out for Coco, who sounds like the Caribbean John Legend, plus Rusty Dog and his K9 crew will be making the rounds for any scraps of lion fish. Further down the beach is a host of other locals who offer beach chairs and cocktails at a more budget friendly price.
As you take the water front walkway towards town, there are a few places to keep in mind. Bequia’s Plantation Hotel is an upscale resort with a fantastic dinner menu for when you need to impress that special crew member. Mac’s Pizza & Kitchen has the best pizza on the island, with toppings ranging from local lobster and conch, to classic pepperoni. You can not miss sitting at the bar and ordering a painkiller at the Whaleboner. Hands down one of the most unique bars and barstools you will find. If you are on the hunt for live music in the evening, at least one of the restaurants will have a local band playing on any given night.
Just past the Whaleboner, you will find the local chandlery equipped with just about everything you need for any repairs. Above the chandlery is a fishing store, in case you need any tackle or a harpoon. As you get closer into the heart of town, you will be flanked by local artisans, art gallery’s, grocery stores, and even a working ATM. Definitely load up on Eastern Caribbean Dollars before heading south as it’s a cash only operation throughout the Grenadines.
If you are looking to do some diving, Dive Bequia is located on the walkway as well. Throughout the Grenadines, in order to do any Scuba diving, you will have to go through a dive shop. We found the guides at Dive Bequia to be great. They are also happy to give the freediver their local knowledge on where to go. Devil’s Reef makes for some excellent snorkeling with depths between 5′ and 60′. There are also a few wreck dives that make for an exciting adventure and the opportunity to see some great sea life.
With everything that Bequia has to offer it’s no wonder that people let their precious vacation time get eaten up by this single anchorage. Everything the Grenadines has to offer can be found in this unique anchorage with a culture and history all its own. If you find yourself in the Windward Islands, few places would make for a better spot to drop the hook.