Sunday, December 10, 2017

Off to See the Rich and Famous

A straightforward sail into the wind. Some tacking required.
Union Island, first island in the group of islands known as St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which comprises 32 islands and cays (or as we would say “keys”) extending over 45 miles. We stopped at Palm Island, The Tobago Cays Marine Park and Bequia in March on our way to the World ARC Finish Line in St. Lucia.

We did not have time to go to Mustique last spring on our way up to St. Lucia. We had heard about Mustique and its fancy resorts. This time our plan was to go there and pick up a mooring ball for three nights. Everyone laughed at us and said that Britannia Bay is too rolly and no one stays more than one night even though the Conservation Fee of $70 USD gives you three nights on a mooring. Game on! You haven’t lived rolly until you have anchored in Simpson Bay, St. Marteen!

Brittany Bay from the Firefly
We found the bay very comfortable and stayed all three nights! And Shean, the dockmaster, was very helpful coming out to help us tie up to what we call “French-style” mooring balls. There is no line coming off to pick up so you must somehow manage to thread your own lines though the loop on the top of the mooring ball. Of course, the deckhand (Dennis) is 4-5 feet above the ball on a bouncing boat while the helmsman (me) is trying to hold the boat in place without running over the buoy! Challenging! Thank you, Shean!

The homes of Mick Jagger and Brian Adams are on the 
beach just over Dennis' right shoulder.
Mustique is a private island owned by the home owners there. They formed the Mustique Company which runs most of the places and is the governing body. The homeowners include people like Tommy Hilfiger, Mick Jagger, Brian Adams, etc. so they can afford to own the island! The beaches are private for use of the owners and resort guests.

Out of respect for the owners’ privacy, some areas are off limits, especially during high season and the holidays. We were fortunate to be able to tour the whole island as our guide in a mule vehicle pointed out the homes, beaches and many amenities available on the island. We could take photos, but not of people.

It was so nice to see some Christmas decorations that
were not sun-faded plastic Santa figures. Real tree here 
at the Firefly. Lovely resort to return to someday.

The classic sailors’ hangout, Basil’s Bar, was being rebuilt on the waterfront and was scheduled to reopen on December 22. There was Basil’s Pop Up Bar on the beach, but it wasn’t serving food. At least we could get WI-FI there. Since there was no dinner to be had at Basil’s, we walked, and walked and walked up, up, up the hill to The View for dinner. The guide book states a 15-minute walk. Sure, on the way down! But we took a taxi down since it was very dark.

There is another bay to the north where only owners can anchor their boats. This is Endeavour Bay where the Cotton House, the fanciest hotel in the Caribbean, is located. Its Beach Café is right on the waterfront and is a lovely setting for breakfast and lunch. We enjoyed a nice lunch with a stunning view and fresh breeze - except for the bird that kept swooping down to snatch breadstick out of the bread basket on the table. I am not a bird lover (nice to watch from a distance, but not up close and personal) so this annoyed me. No one seemed to care! At a place like this, I should not have to deal with birds in my plate!
I love this type of palm tree that fans out.

Our most enjoyable evening of Sundowners and dinner was up the hill at the Firefly. A couple from England own this restaurant and guest house with a large swimming pool and a beautiful sunset view. We met two other couples from England who had just arrived for the Christmas holidays. Apparently, they met each other at the Firefly a couple of years ago. They never see each other in London, only here even though they do not plan their trips to coincide. 
Time to raise anchor and move on. There isn’t much more to do on Mustique as a visitor except eat and drink and listen to music. And with the holiday crowd starting to arrive on the little airstrip, security would be tightening soon. So it is time to move on to another favorite island: Bequia.

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