Bequia, is a small island, measuring 7 square miles with around 5000 people. The name Bequia means “island of the clouds” in the ancient Arawak language. There are several theories regarding the origins of the name, but I believe it came about as the entire island is covered in a haze of ganja from noon until midnight which resembles a giant cloud. The other possible theory is that everyone is so stoned that they just think the island is in a giant cloud, not sure. The population is a mix of white Barbadian, Scottish, Carib Indian and African, but I never saw any Barbadian, Scottish or Carib people.
Bequia is a beautiful island and a cruiser’s dream with a huge anchorage, well built dinghy docks everywhere, lots of bars on sand beaches and, ganja. This one guy tried to sell me the same joint several times, each time I walked by him (I don’t think he remembered), and I almost bought it just so I could post a picture as it was the size of a Cohiba.
Bequia is one of the few places in the world where limited whaling is still allowed by the International Whaling Commission. Natives of Bequia are allowed to catch up to four humpback whales per year using only traditional hunting methods of hand-thrown harpoons in small, open sailboats.
Luckily for the Whales, and in large part due to the very high quality of the Ganja, sailing and harpooning skills have declined and they have been unable to harpoon a whale for several years. They did however manage to harpoon the bottom of one of their boats last Saturday.
In honor of their tradition, Ann and I had our traditional first beer at the Whaleboner bar and restaurant on the south side of Admiralty bay.
Bequia truly is a great place with nice people and we hope to be back in years to come. Hopefully they don’t read blogs.