St. Vincent Island - Unexpected Beauty and Pirates of
I next stopped in Bequia on my way north where I met up
with friends from Jedi and Serendipity who were anchored in Admiralty Bay.
As I all ready have a section on Bequia here, I will write this section on our
trip from Bequia to St Vincent island and the wonderful day tour we took of St
We were to take the morning ferry across from Bequia to
St. Vincent and I was certain we were taking the 6:30 ferry. I slept
through my alarm and awoke at 6:20, frantically threw on my clothes, jumped into
the dinghy, and roared across the bay at top speed to arrive just in time...
But I was the only one there.... The ticket checker was certain that a
group of Americans had not boarded. I got back in my dinghy and went to
check Serendipity and found Karen having breakfast with her daughter Samantha
and husband Tom. We were to meet the 7:30 ferry...
So I went back to Quietly, cooked breakfast and as I was
finishing up comes Nick and his wife from Jedi offering me a ride in to the
ferry which I gladly accepted and off we went to St. Vincent. When the
ferry arrived, there was a great air-conditioned bus from Sam's Taxi & Tours to
meet us. The driver, Oswald introduced himself and we boarded the bus for
our first top, Fort Duvernette.
fort is unique in that it's cannons face inland rather than the sea! The
fort was built in the late 18th century when the French settlers were fighting
off the Black Caribs from inland. When the fort was built, it was built
from the sea by first construction 250 steps up the steep cliff from the sea,
and then building the fort by taking taking everything up the steps, stone by
stone and cannon by cannon. One would think that the fort was built to defend
the harbor over which it has a commanding view. But by the time the fort
was built, the French and British were no longer quarrelling over the Caribbean
and eventually the French turned the island over to the British. From Fort
Duvernette we drove to The Botanical Gardens.
that is really the name; "The Botanical Gardens." They were started by a
Doctor Young and have grown to be one of the most enjoyable botanical gardens in
the Caribbean. When arriving at the gardens there are guides that take you through the
gardens and have many interesting stories and facts about the plants. Our
guide showed us among other things the leaves of a plant that are rough enough to have been used as
fingernail files before modern fingernail files were created.
Then there were the beautiful purple flowers of the garlic
bush. I would never have thought that a garlic plant would have such
beautiful flowers. As we walked through the gardens we saw many different
flowers and plants including a pond with tadpoles that the children of course
loved. Have you ever wondered what Papyrus that the Egyptians first used
to make paper looks like? The fuzzy looking plant growing in water to the right
then went to the Layou Petroglyphs. Petroglyphs are engravings on rock surfaces,
in caves and open-air sites that depict messages left behind by our early
ancestors. They date back thousands of years and constitute the principal
means of documentation, before the advent of writing. These show the
intellectual and cultural life of early humankind. This stone, like many
other stones on St. Vincent is located adjacent to a river where settlements
existed thousands of years ago. The carving on the Layou stone is believed
to be one of the gods giving rain and good crops. The stone is approximately the
size of a standard car! Be sure to double click on the picture to see a
there we drove through the interior rain forest jungle which was lush with every
type of vegetation imaginable. Our driver and tour guide Oswald walked out
into a banana plantation to show us how banana's grow. The large purple
leaf is actually a flower which hides the tiny fruit until pollinated and then
drops away exposing the small fruit which then grows and matures. The blue bags
around the fruit keep the birds from attacking the fruit. We then visited
"Dark Falls" where most of the group put on their swim suits and cooled off in
the falling water. As you can imagine, the kids were giggling and having a
wonderful time. What stories the will have to tell their friends... "I
went swimming under a jungle waterfall!"
then drove along the coast to have lunch at a seaside restaurant and then on to
Willilabou Bay. The coast of St. Vincent is very rugged and therefore
pristine as most of it is only accessible by water. Willilabou Bay is one of the
few bays that is easily accessible by road and is also a popular anchorage as
well as a customs and immigration clearance station. But is is now most
famous as being the bay where the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean" was filmed.
A week later here Quietly and I are anchored here in Willilabou Bay ! I
met Kate and Allen in Bequia and we are once again anchored together and
exploring the bay and the movie set together here in Willilabou.
and Kate are from San Francisco and were sailing down on the Mexican coast of Baha when the decided to go west rather than north. That was 12 years and
twenty something miles ago! They sailed to Hawaii and from there to French
Polynesia, and did the traditional South Pacific tour but then decided to sail
to Guam to work for a while and then to Hong Kong before sailing south to spend
time in Thailand and Singapore, and the islands of the area before sailing to
South Africa and then on around and to here in the Caribbean. They plan on
sailing to Florida for the summer and working to replenish the cruising kitty
before continuing on through the Panama Canal and home to San Francisco to
complete the trip around the world.
movie set for "Pirates of The Caribbean" was interesting to look at.
Standing away from the buildings they appear to be limestone buildings, but when
you touch the rock, you find it is thing plastic over burlap and stapled to
plywood panels! The restaurant and other island buildings that were here
before the movie appear to be large stone buildings, but all of the is just a
movie face also and is all ready beginning to fall apart. So if you want
to see the pirate village, come to Willilabou Bay soon! But if you are
just looking for a quiet bay to anchor out with nice people, Willilabou is a
nice place to spend an evening!
I am leaving for St. Lucia to fly to Louisiana to see my
son John receive his PHD in Engineering Science from Louisiana State University.
April 28, 2004