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First timer trip report

SE Pa
Level Contributor
675 posts
First timer trip report

7 days (well 5 full days and two halves).

Day 1: We flew out of PHL to BGI via Boston on JetBlue. SVG transfer was problem free, everything was as mentioned here in the forum. All the passengers- 17 (full)- had a chuckle about our puddle jumper, cracking jokes about low ceiling, do we have life vests, should we even bother with seat belts, etc. Very smooth landing at Mitchell airport, where, after clearing customs, Fatman was waiting to transport us to our apartment at Keegan's Sea Spray.

We quickly unpacked and got showers in order to get to the Sat night BBQ, where wife had steak and I had the fish. Very good meal, especially considering we managed to have room for 3 rum punches each by skipping dessert. One of the local canines was hanging around as was one of the felines. The waiter seemed perturbed with them, but my wife adored them both (yes, they were looking for handouts, but they weren't jumping up or pestering). Since we had left the house at 04:15, we decided to call it an early night.

Day 2: Slept in late and awoke to a punch-fuzzy partly cloudy day. Trekked the unbearably long 15 yards to the beach and had first of what was our daily Lower Bay swims. Cleaned up and took our first trip into town using the trails and walkway. Said hello to "the famous Faye" along Princess Margaret Beach and continued along, admiring all the boats anchored along the way. Ate breakfast at Gingerbread house (French toast for her, "Healthy" breakfast of yogurt, fruit and granola for me). It was good we stopped because they said they were closing the following day for three weeks for their own vacation. Continued into town to ATM and grocery shopping.

Decided to try snorkeling at our house reef, just in front of our villa. We saw many fish and a neat sea snake which I hoped was non-venomous. I had a little situation where I got to far into the reef, could not turn around and had to step off to deeper water. Bad mistake. Two sea urchin barbs pierced through my fin into my heel. After scrambling back to the room, I was relieved to see that they were not embedded under the skin and I was able to pull them out- though they were an inch in. Definitely time for a drink. The rest of the day was spent back at the villa with a walk along the road to Petra's for a couple Hairouns.

Day 3: Awoke a little earlier and decided to visit the turtle sanctuary. Since we left early we decided to walk the whole way. I always feel it's the best way to see places, except perhaps by bicycle, which we knew wasn't happening. So we traipsed through town, climbed over the hill and headed along the road to the coast, taking pictures along the way. Dramatic coastline, but a large amount of seaweed piling up on Crescent beach. Continued on and arrived at the Old Hegg about 08:30.

I figured we were too early for a tour, but we called to the help and he was more than happy to take our admission fees. He explained a lot about the sanctuary and the turtles and as he left to attend to his chores, Orton King, the owner, drove up and was generous enough to spend another half hour telling us the whole story. He said he plans to let his pet "Busy body (buddy?)" who he has had for 22 years, go free sometime this year or next. You could tell he was very emotional about it. Orton explained all the difficulties with running the operation and getting adequate funds to save as many Hawksbill turtles as possible. We decided we would make an extra donation when we got home. Afterwards we continued on the road and part way up the headlands to where there was shade and a breeze to have our lunch. I wanted to go all the way the Bequia head, but it was getting hot, we didnt have that much water and we had to walk back yet. Hit Faye up for beer (her special 2 for 5 $US is a deal!).

Once we did get back, we got some more cold drinks and ambled along the beach, when what to our wondering eyes did appear- but a man introducing himself as Michael and asking us if we were interested in a boat trip to the lower Grenadines! Since I had been following the forum, I had planned to seek him out, but this was too easy. We arranged to meet him at the dinghy dock at 08:00 the next morning. More drinks and relaxing for the rest of the day.

Day 4: Up early to prepare for the tour! Took our now familiar trail/beach/walkway walk to town and along the way ran into an old friend- the dog from the bbq! He was quickly joined by 2 or 3 others once we got to the plantation house.

We arrived in time to see Michael loading cases of beer onto the boat and commenting that it looked like a fine day weather-wise. We jumped aboard and were quickly on our way. Luckily I asked about the snorkeling equipment (left ours back at the apt) to make sure and he said he doesn't supply it. So after picking up a couple at the dock on the other side of the bay he simply motored up to our beach and I ran up to get our stuff. Easy-peasy.

The trip was excellent with stops at Canouan, Tobago Cays- 2 separate spots, Petit Martinique and Mayreau. He dropped us at Saline bay where a taxi was waiting to take us up the hill for lunch, and then we met him at Saltwhistle bay for some more swimming and exploring. It was beautiful but too many boats to get the full effect.

Lost my hat to the sea on the way back but didnt care as we had had such a wonderful time. Highly recommended, although I told Michael he needs to arrange to accept credit cards. I spent the next two days making ATM withdrawals in order to settle up with him. Stopped at Mac's for some snacks and beers on the way back.

Day 5: After our self-catered breakfast, we decided to head back into P. Elizabeth and continue on to Hamilton. At the hill to the fort, the wife turned around and i headed up for some great vistas and pictures. Snuck in a beer at one of the many joints along the road. Afterwards, we did some shopping and bought a turtle carving along the street. Wife went on her way while I had a long negotiation followed by an even longer discussion about just how much EC is equivalent to 45 US. But we got it all straightened out to both parties satisfaction.

Rest of the day was spent snorkeling the far end of lower bay followed by a walk as far up the hill along the road as I could get to snap some pictures looking back at "our" end. At the end of the beach I managed to run into a wedding in progress just as they were exchanging rings. I was glad to take a picture of the whole party (5 including the minister!) for them. Coming back from the hike up the road, I ran into our buddy the cat from the bbq the first night. It's a small island. Finished out the day finishing off our bottle of rum and relaxing at "home".

Day 6: I had arranged to make my way to St Vincent to do the hike to La Soufriere volcano. Along the way to the ferry dock I noticed the bay at PM beach was loaded with boats from the private party they had at Jack's the night before. They closed it to the public at 15:00. When I went by at 0:600 there were still people out on their boats blasting music and whooping it up.

Unfortunately, two of the others did not show for the hike, and I could not afford to make up the difference. I won't go int details but it was a misunderstanding on my part about the expense. So after bidding the wife goodbye, have a nice day, she was surprised when I returned an hour and a half later.

Our last full day was spent going to town as usual, with the obligatory stops, more shopping and a stop at the post office to drop some post cards in the mail. Then back to Sea Spray to try to eat all our groceries we had left. We weren't keen on the leftover spaghetti however, so for dinner we decided to go to Mac's for pizza and music. Real good food and drinks. Kevin, the owner introduced himself and told us a little about how he came to end up buying the place. We stayed until after dark, getting our best sunset of the week (always seemed to be behind a cloud a half hour before) then stumbled along the path using our phones as flashlights.

Day 7: Get up, get packed, settle our accommodations, and then we decided to walk to the airport for our flight. Even though Fatman had gone slow on our trip in, we felt like we wanted to see a little more of the island. We got some good pictures along the way and stopped and had a beer and some snacks along the way. At some point we discussed the time and we had the same discussion as we did the day we went with Michael, in that I had read that the islands were on Atlantic time, which would be one hour ahead of our watches EST, but it seemed like no one observed that difference? We had no problem however and ended up waiting for 45 minutes before we could check in for our flight.

We spent that night in Barbados as our flight home left BGI at 06:30.

All in all it was a good trip and we would like to get back some day- still want to go to Union, do the volcano hike and see more of Bequia. Thanks for reading.

8 replies to this topic
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
435 posts
72 reviews
1. Re: First timer trip report

Excellent (and humorous) report - thank you. I suspect you will indeed be back!

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1 054 posts
20 reviews
2. Re: First timer trip report

BTW, regarding the time, Bequia is indeed on on Atlantic time but does not observe Daylight Savings Time, so in the summer (well, from March on actually), the time is the same as you would have at home, Eastern Daylight Time (not EST). Thanks for the report.

Halifax, Canada
Destination Expert
for Turks and Caicos
Level Contributor
3 505 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: First timer trip report

Excellent trip report! Really enjoyed reading it.

Michael has a way of finding you doesn't he! We've gone out with him a couple of times and have always enjoyed his tours and seeing more of the Grenadines.

Thanks for posting!

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
240 posts
24 reviews
4. Re: First timer trip report

Yes very good trip report:

How much were the meals you had out at restaurants ? i see the $5 for 2 beer is quite a good deal !

Did You ever find out about if the sea snake could be poisonous, i heard there were just a few snakes up in

the jungle near the hilltop but didn't know they had some in the water as well...

GordieHowl

Edited: 23 July 2018, 18:29
Bequia
Level Contributor
126 posts
106 reviews
5. Re: First timer trip report

Sea snakes are found only in the Indian and Pacific oceans. For details, see theconversation.com/there-are-dozens-of-sea-… The poster was probably referring to an eel, and they are neither harmful nor agressive. Even morays are not a problem unless prodded or bothered.

Bequia
Level Contributor
126 posts
106 reviews
6. Re: First timer trip report

In further response, you might find a few Grenadian boas, a snake indigenous to this area. They spend most of their time in the trees, are rather small and hunt small animals. Not a danger to humans. On the other hand, humans have killed many of them, leaving their population woefully small.

SE Pa
Level Contributor
675 posts
7. Re: First timer trip report

Looks like I saw a snake eel, not a sea snake! (I did see a sea snake once in Australia).

Meals of a range of prices can be found around the island. We paid roughly 40-60 USD for dinner for two including drinks, but we certainly weren't at fancy places.

JENSEN BEACH
Level Contributor
11 345 posts
51 reviews
8. Re: First timer trip report

Around the Lower Bay area, where You were, I am guessing a spotted eel or chain eel. Years ago, snorkeling St Lucia I was convinced the very bright yellow eel I saw was a sea snake....Many people set me straight on that one lol. I still say it looked exactly like a snake, not an eel!!!

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