Like other towns in the Grenadines the houses on Bequia are all painted in a combination of red, green, yellow and blue, giving the bay a festive feel. There must be a hundred yachts here and yet the water is crystal clear and inviting in shades of aquamarine and pale blue over white sand. On the beach is Jacks restaurant and bar with a dinghy dock reaching out across the beach and into the shallows. We tie up and have lunch in the shade, savouring the calm of the midday sun, cooled by the sea breeze. After lunch I go into the town of Port Elizabeth for a haircut. The barber is clearly unused to cutting western hair and he uses his shears to give me a close crop, even shorter than the barber at prep school.
We leave Bequia early the following morning, punching the northern swell and sailing close-hauled as we work our way north up the west coast of St Vincent and then across the channel to St Lucia with the distinctive silhouette of the pitons on the southern tip. We pick up a mooring in Marigot Bay, a small and picturesque natural harbour surrounded by palm trees and mangroves, famous for having been the set for the original Dr Doolittle film with Rex Harrison. The next day I clear in at the customs office on the dock, then we motor a short distance up the coast to Rodney Bay, which brings back great memories of the finish to the ARC only a month ago. Mother is leaving us today to fly back to the UK and I accompany her in a taxi to the airport, a long drive down to the south of the island with Melrose, our taxi driver, who is a great cricket fan and on the drive back we reminisce about the great West Indies players of the past. Mother has been amazing, jumping in and out of dinghies, swimming off the boat, wading through rivers and generally being a great sport.
Today we meet up with the Girls for Sail in Rodney Bay and tonight we are off to the Jump Up at Gros Islet, then a few days in Martinique before returning to the UK.