Port Elizabeth (Bequia), St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The Odessa arrived in Bequia (pronounced beck-way) this afternoon, a half-day sail from the gorgeous Tobago Cays.
Port Elizabeth is a lively little town with a faster pace of life feeling to it. The hills are covered in forest (like the kind you'd find on the east coast of the U.S.), rather than the jungle I'm use to. It's probably the Italians rubbing off on me, but all of a sudden I have an overwhelming desire to pick up an apartment/house here for a month. With abundant, albeit expensive, Internet cafés and cheap/regular ferry access to the main island of St. Vincent, this seems to be a nice place to spend some time.
The Italians have deiced to depart the Odessa in Bequia with me in the morning. We had just enough time this evening to get onward travel/accommodation hassles with the local immigration official. Getting off the boat is much harder than getting on one.
I secured a room for tomorrow night at Julie's Guest House (Andy's pick) for $68 EC/night. With house rentals going for around $800 here, I'll need to pick up a place with the Italians or jump out of here within a week. Tonight, I chipped in for a mooring ball in the harbor (so we didn't have to worry about anchor issues).
I'm really not sure what I want to do now. I've got one of my oldest friends who's interested in flying from Thailand (in early April) to travel with me for two weeks, but only if I'm in South America. My brother would love to take some time to decompress with me someplace tropical in June. And I would love to be in Brazil for World Cup (around the same time), since I (sadly) won't be in Germany for it.
I do still have a strong desire to se more of the Caribbean islands, and perhaps even Marcos and Jess (if I get back to Puerto Rico). I'm starting to get burnt out on the expensive island scene though. Belize and Costa Rica seem to be calling me…
It looks like I've found myself on one of the islands that don't celebrate Carnival (at the normal time of year). Probably tourism related, they hold theirs in June—no party for me.
After a month aboard the Odessa, I'm going to miss some of the interesting aspects of boat life, especially with Luca and Laura. These two bring cooking on a boat to a whole new level. When Luca isn't (successfully) catching and cleaning fish, Laura is throwing together meals with fresh fruits and vegetables. Pasta is still a big part of the cuisine, but now it's got some authentic (and delicious) Italian flare to it! Tasty stuff. Our last meal tonight is baked fish with homemade bread by Bill.
I could probably use some alone time for a week or two, but I feel the need to start looking for another boat (if I decide to continue on). Bequia does seem to be a solid place to find a ride (there are lots of boats here), but wonder if this is a spot where people are departing who are in need of crew. …I suppose there's only one way to find out!