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SailDives - Bequia

from Port Elizabeth, Bequia in St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Boarding at 5 PM Saturdays. (Prices include 15% VAT) Click "Reserve a Cabin" to see the list.

SailDives - BequiaOverview
Yachts
Summary - Union and Return
14 days - St Vincent and the Grenadines

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Itinerary Union and Return Part I
Itinerary Union and Return Part II
Itinerary for 14 Days to Grenada
Bequia to Grenada Part II
Bequia to Grenada Part III
Bequia to Grenada Part IV
Bequia to Grenada Part V
Bequia to Grenada Part VI

Overview


Location

Bequia (pronounced "Beck-way") is one of the islands in the island country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a sovereign island nation that consists of the island of St. Vincent and Northern two thirds of the Grenadines and is part of the Commonwealth of Nations and CARICOM.


Lesser Antilles

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, SVD (airport code), are located in the Caribbean Sea, at the eastern most border of the Caribbean Sea where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.


These islands are in the Southern most section of the Lesser Antilles or the Caribbees and are part of the Windward Islands volcanic chain, and are located between St. Lucia to the North and Barbados to the East of the island of St. Vincent and Grenada to the South of Union Island.


SVD include the island of St. Vincent, having the nation's capitol city of Kingstown and the largest airport, and the smaller islands of Young Island (Grenadines) , Bequia, Moonhole Rock, Petite Nevis, Quatre, Bettowia, Baliceaux, Mustique, Petite Mustique, Savan, Petite Canouan, Canouan, Mayreau, The Tobago Cays, Union Island, Petit Saint Vincent, Palm Island, Mopion and others for a total of 32 smaller islands and cays, 8 of which are populated and 4 have small airports: Bequia, Mustique, Union, Canouan.


Port Elizabeth in Bequia

Bequia is the second largest island of the Grenadines having its capitol city at Port Elizabeth.


The SailDivesTM charters in SVD, begin and end in Port Elizabeth on the island of Bequia.


At Port Elizabeth there are ferries that provide regular service between St. Vincent and Bequia, and other islands in the Grenadines. When traveling to Port Elizabeth in Bequia you can take a ferry from St Vincent (SVD) or fly directly from Barbados. (BGI) LIAT provides connections to St Vincent (SVD) from several international airports such as Barbados (BGI), Port of Spain, Trinidad (POS), St Lucia (SLU), and San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)


Bequia is popular among cruising yachts and remains 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 4 Humpback Whales per year using only traditional hunting methods of hand thrown harpoons in small open sailing boats. Though they rarely catch their limit and some years do not catch any.


Bequia has a long tradition of whaling as well as the building of whaling boats. There is a small whaling museum on the island which chronicles this history. Bequia is also known for its hand made boat models. There are also several shops where natives craft hand carved made models of traditional whaling sail boats and other more elaborate sailing vessels.


Climate

Daytime temperatures ranges for lows and highs range between consistently average between 70F/ 86F in January to March and 75F/ 90F throughout the rest of the year. Tradewinds bring cooling breezes for most of the year. The warmer, summer months of May to November are a welcome mixture of cooling showers, sunshine and light breezes, with the occasional heavy downpour.


Bequia is far south in the hurricane belt, and although tropical storms will occasionally approach in the peak months of August to October, most disturbances either pass to the north or dissipate before they reach the Grenadines island chain.


Water temperature is steady year round and averages around 82F so no need for divers to bring wetsuits.


Economy

Agriculture, dominated by banana production, is the most important sector of this lower-middle-income economy. The services sector, based mostly on a growing tourist industry, is also important. The government has been relatively unsuccessful at introducing new industries.


The tourism sector has considerable potential for development over the next decade. The recent filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies on the island has also helped to increase tourism and expose the country to the wider world. Recent growth has been stimulated by strong activity in the construction sector and an improvement in tourism.


Currency

The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, or EC (XEC) that is fixed against the U.S Dollar to XEC at 2.7 (XEC to USD at .37037), however U.S Dollars are widely accepted at local businesses at an exchange rate of 2.5. Many businesses on the larger islands accept Visa and Master Card, however, there are periods of time when the "Internet goes out" on the smaller islands and credit card services are not available.


Value Added Tax

There is a 15% V.A.T. throughout all of the country which increases the costs of goods and services throughout the country. This is similar to a "Sales Tax" on all goods and services. Typically this tax is build into the quoted prices at local shops and resturants. You can ask for a written receipt that breaks out the V.A.T. and in certain circumstances one can seek reimburmenst or adjustment for the V.A.T. Our price quotes always include the total with V.A.T. as a pass through for what is paid in Bequia at the base office in Port Elizabeth.


Gratuity

It is customary at local resturants to add a 10% service charge into the total price. You may add an additional gratuity "To Insure Proper Service". The crew on our charters are paid a salary, but it is customary to provide a gratuity of at least $300 per cabin to the boat crew, and $100 per cabin to the dive crew on the 10 SCUBA dive SailDives itineraries.