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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
Summary - Union and Return
14 days - St Vincent and the Grenadines

Reserve a Cabin

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

Bequia to Grenada Part II

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Monday - 17 OCT 2016

Return to Orca Bay
Monday morning we sail back to Blue Lagoon for air fills then have breakfast on the boat and return Orca to dive the West side of the bay.

When we return some local fishermen have set up a net and are fishing in the area where we planned to dive, but after a short while they pick up and move to the next bay North of us and we anchor on the West side of Orca Bay.

We decide to do Orca Point, not Orca II so that once again we can mix a wall dive and the mixed environments of grass and sand.

Oca Point Wall
After returning from the Blue Lagoon area for air fills during breakfast, the fishermen that were near Orca II moved North to the next bay so we proceeded to dive Orca Point and the magnificent wall on the West side of the bay.

We enter the water at 9:40 AM under partly sunny skies with no waves for a 59 minute dive, maximum depth 90', 40' to 60' visibility and 84F water temperature.

The plan is to follow the grass line on a 270 heading to the drop off near the point where there is a large mountain of Finger Coral at around 35' then follow around the point and return in a multilevel profile crossing the wall near the same point with a reverse heading.

The site has a beautiful wall, densely covered with hard coral, black coral and fan octocorals, colorful and huge sponges, hydroids, and gigantic schools of Brown Chromis.

The four photo highlights on our Facebook album include a gigantic barrel sponge that was 15' across and probably hundreds of years old, a Yellowprow Goby, a huge school of Brown Chromis and a juvenile Yellowmouth Grouper.

We substituted on this page a beautiful cluster of Christmas Tree Worms, but by clicking any photo a new window or tab will open to the entire album that contains the photo.

There were numerous eels, drums, schools of Blackbar Soldierfish, Cherubfish, Sponge Peppermint Shrimp and lots of other critters and fish, but by far the wall was the highlight of the dive.

We rated this site as EXCELLENT with a 4 rating and it has everything that most divers want to see with great structure, variable environments, lots of healthy and dense marine life and some uncommon marine life than is local and observed.

Lunch by Young Island
After the great wall dive at Orca Point we return to the Blue Lagoon area off of Young Island where we moor for lunch in the Critter Corner area.

After lunch the plan is a dive at Fort Duvenette, also know as the Rock Fort and also called Fort Deveroux.

Whatever the name the plan is to stay on the lee side and out of the channel to the South and return across the grass in Critter Corner.

Ft Duvenette dive - St Vincent
After lunch and some digestion period had passed we discuss the dive at the Rock Fort. We enter the water at 2:30 PM under sunny skies, 1' surface waves and no current on the lee side of the rock, but visible current on the South end. So the plan calls for returning as soon as we hit the current on the South if we have not already hit the halfway point.

The dive is 1 hour 22 minutes with a maximum depth of 74', with visibility at 30' to 45' feet, clearer the deeper you go, and water temperature is 84F.

This site begins and ends with Critter Corner so you never know what critters you may find, and we typically find Squat Anemone Shrimp, Pederson Shrimp, Golden Coral Shrimp, Sponge Peppermint Shrimp and many of the smaller fish in the shallows, then as the gentle slope gets deeper and deeper larger fish and Sea Horses too.

On this dive Diana did find a Sea Horse at 60', but her camera was not working and when she got Mary's attention, she lost her position and could not find the Sea Horse again. That happens more often than we like to imagine.

Our four Facebook highlighted photos show the view from about 60' looking up the sloping reef toward the Rock an the density of sponges and corals, large boulders and a school of fish hovering above in the distance, and under a large boulder row after row of Rose Lace Coral, a large and unusual gold colored Azure Vase Sponge, three Cherubfish and a Bi-colored Damselfish between some rocks on the sand.

There were Goldenspotted Eels, Black Spotted Morays, Spotted Scorpionfish, Social Feather Dusters, Rocks Beauty, Boga, Cjhrmis and schools of fish along the rocks below the crashing waves.

The slope is covered with very large soft corals and many large vase and barrel sponges in the shallower ares after leaving the grass and getting across the barren sand before the reef starts.

The sponges get larger and clusters of rocks and boulders provide lots of hiding places for fish and critters.

The deeper and further South, the better it gets until we hit our maximum depth at around 75' then turned left and moved up the sloping reef through large boulders, overhangs and shallow caves until we reached the 30' level and began our return North, off the reef, across the barren sand, and back onto the grass plain.

We rated this dive as Very Very Good and gave it a 3.5 because in comparison to the wall we had just done at Orca Point, the sloping reef was not as dramatic and the coral and sponge coverage was not as dense.

However the site has multiple environments, great structure, lots of marine life and once you get past the sand and barren area between the graes and the deeper part of the reef it just gets better and better.


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Tuesday - 18 OCT 2016

Bay at Mt Wynne Tuesday morning after breakfast near the Rock Fort, we sail to Mt Wynne for the first dive of the day.

This bay is one of the prettiest anywhere, completely undeveloped and surrounded by lush jungle, coconut trees and black sand beach with tall pointed mountains in the background.

This was a former coconut plantation and one of the nicest places to anchor for a swim, meal or overnight. Unfortunately the property has been sold for development, and with that, the probable loss of one of the great dive sites in St Vincent. I guess some people would call that progress.

Dive 1 at Mt Wynne
After breakfast at the mooring near the Rock Fort we sail up to Mt Wynne to continue our Northward push of dive sites on the West side of St Vincent.

Having dived this site before, we are aware that there can be odd currents at the point, even a down current that will push you deep down the wall.

We discuss the possibilities a enter the water at 9:30 AM under sunny skies, 0 - 1' waves and no apparent current. The visibility is 45' and water temperature is 84F.

As we cross the grass line we find Flying Gurnards, and dozens and dozens of Spiny Lobsters crowded together in several overhangs. However as we proceeded closer to the edge of the bay where it drops off near the point, a Easterly outflow current started and the closer we got to the wall and the beginning of the descending slope, the stronger and stronger it got.

So rather than risk one or more divers being wisked off and unable to return against the current, since we had not planned for a drift, we aborted the wall and spent the balance of the dive on a patch coral reef more in the center of the bay.

So macro photos became the mission for a dive that lasted 1 one 12 minutes.

A Spinyhead Blenny, a Green Razorfish, Flying Gurnards and the uncommon red Lizardfish make up the 4 top photos in the Facebook album.

There was also a small patch of Brown Garden Eels popping in and out of their holes in the sand, a large school of Brown Chromis, Drums, eels, Hidden Anemones and lots of macro shots of tiny fish and critters.

We rated the site as GOOD at 3.0 simply because of the issue with the current and its know unpredictability. The dive as we did it was limited to a small area of grass, large expanses of sand and a small patch reef where we focused on the tiny stuff, and there much to look at. There was nevertheless so uncommon marine life spotted and it did not deter our determination to do the dive gain giving time for the current to subside.

Dive 2 Mt Wynne St Vincent
After the strong current of the first dive, we decide to try again at the same location and hopefully the out flow will have abated with the tide. The reef wall is magnificent and we do not want to miss it.

We enter the water at 11:30 AM under sunny skies, 1' - 2' waves, for a dive lasting 1 hour 25 minutes with a maximum depth of 89', 50' visibility, no current and 84F water temperature. Conditions had improved dramatically, but a strange wave flow from the South was just beginning.

The plan was to follow the rock and sand line to the end of the bay drop and descend down the wall and multilevel back.

This is a beautiful reef.

There are over 100 photos in this album not only of marine subjects, but images of various sections of the reef: sand, grass, gentle slope and wall. The reef life varies in density from patch coral, to dense covering of barrel, vase, tube, rope and encrusting sponges, and wire and hard corals.

The 4 highlighted images on the Facebook album are the rarely spotted Golden Hamlet, a Yellowfin Grouper in the unusual spotted variation, the reef wall with thousands of Brown Chromis and one of several "nests" of Caribbean Spiny Lobsters.

There were literally over 100 lobsters spotted on this dive.

We also saw several Spotted Spiny Lobsters, but the overwhelming bulk were the Spiny Lobsters.

There were more Bucktooth Parrotfish and Green Razorfish in the grass, octopus, Red Band Parrotfish, Spotted Moray and Sharptail Eels, Mutton Hamlet, Barred, Hybrid and Yellowtail Hamlets, juvenile Yellowmouth Grouper, Peppermint Gobies and many many more.

This dive was rated as SPECTACULAR at 4.25, it is not to be missed.

This time, when conditions were right so the sloping reef and wall could be dived, the rating was raised from GOOD to SPECTACULAR.

The first time the conditions altered the plan and since we could only do the sand, grass and small patch reef it was good, still better than many.

How the dive site is dived can change a GOOD dive to SPECTACULAR or vice versa.

Lunch after Diving After the dive at Mt Wynne we have lunch of grilled tuna, salad and freshly baked bread.

We hope to do another dive, but the conditions are deteriorating as a result of an unusual swell from the South.

There will be no wine with lunch today since we want to keep the option for an afternoon open.

Surge Cancels Bat Cave St Vincent
After lunch we start sailing form dive site to dive site to see what we can do. An unusual large swell from the South has created a large surge on all of the South and Western sites.

We were hoping to at least be able to do the Bat Cave. This is a great dive, not only for the spectacle of the bats overhead in the cave, but on the other side when you exit, you are on a multi terraced wall where we find Whitenose Pipefish, Wire Coral Shrimp and lots of other goodies.

Sal checked the conditions to make sure, but unfortunately the surge is too strong and would make the dives unsafe.

We decide that rather than wait a day and see if we can continue in St Vincent tomorrow as planned, we will head out to Bequia where the sites will be protected form this unusual swell.

That will mean more time further South in the Grenadines rather than risk not being able to dive this afternoon or tomorrow in St Vincent.

Stratmann Tug Bequia The unusual swell causes us to leave St Vincent a day earlier than planned and begin our trek South through the other Grenadines with our first stop at the lovely island of Bequia where we first boarded the yacht.

The Stratmann Tug is a small wreck that is in relatively shallow water with a maximum depth of 63' and the top of the stack is 15', perfect for the safety stop. The hull can not be penetrated, but the exterior has so much organic growth, there is no reason to risk entry through narrow openings and hanging wire, pipes and sharp metal edges.

We enter the water at 5 PM for a dive starting under sunny skies, but the sun is setting by the time the 1 hour 10 minute dive is over. There is less than 1' of surface waves a mild current with 45' visibility and 84F water temperature.

The plan is we surface swim to buoy from our yacht that is anchored nearby, descend to the sand, circle around and check out the debris surrounding the wreck then circle upwards until eventually ending at the top of the smoke stack for the safety stop. What is also nice is the divers can end the dive after letting us know they are ascending, do their stop and we can see them swimming back to the boat when we are a deck level on the wreck.

This dive was pretty incredible not only for the stunning orange cup coral and White Telesto, but for the critters and marine life that were spotted.

It was so difficult to pick the 4 highlighted pictures for Facebook, but they are a Flaming Reef Lobster or Bullseye Lobster, a Porthole encased with orange cup coral and Telesto, two Sculptured Slipper Lobsters that were found with another of their buddies inside the top of the smoke stack during the safety stop, and a Hairy Clinging Crab.

We had never spotted the Flaming Reef lobster before, but actually spotted 3 different one on this dive. The Spanish Lobster is the most commonly observed slipper lobster so finding 3 Sculptured was fun and the Hairy crab is too weird not to highlight even though there were many other critters found.

The Whitestar Cardinalfish, juvenile Trunkfish and Seaweed Blenny deserve honorable mention.

We rated this dive as SPECTACULAR at 4.25 and is a dive that we do every time we are in Bequia.

While it does lack structure it can be done as a multi-level, there are multiple marine environments, the growth and colors on the wreck is amazing and aside from the normal array of reef marine life there always seem to be some unique critters. In the past we have found Frogfish, Peppermint Basslets and decorator crabs on this wreck.

Dinner Ashore at Plantation in Bequia This being Tuesday, its time for the crew to do the mid-week turn around, change all the lines, clean the bathrooms in every cabin, clean up the saloon, sweep and mop the aft and fore decks and the outer decks on the catamaran and re-stock the beverages and other provisions from the storage lockers.

It will take the boat crew about 3 hours to get all of that done. So while the crew is working on that, we get to try out one of the local places for the mid-week dinner off of the yacht.

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Wednesday - 19 OCT 2016

Port Elizabeth Bequia
Wednesday, after breakfast, some photos from the catamaran looking at all different directions in Admiralty Bay.

We plan to dive Moonhole cave and we will move the boat to Lower Bay and dinghy into Moonhole.

Some shells that were nicely cleaned out that we found by the octopus garden at Orca.

Moonhole Cave Bequia
The first dive on the first Wednesday of our 2 week cruise all the way to Grenada has us still dealing with the unusual swell that caused us to leave St Vincent a day early and head to Bequia.

We decide to do Moonhole Cave. The cat is too big and would pull out the mooring and we cannot anchor there. So we head out in the dinghy and hook onto the dive boat mooring in Moonhole bay. The plan is head out of the bay turn left, come up at the end of the dive. Sal pulls a surface marker.

We enter the water at 10:35 AM under sunny skies with 2' waves and surge. The dive is 1 hour 15 minutes, maximum depth 62', visibility is 35' and water temperature is 84F.

As we head out of the bay we move across the grass bottom trying to find the small saiboat wreck all in vain, but we do find a Goldspotted Eel the Facebook album cover and lots of West Indian Sea Eggs.

As we moved back to the sloping reef wall soft corals fill the space between the grass on the bottom and the rising boulders, rocks and sloping wall to the shoreline. The surge pushed the whips, rods and fans in a swaying dance along with the fish and divers as well.

Schools of Blue Chromis, Brown Chromis and Creole Wrasse were common. We also spotted Lettuce Slugs and the surge lifted on up and we got a photo of the patterned underside normally hidden from view. A Spotted Scorpionfish rounds out the highlighted cover pictures.

The surge was too strong to enter the cave and the visibility was too poor to see anything even if one went in. Getting close enough the check the cave, the surge pushed the SMB too close to the rocky shoreline and it almost, but didn't, get caught on a rock.

We rated this dive as VERY GOOD with 3.25 primarily because the conditions prevented us from doing the dive the way intended. Normally we could have experienced multiple environments and the large cave typically has Peppermint Basslets, various Cardinalfish, crabs and other critters none of which were accessible.

Devils's Table Bequia
After battling the surge on the morning dive at Moonhole Cave we decide to give it rest and dive Devil's Table in the later afternoon after lunch and some time to chill, go for a swim or take a nap, whatever.

This will be another dinghy dive. Although we prefer to be able to jump in off of the back of the catamaran, it is not always possible to anchor the yacht close to the dive site since most sites are coral reefs.

In most of the Caribbean, except perhaps in the British Virgin islands, most of the moorings for dive boats are simply too small for our yacht. So the choices are either to dive from the dinghy or not to dive.

We enter the water at 3:45 PM under sunny skies with less than 1' waves, no current or swell for a 1 hour 24 minute dive. Maximum depth is 55' but visibility is 20' so we are pretty limited to marco despite the fact that this reef is very colorful and loaded with marine life, we just can not see that far.

As soon as we get in we hunt for the Sea Horses that reside there. We know where they live but they were not home. We did however find a Shortfin Pipefish, uncommon and rarely spotted, scoring a major find in the first 10 minutes of the dive.

A Bluebar Jawfish (similar to the common Yellowhead Jawfish), a Yellow Box Crab and the elusive Cardinal Soldierfish round out the four highlighted photos on the Face Album for this dive.

The site is always productive and we photographed Bearded Fireworm, Doctorfish, Spotted Drum, Lobsters, Graysby, Filefish and lots more.

There are lots of Creolefish (not the same as Creole Wrasse) in the Grenadines and many have Cymothid Isopod hitch-hikers as seen in one of these photos.

We rated this dive as EXCELLENT at 4.0 and this is a must do dive in Bequia.

Sometimes when the normal visibility is 60 - 80+ there is a current when you reach the area near the cardinal marker, but there was no current this day. There is something here for everybody. Whatever level of diving ability you will enjoy this dive.

Everyone was happy and laughing in the dinghy ride back to the catamaran as the sun set behind us in Admiralty Bay.

Dinner on the Yacht
What a day with 2 dinghy dives, surge and finding a Lined Pipefish at Devil's Table, everyone is laughing, talking and hungry.

When it is the last dive or the day, or you are done for the day, it is nice that you can enjoy all the beer, wine of alcohol you desire since it is all included. Including the espresso with Irish Creme and fresh ground cinnamon after dinner.