Bequia – Moonhole & The Epic Western Swell

Bequia is a beautiful island mixture of unique houses,  lots of anchored boats in a large bay, lots of sandy beaches, plenty of Beach bars, restaurants and more.  Bequia is the largest island in the Grenadines at 7 square miles.

The Sail from St. Vincent to Bequia was only about an hour, hardly long enough to put the sails up!  We anchored in Admiralty Bay out between Princess Margaret Beach and Lower Bay.

Bequia Sailing & Cruising Video


Bequia Moonhole

One of the highlights of our time in Bequia was Moonhole, a community built into the cliffs on the far edge of Bequia.  In order to see it,  we had to snorkel in the front bay.  You may have watched a SV Delos episode 10 years ago, where they interview one of the owners.  

Moonhole derives its name from a massive arch formed in volcanic substrate through which the setting moon is sometimes visible. Founded by Thomas and Gladys Johnston in the 1960s, Moonhole is now a private nature preserve. In the late 1960s, the Johnstons retired from an advertising business in New York and founded the Moonhole community on the narrow western tip of the island. Tom and Gladys began building a house beneath the arch with the aid of local masons from the nearby village of Paget Farm. Using whalebones, native hardwoods, and objects recovered from the sea, they built large open rooms with sea views. Without wells or electricity, they collected rainwater from the roofs and stored it in cisterns for bathing and washing. The master bath had a large tree that grew right up through a large hole in the roof. Large windows facing the prevailing trade winds had plexiglass panes that could be lowered into place. The bedrooms surrounded a central dining room, veranda and large bar made from a humpback whale’s jaw bone. In the early years there was not even a road to Moonhole. People from Paget Farm walked in daily to bring in fresh fruit and freshly baked bread and to do any necessary cooking.

Tom and Gladdie later formed Moonhole Company Limited and contributed the approximately 30-acre (12 ha) property to the company. Tom bequeathed his controlling interest in Moonhole Company Limited to a trust for the protection and preservation of Moonhole for posterity. The Thomas and Gladys Johnston Moonhole Conservation Trust Limited is dedicated to preserving the unique architecture, lifestyle, and vision of the Johnstons and to protecting the birds, wildlife and marine life on the peninsula at the western end of Bequia. There are now eleven privately owned homes at Moonhole and four houses owned by Moonhole Company Limited. Some of these properties are available for rent throughout the year.


While we were in Bequia, we had guests! Our good friends Bill and Pauline! Bequia has a really nice walkway that goes from town all the way to Lower Bay.  It’s a longish walk, but plenty of places to stop along the way for rest, refreshments and swimming.  We loved our lunch at Mango Restaurant, overlooking the water.  That night, a quick stop at Bar One floating bar.

Next day we hired a tour truck and saw the Friendship Bay side of the island, with the whaling museum.  We tried to stop at Firefly for lunch,  but when we sat down and could not get any service, we knew it would be a 2 hour ordeal, so we went on our way.

Laundry service came to your boat!  Very entrepreneurial!

Cocktail Lab was a favorite spot to hang out – only for drinks and light snacks.  Another great restaurant we enjoyed was Plantation House. There are many others we did not get a chance to try -notably recoommended Provisions and Dawn’s would be next on our list if we return. Our other favorite spot was Plantation House Spa for a well earned massage.

After Bill and Pauline left,  we woke the next morning to a western swell coming into the anchorage.  Because the trade winds are always from East,  this wreaks havoc in the anchorages,  so we made a hasty exit and sailed further south.  We did not know quite where we could find a safe anchorage, but it was better to be on the sea than anywhere else.  

We ended up at Sandy Lane on Canouan Island  – a very good choice. And the subject of our next video and blog.