Bequia, August 1998

NOTE: Last year, after I bought a scanner to digitise my 35mm film negatives and old prints, I discovered a box full of developed Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200 canisters. I was excited when I found a roll containing images from the last time I visited the land of my birth. I quickly sent off the rolls to be scanned by ScanSafe in their Noritsu Koki EZ scanner. I apologise for the quality of the images. I was technologically ignorant of photography then and bought into the hype behind APS (compact and easy) without understanding the downsides (low quality, expensive). The APS canister was in poor condition in my basement and didn't age well. I was also an inexperienced photographer, and whatever point-n-shoot thingy I put these rolls through was probably cheap. Here are the images and as much as I can remember about our trip.

Decades ago, in August 1998, Bhavna were in Antigua for my younger brother’s wedding. A few days after the wedding, we hopped on a charter flight to visit St. Vincent to visit Dad and then to Bequia to visit my grandmother. Bhavna had her first chance to experience the islands where I was born and raised.

Leaving Kingstown Harbour | 6 August 1998

In the Bequia Channel | 13 August 1998

Dad was still working as a Kingstown branch manager for Barclays Bank, PLC. Bhavna and I stayed with Dad and Mom at the bunkhouse. Barclays always provided housing for senior staff. My parents had rented out the family home on Dorsetshire Hill. We took a few days to explore St. Vincent, but I was excited to get to Bequia. Bhavna had heard so much about this magical island that was lost in time, and I wanted her to meet Mom’s mother, whom I affectionately called “Mama”.

My cousin, Cashena "Suzie" Wallace and her husband, Elvis Gooding, operate Admiralty Transport Company Ltd, one of two ferry services between St. Vincent and Bequia. Around 9 AM, we took the ferry leaving from Kingstown Harbour. Bequia and St.Vincent's are about nine miles apart; depending on the weather, it takes about one hour from port to port.

Arriving at Admiralty Bay, Port Elizabeth | 5 August 1998 | Noritsu Koki EZ Controller | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Mom, her cousin Emmanuel Corea, and me | 6 August 1998

Admiralty Bay is on the sheltered west side of Bequia and is known locally in Bequia as "de Harbour". The horseshoe bay offers good protection from the weather for visiting yachts & local ferries, which run between the Grenadine islands regularly. The capital village of Port Elizabeth is tucked safely in the heart of Admiralty Bay, with a selection of shops clustered along the front street.

As we arrived at the dock at Port Elizabeth, memories of summers long past flooded my mind. The noise level in the ferry increased with the chatter of passengers readying their belongings for departure. Mom's cousin, Emmanuel Corea, who runs a taxi service around Bequia, greeted us at the dock. In Bequia, a taxi is any vehicle that can seat six or more passengers, typically a Kei sized van or minibus imported from Japan. These vans tend to be smaller than the vans in the USA. In between fares, most taxi drivers sit while cooling under "The Almond Tree" near the dock in Port Elizabeth.

"Mama" Celena | 6 August 1998

The last time we were together | 6 August 1998

After a 20-minute drive, we arrived at my grandmother's home on the hill near Friendship Bay. Friendship Bay is located on the south side of Bequia with a horseshoe of fine white sand. It is suitable for snorkelling, diving and sailing. The gentle trade winds swept over me. It was great to be home.

I spent most of that week hanging out with my grandmother. Bhavna and I took vigorous hikes to the ancestral home near the mid-section of Monkey Hill. I followed my grandmother around as she tended to her chickens and goats. It was like old times. It's always windy at the top of the hill.

The Friendship Bay House | 6 August 1998

The Friendship Bay House | 6 August 1998

I'm not sure if it was the next day or later that week, but two of Mom's cousins had spent several hours crossing the Caribbean Sea in a speed boat from Grenada (or maybe it was Carriacou) to dive for lobster near Petit Nevis. Carriacou is 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Bequia. I think my ass would be in pain. The next day, Mom's cousins took us to Petit Nevis, a private island my Mom and her family own.

Bhavna enjoyed the cool breezes of the Trade Winds while we hiked around Petit Nevis island. I showed Bhavna where the whalers pulled ashore captured whales for slaughter. She didn't like learning about this part of her family history. I explained that all the family whalers had retired and were focused on nature conservation efforts.

The Friendship Bay House | 6 August 1998

The Friendship Bay House | 6 August 1998

Mom's cousins were successful with their lobster dive, and later that night, I dined on fresh lobster meat while Mom's cousins regaled us with tales of their recent adventures.

Later that week, we visited my great uncle, Athneal Ollivierre (my grandfather's brother), at his home, a part of which is a whaling museum. When I was a lad, Athneal was the most heralded of the Yankee-style whalers in Bequia. He died several years ago, and though my family is no longer involved in whaling, the other whalers have continued the tradition.

Sometime during the week, Bhavna and I visited Spring. Spring Bay is on the Eastern side of the island. It is the quieter and more remote Atlantic side of Bequia, where you will find a few rental villas, former sugar plantations and nothing else apart from the spectacular scenery.

The Friendship Bay House | 6 August 1998

The Friendship Bay House | 6 August 1998

When I was a child living a the Bequia bank house (atop the bank), Mom’s brother, Uncle Errol, would go out crabbing near the northern end of Bequia in an area known as Spring Bay. Spring Bay is on the Eastern side of the island. This is the quieter and more remote Atlantic side of Bequia, where one will find former sugar plantations and palm tree-lined scenery. My mom would wake me up just before dusk, make sure I had some breakfast (bakes and saltfish), and get me up into the rear of my uncle’s Land Rover, the back already filled with other people and kids. We would spend the morning chasing crabs in the mangrove at Spring Bay, stuffing them into large "coco sacks" made of coconut coir. Later in the morning, after we returned to the bank house, Mom would spend the morning cooking up crab. I enjoyed those moments, stuffing my face with delicious crab meat.

View of Friendship Bay | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

View of Friendship Bay from Monkey Hill | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

The old outdoor shower | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Moving the goat at Monkey Hill | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Petit Nevis in the distance | 5 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Getting ready to go lobster diving on Petit Nevis | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Petit Nevis in the distance | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Petit Nevis | 5 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Petit Nevis is a private island | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Petit Nevis | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Bhavna enjoyed Petit Nevis | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Visiting Uncle Athneal | 5 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

Bhavna enjoying the beaches at Spring | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200

You Might Also Like



  • Reply
    Khürt Williams
    2nd June 2022 at 11:45 AM

    Continuing my need to post about photographs taken decades ago on long-forgotten film cameras, today I am posting the last pictures from the before-kids vacation Bhavna, and I took to St. Vincent & The Grenadines. I wrote about my trip to Bequia to spend some time with my grandmother and the nature hike we took out to Trinity Falls when staying on the mainland at the Bank House with Dad. But I still have a few pictures from our drive along the Leeward Highway to Trinity Falls.
    Barrouallie | Saturday 8 August 1998
    Most of the roads in St. Vincent are narrow one-lane roads that wind around the outer rim of the mountain ridge from the southern coast of the mainland up to the La Soufrière volcano on the northern end. One such road is the Leeward Highway. Using the word highway to describe this road is a stretch of the modern North American understanding of the word. However, according to Wikipedia, the word highway can be used for any major roadway. The British definition is a legal term to describe "...any route or path with a public right of access, including footpaths etc.". So the Leeward Highway is a major public road along the east coast of the mainland. Got it?
    Saturday 8 August 1998
    The roadway was so narrow that at one point, the driver asked us to exit the minivan and stand back while he navigated past another vehicle. The tyres of the back of the minivan were on the very edge of the left side of the road. One mistake and a 200-foot drop awaited the vehicle and its driver.
    La Soufrière Volcano | Saturday 8 August 1998
    And for those who don’t know the word leeward, it's a nautical term to describe the side of a ship facing the direction toward which the wind is blowing and the side opposite the windward. In the Caribbean Sea, leeward is west, and windward is east. Got it?
    While the highway is narrow and bumpy, the drive offers spectacular cliff top views, hidden bays, flora and fauna. We drove through Barrouallie, a small village established by French settlers in 1719 and the first European colony on St. Vincent. We also went through the town of Walliabou. Wallilabou Anchorage was one of many locations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines where Disney Studio filmed the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
    Bhavna following our trail guide. Trinity Falls, Wallibou | Saturday 8 August 1998
    The nature trail is to the north of Chateubelair, a large fishing village with archaeological significant rock carvings believed to have been left by Kalinago, the native inhabitants of the islands. Near the foot of the La Soufrière volcano, the nature trail is accessible from the Leeward Highway. Some of the previous trails had eroded and caved in.
    Trinity Falls, Wallibou | Saturday 8 August 1998
    Trinity Falls, Wallibou | Saturday 8 August 1998
    Trinity Falls, Wallibou | Saturday 8 August 1998

    Apologies for the quality of these photographs. When we took this vacation, APS film was being pushed by Kodak as the future of film photography. I was ignorant and bought into the hype. I purchased an APS film camera and several rolls of APS film, which was the worst camera to bring on a vacation. The quality of APS film was inferior to the 35mm film format it was intended to replace. 35mm film is still made and sold, but APS (along with Kodak) was relegated to the dustbin of history.

  • Reply
    Susan Gutterman
    29th March 2021 at 4:11 PM

    I can never see your photos when I open your posts. All I see is code.

    • Reply
      Khürt Williams
      30th March 2021 at 2:16 PM

      Hi Susan. You may have a problem with your computer/phone/tablet browser settings. It may have ‘view HTML code” enabled by default.

      • Reply
        Susan Gutterman
        30th March 2021 at 4:45 PM

        It’s only on yours, nothing else.

        • Reply
          Khürt Williams
          1st April 2021 at 10:52 AM

          That's odd. I don’t know that I can help. Others are seeing the website just fine. ?????

    • Reply
      Khürt Williams
      5th February 2022 at 8:55 AM

      Hi Susan, can you see the post now?

      • Reply
        Susan Gutterman
        5th February 2022 at 10:52 AM

        Yes! There’s a lot of code in the caption field, but the photos are there. Did you fix something?

        • Reply
          Khürt Williams
          5th February 2022 at 5:01 PM

          I wanted to see if you were still having issues. The website will work best on a modern computer running the latest version of Microsoft Windows 10, macOS (Catalina, Big Sur, etc.), iPad OS, iPhone OS, and Android OS.

          I put the entire website through a Google parser. I had multiple people access this website using macOS, iPhone and iPad with Firefox, Chrome and Safari and Windows 10 with Google Chrome, Edge and Firefox. I even put it through an automated website browser compatitibikly testing suite. No one reported any problems viewing the content as expected, and none of the human testers saw any code.

          It may not work on Windows 7, Internet Explorer or an older browser or operating system.

          • Susan Gutterman
            5th February 2022 at 11:32 PM

            Thanks Khurt, I have a two year old MacBook Pro, always running on the latest software. I use Chrome for my web browser. I often use my iPad, but also always on the latest version.

          • Khürt Williams
            8th February 2022 at 8:33 AM

            Then I am stumped as to why you are seeing the image embed code. Your kit is newer than mine. ?

          • Susan Gutterman
            8th February 2022 at 10:48 AM

            The image is no longer in code, but there is a lot of code in the caption.

          • Susan Gutterman
            5th February 2022 at 11:34 PM

            This was a caption on my iPad—-On the ferry leaving Kingstown Harbour for Bequia | 6 August 1998 | Fujicolor Nexia Smart APS ISO 200[/caption] [caption id="attachment_79863" align="aligncenter" width="1024" alt="" height="584"]

          • Khürt Williams
            8th February 2022 at 8:32 AM

            I re-uploaded and re-inserted all the photographs. Maybe this time it's fixed for you.

  • Reply
    Jim Grey
    29th March 2021 at 11:44 AM

    These are terrific! Thanks for sharing this view.

    • Reply
      Khürt Williams
      29th March 2021 at 1:22 PM

      Thanks Jim. It took me the whole day to write this up. My memory of the events is faulty after all these years.

What do you want to say about this post?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: