Thursday, February 14, 2008


Also called billionaires’ island, Mustique is known for its famous residents who live among the islands luxurious villas – over 60 of which are available for weekly rental. It wasn’t the star spotting that lured us to the shores of this 1.5 by 3 mile (2.5 by 5km) island. We went to lunch at what is reputed to be the Caribbean’s best beach bar, Basil’s. Upon approach to Britannia Bay we were escorted to a sturdy mooring by the Mustique Harbormaster. (Moorings are $75 EC and that price entitles you to stay for up to three nights.) Soon after we piled into the dinghy and headed for Basil’s beach bar, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year. What I liked most about this beach bar is that it is big, has real furniture, interesting Balinese carvings and a wooden (verses sand) floor, which is more of a deck that extends out over the water. We enjoyed a waterside table complete with the sound of water lapping beneath us. We all ordered different lunch items but the meager portions did not impress and they should have given the heartbeat-skipping-high prices. Perhaps our expectations were too high?

Next we strolled along the waterfront through the island’s only commercial area (bakery, general store, food store, local produce stand, fish market and a couple of boutiques), which is impressive considering the island’s small size and population. By now it was time for an afternoon swim so we returned to the boat. Our swim was not as tranquil as the water appeared because upon diving in our boat neighbors informed us they’ve been seeing a shark in the water. We all managed to go for a swim unharmed but were constantly on the look-out.

Another libation destination on our must-do list was Firefly. A posh hotel that claims they’re “Not an hotel - An experience”. (I struggle with their use of “an” verses “a”.) All I know is that any of their 5 rooms for the night will set you back a month’s mortgage payment. My cruising budget typically limits my point of entry to the bar or lounge area of such swanky places so that’s where we went. The Firefly lounge did not disappoint with its beautiful yet comfortable setting and fantastic views of the anchorage perfect for a special cocktail hour. And to date, they served the best rum punch. They also have a restaurant that I would try on my next visit because the prices are on par with the beach bar yet the Firefly atmosphere is on another stratosphere.
The next day we rented a mule. Not the hairy four-legged type. A metal four-wheel cruising machine. For about $85 USD for 24hrs, our Kawasaki Mule maximized our visit by taking us on a land cruise that revealed breath taking vistas, magazine-worthy homes and incredible beaches including:

Endeavour Bay, bordering the grounds of the Cotton House resort, was a fun place to snorkel. Plus the Cotton House’s waterside Beach Café served us a special lunch of local seafood. The resort also offers beachside pampering; chaise lounges, umbrellas and drinks – if you can stay out of the water long enough!

Macaroni Bay is a perfect picnic beach since there are no nearby amenities and during our visit its dramatic waves were ideal for body surfing. (My last wave resulted in an uncontrolled double summersault exit that required a couple of Ibuprofen.)

On our last evening we decided to give Basil’s another try since it was their famous Wednesday night ‘Jump-Up’. Unfortunately we were again left wondering why all the hype because this jump-up resembled a boring wedding with a bad band lost in the 70’s. Time to move on...

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