Beach time, mosquitoes and the seasons

Contrary to what most of our friends and family back in Canada think, we don’t spend every day at the beach, in fact we rarely get to the beach as we are too busy working, the upside though is that it is gorgeous summer weather all year long.  We were invited to a beach barbecue not that long ago and we realized that it had been two years since we’d been at the beach for a swim. I have a couple of friends who do get to the beach every day for a swim, but they live right at the beach so they start their day with an early swim in the sea.

Though we may not get to the beach for a swim often, we are in the pool every day.

The big difference between summer weather here and summer weather in Canada is we don’t have mosquitoes like Canada has mosquitoes, and not a black fly in sight. Mosquitoes in Canada are big and fast, mosquitoes here in Bequia are quite small and slow, so when you do see them they are much easier to swat…I guess they are on island time too!  Also there generally aren’t swarms of mosquitoes here, so you don’t need screens and you don’t have to quickly close the door to keep the mosquitoes out.  We do have screens on the bedroom windows, but that’s more to keep moths out at night when the lights are on than mosquitoes.

We were told that after we’d lived here for a while that the mosquitoes wouldn’t bother us anymore, and I couldn’t understand how that could be possible; however, it’s true, they are still present and they still bite, but after a while you no longer react to the bites, they no longer raise a bump and they no longer itch.  We still enjoy having an electric swatter to zap them with when we find some hiding under the office desk or in the bathroom.

We truly enjoy outdoor living all year long, with all the doors and windows open wide to the outdoors, letting the breeze blow through the house. Dining on the deck for every meal.  We live on our lovely shaded deck enjoying the view and the breeze more than inside.

We have two seasons here, dry season and wet or rainy season, which coincides with hurricane season.  Dry season is from December through to June and rainy season is from June to November.  Dry season is very dry and just about everything green gets brown in a hurry.  Wet season is very erratic, and we hope for enough rain to fill our water tanks, and to bring the gardens back to life.  It’s surprising though, that through dry season, when most plants are looking just about dead, that the bougainvillea bloom in a riot of color, and the yellow poui and the frangipani burst into glorious color.

The daytime temperature is usually 30 Celsius and at night it might drop to 25 Celsius. Every day you can go swimming. Every day you can wear shorts, a sleeveless blouse, or short sleeved shirt and sandals, or a sarong.  At home I always wear a sarong or pareo and bare feet.  There is only the very rare evening in the winter months where you might want to put on long pants and a light sweater and a pair of socks or slippers.  We look forward to those evenings though as it means we’ll be able to snuggle under the sheet, or maybe even the blanket.  It’s such a rare occurrence that we treasure it when it happens.

My husband, who still has to keep up appearances as a Chiropractor has to wear long pants and dress shoes a couple of days a week, but that’s in an air conditioned office, and he changes into shorts and sandals once the clinic is closed and he’s ready to catch the ferry back to Bequia.

We laugh to hear the winter residents complain about the heat, but the winter months to those of us that live here year round are much more comfortable, and the winter residents think we are nuts if we say we are feeling cool.  In the winter months, though it’s still shorts weather, the pool gets down into the low 80’s and that feels cold to us. It’s all relative though.  We’ve gotten so used to the heat that when we go back to Canada in the summer we find it cold when family or friends set their air conditioners to 75F.  I remember one visit going outside to warm up because the a/c inside was too cold for me, and having to wear a sweater indoors.

In the summer months/rainy season if there is a storm to the north of us, the breezes die down and it gets very still and very humid, and those days we’ll be in the pool 5 or 6 times a day to cool down.  The summer rains help keep the pool from getting too warm, but by October/November the pool and the sea are like a bathtub and it’s more refreshing when you get out of the water and feel the breeze on your wet skin.

When you live here year round since the climate pretty much never changes, unless you have a boat of some sort, you don’t check the weather very often.  The only time we check the weather is every few days during the summer months/hurricane season/rainy season if we think about it, just to make sure that there isn’t a hurricane heading our way; but we get so few hurricanes and the worst we ever get is a category 1, that we get lazy about checking the weather.

Photo is of Ixora at the Gingerbread Cafe




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