Monday, May 28, 2012

Bequia Pictures

looking from the stern of our boat

boats on shore view from dingy dock

view from our boat

in town

the market in town

flowers along the street

gingerbread house along the waterfront

on  dingy dock looking towards the commercial dock

coming into the dingy dock

Tobago Keys

We left Bequia on Friday around 11 after going into town to get some provisions.  The tropical wave had moved through and so it was time to move on.  We sailed, yes now we are sailing.  it is so nice to sail.  also nice on the bank account as the fuel is most expensive.  It was rough but not too bad.  I fished but no catch.  Michael on ZTC was behind us and he hooked something that broke his fishing rood.  Luckily he had the reel tied to the boat or it would be gone too.  must have been something huge to break the fishing rod.  

Tobago Keys are beautiful.  once again we are anchored in the middle of the caribbean sea behind reefs with islands all around.  we came though a cut between two little islands and a beautiful reef was before us.  the water colors are fantastic.  we made our way though and into the 7 - 10 feet deep water that is crystal clear that light blue/green color.  has been a rocky ride as the seas are still up and the breeze blows steady, but i must say our boat rides pretty well.  

We both swam to check the anchor.  While we were swimming a bird flew into the boat and pecked  two holes into the new loaf of bread i had just bought and had himself a little snack.  then i found bird poop.  ok so enough is enough.  dang gum bird hung around so much we had to zipper the screens shut.  While swimming kirk made the comment on how bad the bottom of the boat looked.  it is covered with algae and barnacles.  So i decided that i would make good use of my time in the water and work on cleaning the bottom.  it is so hard.  the upside is these little fish come to feed on all you are scraping off.  they are funny looking fish  i think a spotted trunk fish.  So all went well with the morning cleaning.  i can only last about an hour cause you get so exhausted.  Around 4 (when the sun is not so hot) i put my shirt back on to do some more work on the bottom.  we had spotted some turtles and were watching them when a shape was swimming towards the boat.  we thought it was a another turtle but a big one.  well it was a shark.  i thought it was a nurse shark from what i could tell.  i debated about going in the water but kirk said he thought he was just swimming by so to go ahead.  so all went well.  i saw a ray swim underneath the boat while i was cleaning and was making good progress as i had a snorkel and could last longer while scraping away.  You can't stay in one place long cause the stuff is so yukky so you move up the current so it takes the algae away from you.  you still smell awful when you get out.  I got out rather fast on my 4 pm scraping session as i looked down and there was the stark. i got a good look at him as he was swimming towards me!  I screamed, swallowed a ton of water and swam to the bow and climbed up on the bridle of the boat.  amazing the strength you have when you are scared.  Kirk said i woke up the whole anchorage when i screamed.  i stayed on the bridle till i caught my breath and recovered somewhat from the amount of water that i swallowed then put my mask back on and checked all around me and beelined it to the stern to get on the boat.

that definitely was enough excitement for the day.  oh after my up close and personal with the shark i decided it looked more like a  caribbean reef shark.  it was about 5 feet long.

Kirk did some exploring yesterday while i stayed out of the sun and found a pretty reef, and an island he wants to move over to anchor.  it is right next to a beach.  

The view from here is you look out to a reef and then beyond it is another reef that is is the dark blue water with big breakers.  i think it is called the End of the World reef.  Definately one to stay away from.hmmm

This morning we moved to another anchorage kinda behind where we were.  it is in front of a little island.  After Kirk swam the anchor we both swam to shore and explored a bit.  We saw iguana up to three feet long.  my they are prehistoric looking.  i played in the sand, made some sand castles and some rock piles and by then the sun was getting pretty hot so we swam back to the boat.  saw lots of colorful little fish.  Once again i started working on the bottom and the funny little fish joined me but also a big blue grey ray. He went under the boat, sat on the bottom and then circled the boat and then off the port side.  the little funny looking fish follow it.  Like a parade.  So once he came back again I decided my scraping had come to and end.  it is not in our fish book so when i have internet i will look it up.  We anchored in about 11 feet and then drifted back to about 7 feet.  the water is fabulous.  the sand so far has been great for holding.  

Got your back

  Sorry cannot upload pics.  internet too slow.  will upload them later

Being here has been a reassuring feeling.  We were working on the sun shade when whammee the wind started.    It is like turning on a switch.  We were working in calm when the wind started blowing the sun shade with us holding on around the bow of the boat when Michael and Rebecca showed up to help. It has been so much fun to see them again after 1.5 years of only reading their blog.  As in Georgetown you feel like you have people around you that will help you even if you do not know them well.  Sadly one white tree left yesterday but we will see them in grenada.  

Bequia has been beautiful to us.  We have an anchorage next to the beach and also next to a cliff that has a few little grottos.  I kayaked all around one morning before the sun was too hot.  We are also next to a reef so sea life is abundant.

Town is not as third world as others so it is not as depressing to go shopping. Some of the architecture is so interesting.  I hope to take pictures today and then maybe paint them.  We are anchored with big ships in this anchorage. There are the feral dogs but not so many, and I have seen many with collars so that makes me feel a little better.  I do have a problem with the animal conditions but they are not so bad here.  It is very hard for me.  I am looking forward to going home and seeing dogs that I can pat and love and that are not starved.

Shopping is an adventure.  You have market where you get fruits and veggies and then stores for other supplies.  The markets are like running the gauntlet. Ten different vendors, all selling the same stuff coming at you to buy from them.   The mangoes and 
 are abundant.

There is a turtle sanctuary here that is most interesting.  The guy raises the turtles and turns them back into the wild.  Turtle are hunted here for food.  This guy raises them till they are a certain size and then drills two holes in the back of their shells and then puts them back in the ocean.   He has had reports from divers in Trinidad that they have seen turtles with two holes drilled in the back of their shells, so his program is working.  In the wild only 1 in 3000 make it so he is increasing the odds.  Even the eggs are hunted here.  He will go to the beach early in the am and look for a recent nest and disguise it.  Diana took a ton of pictures.

There have been a couple of firsts here.  I took a shower yesterday as it was raining so hard I could not resist.  The cool water was so refreshing.  I just had another little rinse from an early morning squall.

I also was sewing on the sun shade yesterday during squalls.  The squalls roar through and then the sun comes out and make a steam bath.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another jam session

Rebecca, Chris, Ross and Diana

Everyone met at our boat at 3 yesterday. How lucky I was to have such great music, new and old friends. It was hot and still but they played and sang for over two hours. then a huge rain came and cleaned the boat. What fun!

Another jam session

Kirk, Michael,Rebecca, Chris

Sunday, May 20, 2012

st lucia to bequia

Sadly we left dominica and headed to martinique. as we approaching martinique we decided that we could make St lucia. Long day of sailing but we made into Rodney Bay in St Lucia. we anchored in the bay and the next morning after clearing into customs we headed into the marina for a day of luxury. we dehumidified the boat. We got some provisions and fuel in rodney bay marine also some marine supplies. the people were nice. we went out to dinner and the next morn we watched as chrisitian get in a taxi headed to the airport. sad to see him go but he was most anxious to get home. we had a great time while he was with us and he got to experience ocean sailing and how the weather controls your life. all in all i think was a good visit. we then left the marina back out to the bay so we could leave early next morn.

we headed out to bequia at 5 the next morning and had a sail with all the different features, rain, sun, squalls, calm. we saw pilot whales. they were feeding right in front of the boat and then resurfaced in our wake. that was pretty cool. a pod of the little spotted dolphins swam with us for about 15 minutes so that was a great distraction from the conditions in which we were traveling. they were calling for a 7 foot swell with a 5 - 6 foot chop. the swell rarely was 7 feet. more like 10 - 12 even with our new lures we did not even get a bite on the fishing lines. all that we caught was seaweed. yuk. i was so hoping for a mahi.

Was fantastic to come into bequia as one white tree and zero to cruising were both here and happy to see us. check out zerotocruising,com and read the post called reunion. after a little of putting the boat back together and kirk left for customs, i swam over to one white tree and then diana and I swam to zero to cruising. we had a reunion while treading water.

last night we had pot luck here with guitars like no other. Ross, Diana, Kirk and Michael all had guitars. We had brought a guitar all the way from norfolk virginia and were happy to see how happy Mike was to get his guitar. Ross can really sing so was a music filled night.

the water here is beautiful. clear as can be. another island of paradise. they have all been so beautiful. pictures coming next.

it is nice to be in a place for a period of time. we got some boat chores done which is nice cause then the boat feels like home rather than a vehicle to get from place to place.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


the rain forest, traveling up the river into the jungle.  further up the river we were covered by a canopy that was just wild.  the trees and the root systems were fantastic

sorry, cannot turn pics.  these are flowers that our guide cut down on our river trip.  most beautiful

view of anchorage from the fort.

bird in a flower that our guide made for us

we went on a river trip that was fantastic.  ate fresh coconut yum.  our guide Martin then came back to the boat and played some dominican music for us.  we had a lovely time

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Clouds brushing mountains. Anchorage in Dominica

Tonight we go to a BBQ put on by the island for cruisers on the beach. People here are very friendly. Can't wait to go cause I do not have to cook or cleanup the galley. Yeah


Kirk coming home from customs

Clouds brushing mountains


We made it! yeah…. kirk has talked about this island for years. he and christian are off to see the fort with ross and diana of one white tree. i am resting my sore foot.

the weather changed and we left deshaise around 8 am after we listened to the weather and checked other weather resources. so we were definitely not prepared to go but off we went. for part of the trip we motored, then sail, then motored. all depended upon if we were in the lee of an island. finally, we had a great sail. i think the kind kirk and christian have dreamed of. blue water, some big waves, lots of wind and the boat was racing along. i saw 9.3 knots which is fast fast fast. we double reefs in the main and the geneoa. we were dodging squalls but still got some of the big gusts from them.

christian and kirk hope to go to the water falls tomorrow. they are supposed to be beautiful. we just went through the islands they call "brushed by the clouds" and they truly are. the clouds hang around the peaks of the mountains. i would not believe it until i saw it. unfortunately, it was really cloudy, rainy, squally etc so i did not take any pictures except the ones i already posted.

it is on to st vincent and st lucia. i think christian will fly out of st lucia.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

St Martin and Anguilla

We have had a blast here cause kelly andrew and jenna came for a week and then karen and andy came for 9 days. they say pictures are worth a thousand words

lunch at Blanchards

what fun and great drinks

my girls driving the boat

the gang after lunch

karen and andy having late night smiles

donna swimming   karen floating

karens big catch

this one got away  durn

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Karen and Andy

K and A swimming to shore to go explore. Kirk followed shortly

Mooring ball

Not many times I have been able to photograph the mooring ball with my iPad. Wow


Back at deserted island. The water is so clear. You can see all the fish and turtles. A big cuda was hanging out at the mooring ball we picked up.