Sunday, April 28, 2013

St Lucia to Grenada continued


Happy Island at Union Island.  You can google Happy Island.  Is worth the read.


Kirk visiting Happy Island.  We had a blast.



Tobago Cays




The water here is so beautiful.  We stopped here after the big fish fight and had lunch and a swim!!

St Lucia to Grenada


We left Rodney Bay, St Lucia on the 23rd of April.   We had a long sail (70 miles) to Bequia.  We sailed past St Vincent and into Bequia.  I like Bequia.  We had been here twice before and knew what to expect.   We only rested here one day and then took off for Union Island with a stop for lunch in the Tobago Cays.  We went for a swim and then headed over to Union Island.  The next morning we went to Carricou and today we left Carricou and made it down to the south end of Grenada where we will leave the boat to come home.  So our dash down south had a few good stops.  Even when you come into an anchorage that you had been in before or past an island that you had been by before, there is always something new you notice.   Kinda like a new experience without the fear of being totally lost!!

We had some good sails, some good motors, some hysterical times, some rough seas, but all in all we made it.  Some of the highlights are in the photos below and some I will try to describe. 

On our way to Bequia,  we were motor sailing as there was no wind and I was fishing.  Every time I put the line out a squall would come up and I would have to wind the line back in and get ready for the squall.  After the third time of playing this game, Kirk told me I was a squall magnet and I could fish no more.  I laughed and laughed.  It seems like if there is no wind or light wind and I take the helm big winds will come up and we will have too much sail up.  You want some wind, just give the helm to Donna and go take a nap.  

When we left Bequia, the winds were light so I said to Kirk, you can fish and I will sail the boat.  (He always get stuck sailing the boat so I can get out of the sun)  Sure enough the winds started building but I was still ok.  They were under 20 knots and we had all the sails up.  I was drafting an email in my head to my brother Jay to find out how come we do not catch any fish. (I think we go too fast)   Kirk came up to tell me he was going to wind in the lines as we were in 110 feet of water and bang out spins the reel.   So of course I am supposed to SLOW the boat DOWN.   I turn into the wind and that is going great but we are going to run into land and I had crossed in front of a big sailboat that I had been watching  So then I had to recross in front of the big sailboat (120 feet  long) while I am trying to roll in the forward sail.  All the while Kirk is shouting commands from the stern while he is trying his hardest to pull in this fish.  I am jumping from the wheel (it seemed like the durn auto pilot would not hold a course) to the winch on the side of the boat to let out some sail sheet (the line connected to the end of the sail that holds the sail in place) to the big winch in the middle of the boat to wind the sail in.  This is all going on while the seas and winds are playing havoc with the boat   It seemed like it took forever and then Kirk says " uhoh,  I see silver. "  It was a barracuda.  Durn nation, I got beat up and bruised for a silly fish that would go back in the water.




We fueled up in Rodney Bay.  While at the fuel dock, the vegetable man (Gregory) whose boat you see in this picture came to to dock.   We had bought stuff from him prior and maybe he thought we were an easy target.  His boat makes me chuckle every time i see it.




This is a fort at the entrance to Rodney Bay.  We tried twice to hike up there but the weather did not permit that during our stay.  Next time.



During our brief visit in Bequia, we went to the turtle sanctuary.  It was heaven on earth for me.  These are land turtles that reminded me of the box turtles we see back home. (Much bigger though)  When we were driving back to the boat, via taxi, we saw one crossing the road.  Check out the one turning his head looking at us.



This picture does not do justice for this lovely farm.  Silly me, I was so enthralled with the goats, chickens, ginnea hens, ducks, dogs etc that I never got a good picture of the farm.  I did take a bunch of pics of the animals and was just content to watch them.  Too bad Kirk and the taxi driver were not as thrilled as me.  The guinea hens were chasing the roosters.  Hysterical.  



I think this is the biggest goat I have seen.



Another show stopper!!!   I could not figure out what in the heck this thing was.  Part Guinea, part chicken, part duck?  Where did the wings come from?   Was the strangest bird I have seen so far.  The man who runs the sanctuary told me it is a muscovy duck.  I did research on muscovy ducks and did not see any with wings like this, nor such an ugly head.




First thing in the morning, like 6 am the fishermen are out.  These guys were really close to the boat and I watched for about an hour.  Unfortunately, they did not catch anything.  It is a huge net that they set and then some of them swim around in the net while two others stay in the boat and pull in the net and reset anchors to hold them in place.  



This guy came up to watch also I guess.  There was yelling between the two boats.  Both mornings we were here this guy came to our boat with huge lobsters.  Lobster season is almost over.  In the background you can see more fishermen out in the deep water.




Another pic of the fishermen.



Ah yes the baby turtles.  This was so cool.  This man who is a native of Bequia, a retired free diver fisherman is doing his best to insure that the turtles survive.

 

This is the only green turtle he has.  He was big.  He said he was a pet that keeps coming back to the sanctuary.  He nursed him back to health after he was injured when he was young about half the size he is now.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Martinique to St Lucia


The above pics are our anchorage in Martinique. Kirk noticed boats from all over the world when he went to clear customs.   We only stayed one night and then moved on as the weather was supposed to go down hill.  We hope to stop back here or near here on our way back north.  It looked like a fun place to take a break.

Off to St Lucia

This is the view in front of us.   It kept getting blacker and blacker.

This is to the left (port) side.  The sun was shining through the clouds and illuminating these little white clouds.  Behind the little white clouds the sky was dark.

Here is the sun shinning through on Diamond Rock off the south end of Martinique.


This is the view behind us, Bye Martinique.

Another view of in front of us YUK!!!

Diamond Rock off in the distance with the sun on the edge of the  storm.

Happy Kirk  NOT

video

Here is a video (it might take a while to load)

We had another wild ride.  We actually could have had it much worse than we did.  It was a long day as the current was against us and we had a beam sea.  At one point we had a wave break over the side of the boat and fill the cockpit with water.   Salt anyone?  It took twice as long as we thought.

Our engines did well and no real problems with the oil.  yahoo. Another Thank you God.  Also, Thank you Kirk for being so smart and doing hours of research and trying new options with our engines.  Of course I am the helper and sounding board.  We have had a great time so far in St Lucia.   We have provisioned, visited the chandlery, got laundry done and rested.  After the days of constant travel we were pooped.  I think we are both feeling better.

The weather has been really squally since we have been here.  So glad to be staying put.  Today it has rained most of the day.  We ran errands in-between squalls.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Isle Des Saintes to Dominica

Isle Des Saintes

We had some very good luck, if you believe in luck, or we had some true blessings, if you believe in blessings, or we had some really positive vibs if that is the way you think, or we definitely had someone  looking out for us.  I will go with Thank you God.

The day we went into town and hiked, when we came back to the dingy dock our dingy was not where we left it.  We thought it had been stolen!!   Then I noticed it at the end of the dingy dock.  We had locked it as usual, however, we did not DOUBLE tie it also.  We were not sure what happened, but were extremely happy to see the little fellow at the end of the dingy dock.  Everything appeared to be in order, gas tank, engine, locks, chain, stuff stowed in the little bow compartment.  So we climbed in and came back to the boat.  Shortly after we got back we changed anchorages to the one in the pics below.   It is a delightful spot with clear water and lovely scenery.  Entertainment abounded as the roosters were chasing the goats and there was much bleating and crowing.

This is a little resort/hotel in the anchorage



Little outcropping of a mountain that you go around to get into anchorage

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The beach



The housing compound where the goats and chickens were carrying on.


I took the above pictures at almost sundown and so they are a little glowey.

The only downfall was the wifi was very iffy, so the next morning we headed back over to the main anchorage so we could check the weather.  (I do not know why as they are rarely on target.  Kirk has started looking at the radar and satellite stuff and making his own decisions.)  So as we are picking up a mooring ball, a guy comes up in a dingy and tells us that he rescued our dingy the other day that it was floating out to sea and 4 boats passed it coming into the harbor and no one stopped for it so he got in his dingy and towed it back to the dingy dock.  How do you express how grateful you are???   He was a french cruiser as best we could tell.   Kirk went into town and bought him a 40 euro bottle of rhum and took it to his boat.   

So this morning we are all prepared to leave and a down pour hits.  I mean like I have not seen rain and black sky like this in a while.   The boat got a real good washing...... almost too good as some of the hatches were not dogged and we had a little leakage here and there.  So then we were delayed by cleaning up the water.  When it is time to go, the captain is ready to go and delays are not taken lightly. A little boat approached our boat and Kirk went out to see what the story was and the guy is holding up a passport and asking if this is ours?   Kirk leans over and guess what?  It was mine.  Kirk checked to make sure that he had his and then we profusely thanked this man.  He was the man Kirk had paid yesterday for the mooring ball when he went into town to clear out.  Kirk has no idea of how it fell out of the zipper bag where he keeps boat papers and passports to clear and out of customs etc.

SO if we had left when planned, I would not have a passport.   Now is this

DIVINE INTERVENTION

or what??


Portsmouth, Dominica

We motor sailed most of the way to Prince Ruperts Bay.  Then the wind shifted and so down came the sail.

So this is a crazy flying dingy.  Kirk was in customs clearing into Dominica and I hear this noise and this is what I saw.  A flying dingy.



The mother ship



 A fly by.  Touch down and take off.  Hysterical.


We saw him again down island visiting another mother ship.  Can't be of much use for much else.  I guess you could skip the bumpy, wet ride for a thrilling air ride?

And I thought we had seen it all in St Martin at some festival when a person with lights strapped to his body on a fly board at night came shooting out of the water.   The announcer called him Water Man.


Rosseau, Dominica

We motored down the leeward side of Dominica.  THERE WAS NO WIND!!!!  No, that was not forecast.  But no complaints, it was a lovely, smooth ride.

Colorful building.  Our mooring ball is right next to the shore.  The shore line drops like a rock.  100 feet or so out it was 250 ft deep.   wow  We are in 20 feet of water.



View of the south end of Dominica from our boat


Dominica has 7 volcanos.  We are both looking forward to spending time here next year on our way back north.  I am still in awe with each island that we see, even if I have seen them before.  It is a new experience each time you visit.  

Tomorrow weather permitting is Martinique.








Saturday, April 13, 2013

On to Isle Des Saintes



We left St Kitts based on weather again.  We left around 5 am.  No squall this time!!  We traveled by Nevis and watched the sun come up behind the mountain.  When we got to the end of Nevis all the weather went to who knows where.  We then encountered 10 to 15 foot seas and winds at steady 22 - 25 knots with gusts to 30.  The gusts also drive the seas to be larger.  It was total yuk.  We kept on trucking past Montserrat.  Well we tried at least.  The volcano was blowing out gases that smelled very bad.  The seas and winds decided to join the volcano.  We had a bad time.  After Montserrat (which seemed like it took forever) we had Guadeloupe in our sights.  It was a long miserable passage that took all our energy.  We got to Deshaies, Guadeloupe around 4 pm only to find the anchorage totally full and had to anchor in 35 feet of water!  That meant anchor watch.  I took the first watch staying up till 1 am and then kirk from 1 am to 6 am.  

On the brighter side of this adventure, the next day we were able to move further up into the anchorage and set the anchor in sand and we both got a good nights sleep.  We also had good internet.  YEA We stayed 2 nights and then ventured down the coast of Guadeloupe to Isle Des Saintes.  The coastline of Guadeloupe was gorgeous green and being in the lee of the island the travel was not bad at all.


The sun rising  behind Nevis





The shoreline of Guadeloupe


Check out these silly houses.  Looks like the roof is missing.  From further away and at the angle of  approach it looked like little cones on the top of the houses.  It was not until we were closer that we discovered the truth.




Isle Des Saintes

We hiked up the road to Fort Napoleon.  These are the sights we saw.

This I believe is an old no longer used entrance to a home as next to it up the hill is a nice white fence and gate.


The streets are lined with flowers in many places, but watch out most have inch long thorns




We met a fellow cruiser on the way up and chatted and took each others pictures when we got to the fort.  Check out the harbor behind us.


This is looking towards Guadeloupe




 The harbor where we have picked up a mooring ball.  We are the second boat up in the middle of the picture.  This was taken from the fort.



Kirk on one of these stashes (for lack of a better word)  They lined the perimeter of the fort, just inside the moat that surrounded it.  


From the ground




A look down the valley




Check out the colors in this goat.


Spotted on one side and not on the other.



Coming down the mountain we had a great view of the fishing fleet.



House that is shaped like a ship on the waterfront.  Looks even more like a boat from the water.



Top fish is a wahoo.  That is what we want to catch.  Bottom is a  barracuda.  That is what we DO NOT want but catch most often.




Entrance to Fort Napoleon.  Kirk took this picture to get the date on the stone, built in 1867.  I liked the women with the madras skirts and matching hats!!    



Kirk loves this shot cause you can see the shadow of the boat on the reflecting off the bottom




 Another view of the harbor, looking towards the ferry dock 



Here is the fort as seen from our boat, actually you cannot see the actual fort it is on the higher mount behind this one.  We could not figure out what this building was.  I thought maybe a barn?



More goats



Look at those baby chicks



Captain Kirk


On the way into the dingy dock we saw porpoises that looked like Flipper.  The big grey ones.  This one had a baby with it.  They were pretty close to the boat.  So cool.