Sigh! Here I am starting out another blog post by apologizing for my lack of updates. I’m not sure why I’m having such a hard time this year writing blog posts. As corny as it may sound, I’m really struggling for inspiration. I think its due to the fact that we have really become “cruisers”.
You see, the first 2 years everything we were doing was fresh and new, hell, even scary. I found it easy to find inspiration everywhere we went. I was writing for myself years in the future, so I could look back and relive those moments. However, this season it has just become “our life” and now seems like second nature. We no longer stress about passages or sailing. We no longer obsessively read cruising guides or Active Captain to figure out the “BEST” anchorage spots. There is no name calling, or yelling during the anchoring dance, just hand signals and usually a solid set the first time. Hell, I even had someone tell me I looked like I knew how to sail as my sail trim looked great on a recent run. Without that fresh and new feeling, I’m really struggling to be inspired to write. It just feels like I’m rewriting blogs that I had already wrote.
Over the next few months I going to work hard to find things that inspire me and write more. It that doesn’t work, I have a backup plan, BOOZE! In the words of Homer “alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” In the mean time enjoy a photo diary of our last couple of months.
As you may recall, we were having issues with our dinghy and were waiting on a warranty replacement. Once we verified that replacement had arrived in St. Lucia we made the jump north with our new friends on ROAM. Again we took a mooring ball at the spectacular Pitons.
We only spent one night at the Pitons before heading up to Rodney bay to claim our new dinghy. After months of back and forth with the manufacturer we finally had a new dinghy.
After some discussion we decided that since we had gone all the way back to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia why not head back up to Martinique. We were treated to this sunset the night after after our arrival.
Shortly after arriving in Martinique some Facebook friends informed us that it was off season and car rentals had plummeted in price. Like really really plummeted, we rented a car for 7 days for just $40 euro. Since we had a car, we decided to go do some of the hikes we had missed earlier in the year. Here we are at the very top of Martinique in search of a waterfall.
We did indeed find the waterfall after about 1 1/2 hours hiking through the jungle. This picture does it no justice. In fact I don’t even have words to describe how spectacular this was.
Then we went shopping.
It gets hot down here, donchaknow.
This isn’t even all the coffee we bought. In the end we bought about $120 euro in coffee since it so expensive south of here. No, I’m not going to show you how much beer we bought.
There were more tours. This was a sugar plantation and rum distillery from the 1700s.
There was more searching for waterfalls. Here we had gathered a bunch of kids and trekked off in the jungle but NEVER found the waterfall.
Cheesy chips, chicken fingers and hot dogs. The sunburnt kids were happy.
A couple of days later we headed back to the jungle to find that stupid waterfall. Party and Five and Fille De Joi wouldn’t be beat.
SUCCESS… Nope, turns out this is the wrong waterfall. It was beautiful and all, but DAMMIT, I hate it that we never found the one we were looking for.
On one of our last days in Martinique we took the kids to the inflatable park. Another great off season deal. It was like $6 euro/child for 2 hours. The kids said the rain made it more fun.
Once our fun in Martinique was over, we headed back to St. Lucia where we met up with our friends on Saphira Blue.
We also had a reunion with Kendra and Sea Frog. Our little reunion turned into quite the shindig as we all gathered at a bar that had closed early. Since there was no one to serve us beer, we sent the kids to buy beer at the grocery store. A few of us partied late into the night and didn’t get to bed until drunk thirty.
(Photo Credit: Megan Waitkoff Downey)
Unfortunately the reunion was short lived as Saphira Blue was headed back north… LIKE REALLY NORTH.. Like Toronto north. Till next time Saphira Blue crew! (No they are not French, they were headed to the fuel dock before leaving)
We headed south down the coast of St. Lucia where we were again drawn back to Marigot bay.
I mean seriously. Who could pass up this opulence for the price of a couple of beers.
After a little pampering, our little armada (POF, ROAM and Clarity) planned an early morning departure and set off to Bequia. We had a fantastic sailing day. Here I pulled a “Bobby Cooper” and came alongside Clarity for some sexy sailing photos.
View looking back.
Once in Bequia we joined up with a bunch of other kid boats for a hike up to Peggy’s Lookout. The group of boats quickly formed a group on Facebook group named “Super Awesome Kid Boats”. Party of Five, Olena, Britacan, Trismic, Fille De Joi, Pierina, ROAM, Rondo, Clarity, Arrluck and Sunsplash are all in this photo.
Of course we caught some fish.
We even got our first try at Prickly Pear fruit. I learned some valuable lessons about how to handle these little buggers. I was picking prickers out of my fingers, hands, and face for a week. A pointer for newbies, DON’T TOUCH THEM WITH YOUR HANDS, use a paper towel. Then once back to the boat, hold them with tongs and run them over a stove flame to burn the prickers off.
The southward trek continued (remember its now hurricane season). Here we stopped in Salt Whistle Bay on the island of Mayru. Last time we were here the starter on our starboard motor failed. Fille De Joi sailed back up from Prickly to meet us here and delivered us some surprising news.
After Salt Whistle we headed over to Clifton on Union island. This is one of our least favorite anchorages as it tight, full of mooring balls and has a reef right in the middle. Once our anchor was set we were only 1 boat length from the reef. Good thing we only stayed for a couple of hours to check-out of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
After check-out we headed around the corner to Frigate island where Mr. Draper made kite boarding look like child’s play.
(Picture credit to Helen Draper)
Seriously he makes it look so easy I almost had a “Hold my beer and watch this!” moment. Until I saw him do this and realized I would probably end up dead or at the very least seriously injured. Ya, that jump was about 30 feet.
(Picture credit to Helen Draper)
Our next stop was Sandy Island, Carriacou. A secluded pure sand island that is part of Grenada. For the first time in 20 months we checked into Grenada.
Here is Rhonda and mini-me on her 43rd birthday.
Not a bad place for a 43rd birthday.
Dave on ROAM was a rockstar and gathered enough wood to have a nice fire. Turned out the fire was required to keep the rats away later. No, I’m not kidding! They were friendly little buggers.
On a recent trip to the grocery store here, I discovered this bottle of pure lovelyness. I know you are looking at it and thinking “Strange”, but I assure you its delicious.
To wrap up, I thought I would attach a map of where we actually are. I can hear some of you thinking “Where the hell is Carriacou”. Technically, Carriacou is part of a chain of islands called “The Grenadines”. Most of the islands are part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but a few belong to Grenada.
I have pointed out a couple of other things on the map. Regular readers might remember the underwater volcano called Kick ‘em Jenny. It lies between Carriacou and mainland Grenada. I have also highlighted Prickly Bay which is where we spent the 2016 hurricane season. For reference its 36 nautical miles between Carriacou and Prickly Bay.
Actually as I type this we are contemplating a move down to Prickly Bay. The first hurricane of the season has spun up (hurricane Beryl) and although its not a threat to us, it’s a herald of more to come. As we learned last year, just 40 miles can mean TOTAL destruction or zero damage.