16 Feb 14#55 - 16 Feb 14

Wahoo!, the Delta Connection and the Trinidad Coast Guard

After two months on the hard, while her owners were visiting family over the holidays, the Ann Louise finally splashed back into the ocean on February 8th. We wanted to get to Martinique and St. Lucia and just two days after arriving in Trinidad a weather window appeared that promised seas of only 6-9′, but with the possibility of strong thunderstorms and rain showers, so we were in a hurry.

Unfortunately, the Ann Louise was not in a hurry, and maybe a little upset about being left alone for the holidays.  Just 20 minutes after going back in the water and right after we arrived at the customs dock in Trinidad to clear out to Grenada, she blew the engine cooling pump, and 10 minutes later the generator cooling pump. After 4 hours in the engine room cursing engineers who design bolts to be hidden where no wrench can reach them, we finally headed out in the harbor with our hopes of beating the evening thunderstorms fading quickly. As we passed the old US Naval base in Trinidad, now the Trinadian Coast guard station, we were overtaken by a twin engine center console with five machine gun toting Coasties that informed us were going to have a “courtesy” inspection, and that we had to proceed to and dock at the old Naval base. So much for an early start!

Anyway, after 40 hours, some occasionally really uncomfortable seas, some really beautiful calm seas and a few serious lines of squalls, we finally pulled into the southern shores of Martinique at 4:30 am and idled in 1000′ of water just off the sand bank until first light. We were greeted by our good friends Richard and Lavinia Maggs on the Krogen 42 Partners who had thoughtfully sent us the lat/lon for the approach, their location and most importantly prepared a large pitcher of Bloody Marys! A huge thanks to Nick Starr for tracking our progress north and helping us navigate through bands of squalls during the trip!

We spent three wonderful days in Sainte Anne’s, Martinique anchored in 20′ of turquoise water just minutes from fresh croissants, french coffee,  topless french sunbathers and a Catholic church  (not necessarily in order of importance, although it’s a pretty good sequence if you think about it).

 

6 Feb 14#15 - 6 Feb 14
Sunset in the Lee of St Vincent

 

7 Feb 14#21 - 7 Feb 14
Ann is at the Helm as we Drop Anchor in Martinique
Photo is From Richard on board Partners

 

7 Feb 14#24 - 7 Feb 14
Lavinia Making Magic!

 

7 Feb 14#26 - 7 Feb 14
On Board Partners After 40 Hours at Sea

 

7 Feb 14#23 - 7 Feb 14
Ann and Richard

 

7 Feb 14#31 - 7 Feb 14
Bloddy’s Followed by a Delicious Breakfast

 

8 Feb 14#34 - 8 Feb 14
Sainte Anne’s Anchorage from a French Cafe

 

9 Feb 14#36 - 9 Feb 14
A View of Sainte Anne’s Harbor From the Chapel

 

14 Feb 14#45 - 14 Feb 14
Sunday at the Rendevous Cafe

 

After Martinique, we back-tracked 25 miles through really messy 8′ seas to Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia where we rented a slip for a month, cleaned the 1/4″ of salt off the rails and awaited our friends Don and Donna Bornhorst from Minneapolis. Don is an old co-worker of Ann’s from her accounting days in Cincinnati working for Deloitte & Touche, and he is now Delta’s VP in charge of all regional airlines, including ASA for whom I flew for 10 years. We did a three day grand tour of St. Lucia, including Rodney Bay Marina, the beautiful Marigot Bay and Anse de Pitons, an anchorage between two beautiful peaks on the southern end of the island.

We had a wonderful three days including dinner at the Rainforest Hideaway and a strenuous afternoon hike in Marigot Bay, catching a huge Wahoo, a REALLY strenous/treacherous hike half way up Petit Piton, and a rousing game of Midwestern Euchre. We hope someday they return!

 

15 Feb 14#46 - 15 Feb 14
Bill, Ann and Donna Enroute to Anse de Piton
16 Feb 14#60 - 16 Feb 14
Don at the Helm Leaving Marigot Bay

 

 

 

16 Feb 14#55 - 16 Feb 14
A Beautiful Picture of Ann and Donna in Marigot Bay

 

15 Feb 14#49 - 15 Feb 14
Not Really Sure

 

16 Feb 14#69 - 16 Feb 14
Wahoo!

 

16 Feb 14#97 - 16 Feb 14
Anchored Between the Piton’s Looking South

 

17 Feb 14#109 - 17 Feb 14
I Think we can Climb it, Don’t you?

 

16 Feb 14#90 - 16 Feb 14
One hour and 15 minutes to the half way Point
Very Steep Terrain

 

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Don and Bill at 1300 feet

 

16 Feb 14#78 - 16 Feb 14
Beautiful View from 1000 feet

 

 

16 Feb 14#105 - 16 Feb 14
Listening to Spingsteen at Sunset
“Drinking Warm Beers in the Soft Summer Rain”

 

16 Feb 14#104 - 16 Feb 14
Don and Donna with Petit Piton in the Background

 

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Don and Donna 12 Hours Later With Their Minneapolis Home in the Background
Tobago #60 - 5 Nov 13

Tobago – A Month of Sundays, but no Church

We have returned from a little over a month on the island of Tobago. There are many parts of the island that are just spectacular and we will probably go back and spend another month or two next year.  I would also highly recommend it to any cruiser who likes to rock and roll.  We were anchored in three different bays; Store Bay, Man of War Bay and Anse Batteaux, and we almost never stopped rolling for 4 weeks.  I’m talking about hard to fall asleep, difficult to walk, shit falling off your shelves, crunch the fiberglass on your dinghy (yes I did) type rolling. But we prevailed, and in the end, kind of got used to it.  The problem is that Tobago is oriented east-to-west and with the prevailing easterly tradewinds, there are just no good anchorages to hide from the swells.

We did a lot of hiking, exploring, SCUBA diving and cooking, met some great people, both locals and other cruisers.

This place is the polar opposite of Pigidad Trinidad. Instead of throwing trash everywhere but in a trash can, dumping chemicals and holding tanks in the pristine waters, the people here really care about their island. They actually rake the beaches almost every day, and keep miles and miles of walking trails cleared and cut!

Shopping can be hit or miss, mostly miss. The only really good shopping is near the capital of Scarborough, and that was a 1-1/2 hour drive from our last two anchorages. It’s not a put on the cruise control and sip a Starbucks type of drive either. With what seemed like several hundred switchbacks through the hills, potholes and villages with cars parked in the middle of the street, in the end, you only go 25 miles. Beautiful scenery somewhat makes up for the drive, but you don’t slip into town for a half-gallon of milk before dinner.

If you don’t want to drive, you could take the government bus, but it’s the government bus, and it only runs every three hours. Many times it’s well over an hour late, or just doesn’t come at all.  Plus, it hit a slippery patch and went off the side of the mountain one day while we were there, fortunately hanging up on a tree and guardrail before going very far.  Ann and I tried the bus once, but after waiting at the Plexiglas aquarium bus stop for well over an hour at 100+ degrees, we finally gave up and hitchhiked.

The people are friendly, generous and almost always with a quick smile. Most of them either fish or work for the government and there is a lot of drinking going on, starting early in the morning.  One of our favorites, Andre, hikes into the hills and collects fruit, then sells it to the cruisers as they walk the streets, whether you want it or not and then heads to the liquor store for his morning ration, every day.  Whenever the fishermen blow on the conch shell, which you can hear all across the bay, fresh fish is available.  We bought fresh caught Black Fin Tuna several times from the local fishermen and it was a real treat.

The SCUBA diving is outstanding.  Some of the best sites in the world are in Tobago and the variety of fish and the beauty of the coral reefs is amazing.  I did 8 dives and Ann did 5.  Her knee gave out and she did a face plant while stepping on the dive boat getting ready for dive #6 so that was the end of SCUBA and hiking for her.  We’re hoping surgery won’t be involved when we finally get it checked out.

There is very little flat land so farming and walking are challenging.  On one of our typical 6 mile morning hikes, you climb a 500′ hill twice.  One morning during our hike, an animal came bolting out of the bushes and almost ran into us twice; I believe it was flustered.  It was an Agouti which is native to Tobago and it has the face of a rat, the raised hind legs of a jack rabbit, and the appeal of a cockroach.  There are many domestic animals wandering the streets and walking trails including cows, goats chickens and a lot of very sad looking dogs.

On another hike we went to the Hummingbird House where local naturalist Newton George feeds over 400 hummingbirds a day on his front porch.  He buys a bushel of sugar every 6 days and feeds them home made syrup which attract hummingbirds from as far as South America for mating season.  An incredible sight!

Here are just a few of our pictures from our month on the hook:

 

Tobago #5 - 23 Oct 13
Our Celebratory First Beer in Store Bay, Tobago

 

Video Clips of our Circumavigation of Tobago

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Sunset in Store Bay

 

Tobago #16 - 28 Oct 13
The Ann Louise Resting Peacefully

 

Tobago #24 - 4 Nov 13
April and Ann in Englishman’s Bay

 

Tobago #35 - 4 Nov 13
Sharon and Phoebe’s Restaurant

 

Tobago #38 - 4 Nov 13
A Hearse Driver Stopping for a Beer in Charlotteville

 

Tobago #76 - 5 Nov 13
Water Wheel at Speyside

 

Tobago #60 - 5 Nov 13
Anse Batteaux – We Anchored Here for 10 Days

 

Tobago #70 - 5 Nov 13
Part of the Local Fishing Fleet in Charlotteville

 

Tobago #82 - 6 Nov 13
The Anchorage at Man of War Bay, Charlotteville, Tobago

 

Tobago #94 - 7 Nov 13
April Headed Back to San Francisco

 

Tobago #99 - 11 Nov 13
Bull

 

Tobago #109 - 14 Nov 13
Dogs

 

Tobago #110 - 15 Nov 13
Man of War Bay

 

Tobago #125 - 16 Nov 13
Ann in Front of London Bridge Arch

 

Tobago #123 - 16 Nov 13
Ian Flemming’s House – Author of the James Bond Books

 

Tobago #119 - 16 Nov 13
S/V Banjo and our Good Friends Doug and Meyka Paddock

 

Tobago #51 - 5 Nov 13
The Beach at Speyside

 

Tobago #139 - 17 Nov 13
Sunrise Over Little Tobago

 

Tobago #135 - 17 Nov 13

 

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Hummingbirds
 

Tobago #140 - 22 Nov 13
Meyka Clowning Around – This Van was Just Sitting in the Middle of the Rain Forrest on its Side.

 

Tobago #142 - 22 Nov 13
Doug, Meyka and Ann Having a Sundowner in King’s Bay

 

Tobago #147 - 24 Nov 13
Sunrise Enroute From Tobago to Trinidad

 

Tobago #151 - 24 Nov 13
Sailing on the South Coast of Tobago

 

Tobago #157 - 24 Nov 13
Trinidadian Frieghter

 

Tobago #54 - 5 Nov 13
Your tax Dollars at Work!

 

Tobago #152 - 26 Nov 13
Returning to Trinidad – Approaching the Dock at Crews Inn
Photography by Richard Maggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobago (3)

April in November

We just finished our second week on the island paradise of Tobago and we have made our way to Man of War bay on the eastern tip of the island.  My cousin April made the long trek from San Francisco to Tobago and helped us move the boat over 30 NM of open water.  We had a beautiful sail although the wind and waves kicked up the last hour or two of the trip with head seas of 4′ to 5′, not the best point of sail for this boat.   We did manage to snag two Black Fin Tunas and had really fresh Sushi at 8:30 in the morning.  It was incredibly good!

We had a really great week of hiking, SCUBA diving, eating, playing dominoes and enjoying sunsets and sundowners on the aft deck.  We hope she returns soon for a longer visit next time!  Here are a few photos from our week:

 

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Enroute From Store Bay to Man of War Bay, Tobago

 

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A Rare Calm Passage Allowed us to Enjoy the Flybridge

 

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Ann and April Enjoying Starbucks and Silver Needle Tea

 

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Englishman’s Bay Tobago, Gorgeous!

 

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Celebrating April’s Inaugural Journey on the Ann Louise in Charlotteville, Tobago at Sharon and Phoebe’s Restaurant

 

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The Ann Louise in Man of War Bay, Tobago

 

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Having a Sundowner Watching the Sunset in Man of War Bay

 

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The Rain Moving Across the bay
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Our Morning Hike Through the Bamboo Forrest

 

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Steps to our Private Beach

 

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We Discovered This Beautiful Beach on our Morning Hike

 

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Swingin’

 

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Speyside, Tobago the Morning of our Reef Dive

 

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Enroute to Angel Reef

 

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Ann’s First Dive as a Certified PADI Diver

 

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April’s First Open Water SCUBA Dive

 

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Post Dive at the Speyside Jetty

 

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The View from Blue Water Resort in Speyside, Tobago

 

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Ann and Bill in Charlotteville

 

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Need we say More?
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We Made a Friend At Sharon and Phoebe’s Restaurant
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Our Afternoon Hangout Each Day

 

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Bringing in What I Thought was a big Fish – It pulled out 400′ of Line

 

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This Tiny Black Fin Tuna was at the end of the Line!

 

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Fresh Sushi at 8:30 in the Morning!

 

Entering Man of War Bay near Charlotteville

 

 

 

 

Tobago Sunset

Tobago!

 

Tobago, they say, is what the Caribbean was like 20 years ago.   This is our first trip of the season after spending our summer break in Roswell, GA and we are looking forward to getting back into the island lifestyle: you know, drinking without regret!

We spent the last six weeks in Trinidad  doing repairs and enhancements on the boat, and also enjoying the sights and sounds of Trinidad.  The people there are great and we really enjoyed our time.  We were docked in the yachting center of Trinidad, Chaguaramas, on the northwest tip of the island,  just seven miles from Venezuela.

While Tobago is an unspoiled gem and many areas of Trinny are beautiful, the northwest tip of Trinidad is an industrial swamp with garbage strewn beaches and roads.  The people there are very nice, but apparently not all are environmentally conscious. And, it’s not just the locals – boats anchored and even docked at the marinas here don’t use holding tanks and just flush their toilets directly into the local waters.

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The water in Chaguaramas, Trinidad is a disgusting, smelly, black, garbage strewn cesspool.   But enough of my lighthearted plug for vacationing in Chaguaramas, let’s go to Tobago!

Tobago is 24 miles long and 6 miles wide.  It’s oriented mostly east to west which means there are very few good harbors due to the easterly trade winds making for very uncomfortably rolly anchorages.  We plan to spend a week anchored at the western tip of the Island in Store Bay and then cruise the northern coast to Charlotteville near the eastern tip where the really good reefs are located.

We hope to get our SCUBA certification next week with a company by the name of Undersea Tobago and spend at least a month here diving the beautiful reefs and caves and exploring the island.   Until then, I’ve posted a few pictures from our Trinidad visit and our journey here.  Enjoy!

Tobago Sunset
Sunset in Store Bay Anchorage, Tobago


The Halfway Point of our Beautiful 12 Hour Sail to Tobago

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The Western View of the aft Deck in Store Bay

 

Store Bay Satellite View
Store Bay Anchorage, Tobago

 

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Nice Little Blackfin Tuna Caught Just West of Tobago

 

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Our Friends Richard and Lavinia Maggs at Crews Inn Marina

 

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The Open air Market in Trinny

 

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Our Favorite Catholic Church in Trinny

We were actually kidnapped from this church by and elderly women by the name of Kwailan La Borde.

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An Early Picture of Kwailan

After church, she asked us if we needed a ride home which we gratefully accepted.  She then asked us to sit in the back seat and promptly turned left and took us the opposite direction we were expecting.  She said, “I hope you have a little extra time because I wanted to show you a few things on the island and do some shopping”.  We spent the next two hours doing just that and thoroughly enjoyed our kidnapping and eventually ended up back at our boat with unexpected groceries and a new friend.  It turns out she’s a famous Trinidadian and, with her husband Harold, were the first Trinidadians to sail around the world.  She even took some time to show us the book she wrote about the journey.

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Anchored With the new Flopper-Stopper Installed

 

 

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Coco Reef Beach Club – Tobago

 

 

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Splashing the “Ann Louise” After two Months on the Hard

 

 

Trinidad (9)

Eight Months and 2434 Miles

We made it to Trinny, our final sail for the summer and south of the hurricane belt!  I don’t know what I really expected, but I was thinking paradise lost and a few hundred people on a basically deserted island.  I guess I should have read the guide-book; not even close.   It’s 1.5 million people on a 40 X 80 mile island with malls, superstores, lots of KFCs, traffic jams, urban sprawl, crime, drugs: you know, just like home! It is a melting pot of 40% Indian, 40% African 1.2% Chinese, 0.6% white and lots of everything else so OK, maybe not exactly like home.

Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of beautiful unspoiled areas of Trinidad. They are just a long drive from where we are docked.

A couple of days after our arrival, we did the “Taste of Trinidad” tour of the island with our host, historian and driver Jesse James. What an experience!  Jesse is a Trinadian of East Indian origin and took us on a 10 hour drive around the island and treated us to almost 80 different Trinadian delicacies.  Most of the food was delicious, well, except for the cow hoof soup and barbecued pig tails.  The flavors of the soup and barbecue sauce were good, but the hooves and tails were just too chewy.  I don’t like having to crush cartilage for a full minute before I can swallow.

We are in a nice marina called “Crews Inn” in Chaguaramas.  The great thing about Chaguaramas is that it has become a yachting refit center mecca.  You can have anything done in this place; new sails, new engines, new fiberglass,  woodwork, electronics and everything in between, and at 1/4 to 1/2 the cost compared to the US for anything labor intensive.

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At the Lighthouse with Mike and Paula After a Rough Sail

The trip from Grenada to Trinidad  was 18 hours and fairly lumpy.  The waves weren’t large, but they were confused and we felt like we were in a washing machine for about 12 hours. No one was able to sleep very well, but at least there were four of us to share the helm.  We dragged two fishing lines for the entire trip and didn’t even get a hit, which is unusual for these waters.

 

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A Squall Chasing us At Sunrise en route to Trinny

 

Sunrise and a Squall Between Grenada and Trinidad

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Approaching Trinny From the North – Beautiful!

 

On Friday June 28, we are hauling the boat out of the water, cleaning up from 6 months at sea, and heading home to Roswell for couple of months to relax, visit friends and family and wait out the worst of hurricane season. We probably won’t post until we are back at sea in October. Thanks for following the blog and see you soon!

 

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Goodbye From Trinidad!

 

Postcards From Trinny

 

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A Cocoa Tree with Many “Air Plants” Living on the Tree

 

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Jesse James, Ann and Mike – Cocoa Plantation

 

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Palm Lined Beach at Coscos Bay – East Coast

 

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Coscos Bay with Mike and Paula

 

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Live Blue Crabs for Sale, Hanging on a Mailbox

 

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Roadside Watermelon and Ganja Stand. Dallas Dallas, Proprietor

 

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Hanging Birds’ Nest

 

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Ann Picking Cocoa Pod – They Grow on Branches and Trunk

 

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Chaguaramas Harbor – Our Home for Two to Three Months

 

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Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Port of Spain, the Capital City

 

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Coat of Arms – Trinidad and Tobago

 

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Walking in Port of Spain

 

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Port of Spain Skyline

 

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Paula Piloting the Ann Louise off the Coast of Grenada

 

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Mike at the Helm in St George – Passing a Windjammer Sailboat

 

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Grenada – The Island of Spice

Grenada is a beautiful mountainous island well-known for its nutmeg and mace crops.  The island has been both a French and British Colony in the past and is currently an independent democracy and a Commonwealth Realm meaning Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Grenada and the titular Head of State.

On October 19, 1983, Communist elements of the Grenadian Army led a coup against the government of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and he was executed by soldiers along with seven others, including government cabinet ministers at Fort George.  Six days later on October 25, the United States invaded Grenada, extracting 2000 U.S citizens, mostly students,  and  restoring democracy.  The people of Grenada to this day are very grateful to the US for this action.  The Cubans are still unhappy.

After spending months at anchor, we opted for the luxurious Port Louis Marina and the associated air conditioning as our friends Mike and Paula Schlich were joining us for a week vacation and our final sail of the summer to Trinidad. Ann’s early morning walks were really appreciated by all aboard as she returned with fresh mangos and chocolate croissants for our breakfast each day.

Our stay in Grenada was short, but we managed to see much of the island and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Patrick’s where we were served 17 different “small plates” of traditional Grenadian dishes made with local ingredients. The callaloo soup (incredible), stewed goat and spice cake for dessert were favorites.

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A View of St. George Bay From Fort George

 

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Port Louis Marina

 

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Beautiful Old Tree Across the Bay From Fort George

 

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Ann and Paula on our Private Beach

 

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The Grounds at Port Louis Marina

 

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Our Friends Mike and Paula Schlich

 

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The Colorfully Barked Eucalyptus Tree

 

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Annandale Waterfall in the Grenadian Interior

 

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Site of the American Invasion in 1983

 

 

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Nutmeg – The Outer Red Covering is Mace, Another Spice

 

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Cocoa Pod – You Can Suck on the Seeds. Delicious Chocolate Flavor

 

Happy Island

Union Island and the Grenadines

What a great place to cruise!  There are 21 large and 579 small islands in the 57 mile beautiful stretch of the Grenadines.  Union Island is the southernmost island  controlled by St. Vincent with all islands south of the Martinique channel controlled by Grenada.

Union is a beautiful island with generally friendly people and a charming downtown.  We arrived at the end of the season when jobs are scarce and, unfortunately, some people were making money the old-fashioned way: theft.

We were there only two days and a local couple was robbed at knife point and a cell phone was purportedly taken from an unlocked sailboat. Last, but not least, the 45′ sailboat La Sorella which was moored right behind us was stolen while we slept.  Maybe it’s just me,  but it seems odd to steal a large sailboat.  What do you do, put out both sails to make a fast getaway at 8 knots?  Anyway, they made it further than I thought and were captured 8 days later in St. John in Antigua.

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Anchored Behind Thompson Reef on Union Island

The anchorage, when you’re not being robbed, is spectacular and well protected by Thompson and Center Reef.  It is unhappily crowded with many abandoned and derelict boats, but we did find a nice spot between them.

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Fruit/Vegetable Market in Clifton, Union Island

 

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Stocking up in the Rain

 

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Fishing Boat Named After my Mom

 

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The Heart of Downtown Clifton

A local man named Janti Ramage solved the problem of discarded conch shells littering downtown Clifton.  He hauled them all to the end of Thompson Reef and built a man-made island out of discarded conch shells.  Over the years he has expanded Happy Island to a nice size bar, restaurant and living quarters.  He finished up the place with outstanding food and reasonable drink prices.

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Happy Island, Grenadines

 

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Happy Island Bar With Janti the Owner

 

Bequia Cigar

Bequia

Bequia, is a small island, measuring 7 square miles with around 5000 people.  The name Bequia means “island of the clouds” in the ancient Arawak language.  There are several theories regarding the origins of the name, but I believe it came about as the entire island is covered in a haze of ganja from noon until midnight which resembles a giant cloud.  The other possible theory is that everyone is so stoned that they just think the island is in a giant cloud, not sure.  The population is a mix of white Barbadian, Scottish, Carib Indian and African, but I never saw any Barbadian, Scottish or Carib people.

Bequia is a beautiful island and a cruiser’s dream with a huge anchorage, well built dinghy docks everywhere, lots of bars on sand beaches and, ganja.  This one guy tried to sell me the same joint several times, each time I walked by him  (I don’t think he remembered), and I almost bought it just so I could post a picture as it was the size of a Cohiba.

Bequia Cigar

 

Bequia is one of the few places in the world where limited whaling is still allowed by the International Whaling Commission.[2] Natives of Bequia are allowed to catch up to four humpback whales per year using only traditional hunting methods of hand-thrown harpoons in small, open sailboats.

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An Example of the Bequian Sailboat Used to Harpoon Whales

 

Luckily for the Whales, and in large part due to the very high quality of the Ganja, sailing and harpooning skills have declined and they have been unable to harpoon a whale for several years.  They did however manage to harpoon the bottom of one of their boats last Saturday.

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A Picture of a Recent Whaling Expedition From the Saloon of the Ann Louise

In honor of their tradition, Ann and I had our traditional first beer at the Whaleboner bar and restaurant on the south side of Admiralty bay.

 

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Drinking in the Rain at the Whaleboner

Bequia truly is a great place with nice people and we hope to be back in years to come. Hopefully they don’t read blogs.

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Ann and I Drinking a Hairoun Local Brew

 

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Cruising Friends Dudley and Heidi

 

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Bequian Standoff

 

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Sugar Reef Resort, one of our Favorite Locations

 

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Sugar Reef Inside View

 

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St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church

 

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The Green Boley Bar – Owned and Operated by Liston for 30 Years

 

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Papa’s Restaurant and Bar – Our all Time Favorite Bar on Bequia

 

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Steep Driveway

 

Bequia Wreck
Bequian Freighter, on the Rocks

 

St Lucia (10)

Saint Lucy of Syracuse Island (aka St. Lucia)

History of the Island from Wikipedia: One of the Windward Islands, Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French, the island’s first European colonizers. They signed a treaty with the native Carib people in 1660. England took control of the island from 1663 to 1667; in ensuing years, it was at war with France 14 times and rule of the island changed frequently (it was seven times each ruled by the French and British). In 1814, the British took definitive control of the island.

Sunny St Lucia! We had not seen sustained sunshine in four weeks, so we really enjoyed our time here. In addition to the beauty of the Island, we received a special treat and got to spend time with Gary and Laurie Marchuck, good friends from our hometown of Roswell, GA.  It was really great to see them and we had a great time, eating, drinking and hiking.

The people were beautiful and friendly, and the scenery is stunning.  As an example, when we went to church on Sunday, we were recognized as guests, asked to stand, and people from all over the church walked over to shake our hand, hug and we even got a couple of French type kisses, you know, one on each cheek.  We hope to return someday and really explore the island, but we are late getting out of the hurricane zone and must move on.

 

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The Official St. Lucia Flag, Hoisted After Clearing Customs
The Blue Background is the Ocean and the Triangles, the Piton Peaks

 

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Ann, Laurie, Gary and Bill at Sandals Resort

 

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Laurie in the North Peak of Pigeon Island

 

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Pigeon Island North Peak

 

St Lucia (20)
Sandals Resort, Built on the Dirt Excavated From Rodney Bay Marina Dredging in 1972

 

St Lucia (16)
A View of Fort Rodney from Pigeon Island North Peak

 

St Lucia (10)
Western Shore Pigeon Island

 

St Lucia (7)
Ann and Laurie in Fort Rodney

 

St Lucia (6)
Gary in Fort Rodney

 

St Lucia (2)
Climbing the Tower at Fort Rodney

 

St Lucia (31)
Cocktails on the Fly-bridge of the Ann Louise

 

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Petit and Gros Pitons – We Are Headed South and Will Anchor Between Them.

 

St Lucia (36)
Anchored Between Petit Piton and Gros Piton in Anse de Pitons

 

St Lucia (34)
Our Fruit Vendor in Rodney Bay Marina

 

Matinique (14)

The French West Indies

We made it into the French West Indies this week, and spent 6 days in Martinique, which is a department of France.  The natives spoke fluent French, but almost no English, and were in general very friendly.  The exception to this was a few of the younger males with NBA gear sulking around the streets and one crazy German guy in our anchorage that told everyone to get the “F” out of his bay every time someone pulled in.  He got so mad at one boat, he pulled up his anchor, moved over to anchor within a few feet of the boat, screamed at him for a while, pulled up anchor and then went back to his spot.  I’m not sure what his issue was, but did notice that no one invited him over for cocktails while we were there.

French Customs and Immigration is hilarious.  We checked in and out at the same time, which it turns out you’re not supposed to do, and the women behind the desk didn’t look at passports, drivers license, boat documentation, my face;  nothing at all.  I don’t think they really care whether you even show up.

We spent our first night in St. Pierre where, in 1902, Mt Pelee erupted and burned almost 30,000 people to death in a pyroclastic flow of hot volcanic gases over 1800 degrees F travelling at 450 miles per hour.  There were only two survivors: a cobbler and a murderer in his cell.  The town is still a mess 111 years later and has never really recovered.

The anchorage there is very difficult since water shallow enough to anchor is only 200 feet from shore and if the winds shift, you can end up on the beach.  You must also stay out of the way of the local fisherman.  As there is no way to know in advance where they will cast their nets each day, you are often asked to move and must do so immediately.  We moved immediately.

 

Martinique (20)
Anchored 200′ off St. Pierre Hoping the Wind Doesn’t Shift

 

Next stop was Fort de France, the capital of Martinique.  It is a bustling city with great shopping, restaurants and, best of all, French bakeries!  I lived on chocolate croissants for five full days, and never saw Ann without a baguette in her hand.  The anchorage there is great, other than the Nazi war criminal, and is located right in town.  We were anchored under the old Fort St Louis built in 1638 which houses the French naval forces, even today.

 

Martinique (7)
Anchored in Fort-de-France Bay, at the Mouth of the Madame River

 

After six days in France, we bid adieu and headed of to British St. Lucia.  We had about a 7 hour sail in mostly good weather.  After being anchored near rain forests on our last few islands, we arrived to a welcome site, one of our first sunny days in almost four weeks.

Next up, St. Vincent, Bequia, Grenada and our final destination this summer, Trinidad.  Only 210 nautical miles and three weeks left before we fly home to the US for a two month visit.  We are really looking forward to visiting family and friends.

Please comment if you visit, so we know you were here!

 

 

Martinique (14)
Sunset over Fort St Louis

 

Martinique (36)
Rounding Point Du Diamant on the Southern Tip of Martinique and Headed for Open Ocean

 

Martinique (4)
At the Downtown Dinghy Dock, With the Ann Louse Anchored Behind

 

Martinique (15)
Our First Beer in Martinique

 

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The Fishermen of St. Pierre Preparing for Their Evening Catch

 

Martinique (11)
The Catholic St Louis Cathedral in Martinique

 

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Open Air Market in Martinique

 

Matinique (19)
A view of Fort St Louis From our Morning Walk

 

Matinique (14)
Scamming Internet From the Local Bakery (I did buy several croissants)

 

Matinique (13)
Eating Out in Martinique for my Birthday

 

Matinique (10)
A Beautiful Abbey in Martinique

 

 

 

Join us as we travel aboard our 48' Kadey-Krogen North Sea Trawler