Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wow - a lot has happened! Sorry this is so long.

We had a good sail from Prince Rupert Bay Dominica up to Les Saintes - it's only 20 miles so not too onerous. We were lucky to get a mooring ball. Secured the boat and then went in to clear customs and have a look around. We found some cool things in the grocery store and retired back to the boat. 

Had a bit of a rocky night on the boat so we switched mooring balls to one that looked better the next morning.

We had met Jason and Roberta from Dobro Dani back in Dominica who are doing a cool sabbatical. They purchased a boat in Croatia and are in the process of sailing it back to Vancouver - or around the world - not sure yet. So later that night we went over for sundowners on their boat. Fun couple. Hope to see them more down the road.

Next day rented scooters and created seniors-bike-gang mayhem around the island.

Clearing in

Look out! Comin' through


Stinky Sargassum Beach

French lunch

Visiting Dobro Dani

Had a rockin' and rollin' night - worse than the last so at 7 we were all awake and decided to head off to Pigeon Island, 20 miles up the coast of Guadeloupe.

Mike and I started talking about rollmops (pickled herring with a pickle) in Les Saintes but none of the Les Saintes stores had them. So we were on a mission when we got to Pigeon Island. We anchored and quickly made our way to the grocery store in the little marina/hole-in-the-wall. We found many things but sadly no rollmops. Actually, Charlotte found some but they were pickled in a cream sauce (weird, right?) and we just weren't ready for that.

Snorkeled in the Jacques Cousteau park and saw some lovely corals and different fish. The current was quite strong so I didn't last as long in the water as Charlotte with her powerful strokes (and fins.) Made our way back out to the boat for an evening of stories, reading, wine and dinner. The next morning headed up to Deshaies to continue our search. Didn't find any but we did find 12 Euro beers at Club Amer. I guess thanking them for providing free internet for the harbour.

Looking down the beach from Club L'Amer

Expensive and delicious beer. Thanks Mike!

From the Death in Paradise set


Spent some time wandering around the town, looking at the landmarks from the TV series Death in Paradise. You really should check it out. Lots of fun.

We had been looking at the weather and the best day for travelling north to Antigua was going to be the day before their flight home - leaving us no time to explore English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard. So we broke a cardinal rule - and chose to sail 42 miles on a day that we shouldn't have. The forecast was for high winds (18 to 25) and confused seas. And guess what??? The forecast was right. We double reefed the main and significantly pulled in the genoa. So now the wind wasn't a factor but the seas were all over the place and no fun at all. We got a good thrashing. And to top that off, we were hit by 5 or 6 squalls that threatened to drench us.

So we did that for 8 hours - no fun at all and certainly no fishing - but upon entering Carlisle Bay we found calm water, nice sunshine, good internet and a beautiful sunset. So file that one away.

Carlisle rainbow

Murphy lounging on the beach
We went into Falmouth in the morning to check in and see the fabulous private yacht collection of the rich and famous. It is impossible to describe these boats. There must be billions tied up in these fancy toys. Crazy.

So we've relaxed in Carlisle, enjoyed more of the same in our base at Hermitage Bay near Jolly Harbour and had a quick island tour.

Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium

One of the cross Atlantic rowboats getting ready to be shipped back to England

Sister boat - Windswept Dreams getting ready for painting

Betty's Hope windmill restoration project

Pam standing next to a copper sugar reducing pot

So they're gone! Put them on the plane this afternoon and last I checked they were getting ready to land in frigid Toronto.

We had a super time showing them around our Caribbean stomping grounds. Appreciated their help, good nature and generosity. What great traveling companions!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Inmans in the Caribbean

We often do an island tour when we are in Dominica. It costs about $100 EC per person ($50 Canadian) and usually involves a hike and lunch at some gorgeous island bar/shack/restaurant. We did one with B&K and planned one with Mike and Charlotte. But, Pam and I had a wonderful island tour by ourselves, accompanying Winston the taxi driver on his trip over to pick up M&C at the airport.  Saw communities, farms, vistas and parrots!

Google Maps says it is 45 minutes. Google Maps is not correct. Much longer.

Crazy drive

It was dark on our return trip to Blue Pearl so M&C didn't get to see the sites. By the way, if you get a chance, read Black Sand - White Sand by Elma Napier. Gives you a great sense of the island. We drove past the Napier place on the way to the Douglas Charles International Airport.

We had a lot of rain with B&K, and that continued with M&C. Between squalls we've had a chance to show them around the town and have a look at where Ross University was - before they left after Hurricane Maria. We picked up a few groceries and had a Shawarma before heading back to the boat.


View point

Prince Rupert Bay

Mortar launcher

Canon view 

Chatting in the cockpit

Dominica parrot

Walking to the Falls

Milton Falls

Having a cool dip


Jungle Woman 


Oooooo that's nice

Leaving Dominica
We've done the great Cabrits tour, had a PAYS BBQ and then loaded up with water this morning before sailing (and what a great sail it was) up to Les Saintes.

So that's it in a nutshell. We will continue explore as we do the reverse of B&K's Excellent Caribbean Adventure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Between Fun Folks

Another quick post!

Since arriving with Brad and Kim, Pam hasn't had a chance to do what she does best... cleaning. I'm not standing in her way. So, between B&K and Mike and Charlotte, she's been polishing, waxing, washing, putting things away, ordering me around. It's perfect.

We brought down a part for Mike and Robyn on Mermaid last year and they promised us a rum punch for our troubles. But we weren't able to get together then so they were in debt to us for one significant rum punch. WELL, we've run into them and have had a chance to collect. We had a super island tour with B&K, Mermaid and Blue Jacket and after the tour Mermaid arranged for us to come over for payment. Nice night.

Busy Pam

Big Sail visitors

Show off

Ross Medical School - or at least it was - sign's gone

Red wine alarm has been going off - Pam's dealing with it.

Lunch next year

Osborne, Mermaid and our old friends Southern Cross IV at the Green Bar
Osborne told us about enduring Hurricane Maria. The patio roof went first, then the roof of the house. He and his son prised up some floor boards and moved underneath the house. The land crab that lived there and normally terrorized the kids welcomed them and they spent 5 hours in a truce as the hurricane pounded them.

Pam's kitchen window

Only 16.65 $EC

Now that's a rainbow

Buzzing around like mosquitos trying to save a drifting yacht.
We brought some things for Shania
You might remember Jason, Chanty and Shania from last year. They spent 5 hours of Cat 5 Hurricane underneath the collapsed walls of their house. We met them through our friend Raquel and brought them a few things after the storm. Shania is pretty cute and exactly the same age as our granddaughters Chevy and Lucy so we picked up a few extra things at Christmas.

Fun to meet up with them today to deliver.

Beers with fellow cruisers at Madiba's tonight
Bracing for the Mike and Char storm tomorrow - got lots of fun plans for them. Better get to bed!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Dancing, Diving, Touring and Hiking - Four Days in Dominica

Hello Dear Reader,

Alexis, the PAYS boat guy has just taken Brad and Kim off in his pirogue to taxi to the airport. They will have a short, fun flight to Antigua to overnight in preparation for their flight home to Calgary tomorrow. We have had a terrific time with them. They are VERY easy to cruise with.

Our 20 mile trip down from Les Saintes was great in the beginning. But then we lost all our wind for a few minutes and when it started back in it was 30 degrees off what it had been. That meant motor sailing the last half... which was fine because our batteries enjoyed the boost.

Alexis met us and brought us in to our mooring buoy and we settled in for a celebratory beer. Within minutes Edison from PAYS was alongside to sell us tickets for the Wednesday night PAYS BBQ. So after a quiet afternoon we got all dressed up (NOT) and went in for PAYS Rum Punch (which is lots of Rum and a big punch) and a chicken and fish (except there was no fish) BBQ with all the usual side dishes. Of course the evening ended with crazy dancing in the sand. Kim taught us all to dance like Elaine.

Watching sunsets
During our pre-BBQ beer we met Fabian the dive master who suggested that he could be available for a dive the next day and so...

The next day Brad pushed off at about 9. The rest of us sat on the boat reading and keeping busy. After 3 or 4 hours the dive boat returned. Kim saw Brad standing up and said, "Oh good. He still has both his legs." No shark bite. Turns out, he had a great couple of dives and has the photos to prove it.

AquaMan with his Lion Fish

Poisonous fins removed - great for fish tacos

Bobbin'. With fish nibbling at their toes.
Alexis arranged for an Island tour the next day. Tour driver Winston took us all around the island to see various sites, check out the Maria hurricane damage and have a cool dip under a waterfall. Great day!

Winston with a coconut... or something

Winston's house. He endured Maria inside... in a barrel.

Winston... papaya

Maria damage

Lunch beers with my buddy

What kind of rum do you want? Obama?

Mmmmmmm lunch
Washing our hair

Cute couple by a waterfall
Today we walked up to Fort Shirley and had the grand tour... up to the gun batteries, to the Douglas Battery and the fort itself.

Half way to the top

We could make this work...

Back at the fort
Careful that thing doesn't go off!

Guarding Prince Rupert Bay

Last swim
Brad and Kim have tasted Dominica.  Enough that they may want to come back again?

We hope!!