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Arctic Tern
01/18/2012, Le Marin

We are in Martinique visiting some old favorite spots and exploring new places. This photo was taken from our favorite anchorage in Le Marin. We stayed in Le Marin for a few days and took a hike on the west side of Le Marin with Kathy and John from the boat Oceana. Of course we bought some wine and cheese and other French goodies.
We sailed north to Grand Anse D'Arlet and hiked over to Petit Anse D'Arlet. The hike took about an hour and Hunter, with his well tuned nose for French bakeries, found a bakery and of course we replaced the calories we expended on the hike. We returned to our boats and enjoyed a late lunch ashore to celebrate Kathy's **th birthday with Ti punch , white wine lunch.
Ti Punch is a local drink made of one part cane syrup and three to four parts rum with lots of lime. You can add water if you wish. Kathy asked for a glass of white wine and the waitress asked "Petit or Grande". Well, who wants a small glass of wine of your birthday? The Grande glass turned out to be a large bottle. We helped her- that is what friends are for.

The view from the Petit Piton
01/05/2012, Soufriere, St. Luica

Did I mention that the view from the top is spectacular?
The red arrow points to Arctic Tern.

Petit Piton
01/04/2012, Soufriere, St. Lucia

As you approach St. Lucia from the south two large cone shaped volcanic plugs rise from the azure and emerald sea. These spectacular features, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, are often used as an icon for St. Lucia; even the national beer is named Piton. The Pitons are part of a World Heritage site that also includes a coral reef and several other volcanic features. We have hiked up both Pitons and enjoy the challenge of the climb up the Petit Piton, which rises 2,461 feet above the sea.
Getting up the Petit Piton is a climb and I spent much of the two hours up and two hours down in four wheel drive (hands and feet engaged). There are ropes hung to aid you in the most difficult places and contrary to everything I have ever learned about rock climbing I made liberal us of roots and vegetation. The view from the top is spectacular.

Soufriere and the local bakery
01/03/2012, Soufriere, St. Lucia

After an 8 ½ hour lumpy, bumpy and wet passage yesterday we got to St. Lucia too late to go to customs and immigration so we checked in this morning. It turns out that the town of Soufriere considers January 3 a holiday. It was explained to me that - New Year's Day fell on a Sunday, so Monday was New Year's Day and Tuesday is the holiday. I really did not follow the logic, but I could clearly see that most stores were closed. We really did not need anything in town, but Hunter had a hankering for the local bread bake in a wood stove.
The "local" bakery that we remembered from previous trips was closed so after some asking around we found the open bakery. There is no sign to let you know that this nondescript alley leads to a window to the bakery- this is clearly local knowledge about the local bakery.
We got on line and listened to complaints like "you said the bread ready in five minutes, ten minutes ago". A kind person in front of us mentioned that you can get loaves buttered, with cheese or plain. Cueing up, as in getting in a line and staying there, does not seem to be embedded in the culture. There is no pushing and shoving, just people getting in front of you and calling their order to the window. We got our hot buttered and cheesed bread and found a bench in the square and savored the slightly smoky flavor of the bread. Okay, we snarfed the bread and enjoyed every bite.

01/03/2012 | Janice
Glad you included a photo of the alley so we will know where to find the bakery when we get to Soufriere. We found out that Tuesday was a holiday when checking out of Carriacou as well - who would have guessed??
A walk through the Bay Forest
01/01/2012, North End of Bequia

Hunter is in the cockpit scraping the bark off of the two new hiking sticks that we cut this morning. We took a four hour hike this morning in the north end of Bequia. Along the way we walked through a few bay tree forests and chose our walking sticks with care. My current old favorite stick has spiral cracks so it is best to plan ahead and break in a new stick. We walked in the deep shade of the bay trees rubbing the leaves of the bay and inhaling deeply. Yes, these are the same bay leaves that you use in cooking and I did grab a handful for the spice locker and to put into flours and grains to repel weevils.
I found two bird nests on the ground that had the paper thin bark of the bay tree in the nest among the twigs and grass. I wonder if the bark repels insects in the nest. When we sat in the shade and ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I declared my sandwich the best I had ever tasted. What a nice way to start a New Year.

On top of Peggy's Rock
12/28/2011, Bequia

We are in Bequia waiting for a Fed Ex with our documentation for the boat. We are taking hikes and doing boat chores. This photo was taken from the top of Peggy's Rock, Bequia.

Happy Holidays
12/23/2011, Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Dear family and friends,
We hope this letter finds you in good health and good cheer. In reviewing the year I am constantly reminded of the good fortune to have both of my (Devi's) parents in relatively good health. The greatest change in our lives is that Devi's parents have asked us take over the care of their summer residence in Lenox, Massachusetts. In the past we put the boat on land during the hurricane season, returned to the United States and made the family rounds in about three weeks. This summer we were away from the boat for three months. I will tell you more about that later.

New years 2011 found us in Puerto Rico exploring the island, celebrating holidays with my sister's in-laws and hiking in El Yunque Forest. It was a nice change to stay in a local marina with a rental car and we made the most of the opportunity to use our Spanish. We sailed to the US Virgin Islands and in early February and our niece, Hunter, and her fiancé Brandon visited us for a week. It was great fun sharing our lifestyle and getting to know Brandon. Many of our cruising friends were in the Virgin Islands and it was fun to dive, snorkel and explore with friends.

We sailed south and arrived in Antigua well in advance of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta in mid April. Hunter volunteered to work on a Carriacou sloop (a traditional wooden fishing boat) named Genesis. Hunter helped paint her topsides, sand and oil the wood mast and other jobs and his labor earned him a place as crew for the regatta. Devi had a "press pass" and was able to join boats for the race and interview the owners. We had a busy few weeks that remained a highlight for the year.

After the regatta we sailed to Barbuda, only 30 miles away, but a few decades behind in development. Barbuda is a tiny island (62 sq. Miles) that has miles of pristine beaches and coral reefs. We spent almost two weeks exploring the island on foot, by bike, beachcombing and snorkeling. At one point several of our "boat family" was in Barbuda and it was a grand reunion.

We headed south with a few week stay in Grenada and spent time with our fisherman friends Dwight and Steve. Most days ended with Dwight and Steve in the cockpit eating, drinking and sharing stories.
We sailed to Trinidad and got the boat on the "Hard" (land) and worked until it was time to fly to the US. We made stops in Florida to visit Devi's parents, Raleigh to visit Hunter's sister, Brooke and family. We bought Brooke's 11 year old Toyota van and drove it and a bunch of stuff from a storage locker to our new place in Massachusetts. As we settled in we also prepared for very special guests. Jessie (James), Sharon Rose and Julie Rose our dear friends from Trinidad spent five days with us and we were so delighted to be able to return the hospitality that they have always extended to us in Trinidad. We filled the rest of the summer with bike trips and hikes exploring the Berkshire Mountains. We went to a few events in Tanglewood- the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. We both got involved the Harvest Festival for the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Hunter helped with overall organization and Devi managed the recycling and compost program. I continued to write articles for Caribbean sailing magazines through the summer.

We returned to Trinidad in October and completed the work on the boat and got ready for our friends, Dad and Jay from Alaska. We spent 2 weeks sharing Trinidad with Deb and Jay. We went to Asa Wright and birded, hiked, ate lots of local food and listened to pan music. After we returned Deb and Jay to Alaska we got ready to head north. More time liming (relaxing and sharing stories) with Dwight and Steve. We got ready to share Grenada with Janet Kailin, a friend of many years from Olympic National Park. We hiked and explored Grenada, Carriacou and the Tobago Cays in the Grenadines with Janet. We saw Janet onto the ferry to return to Grenada for her trip back to Washington State and prepared for winter in the Caribbean. The famed Christmas winds came howling out of the north and we hunkered down behind Frigate Island beside Union island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The wind has died down a bit and hopefully the seas will also calm down. Tomorrow we plan to head to Bequia.

Our warm (and windy) regards and wishes for a healthy and peaceful New Year,
Devi and Hunter

12/24/2011 | Michael Schulte

Happy holidays to you and Hunter.

Very nice blog / lifestyle. Great to see you are alive and well. Ran across old notes on first visit to Hoya de Guaguas and it triggered some wonderful memories.

Take very good care, Michael
Catching up
12/20/2011, Grenada

I have gotten very far behind in this blog because we have been busy- that is my excuse and I am sticking to it. On December 6 we met up with friends Judy Caminer and Roger from the National Park Service in Anchorage. We spent the day with them and took them to Au Coin Falls from the Concord side. It was a lovely, if not a bit muddy hike.

Hashing with Janet
12/19/2011, Grenada

Janet Kailin, a dear friend from our time in Olympic National Park in the mid 1980's came to visit us in Grenada and after a hash and a hike we sailed to Carriacou. The Hash was of course muddy, but traversed very nice scenery.

Can't miss the oportunity to take a Hike

We took Janet to Au Coin Falls via Grand Etang after a big rain the night before and the trail was very muddy and slick. We could not even get into the pool below the falls due to strong currents and muddy water. We ended the day with a power shopping trip in the market in St. Georges and a load of laundry completed at sunset that actually mostly dried by morning. We jammed a lot into that day so we could sail to Carriacou the next day with favorable winds.


In Carriacou we hiked Chapeau Carrie, snorkeled, visited Hillsborough and Petit St. Vincent. Janet was a great guest and we enjoyed her company. We hope to wait out a windy spell at Frigate Island, Union Island

Hike to Au Coin and Fontainbleu Falls
12/03/2011, Concord, Grenada

There are many wonderful waterfalls in this lush and steep island. A few days ago we took a hike to Au Coin and Fontainbleu Falls. We hiked with Anna and Hawken from the boat Unicorn and had a lovely day. It turns out that the falls that we thought was Fontainbleu Falls is really Au Coin Falls and we have never been to Fontainbleu Falls before.

11/30/2011, Hog Island Anchorage

We had an uneventful passage to Grenada. The winds were light but adequate for sailing and the seas were low. After checking in with Immigration and customs and moving to Hog Island the next item on our addenda was to deliver the peppers that I bought in the fresh market in Port of Spain, Trinidad for Joanna at B Spot Roti in St Georges. It seems that Joanna has been having trouble finding good scotch bonnet peppers for her homemade hot sauce at her roti shop. She was delighted with the gift and we enjoyed a delicious roti lunch.
It took about 3 minutes to find the Grenada grove on the maxi taxi into town. A maxi ride costs 2.50 EC (Eastern Caribbean dollars), which is about $0.80 USD for a 20 minute ride. It is good form to greet everyone on the maxi with morning, morning (rhymes with yawning). The return trip must start at the terminal because the maxi leaves full and if you try to get on elsewhere in town there will not be room on the maxi. When I say full I mean really full. I have seen 23 humans in a van that holds 19 if you jam in an extra person on each seat. Okay, so it is hot and the maxi is in the sun and the driver keeps jamming in one more person until finally the driver gets in and the wheels start to roll. At this point you pray for a bit of fresh air. You usually do not need to hang on as the maxi careens around the bends in the roads- the pack job hold you tight until a few people knock on the side wall signaling that they would light to get off. We get off at the end of the line and tumble out at Nimrods Rum shop and walk to our dingy for the last leg of the journey. We are anchored in Hog Island in our usual spot.

A Hike with Snake
11/17/2011, Avacat Marianne Falls, Trinidad

Last Saturday we took a hike with our friend Snake, a local Trini guide, along with Deb and Jay and a few other cruisers. We hiked to Avacat/Marianne falls in the north end of the island. It was a very pleasant hike with the usual challenges such as razor grass, muddy hills and river crossings. We had a nice swim at the falls. In this photo Hunter is setting up a safety line in pool beneath the falls.

I found a few pods with donkey eye seeds (aka hamburger beans) and learned about a few new trees. We enjoyed back and shark at Maracas Beach on the way home.

Bake and Shark
11/16/2011, Maracas Beach

Bake and Shark at Maracas is the best!

A Taste of Trini
11/09/2011, Trinidad

Jesse is a wonderful ambassador for Trinidad. He loves to show us Trinidad and share the culinary delights of this very culturally diverse country. We started our gastronomic tour with traditional breakfast food of salt fish (dried and salted cod), buljol (herring with fresh peppers) and coconut bake.

Cowheel Soup
11/09/2011, Trinidad

Our next stop was at the Cowheel soup Centre for D' Best Tasting Soup and it was delicious.

11/09/2011, Trinidad

A Trini breakfast is not complete without doubles, so we sampled doubles at a roadside doubles stand. Slight Peppa.

Pigtails and pacing our selves
11/09/2011, Trinidad

We all knew that we were in for a day of eating, so we paced our selves and even though the BBQ pigtail was delicious we did not refill our containers.

wash down for pigtails
11/09/2011, Trinidad

The pigtails were washed down with a slushie.

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Migration of the Arctic Tern
Who: Hunter & Devi Sharp
Port: Valdez, Alaska
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