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Arctic Tern
Steel drums and Angostura Bitters
09/04/2007, Trinidad

We spent the today in the pursuit of tourism. We visited a steel drum "factory" and toured the Angostura Bitters and Rum factory.

The drum factory was a small business that afforded us an up close and personal view of the art and science of making steel drums. Trinidad is known for steel or pan drums, but this tradition started only after World War II when oil drums became available. The drum process starts with an oil drum that is cut to size. A larger drum yields a deeper note. A five pound hammer is used to beat the top of the drum into a concave shape. The drum is then tempered and chromed. A professional tuner will hammer deeper concave shapes to create notes and fine tune the drum. The drum is then ready for a steel band.

We also visited the Angostura Bitters and Fernando Rum factory. Rum factories are always fun and educational. Here is a bit of trivia. Most rum is aged in oak barrels that were first used for bourbon. Apparently bourbon must be aged in new oak casks so the used casks are dismantled and shipped to rum distilleries throughout the Caribbean.

Angostura Bitters formula was first compounded in 1824 by Dr. Johann Siegert, Surgeon-General in the army of the great liberator of South America, Simón Bolivar. Dr. Seigert's headquarters were in the port of Angostura, Venezuela, a city now known as Ciudad Bolivar. The doctor experimented for four years before finding the exact formula he was after to improve the appetites and well-being of his troops. Sailors putting into the port discovered the bitters and bought bottles to carry away with them. Soon the fame of "Angostura" bitters spread around the world.

The formula for the "bitters" is a big secret that is held by five individuals. The botanicals, (plant material) are combined in the "Secret Room" and then go through a grinder before the mix arrives into the factory. The plants materials are "shampooed" in alcohol and allowed to age for a few months. Angostura Bitters are said to be very good for upset stomachs and other ailments as well as a spice added to drinks and many foods.

Of course the tour ended with free samples of rum.

My Favorite Fish Monger
08/25/2007, The market in Port of Spain

Saturday is the big market day in Port of Spain. My routine it to meet the bus at 6:30 and I get to the market at 7:00 and it feels late. People are already leaving loaded down with fresh vegetables, fruit, fish and meat for the week. I do most of my produce shopping for the week. The lettuce is beautiful, so are the tomatoes. I bought bodi beans- long string beans and pak choy. The eggplants are fresh firm and purple. It is hard to not buy too many vegetables. Yes, you can buy too many vegetables for the week.

The treat at the end of the shopping frenzy is breakfast at a stall. There are big bowls of stew, Indian curry fry pies and my favorite is Bul Jul- a large biscuit filled with salt fish or herring. Yes, I am eating smoked fish before 8 am. Yum.

The fish market is wonderful and quite varied. I feel like I need a field guide. We have been enjoying the king fish and shrimp. This is a photo of my favorite fish lady.

Hot Yoga
08/23/2007, Trinidad

I have found enough spare time to teach a yoga class. I am sharing the twice weekly class with another cruiser. It is a lot of fun to teach yoga and have the benefit of another teacher. We are challenged by puddles in our "studio" and insects disturbing us during our relaxation but we mange to have a good time.

Hurricane Dean
08/17/2007, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

Several hundred cruisers migrate to Trinidad in the summer to avoid hurricanes and to comply with the requirement of their insurance company to spend hurricane season at or south of 10 degrees and 30 minutes (north of the equator). An equal number (or more) go to Venezuela. Some folks stay in Grenada which did not have a big hurricane until Hurricane Ivan about four years ago. Well, I van has made those folks weary and yesterday when Dean's track was still unclear seven boats came in from Grenada. We are battened down for winds and heavy rain, but it looks like Dean will go through the Windward Islands before hitting Central America.

It is now evening of a long day. I wrote the first paragraph with a cup of coffee before the swells and wind started. By 8:30 the boat started to rock and roll and we were all out on our decks moving fenders, adding extra lines and placing anti chafe gear (they keep friction from sawing through your lines). As the boats rolled the 65 foot (or taller) masts came perilously close to each other and now and again a big metallic clang announced a quick kiss of two masts. Cleats pulled of the docks and dock lines snapped under pressure. All hands were on deck or dock watching and helping others who needed help with lines.

We had no problems and loaned out a few lines and helped others in need of extra hands. We heard on the radio that St. Lucia, Martinique and Dominica got slammed with high winds and heavy rain.

The folks staying in the marina are very friendly and very helpful. The instances of people helping each other are too numerous to list, but one that stands out is the offer from one of our neighbors to inspect the welds in our new stainless steel arch. Our neighbor spent his working career inspecting welds on nuclear plants, big turbines and other high pressure machinery. We gifted him with a bottle of wine.

In this photo Hunter is helping a neighbor secure his boat after a cleat on the dock snapped off. Note the angle of the masts.

08/17/2007 | Michael Friedenberg
I'm glad to hear you're both ok. Dean has gotten stronger and it looks like it may get into the gulf and land somewhere between Northern Mexico and Texas. There are some models that even have it going farther north. I'm sure folks in New Orleans are watching closely and very nervous.

Stay safe

08/21/2007 | vjs
glad to hear that Dean has not been too traumatic. must be tough sleeping wuth that rocking going on.
08/21/2007 | Nani
Whew! The weather is so strange this year, I guess I am not surprised that hurricane winds have come farther south than the historical models predict. Heck, Seattle even had rain the 2 July weekends statistically least likely to get rain, and it poured all of this past weekend! Glad you two are safe and sound, if a little too rocked and rolled! -Nani
08/21/2007 | Nani
I forgot to say that this morning NPR featured some Mexican mayor gloating that the gale force winds "only" hit the indiginous Mayan people of eastern Mexico, not the tourists (thank goodness, he proclaimed). Wow, that was generous, wasn't it?
08/09/2007, Trinidad

We are in the water at last. The "splash" went smoothly and it feels wonderful to be in a floating boat. The boat is alive again. In this photo Hunter is applying the last touches to the bottom paint just before we reentered the water.

Be on the lookout for more changes to the field marks of this Arctic Tern

08/11/2007 | Nani
Hi Devi and Hunter, Congratulations on finishing up all of that painting! The boat looks great! I look forward to more "armchair sailing" as you describe your Orinoco River adventures. Things are fine here. Summer is making infrequent appearances, odd for August in Seattle. Miss you and think of you often...
08/21/2007 | Bob & Linda Masterson
Glad to know you weathered Dean ok with some rough wind and swell. Photo show the activity. Did you get a chance to look in on Villomee in the secured area of Peakes? I am sure it is ok but also good for confirmation. Any cruising plans and schedule yet - you and Assenace?? Take care, Regards Bob
Back in Trini
08/04/2007, Chaguaramas

It is good to be back in our home and back in Trinidad. Cold airports and stuffy planes made us appreciate the warm moist air of the Trinidad evening. A Great Kiskadee (a large flycatcher with a lemon yellow breast) greeted us as we loaded our bags into the taxi and we knew we were back in the tropics. The rainy season is in full swing now. We often wake to the promise of a few hours of sunshine, but usually we have a few showers sometime time in the day, sometimes as early as 11:00.

Arctic Tern is still "on the hard" and we are looking forward to getting back in the water. It gets a bit tedious climbing up a tall ladder to get into the boat. We are two coats into a four coat paint job on the bottom of the boat. After the last coat dries we will be ready to get back into the water.

We plan to spend most of the remainder of hurricane season in Trinidad. We would like to take a trip up the Orinoco River sometime in September or October and will start finding out the information and seeking traveling partners.

Many cruisers choose Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad to spend hurricane season and do boat maintenance. There are several marinas and many marine services. In general it is a good place to do work or have work done for you; so many cruisers arrive with long to do lists. This is also a very social place. Many of us have seen each other in anchorages in the Caribbean or we may find a new friend on a trip to the market or to an attraction. This is a community of nomads with a many things in common.

In this photo I am applying coat number two. The white coat is the primer, the second coat is black and the last coat will be green. The gold stripe above my head is the new boot (waterline) stripe. The field marks for this Arctic Tern have changed and more changes are planned....

08/08/2007 | vjs
Looking good, I like the color scheme. starting to feel like Fall here- leaves are changing and blueberries are more than ready to pick...also feels like the rainy season is starting too.
08/08/2007 | vjs
Looking good, I like the color scheme. starting to feel like Fall here- leaves are changing and blueberries are more than ready to pick...also feels like the rainy season is starting too.
New England
07/29/2007, North Carolina

The old road winding roads that follow the topography of the Berkshire Mountains are a relief from the roads in south Florida. The dense wall of deciduous trees gives the scene a softer look. It is not just the scenery that brings relief; the pace if different. Some people are in a hurry to get to their destination but they are more courteous about being in a hurry. The road ways are not filled with car ducking and diving through the lanes of traffic going 75 mph. After months traveling our sailboat where 7 knots is fast (1 knot + 1.15 mph) driving in traffic going 75 mph seems REALLY fast.

We have had a wonderful time visiting family. My parents are doing well in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. Hunter's family is well and is planning a trip to visit us next Christmas. The boat delivery was fun and uneventful, except for catching a white marlin, a few tuna and a kingfish.

We are packing our bags for our flight back to Trinidad.

Not all about box stores
07/11/2007, Sarasota, FL USA

We are in still Florida spending time with family, doing routine doctor visits and redistributing our wealth (buying stuff). Our days start with a 15 mile bike ride before the mercury climbs to 90+ degrees. We have taken a few kayak trips with Lou and Frank (my sister and brother in law). Last weekend we kayaked the Wikki Wachee River. Yes, that is the same river that features a mermaid show and no, we did not go to the attraction. We did paddle five miles upstream and had a leisurely paddle downstream. Half way down we saw a manatee and floated beside her (him?) for about 45 minutes. What a treat to see a manatee up close and for that long. The river is spring fed and the water is cool and clear and lovely for a cool swim.

Hunter and Frank have been surf fishing for snook. In this photo Hunter is throwing a cast nest for bait fish.

Hunter will be helping Bob Oakes deliver his new Sundeer 60 Sailboat from Ft. Lauderdale to Ocracoke, NC. Bob helped us bring Arctic Tern to the Virgin Islands and Hunter would like to return the favor. It should be fun to sail in a boat that is 15 feet longer than our boat. I will be spending time with my folks in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. After that we will visit Hunter's family in North Carolina.

Reflections from Land
06/24/2007, USA

This is clearly the end of a chapter in our lives. We have been living aboard "Arctic Tern for 18 months and always planned to spend our second summer (hurricane season) in Trinidad. We are here and it feels like a bit of an achievement for us. We are still enjoying the lifestyle and the associated challenges of living and traveling on a sailboat, and best of all still like each other. We spend much of each day within 45 feet of each other and have to coordinate our lives and activities

Our cruising days are full. Some days are filled with the logistics of the lifestyle; finding food and supplies. Other days are filled with boat chores, swimming, reading or drawing. At times we have a busy social life. We have been traveling with a few boats that made the passage with us from Virginia to Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Traveling with another boat does not mean that we go everywhere together and at the same time. We spend time together and may move on and meet up again. We have shared much of this adventure with Don and Heather on "Asseance". As I review the photos I see so many images of the four us on adventures such as exploring an island in a rental car, visiting markets, taking hikes and many games of dominos. We also have helped each other with spare parts, expertise, an extra pair of hands or an ingredient for a recipe.

Sailing in the Caribbean gives one an excellent opportunity to enjoy sunsets. The trade winds blow predominately from the east, which means that the bow is pointed east and the stern points west. It is hard to get bored with tropical sunsets. We are enjoying the luxuries of a land based life. We enjoy our showers, a large refrigerator, well stocked stores and ease of communication. We do miss sunsets and look forward to returning to our boat.

We carry many warm memories of the islands. In general people were very friendly and helpful and wanted us to enjoy their home. We were a bit surprised to see the international financial support in many islands. Some of the smaller islands had developments funded by Japan, Taiwan and Venezuela. One of the dominant theories is that these countries are trying to buy votes, especially in the Untied Nations where each country get one vote. It is evident that there is pressure on the country of St. Kitts and Nevis to support the Japanese in their effort to permit more whaling. That situation is a bit troubling, but we all exert our influence when we can.

We are in a retail shock. It is overwhelming to go into stores and see how much choice we have in each item. We are such a wealthy country.

We dug our road bikes out of storage and are enjoying long bike rides. It is wonderful to see our families and we wish we could see more of them.

06/25/2007 | vjs
Writing from down town Red Town...we are now connected. Good to catch up on all your news. Call when ya get to the states if you get the chance. The turtle event sure looked awesome!

Out of Water
06/15/2007, Chagauramas, Trinidad

It is 7:25 in the morning and we are in the slip for hauling out at Peake Yacht Services. We are the first haul of the day and we are scheduled for 8:00. The crew is happy that we are early so they can keep on schedule. The rain of yesterday has passed and it is sunny, in fact it is hot. Sweat is running down my back as I move about on the deck and toss the lines to the Marina staff. The morning parrot migration has begun so it must be time to start the work for the day.

This crew will haul about 8 boats each day and they are fast and efficient. The crew adjusts the hoist straps to the size of the boat and the diver sits on the straps and they lower him in the water at the bow. The diver adjusts the straps underwater to make sure they are on properly and then they hoist the boat out of the water. This is a bit unnerving for some people. There is also an element of dirty is the hull? The boat hull is pressure washed and scraped and moved into the yard. Another crew appears with stands boat is placed on the stands and the stands are chained. All of this happens in about an hour and a half. We are pleased that the hull is in good shape. We still have to paint the hull with anti fouling paint, but our last paint job has held well.

This evening we had dinner with friends and someone mentioned that his wife was the Chief of Shitty Little Jobs. Well, today that is me. Today I am the CSLJ. I spent most of the day cleaning the hull, especially the through hulls (the holes in the hull that allow water in or out). Hunter spent his day with the electrician chasing the electrical gremlins and putting up tarps over the boat for sunshade. We are both a bit pooped, so I am going to quit now.

06/16/2007 | Michael Friedenberg
It's funny how boats always look bigger out of water.

I had dinner with Louise and Frank last Monday night. Wow it's been a long time since I last saw you and your sister.


06/18/2007 | Holly
The hull looks great - nice job you two. Devi - just think of the weight you sweated off and the muscle you built as master cslj.

What's the next step?
A night with the Leatherbacks
06/14/2007, Trinidad

Last night we took a trip to a beach on the east side of Trinidad to watch leatherback turtles come ashore to dig their nests and lay their eggs. It had rained quite a bit during the day and we were concerned that it would be a dark night and difficult to see the turtles come ashore. We were also warned that it is a bit early to see the hatchlings come out of the nest and make their trek to the sea.

We were picked up "half five" (5:30) in the evening and drove through city traffic in the Port of Spain area. The roads branched onto smaller and smaller roads until two hours later the road ended in at a beach with a guard hut. The nesting beach is protected by a largely volunteer organization called "Nature Seekers" and staffed by local men and women who have day jobs.
The leatherback is the largest turtle and the largest living reptile in the world. Mature males and females can be as long as six and a half feet and weigh almost 2000 lbs. The leatherback is the only sea turtle that lacks a hard, bony shell. Female leatherbacks lay clutches of approximately 100 eggs on sandy, tropical beaches. Females nest several times during a nesting season, typically at 8-12 day intervals. After 60-65 days, leatherback hatchlings emerge from the nest. Leatherback hatchlings are approximately 2-3 inches in length, with fore flippers as long as their bodies, and weigh approximately 1-2 ounces.

We arrived at the beach and it was a starry night with a nice breeze (good for keeping bugs off humans). As our eyes became accustomed to the dark we could see huge black humps in the surf and on the shoreline. We were quietly standing and watching the black shapes when we were called over to see a nest hatching. Dozens off of tiny turtles were boiling out of a hole in the sand. We were instructed to keep all lights off- even red lights so the turtles would see the star reflection on the sea and orient them selves to crawling in that direction. The baby turtles struggled over branches and globs of sea weed at the high tide line. It is our instinct to reach out and help the little fellow get to sea, but we had to just watch while they bumbled and struggled. The last few were helped by one of the staff who turned on a dim flash light so the turtles would move to the light and out to sea.

Meantime... A huge female had dug a nest and was laying eggs. When a female starts to lay her eggs she goes into a trance like state and we were able to snap a few photos and touch big Mama. She was about 5' 5" and weighed about 800 pounds. I don't think she should use that for her ad in the personal add section of the newspaper.
These giant turtles exist on a diet of soft pelagic animals like jellyfish; so don't toss that plastic bag into the sea because a leatherback might mistake it for a jelly fish and choke on the bag.

06/15/2007 | Sharon and Craig
This is an experience that really makes us green with envy!! We wish we could be there...
06/18/2007 | Holly
Excellent picture of you and Hunter! What a great experience! One question - are we looking at the front or the back of the turtle?
Water = work
06/11/2007, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

We are in the Coral Cove Marina in Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad and will be here until June 15. We will then have boat hauled out of the water. A few days after that we have reservations to fly back to the US for family and doctor visits. We are not alone- there are literally hundreds of cruisers doing the same thing and many folks are leaving their boats for 4-6 months. There is a lot of preparation involved in leaving a boat for months in a humid climate.

This is the first time we have had free fresh water since we left Virginia in November. All of the islands in the Caribbean charge for water, and sometimes as much as $.30 per gallon. Now we have a dock and fresh water and that means work. For example we took the anchor off the boat and hauled out all of the chain (200 feet). We washed the chain, inspected it for wear, reversed it and marked the chain so we know how much chain we have put when we set the anchor. I hosed out the anchor locker to evict sand, mud and micro sea critters. I must have hosed out a few pounds of Chesapeake sand and mud.

Every boat is a hub of activity. Work begins early in the morning before the heat and the rain set in for the day. It does not rain all day, but it is not uncommon to have a torrential downpour or two for a few minutes each day. Other days are just hot. This is not a place for a person with impaired sweat glands.

We often end the day in the pool, which is not very big, but it is cool fresh water and feels wonderful after a day of work. There is a small gazebo next to the pool with tables and after a dip and a shower a beer is in order. Last night we had a BBQ potluck. We each bought our own food to grill and a side dish to share. It was nice to meet and talk with the folks that on the other boats.

We plan to take a few days off to do some sight seeing. There is much to see and our first priority is to see the leatherback turtles nesting on the beach. I have done a bit of bird watching in the marina and long to get out in the forest with binocs and bird book in hand.

In this photo Hunter is balancing the blades of the wind generator.

06/13/2007 | Bob O
Anyone up for a quick trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Ocracoke, June 30 - July 4? Sundeer 60 under contract.
06/13/2007 | kevon andersen
Great to see/read that you're safely in Trinidad. If you are through MIA on Sat. Sun. Mon. I'll be out front working at the counter near Conc. D/La Careta -- ask for me.
I've been busy. See
Not much else here other than it is hot. You get a chance give me the flight dates so I can look out for you. Any bad problems at MIA let me know or look for me or call my cell at 786 417 9290.

06/18/2007 | Holly
I know you guys are working hard now and this kind of work must be more like a job!

Any chance you'll be coming north or will you be staying in FL/NC?

How long will you be out?
Grenada to Trinidad
06/06/2007, Chaguaramas Bay

The perfect weather window was not on the horizon, at least according to Chris Parker, the Caribbean weather guru. This is how it works: In the wee hours of the morning Chris gathers weather data from many sources and makes a summary of the forecast for the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean all the way down to Venezuela. He broadcasts the summary on several shortwave frequencies at different times. Anyone can listen to the broadcasts. If you want Chris to give you a specific forecast you must be a sponsoring vessel. To achieve this elevated status you pay a fee. Sponsoring vessels can also get the weather summary emailed to them. When you are ready to make a passage you can either listen to Chris on the short wave, and then ask specific questions or send him an email. He is very good about responding promptly. Of course you can listen for free and there is almost always someone going to the same place as you are, so you can get Chris' advice for free. Why anyone would want to stiff the weather guy and tinker with the weather gods is beyond my comprehension. We download the weather almost daily via satellite phone.

Back to the "weather window"...Chris said that he did not see a good window for ten days due to either squally weather or winds from the wrong direction. Monday morning we looked at the information and thought that we saw a good opportunity on Monday evening. Late in the afternoon we pulled up our anchor from Prickly Bay at the south end of Grenada and along with our friends, Heather and Don on Asseance we sailed to Trinidad. We got into Trinidad in the morning after a really nice sail and we did not see a drop of rain, high winds or adverse wind.

06/09/2007 | Holly
Nice picture of the boat. Devi - did you get seasick? Where will you be laying over for hurricane season? Looks like it's going to be active.
Sounds like you guys have the sailing thing down pretty pat.
Market Day
06/02/2007, St. Geprges, Grenada

Saturday is market day in St. Georges. We took the bus into town (about 5 miles) and went to buy food for the next few days. My general dislike for shopping is lost when I get into a fruit and vegetable market. I have also lost the need not to feel stupid. I ask vendors what this fruit is called and how you eat it, or how do you prepare that tuber and what do you call it? These are questions that a child in Grenada could answer, but I keep seeing things that are new to me. These discussions usually include lots of instructions and if you do buy something from the vendor a little extra something, like a mango, grapefruit or a few nutmegs are thrown in as a thank you. The ladies will often say "Thank you daling (darling) for giving me your business". It really is a lot of fun. Shopping in a open air market in a tropical country is the antithesis of shopping at Costco.

Last night we joined a few other cruisers and took a bus to the town of Gouyave at the north end of Grenada. Gouyave boasts that they are the fishing capital of Grenada and every Friday night there is a street fish food fest. Yes, lots of fresh fish cooked in the open air and opportunities to taste local foods. We sampled many fish dishes, but our favorite was the yellow fin tuna kebabs. Of course we washed down the fish with a cold Carib beer.

06/03/2007 | Holly
You are definitely living the life of Riliegh (sp). Devi - I was reading your entry for "Bequia - at last!" and I think you should consider doing some writing, either non-fiction journal or fiction. That first paragraph evokes a tangible picture of the island life there. Think about it. We visited the Air and Space Museum today - it was interesting, we saw the Enola Gay, and the Concorde and the space shuttle among many others. I'm glad you are having so much fun. I agree with your friend
06/03/2007 | Holly
(contunued) who said that no matter how hard you try, you can't explain the diving experience, especially how the fish treat you like another fish. Enjoy! - Holly
The Spice Island
06/01/2007, Grenada

We are in Grenada. Remember Grenada? The United States invaded Grenada in 1983 to fend off another communist nation in the Caribbean. It is a lovely island and has a lot to offer visitors. Grenada is called the "Spice Island" and boasts that it grows 90% of the nutmeg used in the world. Did you know that the spice Mace is the covering of the hard nut of the nutmeg? Mace is a red lacy cover over the nut and is hand removed and sorted.

We took a land tour of the island and went to a cocoa processing plant. Of course we got free samples of the wonderful dark chocolate. The rum distillery was interesting, but we all agreed that the rum tasted much like a cross between turpentine and mouthwash. No one bought a bottle.

We are waiting for a weather window (east wind with little rain squall activity) to sail to Trinidad for the next chapter

Life is good
05/23/2007, Tobago Cays

This is the tropical island where Captain Jack Sparrow was marooned with Elizabeth in Pirates of the Caribbean 2. We are in the Tobago Cays, in the Grenadines. We are anchored behind a reef and surrounded by reef and tropical Islands. The snorkeling is excellent and we took our third SCUBA dive yesterday and dove to 70 feet. I believe I am hooked. The diversity of sponges and corals is dazzling. There are purple and azure transparent vase sponges. Red, yellow and orange sponges in vases, blobs and long ropy fingers grow between coral. We see so many fish that our heads are full of new fish to identify when we get back to the fish books.

The Tobago Cays have recently been given National Park protection, but of course there are inadequate resource protection patrols. Most visitors respect the rules and do not take fish or conch. Locals say that they can see a return of coral and fish.

We are enjoying the company of friends. Some friends are from the Caribbean 1500 (the group that sailed from Virginia to the British Virgin Islands) and some new friends. Last night we celebrated two birthdays with a desert potluck. We had been scuba diving and swimming during the day so maybe we already the calories. Two days ago I bought a fresh tuna so we have been enjoying tuna steaks for the past few nights.

The boat gremlins have been mostly resting. Boat gremlins are the forces (spirits, little men in green suits...who knows?) who unfix things that were working on the boat the day before. Say, for example, the wind generator worked perfectly yesterday and today it is merrily turning and producing no power. The problem- boat gremlins cut through a wire and let it get corroded by salt. The solution of course is to dismantle the wind generator and rewire it.

So life is good on the Arctic Tern

05/23/2007 | Ed Whitaker
Trying to describe colors and sights seen while snorkeling and scuba diving to someone who hasn't seen it is a hopeless task. Nothing can compare to the vivid colors and the movement. Still photos never do it justice. Just enjoy for the rest of us who aren't there with you.

05/23/2007 | Bob Oakes
Made an offer on a Sundeer 60 two days ago. Wish me luck, and a cooperative wife.
05/25/2007 | vjs
end of seasonal orientation week and I am to Jones' tonight for Spencer's grad party. love seeing all the photos!! I'd better get dive certified before we see ya again.
05/18/2007, Mayreau, Grenadines

It is mango season
The mangos are ripe!

Underwater Garden
05/18/2007, Mayreau, Grenadines

We just took a SCUBA refresher course and took two lovely dives.

In this photo you can see Arctic Tern (with sun shade) and our friends boat "Asseance". This is a lovely place to dive and do boat work.

Bequia- at last
05/15/2007, Bequia, Grenadines, West Indes

"Yoho, good morning, I am the bread boat. I have white bread, whole wheat bread and banana bread- all fresh this morning." The sun is just hitting the deck and it is a few minutes to 7:00. Cumulous clouds ring the horizon and provide evidence of nighttime condensation burning off in the early morning sun. Brown boobies fly low as they follow a school of fish. They dive as if shot from a slingshot and bob back up as if they are just too buoyant to stay under water. A silver shimmering fish in the booby's beak is evidence of a successful dive.

Bequia is very cruiser friendly island. It is one of the Grenadines, just south of St. Vincent. The folks here have found a comfortable balance between providing useful services and being pesky by overwhelming cruisers with offers for assistance that we really do not need. In some other islands there was a constant flow of men offering fruits and vegetables, souvenirs, help with mooring balls or anchoring, boat cleaning etc. It does get to be a bit annoying. Here we welcome the man selling fresh bread or the fuel and water barge that saves a trip to the dock for a few gallons of diesel.

Bequia is 7 square miles packed with history of whaling and boat building. We visited the boat building museum and got a very through explanation of the whaling boats and current whaling activities. The islanders are allowed 4 whales (humpbacked) per year by the International Whaling Commission. They usually take one or two.

There is a great little produce market that is run mostly by Rastafarian men who love to heckle and hustle the cruiser ladies. It is all friendly and can be a lot of fun. Rumor has it the Rasta men are greatly mellowed out in the afternoon by the cigar sized joints. I by a little from most vendors and joke and laugh with them. They call me Good Mama and always slip in a free mango, grapefruit or a few carrots. I also get to try any fruit or vegetable that I request and get tips on their use.

We visited a hawksbill turtle sanctuary and this photo is of a tub full of six month old turtles.

05/15/2007 | vjs
glad to see you underway again. tell the bread man I'd like a couple of baguettes!
05/16/2007 | Claire
So glad you are back aboard and Dad's on the mend. We are STUCK in Green Turtle Cay due to weather -- 50 boats anxious to cross back to the States! No hope for at least another week, but at least I have time to check up on my buddies!
05/19/2007 | Michael
I love banana bread. Can you send some my way? Hope all is well with you.

Back to the Arctic Tern
05/03/2007, enroute to St. Lucia

I am writing from the Tampa airport on our way back to St. Lucia. I spent three weeks helping my parents recover from my Dad's stroke. Hunter joined me after ten days and we feel things are in good order for them to continue without our help. Dad is recovering well. He walks well and is regaining the use of his left arm. He rewarded himself for all his hard work in physical therapy by having a drink with his left hand. I bet that was the best tasting glass of wine he has had in a long time.

We are anxious to get back to the boat, restock the food and get to the Grenadines. We miss the rhythm of boat life; beautiful sunsets, sundowners with friends, snorkeling and meeting the warm friendly folks on the islands. We were grateful to be able to help my folks when they needed us. I joke with Dad that I am paying back my childhood one diaper at a time.

The mountians in the photo are the Pitons in St. Lucia- can't wait to see them

05/07/2007 | vjs
glad you are back to the tern. hope the next part of the trip goes well. have a last rotti and piton for us before ya leave St. Lucia

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