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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Rock fish?
Lara
07/29/2012, The Pitons, St Lucia

Another amazing adventure snorkeling here beneath Gros Piton. We think this is a rock fish, but we'll have to do a bit more research. Again we're having issues switching between the 2 cameras and knowing how big the field of vision is for each. There was actually a very cool pink sponge and sea urchin that we hoped to catch here.

Sunset Sail
Lara
07/28/2012, The Pitons, St Lucia

The smart together person would be sitting in the cockpit enjoying the view when the sun sets. Instead, I'm usually trying to get dinner together in the galley, or if we're more on schedule, Bill is down below reading a bedtime story to Isobel. It's been almost 3 years now, we'll work it out soon... I'm sure.

From the galley I heard a call of "sunset! nicest one in a while!" I ran up to see the last 15 seconds of sun disappearing beneath the horizon. Bill said there was a green flash but I was looking in the camera and missed it.

07/29/2012 | Mary Ellen
Your last7 blogs are so special--we are enjoying them---Keep it up-- love mec
Standing divers?
Lara
07/28/2012, The Pitons, St Lucia

Several boats past by this morning loaded with poised men balanced in the boat. I'm pretty sure they were headed out around Gros Piton to dive for fish of some sort, but their impressive stature gave one the impression they were Olympic swimmers headed out for training.

Cuttlefish
Lara
07/28/2012, The Pitons, St Lucia

We thought we might go see the sulfur springs and have a mud bath, but our cruising guidebook said that it was a scene straight from hell & frankly it's hot as hell here (might be an exaggeration) so we decided to lay low in this uniquely stunning spot to enjoy the view & do some snorkeling.

Bill badmouthed our Sealife camera a few blogposts back & I just want to say that it was never really given a chance. We've since taken some nice photos with it & realize that we're still riding the learning curve understanding focal lengths, etc. Here's a cuttlefish that we chased mercilessly.

Livity
Lara
07/27/2012, The Pitons, St Lucia

We were thrilled to find that Peter on Livity had avocados for sale. We haven't seen them since Nassau, Bahamas. We asked Peter about his boat name - He said it was about "living the life." And the colors: red for blood, yellow for the sun, and green for the land.

The Pitons
Bill
07/27/2012, St Lucia

Well! We are in a quite spectacular spot. I suggest you google earth it (13 49.185'n:061 03.996'w) and look at some of the photos that are there.

On both ends of the anchorage are Pitons, 775 and 735 meters tall. The remnants of volcanic plugs. We have been told that they are the only double Pitons in the world...

This is a park with moorings, which is good... it would be hard to anchor here as there is no shelf of shallow water. The pitch of the mountains continues to drop under water. We are about 50' off shore in 55' of water... not too far from the moorings we were "off soundings" meaning that it was deeper than 250'... at that point our depth sounder reads---!

Although you can tell they are rocky, the two pitons are covered with lush green vegetation... filled with birds, from what I can hear. The water is crystal clear. And we are one of three boats in the bay, which is probably over run in the winter! We feel very lucky...

07/28/2012 | Uncle Readie
Another thing to do with Google Earth is to use the mouse scrollwheel and Shift key to vary the view angle from "on top" to "way down", then click-dragging the upper right N-compass around to get a nice rotating 3D view. Not as personal as Lara's great photos, though. :)
St Pierre, Martinique
Lara
07/26/2012

What a day. We flew down to Martinique, top speed of 8.8 kts. Unheard of for us, except for flying down the East River in NYC with the current. Dolphins came to visit briefly again, but nothing like the day before when they swam and played beside us for a long while, catapulting themselves up at least 20 ft in the air.

We're moving fast now, just trying to get south while the weather is agreeable. Meaning we have to accept that we're passing through some incredibly cool islands that one could spend weeks exploring. We're settling for finding some cheese and bread here in Martinique, the last French island we'll be stopping at.
We're thinking we might have to come back this way again after hurricane season.

It felt a bit strange arriving in St Pierre, knowing that the town,or commune as the French seem to call them, would probably be a skeleton of it's former self. St Pierre was referred to as "the Paris of the Caribbean" in it's glory days before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1902. This photo was taken with the IPad and came out a bit dark and blurry, but somehow seemed better suited to this town than the bright clear shots.

We were all hot, sun baked and exhausted by the time the anchor was set so in the big "pool" we jumped. Isobel spotted some kids on a boat nearby so we swam over to chat and tread water. We met a friendly French family who does charters in the French islands who currently has 4 kids under 4 on board their boat. With that much craziness already, they offered to have Isobel stay while we went into town. She was thrilled!

We cleaned up and had a not completely productive trip to town. Conflicting reports of where to clear in/out had us wandering the hot streets, finding nothing. We did find a man selling nice looking veggies out of his truck on the side of the road and some cheese at the local grocery. The town's bakery was a total disappointment after the fabulous bread and croissants we had become accustomed to in Deshaies. Probably a good thing though, because the volume of bakery items we were consuming couldn't be sustainable.

Heading south in good weather
Bill
07/25/2012, Roseau, Dominica

In the lee of the islands we have flat water and, if we stay a ways off, good wind. We have had two short, but good days sailing south.

With flat water and a well trimmed boat, I can steer with a foot and Isobel and I can amuse ourselves pointing out what the various clouds look like...

Our Weather Guru, Chris Parker and Caribbean Weather said that the weather would be "wonderful" through Firday and to "make hay while the sun shines..." So, although it was hard to corral the "herd of turtles", we did so and sailed yesterday from Deshaies to Les Saintes... and today to Roseau, Dominica.

Our anchorage here is incredibly rolly, reminding us of Chub Cay in the Bahamas. Isobel is in her bunk with pillows and a lee cloth and we will set up ours so we can sleep without being rolled out of our bunks.

The two days sail has been wonderful. Off the wind a little yesterday and a little more today... combined with a clean bottom, we zoomed along at 6 to 7 knots with seas on the beam in 20 knots of wind... all making for some comfortable and fast sailing.

We will rise early to get underway for Martinique... so we can have lots of time in St Pierre to buy cheese... seriously! We worry that there will not be good cheeses in the non-french islands.... priorities of course...

07/26/2012 | Grant Stejskal
Denise and I have been enjoying your blog and look forward to each update!

We can only assume Martinique e formidable. :)

Fair winds,
Grant and Denise
The Education of Little Girl
Bill
07/25/2012, Off Les Saintes

For those of your who expressed concern over Isobel's education... When she saw these wind turbines on Terre de Bas, she said, "Look they have power generators just like we have on the boat."

And, somewhere around here our odometer turned over 12,000 nautical miles (almost 14,000 statute miles).

07/26/2012 | George Mora
Safe bet she's already a lot smarter than many 'school-learned' kids twice her age.
Le Pain a Sucre
Bill
07/24/2012, Les Saintes

All of these leeward islands are volcanic... and they have these things that are called Pitons... This one is one of the most dramatic we have seen. We chose to anchor across the way rather than in the anchorage right beside it...

07/26/2012 | Uncle Readie
You can see the resemblance to the namesake Sugarloaf in Rio.

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