SailBlogs
Bookmark and Share
Cruising with HappyCat
Road Town, Tortola
Feb/03/2012

Provision up, and check out was the aim here, and, a treat, dinner at 'The Dove'. Also met Gemma, a potential crew to Panama, but unfortunately she could not join us. Lovely girl.
Anchored just out of the break wall of Moorings marina, a very tidy little area, behind which there is a supermarket which is big, clean, and very well stocked, of primarily US goods.
And that night, on the old main street, in a cute little original island cottage, was 'The Dove'. As Gemma said, great happy hour, best in town, in its little court yard. And the food was sensational. I was in heaven, an xmas present to ourselves. (Prices were really reasonable, we thought, too.)

Peters Island
Feb/02/2012

Another bonus for us at this anchorage is a good signal of internet, ( with our little wifi booster, unfortunately not for Mac's though). A lot of catching up was done via internet.
On Peters Island, there are some lovely little roads, leading up and around from one bay to the other. Made in the 60's by Conrad and 3 others, when the original resort was built. (Conrad still lives here, half blind, in his original shack of a home, which looks very out of place in the flash surroundings.) This road comes with scenic bench at the top of the hills under a thatched roof. Along side, in its own shaded unit, a tub of iced water and paper cups! Now why can't we have this at the top of Te Mata Peak?
We felt no need to hurry out of this lovely anchorage, but do come with provisions, there is nothing to be bought, though on our last day, the 'deliverance' boat showed up, with beverages, a bit of fruit, and a few baked goods. Also took our rubbish, at a minor cost.
The coast guard boat did its rounds on all our boats, inspecting the paper work. They were pleasant enough.

Great Harbor, Peters Island
Jan/31/2012

A fun little sail over to Peter's Island. I was at the helm, really deciding to finally give this a go at learning how to sail, and as we rounded in front of Soppers bay on Tortola, a squall came through, out of the blue, with a gust peaking at 42kts! I have to say, I did not pass the test in handling this event! Bizarre weather going on here, more rain and winds than normal.
Great Harbor is a fabulous anchorage, we tucked ourselves close to the little bay and threw out a stern anchor. Just as well for the winds picked up over the following days, but we were nicely secured.
That is not us in the picture by the way....

Little Jost Van Dyke
Jan/30/2012

On our walk over Jost a few days ago, we saw this anchorage in front of Little Jost, and decided to give it a go. After dropping anchor in white sand, we took the dinghy over to this little island in the picture, and had a snorkel around the area. Dinner at Foxys Taboo was a perfectly cooked piece of tuna.

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke
Jan/26/2012

We tucked ourselves into this beautiful little anchorage. The water is so crystal clear, and the sand so white. We enjoyed a casual buffet barbq dinner at Ivan's.
-Perhaps though, for $3 more the next day you can eat at Foxy's for what seamed a better fare. And you ate out of real plates as opposed to plastic.-

Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke
Jan/25/2012

Jost Van Dyke has definitely got a more laid back feel, with some of the original unaltered beach bars. We anchored in Great Harbour, and today had one of the most beautiful walks on the old road up to the ridge, and than down to White Bay. The path/road is like a manicured lawn, with amazing views. Grasses like in the field of NZ, just growing lushly, and no one grazing them.
At White Bay, after our must have original 'pain killer' rum cocktail, we discovered Ivan's Beach Bar, at the East end. We liked the more sedate and quiet feel to this place. Tomorrow we hope to drop anchor here.



Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Jan/20/2012

Early start, and a very gentle nice day down wind sailing to Spanish Town, British Virgin Islands. Check in was the most unpleasant so far, with the highly pressed uniformed officials with a bad attitude.
Already one feels the proximity and influence of the US. The supermarket in Spanish Town is full of US products, unfortunately not the best of their products! The quick, convenient, mass produced 'stuff', and imported fruit and veg.
Next day we had a great sail to Gorda Sound, a very nice large protected bay. Anchored, and went ashore to Saba Rock for a drink and a bite. I am beginning to understand peoples reluctance to BVI's, we felt like we were in a mini disney land.
Great walk up the road, than path to the Gorda Peak, well worth it.

Road Bay, Anguilla
Jan/15/2012

I think we will always have fond memories of Anguilla. A flat island, with a sad state of stagnation. Bad politicians and bad timing, has stalemated a lot of 'grand' projects of making Anguilla a holiday destination.
We anchored in the sheltered Bay, and delighted in the check in procedure, with super convivial, lovely ladies, and as long as we stayed put in the bay, we were not charged a dollar!
We decided that exercise was in call for after all those French pastries, so we headed out on foot, to the beautiful beaches of Shoal Bay, ( and back)! Which seemed endlessly far away, as we lost ourselves in a shingle quarry! But its always good to see the country on foot, one learns a lot!
Limited super market 15min. walk from bay, on top of 'plateau', with good veggie stand before you get there, produce all from Dominica.
We met anchored next to us, John and Caroline Charnley, owners and creators of Discovery Yachts. They were on Hull No. 1 of the Discovery 50, catamaran. It was amazing, I still can not stop thinking about it, and also what a lovely couple they are... I am dreaming....

Marigot Bay, Saint Martin
Jan/08/2012

Great chandlers, electric shops etc. and James is in heaven. At least we are anchored in the crystal clear waters and sandy bottomed large bay of Marigot. But I just don't get this place, and I am struggling to find a supermarket at walking distance. Fabulous bread shop though....

Gustavia, Saintes Barths
Jan/05/2012

Great sail North to St. Barths along the Eastern side of St. Kitts. Nice to have a calmer passage for a change. Perhaps these Xmas winds are truly subsiding!
Fantastic anchorage in out of Gustavia harbor, We chose the Northern side, and found ourselves with a back drop of all the super yachts and mega super yachts. We are constantly entertained, as they display for us there flash dinghies and fun display of night lights, shining into the clear waters.
Very tidy, easy and friendly check in. While, yes, St Barths has countless of flash shops and obvious wealth, there is an unpretentious nature to the island.
A few more days exploring would have been nice. Great 'boulangerie', the best pain a chocolat, and a very tidy and well stocked super market! And.... one of the best deli, filled with every conceivable delicious bottled, jarred, tinned, frozen, or dried scrumptious item from around the world. Incredible, and all at incredible prices....
Taxid over to St. Johns, crazy that there is no footpath through the hill!


Charlestown, Nevis
Jan/02/2012

In front of Charlestown is a large sandy coast line with great anchoring, or pick up a solid mooring of which there were plenty.
Today Nevis is still on holiday, and we struggle to find anything open, though really all we were looking for is for some bread.
Next day and we have taken an amazingly challenging walk all the way to the top of the peak! Just went prepared to the Tourist Office, and they managed to arrange a guide. Rita, our taxi lady took us to the beginning of the walk where we met Davito our 19yr. old guide. Within 10 min. we were at a steep incline, and Davito explained that their is 2 ways. There is the roots or there is the ropes. We were confused and asked what he recomended, 'well, sometimes I use the roots, and sometimes I use the ropes.' We later figured out what he meant, just grab what you can!
And up we went, and than seriously up we went, pulling ourselves on roots, and later slimy muddy ropes! Which I had become very grateful for!
We made it to the top in record time, (for us) 1:40, , and just in time to see a glimpse of the view, before it became covered in the typical cloud. Getting down was not as bad as I thought it would be, but all 4 paws were always in use! 4 hours later, with sore knees and very muddy hands, shoes and clothes, we were back to Rita! Oh Lordy Oh Lord of Mercy!!! Is what she cried!

English Harbor, Antigua
Dec/31/2011

Saturday and since our immediate vicinity in English Harbor did not provide a lot of provisions at 7:15 we were already on a mini bus to St. John for the Saturday market. I did not have high expectations, and I was not disappointed! Again, lots of roots, and twisted clumps of carrots, clearly very home grown, selling directly from open pick up trucks. I finally did find a truck selling some beautiful different greens, bought some mustard greens.
The capital city looks quite forgotten, shabby, behind, poor. We wondered what appeal would a cruise liners passengers find in St. John.
NY was spent with Peter and his family, and friends in Paparazzi. Great atmosphere and dancing on the jetty, (forget the food aspect, which was sadly over pressured and badly managed). And than we carried our party on, across the waters back to Nelsons Dock until 2am.
Invigorating walk next day up and around the headland connecting the two bays. Just follow the well marked white dotted trail starting on the way to the fort of English harbor

Ffryes Bay, Antigua
Dec/29/2011

Early start to Antigua, with a surprisingly nice sail along the Guadeloupe Eastern coast line. The sail across the strait was met with several squalls, so practicing reducing the sail and opening it out again, was the call of the day. As dusk approached we managed to make it here and dropped anchor in this lovely sandy bay, only boat...... hmmmm, not what we should be doing, we knew.....
After a bit of a pow wow, and verifying weather reports on surprisingly good internet coverage through our wifi booster, we decided to go to English Harbor and stay put through NY's. As it turned out, Peter, fellow ARC friend. and his family, were staying in the Nelsons dockyard marina, so we treated ourselves to a safe mooring on this historic harbor, surrounded by renovated buildings of the mid 1700's.

Les Saintes, Guadalupe
Dec/27/2011

Really happy to have stopped here, and had no objections on paying for these really good solid, well monitored moorings that surround the small, charming hamlet. Best we have seen ever! Fresh 'real and delicious' baguette and nice croissants for sale at a reasonable price by the attendant, the next day, why not?
Dined at Chez Pipo, on the East side of the village, one street in of coast, and the 23 euros p.p. was well worth it.
Great hike the next day up to the higher Eastern fort, and beyond, down a steep well marked path down to the Crawen beach, eventually walking back along the road . Great day!

Portsmouth, Dominica
Dec/24/2011

We have been having a wonderful time here. We got peacefully rowed up Indian River, which is here in Ruperts Bay, a natural river flanked by indigenous trees and palms, whose roots sustain the edge of the river.
Early market today. Hiding under the colorful umbrellas as solid rain doused us. Individual vendors selling their few goods from their patches of dirt, so it seamed. Roots predominated, as did bananas. Tomatoes were hard to find, and no eggs in sight. All eggs been taken for Xmas preparations, such as a most delicious Xmas cake we managed to buy from a 'bakery'. Her shop contained all but a 6 already sold cakes, we were in luck to buy the last... if only I could get her recipe!
The rest of the day, we spent on a guided hike with 2 students from Reese Uni. Driven at first into the heart of the rain forest, we immediately began to enjoy the fruits of the land. Coconut milk, 'jelly' as its called, sweet plump tangerines and grapefruits literally scattered the grounds on our path. The best though was the cocoa pod, picking it from its tree, cracking it, and sucking on the white flesh. We got doused with tropical storms, slopped around in sodden grounds, surrounded by beautiful variations of wet, shiny leaves. Our steep descent on slippery mud tracks with roots as footings, was quite a challenge.
All organized by Cobra, who considering the Christmas days took care of us, as did Dominica! So great to see such native bush and trees still here. Definitely worth a stop.
High light of our stay, was when Magali and David our freinds from the ARC pulled in besides us the next day. We had talked before of spending Xmas together and so we did, they cooked a delicious lunch aboard their boat, 'Ensamble', and it could not have been a better day.

Martinique - Dominica
Dec/22/2011, 15 34.75N:61 27.72W

Another early start, and as we approached the Northern headland of the island, we could immediately see that no, the winds were still there, and ... the big seas. Lordy, barely 5 min. in, the swell grew and grew, until well over the 3 - 4 mt. height, right on our beam. 15 min. into this, I suggested to skipper that we could always turn back, knowing already the answer. So on we trudged, James on the helm, and I by his side in the passageway. Doing my balance class... The winds soon stayed solid in the mid to upper 30's, Even capping 48kts, five miles from Dominica. And the seas, breaking and swelling, at times I am sure 5mts. Happy Cat, rode them well, JJ helmed exceptionally. And I sang, loving those beautiful waves, as they broke and sprayed us with its warm waters. HC has never been so doused with salt water. We later hear from a Swedish vessel that was coming in from behind us, who've been sailing these waters for some time now, they had never seen it so bad. We sure were happy when we reached the leeward side, and the waves flattened, though not the wind, we were pumelled with rain at 80km, washing the boat and stinging our faces!

Ruperts Bay, Dominica
Sun & Tropical rain! 30's
Dec/22/2011

Another early start, and as we approached the Northern headland of the island, we could immediately see that no, the winds were still there, and.... the big seas. BIG seas!!! Lordy, barely 5 min. in, the swell grew and grew, until well over the 3 - 4 mt. height, right on our beam. 15 min. into this, I suggested to skipper that we could always turn back, knowing already the answer. So on we trudged, James on the helm, and I by his side in the passageway. Doing my balance class... The winds soon stayed solid in the mid to upper 30's, Even capping 48kts, four miles from Dominica. And the seas, breaking and swelling, at times I am sure 5mts. Happy Cat, rode them well, JJ helmed exceptionally. And I sang, loving those beautiful waves, as they broke and sprayed us with its warm waters. HC has never been so doused with salt water. We later hear from a Swedish vessel that was coming in from behind us, who've been sailing these waters for some time now, they had never seen it so bad. We sure were happy when we reached the leeward side, and the waves flattened, though not the wind, we were pumelled with rain at 80km, washing the boat and stinging our faces!
The picture shows a wall of water, a large wave on the side of our boat, before we rode over it!

St.Lucia - Martinique
Dec/21/2011

Early start and North we went. Things were a bit different. The waves had picked up ~3mts. and the winds were ~ 26kts. The bay of ST. Francis was really rocking, with gusts in the 30's. We decided to carry on to Saint-Pierre having read that there were now moorings, making the narrow beach more accessable. It was a lovely calm bay, with dark sandy beaches, and a great anchorage. No moorings were in sight, but it is so well sheltered, we almost thought that the strong winds had subsided. Little did we know!
-Rodney Bay-

Grand-Anse, Martinique
Dec/19/2011, 14 30.17N:61 5.18W

We decide at the last minute to head North to Martinique. There is a bit of a blow coming through, or perhaps this is what it is to be from here on out ... the 'trade winds'. So we left the comfort of Rodney Bay, our home for the last 9 days and head across the island to Grand-Anse, Martinique. It was a good sail, beem reaching across moderate waves. We arrived at dusk and struggled a bit to get a good hold of the anchor. As the winds were picking up, and we had not cleared customs, we chose to stay on the boat.
At 2:30 James was up, winds were getting stronger, and 15 min. later the anchor alarm app. went off confirmed by the Garmin. Already we could see several other boats with there lights on negotiating there situation of dragging. We upped anchor and since we had seen earlier that we were surrounded by floaters marking pots, and that the anchorage was tight, we chose to just head out of the bay and stayed put until dawn. We locked the wheel to far Port, and we just managed to just stay put, just slightly drifing East. At dawn, we headed South and East to Mirin, but on approaching it we decided to just head South to the bottom of St. Lucia, and perhaps try to make it to Bequia. I spent the afternoon reading Jimmy Cornells passages across the Carribbean, and it seamed clear that we really needed to be heading out latest end of December! -or early Spring- I woke up skipper, and it was decided that we really should be heading North and not South, so we turned around and anchored in the lovely bay of Rodney, in good solid sand. Lets not talk about the last 24 hours!!

Rodney Bay Marina
Dec/13/2011, St. Lucia

Marti and Pete have been staying at a beach side hotel round the corner, and it has been a great place to put our toes in the sand!! Swim, lounge, drink rum punches..... The activities around the marina are constant, and one is not want of things to do. Great to also catch up with our ARC friends. as much as one tries to hold on, every one eventually moves there separate ways. And so must we...

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]

 

 
Powered by SailBlogs