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** KYROS **
The Journey Begins
Andre & Louise visit

Marc's Mom and Dad joined us on the boat on Jan 20th for a 10 day adventure. We left Pointe-a-Pitre and headed along the south edge of the eastern part of the Guadeloupe butterfly, Grande Terre. Our first stop was at Anse Accul, the Club Med beach, just west of Sainte Anne. It was a beautiful calm anchorage and we were the only private boat in the bay. On Sunday we rented a car to see some of inland Guadeloupe. Unfortunately nothing was open, just like the good old days back home, when people spent time at home with their families. Thankfully we found a place open that was serving lunch. Andre and Louise had visited Guadeloupe 27 years ago and were excited to find the hotel that they had stayed in, with a fresh paint job, still in operation. Our next destination was St. Francois, which we loved, enough so that we stayed an extra night, and hope to go back one day. We walked and explored - visiting shops, markets and restaurants.

2012-01 January
Island 17 - Islet Cabri

We then sailed around Terre de Bas but did not find an anchorage so headed to one of the smaller islands Islet Cabri. We hit a jackpot here. The island had a beautiful beach and the protected reef had some fantastic snorkeling. The anchorage was calm and only had a handful of mooring balls so was not very busy. We ate, drank, ate some more, swam, drank some more, snorkeled and then did it all over again the next day, and don't forget the noodling with sundowners! It's funny at home we eat very little white bread, but here in the French islands; we seem to have a baguette every day!

2012-01 January
Island 16 - Iles des Saintes, Terre-de-Haut

One of my best friends, Michelle, and her sister in law, Winona, joined us in Guadeloupe for five nights. Michelle's husband agreed to stay at home with their four children in the freezing temperatures while she came for a visit. Keith you are an amazing husband, when do you get to come visit!! We spent the first night in Pointe-a-Pitre in a calm anchorage.

We left Guadeloupe and sailed southwest to a small group of islands, Iles des Saintes, for four nights. Michelle was a little nervous about the ocean, but by the time she left we had trouble getting her out of the water. Our first stop was at Bourg des Saintes on Terre-de-Haut, the largest island. We rented two scooters and explored Fort Napoleon and the beautiful secluded beaches. Some of hills were very steep with sharp hairpin corners. Marc had fun and drove fast up and down the hills with Michelle behind him hanging on for dear life with her eyes closed.

2012-01 January
Island 15 - Sail to Guadeloupe
01/31/2012, Our Second Night Sail

Our next NIGHT crossing was from St. Martin to Guadeloupe. We left Phillipsburg at 4am and sailed for 33 hours to arrive at Poite-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe the next day. The sail went well without any problems. We had a full moon overhead, the wind came and went, but overall was uneventful and we made good time. Good thing Marc has all that practice staying awake for long hours in his previous job. Although he later told me that he did watch a movie while I was sleeping and he was sailing at night. I have to remember to pickup some sunflower seeds next time I come across them for our next night crossing!!

2012-01 January
Island 14 - Tintemarre

On our sail from Tintemarre to Phillipsburg Mel caught a Wahoo!! Mel caught so Mel gets to clean it. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to cook it up before the gang left. We were able to share it with our next guests and it was very tasty!!

Note: Brad hurt both of his wrists snowboarding a few weeks before joining us on the boat. He had both wrists in casts, so was not able to join in the water fun, but still enjoyed building sand castles.

2012-01 January
Pat & Mel Visit

Pat, Mel, Brad and Jared arrived on New Year's Eve. We had a quick dinner followed by numerous drinks and stayed up for the fireworks to bring in 2012. We were in the lagoon and were surrounded by land, which meant we were surrounded by fireworks as well - you did not know which way to look to catch the best ones.

We were up the next morning and ready to sail around St. Martin, with the exception of Mel. Unfortunately Mel indulged in the margaritas a little too much the night before and did not feel great for a few days on the boat. Marc forgot to mention that they were 'Tonita Margaritas' and had five ounces per drink. And to top it off - the seas were quite rough. Being sick on a boat does not look like fun, I would not recommend it!

Our on tour we visited:
- Marigot Bay with the amazing french bakery;
- Grand Case for a BBQ dinner;
- Tintemarre for sand castle building and turtle spotting;
- Orient Beach with the nude grandparents and
- Phillipsburg for 17 bottles of Ciclon and then back to Simpson Bay.

The week was filled with exploring the island, swimming and snorkeling, great weather, yummy food, lots of baguettes and wonderful company.

2012-01 January
Island 13 - St. Martin
01/31/2012, Our first Night sail

Paul and Kathryn knew that I was a little nervous about our first NIGHT crossing from the BVI's to St. Martin. Marc figured it would take between 20 and 30 hours of sailing, and we had not sailed in the dark yet. They were heading the same way and offered to join us on our crossing. Now you may think that this is not a very big deal, but it was. You see they have a high performance catamaran (a Ferrari) and we have a factory produced cat that is built for a combination of comfort and performance (a Chevette), so they could literally sail circles around us, which they did.

We pulled up anchor at 6am and headed to Virgin Gorda to clear out of customs, and then were on our way to St. Martin. The sail started off great with a good heading and the wind in our favour. However after a couple hours the wind shifted 20 degrees east so we decided to start to the iron sails - the motors. Paul and Kathryn were always within site, they were sailing this way and then that way, they would come up behind us and then from the front. It was very comforting knowing that they were close by in case we ran into any trouble. It would have taken them about 12 hours to complete the sail to St. Martin if we were not holding them back. Instead they sailed with us for 23 hours, we arrived to St. Martin in the dark at 5am, set anchor and went to bed. Overall was a good trip with no trouble.

We spent the next few days exploring St. Martin with Paul and Kathryn. We rented a car one day and spent some time fixing and cleaning the boat and lots of shopping for the boat. We had been waiting in the BVI's for three weeks for an inverter to arrive by ship, which it never did. In St. Martin we were able to buy one off the shelf. St. Martin was a good place to get boat parts as well as to provision the boat.

2011-12 December
Christmas Day 2011

It was a very different Christmas this year being away from home, our family and old friends. We spent the day with our new friends Paul and Kathryn. They joined us on Kyros for pumpkin soup and Mimosa's for lunch, accompanied by Kathryn's freshly baked soda bread with butter and honey. While we were having lunch we witnessed Santa doing a beach assault at a nearby resort in a dingy. Later that day we headed over to their boat for a delicious turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy and homemade butter tarts and key lime squares, not to mention the great company. Overall it was a fantastic Christmas on the water!

2011-12 December
Peter Island - Deadman's Bay

We met some amazing Canadian cruisers, Paul and Kathryn, that we are blessed to call friends. We spent a couple of weeks hanging out together in the BVI's - it was a nice break from just the two of us on the boat. I think of them as our guardian angels. They have given us so much sailing advice and have really helped us along this steep learning curve on the water. They are such wonderful, giving and loving people - the type of folk we hoped to meet out here on the seas. We read that when you are sailing you are an island and need to be as self-sufficient as possible on your boat (ie: spare parts, power, water). But when things go wrong it is nice to know that there are other cruisers out there willing to help you out in any way they can. Thanks again for everything Paul and Kathryn!!

2011-12 December
Island 12 - Peter Island

A beautiful calm anchorage was recommended by Nic on Peter Island in Little Harbour. At this anchorage you back into shore, drop your anchor, back up VERY close to shore and tie the stern of the boat to the rocks on shore - kind of like house boating in the Shuswap in BC. It was so calm that some people were water skiing in the bay. Snorkeling was interesting in this area - there is a family of squid living in the area, about 15 of them. It was so cool to just hang out with them and watch their behaviour. They swim in a line largest to smallest in formation. Once they do not feel threatened the larger squid will stay in formation and the small ones will go and play.

2011-12 December

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