26 November 2015 | Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Marteen
22 November 2015 | Cooper's Hole, West End Tortola
19 November 2015 | Lameshure Bay, St. Johns
15 November 2015 | Marina Del Rey, Puerto Rico
08 November 2015 | Marina Del Rey, Puerto Rico
12 April 2015 | Isle de Vieques
02 April 2015 | El Yunque national Forest
30 March 2015 | Puerto Del Ray Marina, P.R.
29 March 2015 | Puerta Patilla
28 March 2015 | Ponce Yacht Club Maria
26 March 2015 | At anchor in the harbor
24 March 2015 | Marina Cap Canya
21 March 2015 | Ocean World Marina, Dominican Republic
19 March 2015 | Puerto Plata, Republic of Dominican
18 March 2015 | Ocean World Marina, Dominican Republic
16 March 2015 | Turks and Caicos
14 March 2015 | Turtle cove Marina, Turks and Caicos
14 March 2015 | Turtle cove Marina, Turks and Caicos
Thar She Blows
20 February 2018 | Bas du Fort Marina, Guadeloupe
The wind guru website tells us we will have a few calmer days for us to travel from Martinique to Dominica and then up to Guadeloupe which will be Sue and Gary’s final destination on Mile High Dream. It looks like we will be having two days of ok weather which will not allow us to do much playing but will get us there.
Off we go. The expected winds from the weather report is 15-18 knots with gusts to 21. That is what we would call great sailing conditions. My crew is not the earliest of risers so by the time we get under way we are definitely at the back of the mass exodus of boats thinking the same as we are. Approximately 25 boats sailed out of Saint Pierre that morning headed to Dominica. Dominica is sponsoring a cruiser’s appreciation week to let sailors know they are back in business after the hurricane. This week long event is going to be strongly supported. We knew that we would not be able to take part in the festivities due to our time commitment to get to Guadeloupe but we are there in spirit.
We are in the Martinique Passage and winds are anything but 15 knots. 20 plus with gusts to 30 are not uncommon so we reef the main sail and reduce how much head sail we have out and off we go sailing at a very fast seven knots. It is a little rough but eight hours and 50 miles later we drop the anchor. We talk about tomorrow and decide to do two short days even though the winds are expected to increase on the second day. After dinner, Sue kicks our butt in every game we play that night. We head to bed early so we can get an 8:30 am start.
Reaching the Dominican passage the winds are again well over 20 knots with gust up to 35 and waves around 6 feet. This is going to be a rough sail so we are glad we are only going 17 miles. Two and one half hours later we finish crossing the Guadeloupe passage and reach Iles Des Saintes our supposed destination. I am ready to be done but that was not going to happen. Every mooring ball is taken and the only place to anchor is in 40 feet of rough bouncing water. We look at each other and decide to keep going another 20 miles. The seas get worse, the tie down on the dingy explodes like a shot out of a gun. The dingy is floppy like a fish out of water and I am flaily around trying to get a line on it to get it back under control. Oh the joys of sailing. I have asked myself more than once why I do this and I have not come up with a very good answer yet.
Gary thinks he sees something strange about a quarter mile behind the boat. All of a sudden a whales flies out of the water and does a full breach in mid air.
“Oh my God. Did you see that? It’s a whale. I have never seen one in my last five years of cruising.” I said
As soon as I said that two more whales breach in tandem. What an amazing sight. Maybe these are those special times that keep me sailing.
We make it to Guadeloupe, drop anchor and settle in for the night. Rough seas, high winds, getting soaked with saltwater and seeing whales, it has been quite a day.
Trials and Tribulations
15 February 2018 | St. Pierre, Martinique
Well this is my fourth try to post this blog so I guess the title of this is fitting. Once I arrived in French territory my phone decided it did not work. I guess it does not speak french.
Trials and tribulations,
I picked up my crew, Gary and Sue at the airport in St. Lucia. The plan was for me to sail to Martinique and meet them there but the weather told me other things as high winds were predicted. Not wise to go and sail in adverse conditions by my self. They caught a shuttle and arrived in St. Lucia. The next day we sailed to Martinique just in time for carnival.
Each Island has their own Carnival. Martinique coincides with Fat Tuesday and the days preceding lent. The big parade and festivities started on Sunday. We took the ferry across the bay and arrived in plenty of time to start partying. Actually a little too early. Nothing was open and no one was around. MMMM, did I miss the day? I certainly missed the time. I had read that it started at five am. If this is the case it is already finished and everyone went to bed. Wandering around town and finally stopping at a place for a snack we discovered that it did not start until 3:00 or maybe 4:00, no one was quite sure. We ordered beers and frites( french fries). The beers were good but the frites never did arrive. Both Sue and I had gone up to order, even having a french phone app for them to read that we wanted frites. All of this was to no avail and we finally settled for chicken and macaroni pie.
The parade did start around 3:00 and by 4:30 we had experienced enough revelry and headed back to the boat.
What we also found out is that all stores are closed for the four days of Carnival. No fresh baguettes of chocolate croissants. Why am I here when I can’t indulge on the finer things that France has to offer.
The last day of Carnival ended yesterday with backfiring cars, loud music and everyone dressed in black and white. Today starts lent and the scarifies until Easter. We hope the grocery and bakery are open. I need a croissant or maybe two to make up for the ones I missed the last four days.
Warm weather break
04 February 2018 | Denver International Airport
It is cold out there
The warm sands and clear blue water soothed my soul and cleared my mind. Why did I want to leave this beautiful place and go back to the cold of Colorado?
Change is always good and I did not want to take things for granted. Last year I made two trips home during the winter and found out I really enjoyed it so once again off I went to trade in the swimsuit for the down jacket, mittens and wool stocking hats, along with the snow, skis, and good friends of home.
Colorado did not disappoint. Nine days of Cross country skiing, 2 days of down hill skiing and one evening of skinning up the mountain for dinner and enjoying the full moon. That was an amazing experience. Reconnecting with Colorado friends including a friend from high school, meeting new friends, and spending time with those I care about and Emi the Bernese Mountain dog made for an exceptional break from Mile High Dream.
I left her in good hands getting polished and cleaned while I was away and now I am at the airport on my way back to St. Lucia.
It is good to mix things up.
17 January 2018 | soufiere, st. Lucia
The inky blackness of night surrounds Mile High Dream. There is no moon and the clouds prevent the twinkling of stars far away.
“Is that a star I see in the distance?” I ask myself.
I watch it closely and the waving back and forth tells me it is another boat at anchorage with it’s masthead light glowing to let others know they are there.
We are tied to a mooring ball in Soufriere, St. Lucia. Today has been mix of sunshine and then lots of liquid sunshine (rain, heavy downpours). My fingers are crossed that it will clear off and we may keep the hatches open tonight to give us much needed airflow throughout the boat.
It really is not as dark as I have lead you to believe because the town is full of lights. Christmas lights still adorn the dock welcoming boats into town. The harbor is full of boats attached to mooring balls like we are. it is quiet with no loud music emanating from any of the local bars which is a nice respite compared to other nights. Our anchorage is a little rock and roily so it is hard enough to sleep without the blare of the local speakers system. It is still early so it may start up at anytime.
I am sailing with a family of three. It was originally planned as four but heir son was unable to join us so it is husband, wife and their college age daughter. They had a great time scuba diving today while I relaxed, read, did some of the never-ending boat projects, went into town and even did some snorkeling off the boat. The constant flow of power boats traveling back and forth is a little unnerving when snorkeling so I swam with my bright red inflatable buoy.
The harbor is part of this towns market place. People with hopes of helping you attach your boat to morning balls, selling you fish, bread, necklaces, carvings, land based excursion or even picking up garbage, fly around the harbor at max speed trying to be the first ones to catch the newly arriving boats. Young boy paddle up on paddle boards asking if they can take your trash into town for you. Most cruisers know well enough not to give them your garbage since once they are out of sight they just dump it overboard. If you have no garbage then they ask for cookies, cokes or other things to eat or drink. One even asked me for some wine for his mother. Uh, I don’t think so. It is quite amazing but it does get a little old after being asked if you want to buy some fresh fish for the tenth time today.
Fresh tuna was the main course along with local vegetables for tonight’s dinner.
Tomorrow is planned for land based exploration and checking out some working plantations. We are hoping it shapes up to be another wonderful day in paradise.
Barnacles are growing
06 January 2018 | Prickly Bay, Grenada
Partly Sunny with a storm rolling in just in time for me to leave
Mile High Dream is tugging at her mooring lines. She is ready to start heading north. The big question is am I? After arriving in Mid November and spending countless hours cleaning the boat, fixing engines (both inboard and outboards),replacing worn lines with new lines, and completing the never ending chore list she is finally ready. At least I hope so. A very close friend come down over Thanksgiving to help with my boat prep and get me organized. Getting me organized is the hardest part but she is very talented with that task.
I then left for two and a half weeks to do volunteer work in a Mayan village in Guatemala. That was an experience of a lifetime which I will treasure forever and may even go back and do it again. Not speaking their language and having no one there who spoke English for 10 days was very enlightening to say the least.
This was the first year I spent Christmas on the boat without any of my family. I invited another family of a longtime friend to join me. My self and her family of five with her husband, and three children ages 17-23 spent a marvelous Christmas together. it was her first time not being with her family also so things were different for all of us. Six is the largest number I have ever had on the boat at one time and we did great together. Sailing north to Tobago Cays to snorkel, hike, enjoy lobster beach barbecue, and explore new islands and local towns is a treat for all of us. Music filled the boat with the gift of their voices and many evenings were spent playing games if we were not to tired from the days adventures.
Now it is again time to leave this paradise of Grenada. It would be very comfortable to stay here like many sailors do. There are many friends that I have come to know over my years of sailing. It is amazing to me that this is the fifth year that I am enjoying the cruiser's lifestyle. The shopping is good and I am getting be very familiar with the island. To give all this up for the unknown is always hard. I did buy a sailing vessel to take me to different place and not a home on the hill. I guess that says it all.
Tonight another friend will join me for our sail up to St. Lucia. Once we arrive, she will fly back to Grenada so she can go back to work at the University here.
The new year of adventures has started. What will it bring this year?
I'm back in Grenada
20 November 2017 | Prickly bay, grenada
Greg, hot and humid
SailBlog nov 2017
I'm back. Summer went way to fast and I am here in Grenada busy doing boat chores. They never end and this year they are much worse. Thinking about my friends who have their boat or what is left of their boats in St. Marteen, Puerto Rico, B.V.I, and all of the other hurricane ravished islands, I am very happy to have a boat to work on.
Mile High Dream is starting to show her age with more water entering through somewhere that is good(acceptable). It is never good so I had the marina take the keel off, reinforce the hull and then reattach the keel. Now that MHD is in the water, the water is no longer flowing in thru unknown places.
With any project, they lead to more projects. The mast was removed to balance the removal of the keel. Wires were cut and now I busy trying to find out how to reattach them. I think it might be good to have a reliable working radio, depth gauge and a few other navigational items.
I then took the time to paint the bottom of the boat. Busily working away my boat neighbor came buy and asked " did you buy the paint here."
"Yes, why do you ask?"
"They have a deal going that if you buy the paint, they apply it for free."
Now I find out. Such is life in the boat yard.
The out of water projects finished, I splash MHD and hook her to a mooring ball. I attack the inside projects. With the intense heat and humidity, I try to finish early and then head to the beach to soak in the cool clear Caribbean waters.
It is good to be back.