Slow Dancing

25 July 2017 | St. Georges, Grenada
14 July 2017 | St. Georges, Grenada
29 May 2017 | St. Anne, Martinique
22 May 2017 | Portsmith, Dominica
19 May 2017 | Nevis
06 March 2017 | Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe
04 March 2017 | Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe
17 February 2017 | Pointe a Pitre Guadeloupe
17 February 2017 | St. Lucia
08 February 2017 | St. Lucia
03 February 2017 | St. Lucia
03 February 2017 | St. Lucia
03 February 2017 | St. Lucia
03 February 2017 | St. Lucia
03 February 2017 | St. Lucia
03 February 2017 | St. Lucia
29 January 2017 | St. Lucia
05 December 2016 | Martinique
05 December 2016 | Martinique
28 November 2016 | St. Lucia

Dinghy Concert

25 July 2017 | St. Georges, Grenada
Melissa Cloudy with a bit of breeze
July 23, 2017

Le Phare Bleu Marina hosts local bands on the back of an old rusting steel tug with barges tied alongside for the audience. Dinghies full of cruisers tie up behind the barges. Many Grenadians ride the marina launch to the barges. The sun shines. Clouds float overhead. The bar serves beverages. Occasional rain showers wet the audience. The music begins. The speakers blast over the bay. Kilia sings. The crowds feel the vibe. Feet tap. Bodies move and sway. Jump up. We have a mas. Every dinghy concert is unique-- only in Grenada. Whoo Hoo!

Wooden Boat Building in Carriacou

14 July 2017 | St. Georges, Grenada
Melissa Sunny and hot
June 15, 2017

As we wandered down to Grenada, Dan and I relished sailing again. We anchored at some of our favorite islands. We collected some “newbies.” We became tour organizers, produce gurus, and chandlery guides.

Each island still has a few wooden vessels—work boats, fishing boats, and racing sloops. Friendship Rose lies in Bequia. Zemi, hailing from Monserrat, is at Port Louis. The Carriacou sloop Genesis, chronicled in the documentary film Vanishing Sail, raced during Antigua Classic Week. I always enjoy looking at these boats and am amazed at skill of the shipwrights.

Cariaccou has a long history of boat building by the residents. The island has built and launched hundreds of wooden boats. One article reported Carriacou built more wooden boats than any other island in the Lesser Antilles. Alwyn Enoe, I believe now retired, began to build wooden boats again in 2003 to preserve the heritage and traditional techniques. Glenn on Foot Loose, Ken and Corrine on In Dreams and Mitch and Ruth on BreeZen traveled with us to the community of Windward. The community lies on the wind swept eastern shore of Carriacou behind a reef. Entry is though twists and turns around coral and shallow water—with buoys and poles to mark the channel or not.

We walked along the shady shoreline past small houses to see a 65 foot cargo boat being constructed using traditional techniques and a few modern tricks and tools. We learned that this is a replica of the first boat that Carl crewed and traveled on more than 40 years ago. I can’t imagine sourcing all the wood being used—white cedar from Grenada, greenheart from Guayana, and some from other islands. We were amazed that oakum would serve as the caulk. It seems that the shipbuilding traditions of Carriacou have new life.

The Nature Isle--Dominica

29 May 2017 | St. Anne, Martinique
Melissa Breezy and cloudy
May 21-24, 2017

Dominica is a unique Caribbean island with some of the highest volcanic peaks, dense rainforests, waterfalls, and many rivers. The Dominicans are gracious and welcoming. We decided to walk along Section 13 of the Waitukubuli Trail between Penville and Capuchin. As Alexis drove the 4 of us to the trailhead, he relayed stories of his youth. He showed us the "old walking path" to Portsmouth as we bounced along a lumpy road. The path looked in better condition than parts of the road!

Alexis said the trail is all downhill. We weren't sure about the distance or the duration of the hike. Mmm, we weren't in a hurry. Greg and LizAnn on Lagniappe led the way. It was a good way to start--downhill. The green forest surrounded us. We saw small hillside farms of callaloo and plantains. We easily crossed a small stream. Oooh, I see uphill. We hiked to a switchback. The air closed in as sweat poured down our faces. We stopped at a break in the trees. The breeze dried our faces. Haze over the water occluded the views of Guadeloupe and Les Saintes. We trekked past a few blazes on the trees and rocks. We climbed uphill. We walked downhill. We stopped for lunch, water and more water. We approached a large sign saying Grande Fond. Whoa, we have been walking 2 hours and we are not even halfway. The birds filled the trees with song and calls. We passed goats and donkeys tethered along the trail. We walked uphill and downhill. We spotted Alexis. We drank coconut milk and shared a couple of mangoes. Refreshing! There are 14 sections of the Waitukubuli National Trail Project that circle the island of Dominica. The sign said that this section was approximately 8 kilometers (about 4.9 miles). My Fitbit recorded 7 miles. Mmmm, we were tired.

Traveling with those Canadians!

22 May 2017 | Portsmith, Dominica
Melissa Partly sunny over hazy mountains
May 19, 2017

Lequesteau, friends from Canada, said that we should learn about English history in Nevis. After all Lagniappe and Slow Dancing, Americans, suggested that we visit the Alexander Hamilton Museum. Everyone agreed, since we are neighbors and neither country has built a wall. We wandered down the street enjoying the lively ambiance and friendly greetings. We listened to a friendly resident give us directions to the museum. We read about Hamilton's vision and contribution to the United States. Well done.

Let's find the Lord Nelson Museum. We wandered up the street enjoying the lively ambiance and friendly greetings. Hmm, signage? Hmm, a question to a resident? Hmm. We strolled past the bus stop, past the market, and past the cricket field. Perhaps we should ask for directions......hmm. A very friendly mechanic said, "Go across the street, up the steps by the Bath Hotel and Bath House to the concrete road. With a flourish of his arm, as he tapped his forehead, he said, "Go past three buildings. It's right there." We climbed up the steps, along the road, and past three buildings to the Museum of Nevis History, the Horatio Nelson Collection. Well done.

The Winter of Monster Gremlins

19 May 2017 | Nevis
Melissa calm with the Nevis roll
January 2017-May 2017

The year began with bangs—literally. Our steering/transmission shifter cable popped loudly as we docked to await the arrival of friends in Martinique. Our anchor roller bent and clanged loudly as an out of control catamaran weighed anchor in St. Anne. We watched friends depart with favorable winds and seas.

We wandered slowly to St. Lucia on a very calm day. We waited for the fiberglass fabrication for the shifter replacement. We waited for air conditioning repair. We waited for an SSB replacement antenna tuner. We found a water leak so we replaced all the raw water hoses and the strainer. We watched friends depart with favorable winds and seas.

We wandered to Marie Galante. We watched as water began to leak in through the shaft seal. We waited for the seal to arrive in Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe. We watched friends depart with favorable winds and seas.

We wandered to Antigua. The engine died and Dan found sludge in the fuel filters. There was enough wind to reach the anchorage in daylight. We waited to have the fuel cleaned. We wandered along the trails to watch the classic regatta races. We watched friends depart with favorable winds and seas.

We wandered to St. Martin/St. Maarten. We waited for air conditioner repair. We waited for parts for the water maker. We waited for industrial strength tank cleaning and fuel polish. We waited to dry out the boat following several days of rain. We enjoyed favorite beaches and connected with friends. We watched for favorable winds and seas.

Really……We wandered from one island to the next to find yacht parts and services. We became marina dwellers. We waited for weeks on islands we had planned to visit (or revisit) for a short time. We waited for parts. We waited for repairmen with specialized equipment. We lived in a torn apart vessel. We fought to maintain a positive attitude. We waited. We toured and toured again. We questioned our lifestyle. We waited. We watched friends arrive and depart in favorable weather. It is mid May. We are happily underway.

Musee du Rhum

06 March 2017 | Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe
Melissa Partly sunny & calm
February 24, 2017

The "Rum Museum" has a little bit of everything--model dinosaurs, dioramas of Creole life and examples of Creole headdress. Dan was fascinated with the intricate models of seafaring lore, such as The Nina, Beagle, and Constitution. I was more interested in the incredible number of seeds or beans (about 75 by my count) that grow in the Caribbean. The jewelry was distinctive. I'm sure Dan is glad that I don't see this in the shops. And then, there was the extensive collection of insects from around the world. The butterflies and moths were pretty. The beetles ranged from teeny tiny to palm size! No wonder they are a food source.

The different styles, lengths, and shapes of cane knives from 40 different countries were incredible. We frequently see men and women on the islands walking along the road with their knives. Fishermen and women use them. People chop weeds in yards and along the roadsides with cutlasses. One time we saw a bus driver pull his machete from under the seat as he engaged in a verbal altercation with a nonpaying passenger. A blade is a multipurpose tool for islanders. It took us a bit of adjustment.

Vessel Name: Slow Dancing
Vessel Make/Model: Island Packet 44
Hailing Port: Annapolis, MD
Crew: Melissa and Dan Kenshalo
About: We began sailing on Chesapeake in 2005 on a 34 ft. Catalina. We became full time cruisers in 2012 on our Island Packet 44. Our journeys have been full of fun and laughter.
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