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Adventures of North Star
Follow the Adventures of Kim and Steve aboard their yacht North Star!
Montserrat
04/04/2010

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We arrived in Little Bay, Montserrat with favorable winds and very little swell. We were lucky, the ash from the volcano was blowing off the island below us and more to the south east. When we left Montserrat the boat was just about as clean as when we arrived. We had planned to finally meet up with the s/v Shining Time. We had made several attempts to meet each other in the BVI's but were not able to be in the same harbour at the same time. We arrived in Montserrat within a few hours of each other, us from Antigua and them from Guadeloupe. We had a great dinner aboard Shining Time. The next day we planned a tour of volcano. In 1995, before the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted, the population was 11,000. The capital was destroyed and afterward the air was constantly polluted. Many people left the island and the population is now closer to 5,000. In 2003 the dome collapsed and the threat seemed to be over. Many areas of the island reopened. In 2006, activity began again and some sort of event seems to be imminent. While we were in Antigua heavy rains fell and the dome collapsed again. We heard ash reached boats as far away as Guadeloupe. The land in the safe zones was very beautiful and green. We reached the observatory and watched a video of the volcanoes activities. We could see the volcano clearly but were still a good distance away from the peak. We drove down to an area near the beach where ash, water and rocks had buried homes up to the roofline. Our guide had photos of the area before and after the eruption and subsequent rainfalls.
We had lunch at a great little local spot, picked up some fresh fruit and vegetables and headed back to the boat. We had a great snorkel in the crystal clear waters. Steve found a beautiful yellow frogfish, several eels and on octopus. We cleaned up and headed over to Shining Time for another great meal. The remaining two boats in the anchorage joined us also. A young couple from England, basically on their honeymoon for one year had just caught a sailfish and had enough meat for a small army. The other boat was a working ship based out of the Caribbean but housed young men from Denmark that had been in some kind of trouble back home and they spent a year at sea. They had two students on board at the time. They had a few more students in the earlier months of their journey and were headed back home soon. We had a very nice evening enjoying the company of new friends. The next morning we said our goodbyes to Shining Time as they head back home in a few weeks. We hope we will see them on their journey next year. We sailed around the west side of Montserrat and then around the southern tip headed to Guadeloupe. This is where we could see the devastation to the town of Plymouth. The photos show the difference of the green mountains of the north and the dust-bowl look of the south.

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Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
03/22/2010

We left Jolly Harbour and made our way down the west coast of Antigua. On the southern end of the island we passed between the island and some very large reef structures to our south that actually stick up out of the water. The water here was an amazing color of blue and very clear. We motored into the large anchorage of Falmlouth Harbour. We spent several days checking out the sights on shore and eating at some of the restaurants. We did have a very enjoyable dinner on Pigeon Beach with several other boats in the anchorage: Lady, Elyssium, Estrella Del Mar and Fairhaven. One of the couples was from New Port Richey, Florida. Wow! To come all this way to meet someone from 30 minutes from Wesley Chapel. We also really enjoyed the Mad Mongoose. The prices were reasonable and everyone enjoyed their meal from a vegetable plate to fish. We were also able to use the internet. We spent one afternoon walking around Lord Nelson's Dockyard. This location on English Harbour was very picturesque and restoring of the old buildings seems to be an ongoing project. One of the old buildings housed some history of the area and military battles. We plan to move on to Montserrat in the next few days. We were looking over the islands we have left to cover between now and hurricane season and decided we need to keep moving.

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03/22/2010 | Peter Van Alstine
Hi Northstar. I was updating our blog and came upon yours! Glad to read that all is well. We are in Culebra now in a protected, calm anchorage. We highly recommend adding Dominica to your list of places to visit.
Christine and Crew
Jolly Harbour to Deep Bay, Antigua
03/16/2010

We left the lake like waters of Jolly Harbour and moved north a short distance to Five Islands Harbour. This area is a huge anchorage and has several beautiful and desolate beaches. We anchored just in front of the only hotel we saw, The Hermitage. This is a picturesque hotel with individual bungalows set in the side of the hill. Several larger boats came and went but there was so much room here we wern't close to any of them. We spent several days here and then moved another short distance north up the shore to Deep Bay. This bay is surrounded by cliff faces and a beautiful beach. The remains of Fort Barrington are on the north side of the anchorage and offered beautiful views of St. Johns, the salt pond just on the other side of the beach and the south shore. The Royal Antigual Hotel is located on the beach and is a sprawling resort complete with tennis courts, that appear to not have not been used in some time. We saw more than a dozen mongoose ( mongi, mongooses???) all over the resort. We hiked up to the top of Fort Barrington. At the top of the hill and past the fort ruins there was a patch of yellow flowers and there must have been 20 hummingbirds were fighting for or defending the perfect flower. We heard a crashing noise as they bounced off of each other. We are not sure what part of their bodies they were hitting but we sure heard the sound. We spent some time just wathcing and taking pictures. Right in the center of the entrance to the bay there is a wreck named the Andes that sticks up out of the water. It was a wooden boat that caught fire, burned and sank. We spent some time snorkeling here. Later that evening we hoisted the dinghy and realized we had a leak in the lower prop seals. We decided to head back to the calm waters of Jolly Harbour to tear apart the engine. We took the public bus back to St Johns, got the parts and got the engine back in working order all in one day! Wow, that doesn't happen very often. We will get a few projects done tomorrow and then probably head to the south end of the island.

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Nevis to Antigua
sunny and warm
03/07/2010, Jolly Harbour and St John's

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We left Charleston and headed around the southern end of Nevis and straight into some pretty big waves that we took over the bow. As we got further away from Nevis the waves settled down into a better rhythm and we made the crossing to Antigua. This was about 40 miles and took most of the day. We arrived in Jolly Harbour before sunset and picked up a mooring ball sheltered from the waves. This area is very protected and the water is as flat as a lake. We spent the first few days exploring Jolly Harbour, getting groceries and doing a few boat chores. Yesterday, Saturday, we used the public bus system to get to St. John's. The cost was only 13 EC's for four people each way, which is about $8 round trip, much less expensive than our last rental car experience. We explored the town with the local fish market, local produce and locals just selling whatever they had. We looked through the shops at Redcliffe Quay and Heritage Quay. There were roads and roads of endless shops. We went to St John's Cathedral at the end of town. It is over 150 years old and had a sign posted on the door stating that a church member was injured on a cracked floor and they have had to recently close the building. The congregation is trying to raise $10 million dollars for repairs to the Church.
We have been reading about Antigua and have found it has 365 beaches and many anchorages. I think this is a place you could spend quite some time exploring. We will probably move the boat to another anchorage in the next few days.

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Nevis February 2010
03/05/2010

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We have changed the way our blog is arranged. Photos will now be seen in the photo gallery and arranged by island or event. Please be sure to check this out. We wanted to be able to post more photos and this will allow more of a gallery instead of just a few snap shots. We are also trying to keep updated the position on the map. Click on the map to see the longitude and latitude of where we are.

We left St. Kitts and made the short sail to Nevis. We picked up a mooring ball outside of the main town of Charleston, cleared customs and picked up the rental car. It was late afternoon when we arrived and we decided to make a sunset trip around the island. Small and local run shops and businesses seem to be the norm. We did see a speedway on the windward side of the island and saw in a brochure they have horse racing.
We found a great place for lunch on Sunday. We headed up through Gingerland to a place called Golden Rock Estate. It is an old estate built in the 1950's. It has recently been renovated and the grounds with the landscaping, colors view were spectacular. It is one of my favorites so far. We had a great lunch surrounded by beautiful flowers and a great view. We could see Redonda but not the neighboring island today. We toured the grounds after lunch and went for a walk on one of the trails. There were monkeys in the trees all around the hotel and restaurant. The trail was full of aerial roots that hung down onto the path. The inn is spread out on 96 acres. We spent the rest of the afternoon driving around the island. We drove to the property of The Hermitage. They have several Belgian horses on the grounds and acres of homes high up in the hills.

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03/06/2010 | Elane Huprich
Sounds like a great place. Loved the photos. We miss you. ll is well here.
02/28/2010

Brimstone Hill

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02/28/2010

Brimstone Hill Fortess

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02/28/2010

monkey family

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02/28/2010

monkey

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02/28/2010

Looking to the north.

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