14 March 2014 | Tipsy seagull
13 March 2014 | Treasure Cay, Great Abaco Island
12 March 2014 | Great Guana Cay
11 March 2014 | Great Guana Cay
08 March 2014 | Green Turtle Cay
03 March 2014 | Green Turtle Cay
02 March 2014 | Hawksbill Cay
01 March 2014 | Mangrove Cay
28 February 2014 | Westend
22 February 2014 | Bimini
21 February 2014 | Rodrigus key, fl
10 February 2014 | Naples
09 February 2014 | St. James Sound
08 February 2014 | Caya Costa
06 February 2014 | crow's nest marina
04 February 2014 | Manitee River FL
19 January 2014 | The Harborage Marina
23 April 2018 | Anse noire, Martinique
Jorie, guest blogger, Amanda guest photographer.
We awaken on the water, an immigrant in our own world, rocking to the rhythm of a vibrant, powerful force. We walk through the galley and up onto the deck. Good morning, world. Greet every tiny miracle in the landscape of life around us.
We pull on our fins, imitating fish, our goggles and snorkels. We softly splash into the water.
I listen to the crystal silence, smiling at the occasional snap of a barnacle, reaching my ears through the light-soaked waves. Every time I bob my head above the ripples, Mile High Dream is farther away. Beneath me, anenames, fish, sea stars, corals - everything coexists.
Out of the corner of my eye - a fin. I glance closer. I small turtle, only a bit larger than a dinner plate, glides towards me. My eyes drink in everything, the graceful head, color-splashed shell, the missing back flipper. The creature is calm, swimming near me, around me. I follow in lazy swoops. We cruise in unison over coral. We drift through schools of fish. A smile is spreading over my face, so wide my mask begins to leak. I surface, releasing the excess water. I feel only a peaceful joy. I've swum far from the boat - almost too far, perfectly content to follow this turtle into the open ocean. Duck under, just once more. I obey, dawn rays of sunshine filtering around me, glinting off of the turtle's fading flipper. I feel as if I exist only in the imagination, but this dream is played out before my eyes.
I climb onto the boat once again, out of breath and out of words. I simply place myself at the bow of the boat and sit, swaying with the sea, watching the sun peak over the treed cliffs on shore and illuminating the water. I'm riding a mile high wave of calm excitement.
The Mile High Dream cure
22 April 2018 | Martinique
Guest blogger Amy
The Mile High Dream Cure
Having recently moved a family three times in two years (yeah, don’t ask!), I was primed for a respite from all the boxes yet to unpack. When the invitation came to join Greg and Amanda on the sailboat, my family couldn’t say yes fast enough!
The experience exceeded anything we could have conjured up ourselves. Yes, we expected the friendly company combined with warm weather, bright sunshine, turquoise waters, days of R&R, and lovely meals (of course, because I have heard that these two folks might actually bicker about who gets to cook!)
What I personally didn’t expect was the many “firsts” I was about to encounter. Now, let me say that I was sheltered growing up in small towns surrounded by those rural farm lands of Ohio, but STILL! In one single week with the Mile High Dream captain and “deck fluff”, I broke the barriers on any potential stagnation. Here are just a few of the highlight “firsts” (Writing a blog included!):
Hopped onto a dinghy to get groceries (and fresh French pastries)
Visited a foreign country – Canada just doesn’t count!
Sampled authentic pastries virtually daily, sometimes more than once (but don’t tell)
Showered off the back of the boat (did I mention the pastries yet?)
Actually used all those years of study of high school and college French (to order pastries, of course)
Basked in the sheer pleasure of snorkeling in a coral reef –I could have spent many more days exploring this new fascination
Was kissed by a Loggerhead sea turtle – almost literally, perhaps because I was swimming WITH THEM!
Of course, there are many more that I would add to the list (like toilet flushing on a boat), but instead I’ll just say that my life was so enriched by this amazing experience with such fabulous folks as my guides. And I must say Greg, I felt perfectly safe on your lovely boat and while on the islands due to your sailing expertise and thoughtful process in choosing our course and stops. I’ll always remember , too, that you have the best backyard ever!
20 April 2018 | Martinique, Le Marin
The sound of the chain rattling as it is being raised awakens me from my slumber. We are in a very small bay called Anse Noire, located on the western shore of Martinique. A slight breeze blows over the water sending little ripples all the way to shore. It is a well protected anchorage but the key part is small. The raising of the chain had not woken me up since I have been sleeping on deck since 4:00 AM. I got up around 3:00 to check things out and it seemed like I was practically touching the boat next to me. With the calm winds and no current, the boats seem to just move around on there own accord without much organization. With wind or waves, the boats react to the water in the same way and would all face the same direction. This is not so in the dead calm. The last time I was here, I was the only boat but last night there were 6 boats in this tiny bay. That is about two too many. But all is well that ends well. A little less sleep but no boats crashing into each other.
Yesterday in addition to some fabulous snorkeling, we spent some precious time on the beach.
Two of us kayaked to the beach. Once we stowed the kayak, we headed down the beach, soft sand kissing our feet. We passed two female sunbathers without their tops.
"No wonder you like this beach so much." she says.
The local beach bar calls our name for lunch. While waiting for our food to be served, a man in a speedo stands close to the table.
"That speedo would match your shirt," she says.
"I don't think you are looking at the colors," I reply.
"Is that a baguette, demi baguette or a flute? It is certainly not a boule," She states.
We both try to control our laughter but with no results.
We have five people on board this week. For three of them it is their first experience sailing. With snorkeling with turtles and the brightly colored fish, beach time, some sunny weather, the rain and rough seas are a long gone memory.
I am starting to wind down this sailing season. In a little over two weeks Mile High Dream will be pulled out of the water in Grenada to spend her summer on shore and I will head back to Colorado. The year has been different, interesting, fulfilling and fun. I did more solo sailing which was ok but I really do not enjoy it as much as sailing with others aboard. I did not go as far north as I had planned either. Some of that was due to the Hurricane damage from the summer and some was due to scheduling of guests.
Other boats are pulling up their chains and getting to head out to a different place. We will do some turtle searching and snorkeling before we head out to our last anchorage with this crew.
"Hey can you pass me some cream for my coffee?" I asked the boat next to me. "You can just hand it over on the next swing by."
09 April 2018 | St Lucia
The wall of water crashes over the boat and i feel like I am inside a tunnel. I have my own sea aquarium with fish swimming around in the cockpit. Well it is not quite that bad, there are no fish. I turn Mile High Dream into the wind to let the water flow out of the back.
"I sure am glad I closed those hatches under the seat or the bed would be soaked.' I say to the crashing waves. "And this is suppose to be the calm day."
I had dropped my last crew mate off the day before so she could catch her plane back to Canada. She owns her own boat and does a fair amount of solo sailing herself. We enjoyed sharing stories and adventures and she also gave me a few tips on some blocks(hardware that let the lines run though) that would make my life a little easier. The sail from Guadeloupe down to Martinique was very enjoyable. We stopped at The Saints and rented e bikes to help us climb the steep hills on the island. We were hoping for a motorized scooter but we did not get to shore early enough and had to settle for the electric bikes. I have never ridden on one before out side of a parking lot and I am Pleasantly surprised how well they work. No this will not be my next bike. At least not in the foreseeable future.
From there we sailed to Dominica to tour that island. I have doe this a few times before and it is always enjoyable. A few days here and then a long sail to Martinique. Weather has been pretty good and the two crossing were a little wet but quite comfortable.
Back to the land of Croissants and pastries. A very wonderful sailing experience.
My next crew arrives in St. Lucia so I need to get there to pick them up. It is only a 24 mile sail which I have sailed by myself before so I was not too worried about the crossing. I looked at the weather and picked what I thought would be the calmest day to travel and maybe this is it. It is still a little salty.
21 March 2018 | Rodney bay St. Lucia
The boys are gone and now I am waiting for my family to come down and sail. I am once again at the dock in Guadeloupe. The one disadvantage at the docks this year is lack of power due to the hurricane. Other than that you would not notice anything wrong compared to 40 miles south. Yes some of the homes look a little worse for the wear and could use some paint. I think the French on this island have an aversion to paint so you can’t tell if it is the aftermath of the Hurricane or just normal. All of these places could look amazing if someone took some time to put on a little color and cover up the exposed concrete.
Wow, I just realized that today is Saint Patricks Day. I wonder what they do in a French island for that?
Walking over to a large grocery store about 20 minutes away, I notice a bar with Shamrocks on the door and a beer tent being set up outside.
“Maybe there is hope for a little green beer and Irish music tonight.” I think to myself.
Sure enough around 7:00 the music starts playing. “
“This is great. I need to go check it out.” So off I go.
The inside is full of patrons and the outside parking lot is overflowing with partiers. I go up to tent and order a Heineken. It may not be green but it is in a green bottle. Close enough. Even better, I ordered one and got two.This is a great start.
Now one would assume with Irish music playing in English, St. Paddy’s day started in an English speaking country, that there might be some English speaking people attending. I walk amongst the tables and groups of people trying to catch a bit of English. I finish my first beer with no luck hearing any English. The Irish music blares from the giant speakers. MMMM an English party but no English speaking patrons. The beer was still good and I head back to my boat.
The one thing I have noticed about this Marina is the lack of Americans, Canadians and English speaking in general. I guess I will need to practice my French.
It is time for my family to arrive and bad news. Mary and Kevin cannot get their flight out of Boston due to weather so will not be able to join us. I feel sorry for them but I do get to keep my berth instead of moving to the galley. Time to explore some more of Guadeloupe.
16 March 2018 | guadeloupe
This trip I have been joined by two long time friends Jim and Greg. Jim has never been sailing before and Greg has been with me on many trips before Mile High Dream. This is his second time on MHD. Their wives were left at home and we have had a boys trip.
Fresh baguette and chocolate croissants started our early morning adventures while we were in the French countries. Now we are in the Dominica and things are mush different. The hurricane this last fall was devastating to say the least.
Our boat boy Titus shared his experience with us. “The winds started out around 7-8:00 in the evenings and just continued to howl. It lasted about eight hours. When I got up and looked out side, it looked like five nuclear bombs had exploded. Trees were on the ground, every leaf had been stripped from the standing tress, and debris stretched as far as you could see. I lost my roof. My neighbors home was no longer there. It was terrible.”
“How are you doing now?” Jim asks.
“Just taking it one day at a time. It is getting better. We finally got power after 10 days and water after two. The areas further east of us still do not have power.”
Hiking yesterday, we walked around downed trees, climbed over ones to big to move to be moved and looked at the regrowth just starting to happen. The parrots that live on citrus trees are starving. Only now some fo the trees are bearing fruit. The farmers are concerned that once the trees bear fruit they will be totally stripped by the hungry birds. It is a total domino effect with the wildlife, the people and the jungle.
The Indian river which is a huge tourist attraction took 29 days and 15 boat men to clear the debris out of it so they could start taking people up the river.
This part of the trip is an amazing eyeopener for all of us.
Now it is off to French islands 20 miles away that had very little damage.