Rick & Ami's 8 Year Sailing Adventure

...or, how to log 8000 miles in 8 years!

12 January 2010 | Southern Caribbean
01 January 2010 | Bahia de Chalon, Colombia
19 May 2009 | San Blas Islands, Panama
25 December 2008
05 August 2007 | Mochima, Venezuelan coast
25 May 2007 | Trinidad, West Indies
28 February 2007 | Trinidad, West Indies
23 December 2005 | Trinidad, West Indies
12 August 2005 | Trinidad
14 July 2005 | Trinidad, West Indies
28 June 2005 | St. Lucia, Eastern Caribbean
09 December 2004 | Peru
10 June 2004 | Chatham Bay, Union Island, The Grenadines
19 March 2004 | Trinidad, West Indies
22 December 2003 | Trinidad, West Indies
11 December 2003 | Trinidad, West Indies
13 November 2003 | Trinidad, West Indies

St. Lucia Carnival

28 June 2005 | St. Lucia, Eastern Caribbean
Friday night, we went to a Calypso Tent, here in St. Lucia. St. Lucia's Carnival is July 19-20, rather than February like Trinidad. They changed it from February 6 years ago, because too many local people were leaving St. Lucia to go to Trinidad's Carnival. So they are in the midst of all the pre-Carnival fetes, with the pan bands practicing for St. Lucia's Panorama, and the Calypso tents open every night. A Calypso Tent is where 20-30 Calypsonians compete with their original Calypso songs, all new for the 2005 Carnival season, hoping for the most coveted Calypso Monarch title.

It was wonderful, the songs were brilliantly clever, and the audience was rowdy. Anyway, near the end the MC picked ME out of the audience, (we were sitting in the front), called me on stage, and asked me where I was from, thinking he'd make a spectacle out of a tourist. Of course, as always, we were the ONLY white people there. Though there are a lot of tourists here in St. Lucia and throughout the Caribbean, they are mostly on cruise ships and in all-inclusive resorts, which they only leave for group excursions, always very protected. They never venture out on their own or go to local events, especially something like a Calypso Tent. Even the Yachties don't go to the local events, just a few restaurants or stores or hiking to a waterfall that is listed in their Cruising Guide. That is why when we seek out and go to these events we are always the only foreigners AND the only white people, as the whites on these islands are, for the most part, not so interested in the blacks' culture.

Well of course, I said I was from Trinidad (the land of Calypso). Everyone roared with laughter. The MC said, "No, really, where yuh born ahn grow?" which, in Trini English, means "where were you raised". I said "I born ahn grow California, but now I live Tree-nee-dahd". Turns out the MC was also a Trini, and he challenged me, "OK, sing us a song from yuh country, Tree-nee-dahd." Well, with my terrible voice and all, I started belting out "Trini To The Bone", a Calypso song which, for all intents and purposes, is the unofficial Trinidad Anthem. The band immediately joined in, and the MC started singing with me, thankfully, as he helped keep me on key, and then about 400 people in the audience started roaring with laughter and singing along!!!! How odd for them to see someone who so obviously looked like a tourist, but was proudly singing this very local song that was also very popular in St. Lucia. Rick and our friends in the audience were hysterical! After the tent finished, lots of people came up to me and "bounced" me, that's where you offer a knuckle tap, you know, like a handshake but with your knuckles, and claimed, oh, me mama a Trini, or oh, I born ahn grow Trini, or whatever. (Trinis are very proud.) The next morning, when I stopped by to see a local friend of ours at work, everyone in his office claimed that they saw me on TV last night!!!! Anyway, what a fun experience!

We have a friend that plays the double pan in a cool little reggae band, last night we went to hear the band, and after their break, our friend invited me to come play his pans, just strumming cords, very easy, so I played most of the second set with them, it was sooooooo cool. We were there with about 8 friends. The sax player is a friend of ours too, and we've invited him to the boat, Rick wants to have a sax lesson, he's thinking of taking it up. What a great night, but it's kinda sad, in 4 seasons we've made so many friends on each island...oh well, lot's of great memories...
Vessel Name: Tara Vana
Vessel Make/Model: Nautitech 435 catamaran
Hailing Port: Laguna Beach, CA
Crew: Rick & Ami Bergstrom
About: With little previous sailing experience, we decided to sell everything we owned, buy a cruising catamaran, and explore the world.
Extra: Retired at 40, we've been living aboard Tara Vana in the Caribbean since Sept. 2001. It has been a rich and varied experience. New people. New cultures. Lots of dance and music. And spectacular scenery.
Tara Vana's Photos - Main
Cruising the Colombian coast....wandering the streets of El Centro Historico in Cartagena....we fell in love with the Colombian people and their colorful Latin culture...
40 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 6 January 2010
A slice of Paris in the Caribbean, "...French wine and cheeses; warm summer breezes..."
29 Photos
Created 5 January 2010
Stunning scenery, welcoming locals and a strong music culture endeared us to the islands of the Eastern Caribbean
45 Photos
Created 5 January 2010
Trinidad feels like home...we spent a good part of our first 6 years on the boat there...we have family there now and so many wonderful memories...!
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 5 January 2010
We've explored so many incredibly beautiful places in the Caribbean....take a peek at our paradise!
55 Photos
Created 4 January 2010
100 miles north of the Venezuelan coast, these islands of the Dutch Antilles offer spectacular diving, sailing, and cruiser socializing
39 Photos
Created 4 January 2010
We loved exploring the underwater world of the Caribbean, especially in Bonaire...meet some of our newest friends!
33 Photos
Created 4 January 2010
We so enjoy the other cruisers we've met along the way...a wonderful international community of fun-seeking, adventurous spirits...
71 Photos
Created 2 January 2010
We loved Venezuela, especially the remote offshore island groups of Los Roques and Las Aves.
39 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Take a virtual tour of our boat! We've got lots of cool pictures....
30 Photos | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 1 January 2010
We delighted in the scenic beauty and tranquility of the San Blas Islands, and enjoyed meeting the indigenous Kuna Indians
45 Photos
Created 30 December 2009
A quick get-away to see this part of the world and visit our friends on SV ZEN
34 Photos
Created 21 October 2009

Who: Rick & Ami Bergstrom
Port: Laguna Beach, CA