Friday, 30 January 2015

Dominica to The Saintes, (one of our favourite Islands) then onto Guadeloupe.

December 7th 2014

Dominica to The Saintes, (one of our favourite Islands) then onto Guadeloupe.

Well Dominica is great but as we had spent to much time here last year and previous season we decided an overnight stay was enough time was marching on and we were looking forward to spending xmas in Antigua.

So we spent the night on a mooring ball in Prince Rupert’s bay, Portsmouth. 
Don was a little suspicious about the alternator charging correctly so he changed it for the spare one we had been carrying for the last 3 years, I had vacuum packed it so it wouldn’t corrode, it was in perfect condition. 

8th Dec 2014 
Onto Isles The Saintes one of our favourite islands governed by the French, they seem to get things right as far as checking in and out its all DIY. The bay is pretty big with lots of moorings, we took one pretty close in so it wasn’t too far from the dinghy dock. The ferry dock isn’t too far away either which meant there was quite a lot of disturbance when the ferries whizzed in and out at speed, I’m sure the law says they must slow down when entering and leaving the bay.
Busy anchorage
Lots of cute houses
My favourite shop on the island
As we had already provisioned well with French goodies we didn’t need to shop. However the first time we came here we both bought some clothes from a boutique called Maogany, its owned by a lovely French lady and her husband who is an artist. I also bought a genuine Panama hat in blue, I loved that hat but it came to an untimely end when it flew off my head while we were on the dinghy, ok it was rescued and washed in fresh water so it had shrank. The lady in the shop managed to steam it for me so it would fit but by then it looked in a sorry state so I looked for a new one in blue to no avail but ended up with one in red. Hat photos later

We found a lady painting water colours and loved the look of them they have so much detail, some with people, boats and local scenes so we now have more souvenirs to take home.

10th December
Next stop Guadeloupe, Deshaies another place we had visited before, its a big bay, the place is French and another well run checkin and out, DIY in a shop with a P.C. 
We had a great sail for the first part of the journey, we had set off at 08:25 as it wasn’t too far away, at first we had 15 to 18 knots of wind and we were doing 8.5 SOG  which was brilliant, flatfish seas too. Then after doing just over 20 miles the wind decided to desert us, so we had to motorsail the remaining 13 miles.

So by 14:25 we had picked up another mooring ball.

When the surge came in the sea went pretty high up the walls
Tough life for some
Would have been nice to see it under full sail
Oh look a rainbow after all that rain
Sun almost down
Deshaies is a pretty place but it was quite busy with boats coming and going. We had a few visits ashore, one of the days taking shelter and lunch inside one of the places that is used for filming “Death in Paradise” a TV series from the UK. I say we took shelter it poured down for what seemed like an our, the dinghy had to be bailed out before we went back to the boat.  
Sheltering from the downpour well we had to do something
Oh boy did it rain
One of the film locations for Death in Paradise, we had a nice meal and a few drinks while the rain poured down
We stayed for 3 nights and just chilled out.

13 th December next stop Antigua.

Glenys and Don Agua Therapy
Currently in Virgin Gorda and lovin it here, anchored off Prickly Pear Island. Friday 30th of January 2015

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Martinique, the home of smelly cheese, pate and fresh bread.

Martinique 29th November 
We set off just a short trip just over 27 miles to Le Marin Martinique.
Each time we have been here something strange has happened, yet again our AIS decided to fail, its an invaluable system which identifies other vessels which we think maybe the French military block for some reason. Yes we can re set the system but that has to be done with the computer, oh well nothing too serious.

The anchorage here is huge with a pretty big marina way inside, having said that boats will insist on anchoring very close. 
Finding a two supermarkets here with fresh French bread, very smelly cheese and wonderful pates found its way aboard. Mind you I could swear the smelly cheese found its way to completely stink us out.
Of course the French wines were in abundance too at good prices so just a few found their way tucked into a few lockers.

This is how boats / yachts are moved across oceans, they float on and off these purpose built ships

Last time we were in Martinique we went into St Anne so we took the bus there you notice the difference in the quality of the roads are much better than anything we had been on for quite sometime. St Anne is small but quite pretty place with a church in the centre, a few touristy shops bars and restaurants. We had lunch and met up with another American couple from Pensacola Ralph and Mary from “Night watch” we had met them before on the shopping bus in Grenada, they were anchored in St Annes Bay but had previously been behind us Le Marin.

We stayed in Le Marin until the 3rd of December my birthday, Don said the wind direction was great fro a nice downwind sail so off we go to Fort de France

Having a great weather forecast the cruising chute found its way out the bag, Don said as its your birthday we have a nice downwind sail and he would put out the fishing rod (right I thought)

What a beautiful sail we were having approaching Diamond Rock, something you don’t want to hit. Suddenly Dons fishing line was screaming and he dashed to check it out. He mentioned this is a big fish and for the following half an hour or so hauled in a huge Mahi Mahi, (I always think “So good they named it twice”, it is!) Don did very well really but was quite hectic for a while. This was a BIG FISH! almost as tall as Don not sure of the weight as you can’t get those on kitchen scales. He hung it, gutted it, cleaned it and cut it up all in the cockpit blood and bits all over the place. It took another hour to clean up the back of the boat and cockpit but I had the fillets all packed and in the freezer enough for at least 15 - 20 meals. 

Big Mahi Mahi, ugly but very tasty

Last time we were in Martinique we went into St Anne a small place but we enjoyed walking about so we took the bus there. I remembered seeing some unusual table lamps made from coconut leaves so we bought 2 both of which are also packed away in the forward shower compartment. Sorry I forgot to take photos before they were wrapped up. 

So at 11:40 we dropped the anchor, we were just outside the fort wall where its a little more calm away from the ferries. Fort de France is quite a busy place with ferries that every half hour come in and out and the cruise ships invade. A reasonable place for shopping and getting the internet to check the wether and catch up on e-mails. Went ashore a few times and managed to Skype Don’s sister and call my Mum. We returned to a Mexican restaurant we went to last year their fajitas are amazing.

6th December

So off we go again next stop Still in Martinique on the West side of the island to St Pierre for a quick overnight stop.

The church which was being restored but it doesn't look as though they have done too much

The anchorage
The town dock 
Quite a decent market for fruit and veg and flowers

Wish we could have found some information on the little girl, maybe she turned out to be famous

We have been up and down this coastline (West) twice before and looked at anchoring in a place named St Pierre but the conditions were never right either too much wind or big swells. This time it looked ok so in we went. Its quite a small town with a dinghy / ferry dock so we went ashore to take a look around. This is the place where a volcano erupted and 29,000 people were killed, just 2 survivors, one was in prison the other was a cobbler in a basement. Most of the property here was destroyed but not quite all, the church was badly damaged but a few buildings survived. 

7th December
So off we go again next stop Dominica for a quick overnight stop.
So sorry for some reason the text size has gone silly.

Glenys and Don
Agua Therapy

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Bequia sail to St Lucia

From Bequia to St Lucia a 75nm sail  28th November.
Well as its so far and we do not like to go into anywhere in the dark we had a nice early start 05:45 with not a bad forecast,  we were lucky in the channel with a decent sea for a change.
Once again we found a vibration coming from the prop, another load of palm fonds had wrapped themselves around the prop, Don managed to free the bits he could see with the boat hook and brute strength it can be a little worrying not knowing whats still hanging on underneath that you can't do anything about until you stop. I'm beginning to think we are a magnet for palm trees when we first set off from Spain we managed to pick up a huge one.

As we passed St Vincent somewhere we didn’t fancy visiting due to some not very nice stories it does look very lush with rain forests deep valleys with thousands of tropical trees and plants.

St Vincent
Considering the wind strength was quite low we made decent speed for a change sometimes just over 7 knots SOG a 75 nm trip.

We did have a few moments in front of us the sky went very dark and we could see on radar some squalls

The purple is the squalls on the radar and you can just see our boat on bottom on the red line which is our track
We have been on the bus to see the Pitons last year, its not a place we ever fancied stopping on the boat.

The Pitons
Castres complete with a cruise ship
Anyway we arrived by 17:00 just before dusk and anchored outside Rodney Bay close to the Sandals resort and stayed just one night as we wanted to make our way to Martinique.

Next stop Martinique, Le Marin, should be a good sail its not very far

Glenys and Don
Agua Therapy

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Bequia for a return visit

Bequia 26th to 28h November

Bequia our next destination for a return visit its one of our favourite islands with a pretty decent anchorage.

26th November 2014

Well when we set out at 07:30 the weather was as predicted between 11 to 17 knots with a few strong gusts the sea at times was 2.5 metres a little uncomfortable at times however we dropped the anchor in 2.5 metres by 16:15  a 50 + nm trip.

The entrance has whale bone jaws
One of the restaurants we didn’t visit last time was the Whalebone so this time we had lunch there, the seats at the bar are whale vertebrae.

We stayed in Bequia for 2 nights visiting some of the local eating places and as we decided it maybe our last visit here. Don said he would like one of the souvenirs that Bequia is known for, last time we came here we did visit 2 places that make handmade model yachts some of them are fantastic. All kinds of yachts and boats made with local mahogany and other woods, obviously priced according to size and detail. One of the deciding factors was how do we get one back safely in one piece we were told that they could be placed and packed in a strong box. Anyway after a little bargaining the boat was dismasted and packed away, now it resides in the forward cabin.

Dons new boat, its a model of a traditional whaling boat

There is always someone visiting the boat selling anything from fruit, bread or vegetables from a dinghy, one of the guys was selling lobsters, you place the order and the following day they return with your purchase. We bought a 4 lb live lobster which was pushed into the freezer to send it to sleep before cooking.

Don had to break its legs to get it into the pressure cooker and had to push hard to put the lid on.  

I can hear Lisbet Dons sister saying YUK!

Just a couple of nights here, next stop St Lucia

Glenys and Don
Agua Therapy

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Agua Therapy boat blog

November 2014: Agua Therapy boat blog
As I have not done any “boat blogs” for a while this is the start of the update since returning to Agua Therapy, I will continue with the USA road trip later.

Grenada onwards November 2014

All in all Grenada was a great place to be, we met up with old friends and spent a few nights together exchanging stories where we would all head next, some going way beyond us some onto very distant destinations such as New Zealand and Australia.

Madeline& Roy from Mythril Kit and Belinda from Quilscene and Don
Pizza 2 for one night
Crab with a view
Having spent the hurricane season in Grenada we were quite keen to start our journey now the danger is over, we hope. 
As we have been away for quite a while on our travels there were things to prepare. So Don fixed the outboard with the new parts bought in the US, we reinstalled the sails and rigging that was removed just in case, the generator new bits were fitted. We did have a last minute hiccup our VHF radio decided not to play ball so it was something else to replace before we left.
The fresh provisions filled the fridge and the freezer stocked with lots of meat, we hoped to catch the fish ourselves hmm!!

14th November 2014:
So our first stop although not too far was St George in the anchorage which meant we didn’t have to negotiate through the reefs in the dark and so we could scrub the hull using our new extension air hose for the dive cylinder also another purchase made in the US. After spending hours scrubbing the hull and propeller Don did mention the offer of scrubbing the hull for a price in Secret Harbour seemed quite good in comparison. 

The anchorage can be quite rolly at times, this was no different so not a great start, we stayed for 2 nights.

16th November 2014: 
A 06:45 start for us but not too much wind topped at 19 knots but not for very long and by 13:00 we had the anchor down.
Next stop Carriacou having been there before we knew roughly where the good spots are.
We anchored in Tyrell Bay and stayed for 9 days as the weather had decided to pick up.

 Our friends Kit and Belinda off Quilscene were there so we teamed up with  them a few times and took the bus into Hillsbourgh and had lunch there. One night Kit made us one of his famous curries and another night we had a barbecue on board A.T.

Refreshments after the hot bus ride into Hillsborough 
This little fella was trying to hitch a ride in Don's sandal

Kit and Belinda joined us for sundowners and great meal at the Lambi Queen and did manage to polish off a huge plate of conch fritters they were so good. 

Don at the dinghy dock
Rufus our vegetable man
After a 9 day stay and the weather break we were waiting for its off too Bequia we go in the next blog.

Glenys and Don
Agua Therapy