From Marigot Bay to Rodney Bay then to Martinique (November 8, 2016 to November 26, 2016)

From Marigot Bay to Rodney Bay then to Martinique (November 8, 2016 to November 26, 2016)

The world offers so many places to visit, so many sights to see, and so many people to meet. Of course there is never enough time to do it all. Now, though, on our slow trip north, we are taking in so much that we missed on our way south. The islands are gorgeous and every single stop makes us appreciate the varying cultures and offerings. We will never see it all, but at least we are seeing more.

img_5429Beautiful Marigot Bay.  I will always think that this is one of the most beautiful places on earth.img_5437Entering Rodney Bay, St. Luciaimg_5518The night of the Super Moon.  img_4703Buying cucumbers, bananas, and grapefruit from Gregory in Rodney Bay.img_4704img_5525Riding in the dinghies in Rodney Bay.  img_5532Thankfully this pirate ship is as close to the real thing that we have seen along our travels.img_5536Evenings in Rodney Bay were unbelievably colorful.img_5539

img_4708Leaving St. Lucia.  Here is Symbiosis under sail.  I love black and white pictures of sailboats!img_4714

After staying in Marigot Bay on St. Lucia for a week we joined up again with our little flotilla in Rodney Bay, also on St. Lucia. Tropical Blend and Symbiosis were getting some work done on their boats, so we decided to have a little change of scenery and wait with them. Rodney Bay’s marina was not as luxurious as Capella Marina in Marigot Bay, but it did offer grocery stores and a small mall in walking distance, little shops, several restaurants, and a swimming pool. Those features made our stay there very enjoyable. Unfortunately, the wifi in Rodney Bay was sadly lacking which is why an earlier post to this blog was impossible. During our time there, we took the dinghies out for a ride, experienced the super moon, swam in the pool, and generally relaxed with our friends. Finally on November 18th, we left the beautiful island of St. Lucia and steered northward to Martinique.

img_5540Going ashore in St. Anne, Martiniqueimg_5541At the fish market.img_5544img_5545The Marketplace in St. Anneimg_5555img_5553img_5549

img_4717I know, more sunsets, but this is such a classic “sailing off into the sunset” image.img_4740I really love silhouettes.  img_5557So many little rainbows here.  That’s Tropical Blend in the foreground.img_5563Debbie and Larry from Tropical Blend at a beautiful beach on the south end of Martinique.img_5574img_5579

img_5581The Caribbean is so full of color wherever you look.img_5582The southern tip of Martinique.img_5587Our first stop in Martinique was St. Anne, which is a lovely little French village where shops abound. Of course, only French is spoken and, at times, that limited our purchases and made our lunch orders a gamble, but the local bakery is always stocked with croissants of every variety, sandwiches, sweet breads, and long baguettes that sell for 1 Euro. There is a marketplace on Saturday that is loaded with fruits, vegetables, jars and bottles of mystery contents, meat, flowers, jewelry, clothing and much more. On the way to the marketplace is a stand where fresh caught tuna can be purchased. The heads from the fish are prominently displayed and were offered to our friend Noi for free (she refused). We spent several days in St. Anne before we decided to move a few miles northward to visit a new anchorage.img_5590It was Thanksgiving on AfterMath.img_5593img_5603
img_5604And the Thanksgiving rainbow over the anchorage.

We arrived in Grande Anse d’Arlet on Wednesday, November 23rd. It was a rainy afternoon, but we were ready to relax and start our preparations for Thursday, Thanksgiving! We really missed being home this year, our first ever without any of our family around, but we were lucky to have Debbie and Larry and Scott and Noi with us. The group got together ahead of time to plan our feast, which turned out to be as traditional as it possibly could be while on a tropical French island. Together we came up with deviled egg and shrimp for pre-dinner appetizers, then grapefruit, in the Daigle tradition to start the sit down meal. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans with carrots, and delicious homemade cranberry sauce made up our main course while banana cream pavlova and apple tarts with whipped cream were the desserts. Truly, in the Thanksgiving tradition, everyone was too stuffed to move much after dinner!

img_5607The little village at Grande Anse d’Arlet.img_5608img_5610That’s Larry on the left and John on the right.img_5611Debbie and Noi.  This little shop doubles as a laundromat.img_5622img_5625As I took a little walk I met this kind man.  I asked (in English while showing him my camera) if I could take his picture.  He answered, “Mais, oui!)img_5628A  little boat for tourists to see underwater.  Note the windows on the bottom.  Don’t you just want to sing “Yellow Submarine” when you see it?img_5633The village from the water.img_5638img_5640img_5642img_5649img_5658

turtle2These photos are courtesy of Scott Neuman as my underwater camera is out of commission.  Thanks to him for sharing these gorgeous shots with us.turtle-1coral5coral4coral3coral1

Grande Anse d’Arlet is an amazingly beautiful spot. Here the anchorage is completely surrounded by tall hills that drop off sharply into the water. There is a little village at the edge of the water that is one street wide and is lined with casual restaurants and one or two small shops. No one is in a hurry here! Ordering lunch in a café is an affair that easily lasts a couple of hours. There is wonderful snorkeling in this anchorage. Yesterday we swam from the boat to the water’s edge to see the sights. Today we tied our dinghy to Symbiosis and jumped in to see countless starfish, sea cucumbers, various fish, and the star of the show, huge sea turtles. Afterwards we took the dinghies to a huge roped off area reserved for snorkelers. Obviously this is a place that Martinique is protecting for its corals and it was beautiful. Fan coral waved and huge schools of colorful fish darted about. Much of the coral in the Caribbean has lost its color, but here we saw yellows, oranges, reds, and even tiny bits of blues coming back to life. It was a gorgeous spot and we are happy it is being so well protected. Obviously, I am very sad that my underwater camera is not working!

So, for a few more days we will remain in Martinique before making our way to Dominica. We are thinking of all of our friends and family during this holiday weekend, hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and sending wishes that you are taking time to live your dreams.

Here is where we are today.



From Grenada, to Sandy Island in Carriacou, to Union Island in St. Vincent, to Bequai and Back to St. Lucia (October 30 – November 6, 2016)

From Grenada, to Sandy Island in Carriacou, to Union Island in St. Vincent, to Bequai and Back to St. Lucia (October 30 – November 6, 2016)

There is that special feeling. I remember it from when we had a small powerboat on Candlewood Lake. I remember it from Solitude, our 30 foot Hunter sailboat in Connecticut. And I remember it from when we left the dock in Mystic, CT on AfterMath a year and a half ago. It is the feeling that comes with the first day out. It is a feeling of freedom. It is one of no longer being bound to the land. It feels slightly insecure, like riding in a car without a seatbelt, but it feels so amazingly good to be released from solid ground. We are back on the water again. After four months in Grenada with only a couple of weeks of dinghy time while we were there, we are back at sea. It is beautiful and warm and wonderful to be here.

Although we planned to leave our dock on Saturday, we found out Friday evening that we had a little bit of an electrical problem that needed attention before we set out. We called our friendly electrician, Michael, who had done some other work for us in Grenada and he came by Saturday morning. It turned out to be merely a flipped circuit breaker that we didn’t even know existed, so, we just enjoyed the day and changed the plan to leave until Sunday morning.

img_4535Following Tropical Blend out of Port Louisimg_4537Leaving St. George’s, Grenada.img_5222The beauty of nature is amazing.img_5223Goodbye to the island of Grenada.\Sunset at Sandy Island

img_2487Just as we left the tip of Grenada this cloud popped up.  When Becky and Judd were with us on the island we had a great time describing what we saw in the clouds.  I snapped this picture with my phone and immediately sent it to them with the caption of “The Pillsbury Dough Boy Waving his Final Goodbye to us from Grenada”.img_5253Sunset at Sandy Islandimg_4565img_4575img_5275Kirby loves his dinghy rides. img_5278The beautiful water around Carriacou.img_5290img_5295Carriacouimg_5302img_5300A view of Sandy Island off the coast of Carriacou.  Can you find AfterMath?img_5309Symbiosis at its mooring.img_5313Left to right, Symbiosis, AfterMath, John on Tangent, and Tropical Blendimg_5325Debbie and Noi tending the fire.img_5318-2Scott walking the beach at Sandy Islandimg_5321-2The beautiful beach at Sandy Island.  And yes, that guy in the distance is clothes free.  Kirby got to run this beach and meet up with him.  Noi was walking with Kirby and had to keep her eyes averted.img_5327Debbie and Larry enjoying our potluck dinner.

Sunday was a gorgeous day, with light winds and calm seas. By 8:30 AM the staff of Port Louis Marina was at our boat and at Tropical Blend with our friends Debbie and Larry who were traveling with us. We were untied in short order so we left St. George’s for the last time, finding our friends Noi and Scott on Symbiosis, who had made their way from their anchorage to join us, nearby. The three boats took the short trip to Sandy Island, which is a spit of sand off the island of Carriacou, part of the country of Grenada. We stayed two nights at Sandy Island and while we were there we took the dinghy for a ride, swam, snorkeled, and even had a potluck dinner on shore with a lovely fire constructed and tended by Noi. Unfortunately, my underwater camera stopped working, so the snorkeling was not documented. I will be sending it back to Olympus, but I’m pretty sad that there will be no underwater images until I can get it back.

img_5332I looked at this beautiful view while John checked us into St. Vincent.img_4585Tropical Blend in Union Island meeting up with a boat boy.img_4614Another sunset.  This one at Union Island.img_4622img_4634And after the sun set, for just a little while before it set too, we were treated to this gorgeous sliver of a moon.

Tuesday found us all on another short hop to Union Island, which is part of St. Vincent. After clearing Immigration and Customs we all dropped our anchors for the night. It was a peaceful anchorage and the water was clear and calm; perfect for an afternoon in the water on the pool float I brought from Bradenton, FL.

img_5343Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreauimg_5344

Wednesday we all left and made our way to Mayreau which is also in St. Vincent. The anchorage there, Salt Whistle Bay, is a funny little one; full of boats, shacks on land that offer full meals and music, and lots and lots of boat boys. Boat boys can be annoying to some cruisers as they approach incoming boats before they are even in the bay, wanting to help with anchoring or picking up mooring balls, or selling fish or lobster, or even just getting rid of the ship’s trash. For me, however, I welcome the sight of those colorful little boats coming towards us when we are picking up a mooring. AfterMath’s bow stands high off the water line and my job when mooring is to reach down with a boat hook, pick up the line with a loop hanging on the mooring, and run two lines through the loop, cleating a line to each side of the bow. However, most of the moorings in the Caribbean have no hanging lines, or at least very short ones that do not reach my position on the bow. When the boat boys show up I only need to hand them each bow line separately, and take the ropes back aboard to be cleated. The few dollars we have to give as tips makes the service invaluable to me and I smile when I see those boat boys approaching.

In Mayreau we experienced the most rain we have had on our whole trip. All six of us hopped in dinghies and went to shore for lunch. We no sooner made it to the dinghy dock, which was treacherous with its loose boards that lined it, when the rain began pouring down. The service was very slow at the shack we picked, but we were in no hurry to get back on our dinghies and we had a very enjoyable afternoon watching the rain, enjoying our lunches and keeping each other company for a few hours. Finally the rain let up and, full of delicious food, we climbed back into the dinghies and back to our boats for a restful afternoon and evening.

img_4649The Tobago Caysimg_4650

img_4659Sunset over Bequai.  I promise, this is the last sunset for a while.  It’s just so hard to stop!

Thursday came and we all took the very short trip from Mayreau to the Tobago Cays. Here we snorkeled looking for the turtles that live there, but they, unfortunately, seemed to be missing that day. We did see a huge manta ray, lots of puffer fish, too many jellyfish for my liking, and one lionfish. Back on AfterMath, John checked the weather one more time and saw that Saturday would be windy and wavy, not a good combination for me or for Kirby who doesn’t appreciate rough seas any more than I do. Because of the predictions, we decided to continue on to Bequai before the rough seas set in while the others decided to spend a couple more nights at the Tobago Cays. We would have loved to spend longer there, but the reward for being in Bequai on Thursday was that we could make it back to my favorite spot in the islands, Marigot Bay in St. Lucia on Friday. Not much makes me happier than the Capella Resort in Marigot Bay!

img_5356Those beautiful Pitons in St. Lucia again.img_5379I just love the way the rock swirls around the Piton.img_4665This is the volcano we visited last May by land.  You can see the smoke rising as it does constantly.img_4667img_4675A beautiful resort on St. Luciaimg_4683Homes nestled on the hillside.img_5401The little beach at the entrance of Marigot Bayimg_5416A short dinghy ride back into the Caribbean Sea brought us here.  The homes aren’t much, but the view is phenomenal.img_5417img_5418

img_4688The view from our dock of Capella Resort and Marina.  I love this place!img_4695img_4697AfterMath at rest for a few days.

We left early on Friday morning and traveled 60 miles to Capella Marina where everyone seemed to remember us from our May visit. They even inquired about Kirby and Jake and we were sad to have to tell them that only Kirby was with us now. Nevertheless, I can happily say that nothing has changed here. The service is impeccable; everyone from the dockhands, to the office staff to the pool staff greets us as if we are their long lost friends. And, of course, I have been happy to be back in the beautiful pools the resort has to offer. We will meet up with our friends again on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, but in the meantime, we will enjoy this beautiful resort where, thankfully, the marina is the eye candy for the hotel. While we pay only $48 a night for our dock, the rooms in the hotel generally run from $650 to $2500 a night during this season and, happily, we get all the same resort privileges.

And so our journey continues. What an experience it has been so far, and how wonderful it continues to be. Now we will stop at islands we have visited before and will spend more time at those we previously just skimmed. We will go to new places that were not on the way during our southward passage but will be on the northward one. All along the way we are finding boats that are now familiar to us from our time in Grenada and it all feels like one big happy family on the water and at the anchorages. It’s hard to believe that we are actually living this life. We do not take this privilege lightly. We continue to live our dream and to wish the same for all of you, whatever your dream may be. And to those of us on the water, we wish you fair winds and calm seas and ask you to be on the lookout for AfterMath as you travel along. We will be waving at you and hoping to get time to visit again.

Here is where we are today: