Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

St Lucia - Soufriere

We loved St. Vincent, and it was obvious how clean the island was! All over the island were rubbish bins and prominent billboards encouraging the people to stop littering and to clean up! What a difference to Bequia. At first light the engines of Catlyn got us all out of bed, and we freed Catlyn from the buoy (Blue Lagoon Bay).

Blue Lagoon, St Vincent

In the distance we could see the two towering Pitons, and my poor brother battled to get used to the slow progress on a yacht! We prayed for a good breeze of 20 plus knots, but we suffered slowly forward with hardly any good wind. We reached St Lucia, passed the Pitons on our way to the little town, Soufriere, for our stamps in our passports.

A very fast local boat gave us a lift to town, and our three girls sneaked away.

This little town was the first in St Lucia, and I could see it in the old buildings struggling to survive the elements and human neglect. Poverty was all over the town, and it was only in the curious shop that I felt comfortable. We walked in the steps of slaves in the courtyard, Queen Elizabeth the Seconds`. This square was built in front of the little church, and I could stand on the spot where the guillotine took so many heads in 1795, and after that the slaves were sold here.

A young man, the boss of the curious shop spoke very well English, and told us about the transport and volcano and all the other places we need to visit. We found what we were looking for, and took the fast boat back to Catlyn. Malcolm, recommended by the Immigration officer as trustworthy, offered us a buoy at 50EC for the night. He warned us to lock away our valuables. We left for our buoy between the Pitons, Petit Piton and Grande Piton! You are not allowed to anchor in this Natural Park.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tabago Cays Video

Thursday, April 26, 2012

St Vincent

The day started in its full golden glory, only to give up the battle against the grey clouds and the soft rain. We wanted to walk up to the volcano, but were told, rather not with the little ones, so we opted to visit the Darkview Falls. Again we stacked a local bus, the much cheaper version of transport, and after too much giggling we reached town.

 Kingstown is the capital, a real authentic town, rough edges and all. We took another bus to the Waterfall at the taxi rank in town. After hopping around in the mini-van for an hour, although it felt much longer, we were dropped at a junction with directions to the Falls.

We walked a pleasant walk, and stopped at the donkey enjoying the mangoes, and shared some with him. 

The only effort was to get the mangoes down from high up the tree, but all it needed was a feminine push!

The waterfall was unbelievably beautiful! I hope the photos can share the beauty with you. Thanks to God for Nature, to strike me with a humbleness in front of one of His creations.

Craving for a soft serve for ever, we heard a tinkling musical noise, and remembered the big ice cream trucks on a Sunday afternoon coming down the streets in our country, filled with soft serve ice cream and a flake in the middle.  It was not long before the sound came down this empty road snaking through the forest.  The girl who worked at the entrance of the falls, who accompanied us into town after her day at work, told us that it is indeed the ice cream truck!  It stopped, and we enjoyed the buckets full of ice cream with our new friend.

The drive back to town was just as adventures and it was a challenge to stay in your seat. Luckily my brother got squeezed between two even bigger locals, keeping him in a very tight spot!

We ended a great day, laughing it away, with a great hunger, at Pizza Hut! We were close to heaven! Pizza heaven!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

St. Vincent - Blue Lagoon

Sunsail Base in Blue Lagoon Bay

The sail to St.Vincent was great! We sailed with the main up and the genoa flying. Ahead of us the dark clouds were hanging and we knew that we have to hurry into the Blue Lagoon bay for shelter. But we were showered with rain pouring down on us. The clouds crept closer, and luckily we had the rain catcher up, and our tanks were getting filled with lovely fresh water. We needed drinking water, because Hardu was still battling to get used to the desalinated seawater. Our human rain catchers had empty bottles, empty containers, empty anything in their hands to collect drinking water from heaven! Luhan had great fun, and his mom Anriette could only find a wine glass that is till empty on Catlyn!

Blue Lagoon Bay was our best option for the night. With a rolly sea we decided to take up a buoy. A very happy man, Michael showed us a bouy right in the western side, very protected, and I could see the relieve on everyones faces. We paid 15US$ for the night, and then Michael spoke the magical words! " That includes showers!" I`ve never seen my little sister jump with pure joy by the thought of a warm shower, for as long as she wanted, her first in a week! We were eight people aboard, and we were running our Little Wonder constantly, and we had precious moments of laughter shutting down the fresh water pump when my brother stopped counting while in the shower! If you want to sail with us, you have to live like us...

Catlyn was hardly secured to the bouy, or my family were armoured with shower gel, shampoo,  for a well deserved shower, and into the dinghy they went! Too soon we heard the roar of the dinghy engine, and the clean bright faces of six people came around the corner, only to tell us, that there were so many French people waiting to shower, they had to rush through the lovely warm water!  I fell for it, and had a weak moment of belief, only to stand in an ice cold shower moments later! No wonder the little Minjone was shocked because there was only one faucet in the showers!  Welcome to the life of our Yachties! We were clean and fresh at least and we had a good nights sleep!

Caribbean - Bequia

The family is slowly getting used to life on a boat. Anriette really took to it quite easily, grooming and washing at the back of the boat.  Hardu still complains a bit about the limited time in the shower. Little Luhan is the only one turning green a bit, until the fresh air blows it away. 

Minjone is the little mermaid on Catlyn!

Bequia was our next destination, Admiralty Bay, Port Elizabeth.  It is a little island with an active whaling station, and local whalers can take up to four whales a year. Some years they don`t get any, trying very hard with their hand-thrown harpoons.

Front : Me, Luhan, Marco, Minjone      Back: Johan, Anriette, Hardu and Joe
We walked the little town, enjoying the quaint hotels and restaurants on the beach and the lovely walkway along the beach Gingerbread, was my favorite,

with the white piano proudly waiting for fingers in the restaurant.  Whaleboner  Bar was Anriette`s favorite.
When I visit some of the beautiful places, my heart aches when it is strewn with litter!  While walking with my ice cream wrapper in my hand, I was searching for a rubbish bin, but couldn`t find any, and the one I found was overflowing! 
We heard about an old fort uphill, and after quite an uphill walk we could enjoy the beautiful scenery of various islands,

and the old canons came alive again in the imagination of the kids as they fired them away with the Cappi orders!

Thank goodness for the chilled cold taste of Carib, not that I like the bitter taste of beer, but the buffalo wings and French fries was delicious.

We were craving something sweet, and the lollipops were the best we could find.

 It was not good and sweet enough for Anriette, but luckily her brother in law came to her rescue with her namesake...Anna, condensed milk!  I have to tell you that we only had a chance to take the photo, after that the can disappeared...

We found a distributor somewhere along the road, and the men stocked up on the local beer, Hairoun, quite a nice beer. For some reason my brother carried the pack with a smile on his face!

He was ready for something refreshing with the huge dorado(mahe mahe) Marco caught on our way! It was quite a thrill to see this beautiful fish gliding through the water, almost too beautiful to come aboard.

As soon as we reached Catlyn, quick decisions were made, and we were lifting anchor after Johan rushed to Immigration with all our passports, on our way to St Vincent!

Luhan and Minjone - Luhan the Carib way "Peace Mon, peace...."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Union Island, St Vincent and the Grenadines

We did the proper thing and cleared out at Hillsborough, Grenada and sailed to Union Island. It was a very busy Bay, with lots of charter boats, but the most beautiful little bar and restaurant in the middle of the sea.

 Only our Skipper and the men went to Immigration, and the rest of us enjoyed the slightly emptier Catlyn. They were back in a short while and we headed for Saltwhistle Bay, Mayreau. 

The yachts were packed and we couldn`t believe how all of them were rolling around. We knew we were in for a sleepless night. My poor family, so much for a peaceful vacation! We walked the beach, while the men kept an eye on Catlyn, not trusting the swells shoving us around. I think it must be wonderful to spend a couple of days on the island in the resort.

Tabago Cays

All of us were happy to set sail after a rough night at Salt Whistle Bay.  Tobago Cays was our next anchorage.  It is beautiful, but still the swells were choppy. 

A very friendly man with his boat knocked on Catlyn, and we met Mr. Quality! He displayed his whole shop to eager shoppers aboard, and Hardu treated us on a Tobago Cays each!

Everybody went to the beach the next morning, Hardu and Anriette took the little ones with the canoes,

 and Joe and Marco followed with the dinghy.  I took the time to clean Catlyn, and to get my little washing machine going, to spoil my sister on holiday. They had a great day, and climbed the hill to the top for a beautiful view. 

 They saw iguanas spitting them, 

 and in the crystal blue water the huge turtles were lifting their heads every now and then.  They returned to a clean home and the smell of barbequed tuna!

Sandy Island, so beautiful!

After a short sail, we anchored at Sandy Island! What an amazingly beautiful little strip of land with golden sand, our own private swimming pool, and coral sculptures in their natural beauty. 

To the boys delight, Yacht Jangles, also from South Africa, anchored close to us!  Friends! 

We spend the day snorkeling, laying in the warm shallow water, scrubbing our feet and each other`s, building our own unique coral sculptures.

Marco and Rebecca also built a sculpture, leaving their mark of friendship on Sandy Island. 

 Ian and Lesley (Jangles) joined us in our swimming pool, with an ice cold beer.

 We saw beautiful coral and little fish, and we had a very angry fish biting our feet every time we stuck our feet in the water! Believe me, it was not just a nibble, it was quite a bite! I am sure we were in his area or something he wanted to protect. Little Minjone ended her day under her teepee tent I made of towel…playing with mermaids in her dreams.

Catlyn and Jangles at anchor