Friday, May 28, 2010
So we left beautiful St Lucia and continued down island to Bequia…but as different island guys came by and offered to do work on our boat we decided that it was time for us to work. While I polished all the stainless steel outside (got my first sunburn on my back from wearing a cropped t-shirt – drat) Mark sanded and varnished the forward companionway…I got a picture of him but alas, he did not get one of me. We are planning on leaving in the morning for Carriacou if we can get the boat put back together….looks like a cyclone hit it…ahhh yes, reminds me of the old days on Lake Lewisville…
We found that night that windy was not the word for being ‘between the Pitons’ as the wind howled…this is our knot meter…and when we got ready to leave much to our consternation, one of our mooring buoy lines had separated – thank goodness the norm on this boat anyway is always two. I had a hard time releasing the one that still held.
The next day we went to a place – The Jalousie Plantation Bayside to have a bit of fun. We met a nice couple (Heidi & Dave) from the states that were there (early) for a wedding the following weekend. We had a nice time talking to them and enjoying the beach atmosphere.
We also discovered the ‘Purple Turtle’ and the very nice proprietor (Patricia) at the northern end of the anchorage. The food was lovely island fare and we visited quite a long while with Patricia. She has adopted many children and reared them to adulthood – last count they are scattered over 4 or 5 continents!
– A very nice Rasta man came to work on his hand-made crafts. I had to get a soap dish for the back of the boat for al fresco showers when we get out of the salt water. We wanted to do the Dominica Rain Forest Ariel Tram but it was at the south of the island and when we got a quote of 800 EC (about $300.00 US) not including the tram ride we declined. It only runs on ‘cruise ship’ days (currently Tuesday) so we thought we would try to schedule our trip up island to allow us to do that when we don’t have to pay $300.00 for a taxi ride.
There was a stop at a jungle bar…which was good as it decided to really rain while we were there – but brother Bob…here is another project for you. One chainsaw and a big tree and you could have outside seating for 12 in short order. Probably would never have to move them, or perhaps could not!
It was kinda rainy that day so we had our water proof togs on – notice that I got to wear my Grapevine ‘Ooh La La” waterproof girly jacket? I knew it would come in handy as it covers me and my backpack!
This is Albert, our erstwhile guide – no motors are allowed so it was row, row, row your boat gently up the stream. Oh, and for you folks that are ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ fans, Disney used this river for a two cabins, one for the witch and one for the pirate (Jonny Depp). Albert claims that some folks have watched the movie so often that the recognized the setting….guess we sail too much to watch movies that much (except for Captain Ron of course).
Then we proceeded down island to Dominica and took a trip on the Indian River with Albert. It was really very interesting and felt like we were in the Amazon (to us anyway). The people were lovely and we look forward to going back soon.
Unfortunately, neither one of us remembered to bring the cameras (drat) so in lieu of real photos…here is a picture we took later of some flowers. The coolest thing in the gardens was that they had parrots in a huge cage and you could go in fir a visit. Mark had a bottle of water and they flocked to him thinking that it was ‘nectar’ which you could purchase for 20 cents, euro….we had none but fooled them with the water – at onetime Mark had one parrot on his head and about 3 or 4 on each arm….darn, I wish I have the cameras!
The next day we wanted to see the botanical gardens and called for pick up (courtesy of the gardens) in 30 minutes. There was a language barrier (we speak no French and some folks speak little English) so we waited for about 45 minutes and decided to hike the 1.4 kilometers….all up hill. That and 14 Euros each got us in and it was well worth both the effort and the hike. We both agreed that they were the best gardens we had ever seen
We were too late to check into customs so that waited till the morning. Come to find out that customs is almost always closed…we had to stop at Le Pelican (internet site) and check in over the internet…go figure…wonder what happens when it is down which seems to happen frequently in the islands.
Since Mark is sanding and varnishing the companionway (forward) he is talking to me at various times and interrupting my train of thought….since updating the blog is easier than what I was attempting to do (learn how to make videos using Adobe Premier Elements 8….I thought I would do something I might be successful at….updating our blog. So here goes…
On the north end of Guadeloupe (Deshaies) stopped for dinner at La Kaz which was nice and not too expensive.
Friday, May 14, 2010
We lounge and do laundry and tidy up for a few days…make phone calls to family, then it is time to go. We tied up to the fuel dock and load fuel, the boat is ready for the passage to Guadeloupe. We go to the workman’s bar and I get to say goodbye to a new friend Dorothy (I met her a few times at the same bar) who is over from England visiting her son Sprout (also know as Russell, get it?). He is a cabinet maker (among other things) and Dorothy is just plain nice…we had a good time visiting and I was glad to see here there before we left.
Us in yet another bar – this is one of Mark & my favorites as it is where the local craftsmen and boatyard workers gather after work. In an understated way the bar is named…the Walk-In….outside it just has a martini glass for a sign.
Here, Driftwood tells us that slaves who were worn out from working sugar cane came to jump into the ocean….very sad. He also tells us that this is the calmest he has ever seen the bridge...usually you would get drenched if you tried to cross it, but as you can see there is a fellow out there taking pictures and dry....drat, it would have been cool to see it raucous.
Photo of our driver, Driftwood (real name is G. Shoy Athill) but most taxi guys are known by the name of their cab. He is very friendly, knowledgeable and just talkative enough. Notice all the cactus (cacti?) most of these islands are arid much to our surprise.
On Friday we take an island tour – our first as well and Jack & Karen’s with a great taxi cab driver –Driftwood. We go up to a part of Shirley Heights we had not yet seen – the driver tells us this is Eric Clapton’s digs – drat, he is one of my favorites and we didn’t even get an invite to dinner!
We left Green Island on Thursday May 6th because (you aren’t going to believe this) we ran out of beer and cigarettes for Jack! (A boat came in with a flag saying 'Free
Beer', when the captain came over for a short visit we teased him about it.) We are back in English Harbor, buy beer and Jack decides to take a dip next to the dinghy…much to his surprise. In fairness, the beer store door was very low and Jacks’ head found it to be very hard….we think he was still woozy from the head banging.
This red hulled boat was in the Virgins for the winter and anchored most often near us when we were in St. James, Christmas Cove, just across from Red Hook on St. Thomas. Hey, Rick what do you think of the graphic?