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Martinique, Fort de France, March 4th   2006    (by Dagmar and Bart)

After Carnival, on March 4th, we had visitors from Germany. Dagmar's Mom and brother. They had never been to the Caribbean. And we are very happy that they made this trip to Martinique to come, see and sail with us. 

 

My Mom just sailed with us for a day back in Holland last year, my brother haven't had any sailing experience. But they did great, although we had some tough days with good swell and wind. After Pina Colada and a good night sleep, we sailed to the bay of Anse Mitan, just 1/2 hour away of Fort de France, the capital of Martinique. A beach day to relax from their long flight. We have seen a whale in the bay. 

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First of all we thought its a lock of wood, but then it was moving. Bart jumped in the water with snorkeling-gear and fins. He got pretty close to see him. What an amazing creature. It stayed for several hours in the bay.

 

St. Lucia, Marigot Bay, March 6th-7th   2006    (by Dagmar)

Next day we pulled up anchor to leave for St. Lucia, Marigot Bay. Looks like a postcard, surrounded by coconut trees, mangroves in the end of the bay, white sandy little beach. Boat boys offering fruits and bread, jewelry and garbage-pick-up. Marigot Bay, one of the few Hurricane holes in the Caribbean. Although they say the vertical flying coconuts can be as dangerous as the reefs. The wind was perfect 15 knots calm seas, good to get used to the movements of the ocean for Marga and Volker. On our way we caught a medium size Barracuda, our dinner. Soleil right away compared her teeth with his.

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St. Lucia, Soufriere Bay, The Pitons, March 7th-8th   2006   (by Dagmar)

Next day to the Pitons. 2 impressive giant rocks both more than 700 (2300ft.) meters high. Although they build a luxury hotel right between them, it's still a beautiful place to be.  Just one other sailboat in the bay.

 

Since we explored Dominica very extensively, we just made a short visit to the Sulphur Springs in Soufriere, taking one of the local buses. Some volcanic activity far below the surface results in 15 pools of boiling water and mud. On full moon days the boiling water and steam comes 20 feet high. The rest of the time just a few feet. The water from the springs supposed to make you 10 years younger. I have a few doubts about that.

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St. Vincent, Wallilabou Bay, March 8-9   2006    (by Dagmar)

60 miles further lies St. Vincent. In 15-20 knots of wind we sail to Wallilabou Bay. We enter a scene of "Pirates of the Caribbean". The boat boys, in  a small wooden boat or on a surfboard, wait for us far out at sea just to be the first to offer you their services, like tie your boat to a palm tree. Since the anchor ground drops of very steep you have an anchor in the front and a long line tied up to a palm tree at the stern. 8 other boat boys show up, each of them offering merchandise for the 'best' prizes on the island. 

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We wonder about all the new houses in 18 century style. At the shore we find out, that the impressive stone houses, have just a front made out of polyester. The coulisses for the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean", which they filmed here last March. 

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The next day we bought a tuna from one of the locals, a cast-member of "Pirates of the Caribbean" (the guy on the surfboard), since we didn't catch anything ourselves and left for Bequia. 

 

Bequia Island, March 10th-11th  2006    (by Dagmar)

Bequia is since many years very well visited by many yachts, because of the small charming village, the good restaurants and the well protected Admiralty Bay. 

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Although in the night a rare big swell started from the North West and everybody started rolling. Specially Marga and Volker liked the island, so we stayed for an other day. A fisherman came in with big dorado's and tuna fish and cut them up right at the dinghy-jetty. Soleil watch fascinated for an hour, while we had a nice cup of coffee at the "Gingerbread Cafe". We visited the Bequia book-store, went to the small local market and had dinner that night at Mac's Pizza, a recommendation of Joanne, a friend of us. Bart had for dessert the "Brownie Fudge Cobbler", she recommended so warmly. That was so yummy.

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Canouan Island and Tobago Cays, March 11th-15th   2006    (by Dagmar)

20 miles further south we sailed first to Canouan, then to the Tobago Cays...for most people the ultimate Caribbean feeling because of the turquoise colored water and the small palm islands and the reef surrounding this place.

Here it was finally time to go windsurfing again. A pirate of the Caribbean on the water. Marga, Volker, Soleil and I enjoyed the little beaches and Bart windsurfed upwind to the small reef opening. Although the wind wasn't strong, it was nice to be on the waves again.

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Next day we all went to the reef and snorkeled. Its unbelievable beautiful.....like an aquarium. Since we are on the boat I am teaching Soleil. This day was her Test Lesson after lesson 100. She did very well and so she deserved a vacation. 

 

Petit Tabac Island, March 15th   2006    (by Dagmar)

The following day we left for "Petit Tabac", a small island next to the Tobago Cays with a beautiful deserted beach. It isn't very popular because of the shallow reef. A catamaran is anchoring in the lagoon, Antoine Albeau, Windsurfer, and his friends. We are anchoring in more rolly water, just for some hours to enjoy the beach and to collect some beautiful shells.

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Palm Island, March 16th   2006   (by Dagmar)

The next stop on our schedule is Palm Island. John Caldwell, a Texan circumnavigator, fell in love with this little island many years ago, when it was still named Plum I. Every year he came back, he brought coconuts to the small island. So that's why, now it is full of coconut-palms, the government renamed it and rented it to him for 99 years. His wife was responsible for building a small resort, which after her death became a resort of luxury standard with a private island status. Only one side is accessible for us. We found a nice shady place under one of the beautiful palm trees. Bart went surfing on the outer reef. I am looking forward to do that the next day. Looks like a lot of fun.

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Palm Island for the night is too rolly. Therefore we leave for the close Union island for the night. Next day again Palm island and my turn to surf. I love it. back in the water.

 

Union Island, March 18th-19th  2006    (by Dagmar)

The following day my Mom and brother are leaving for Germany again. I am really sad, but I can't complain, we all had a wonderful time in the Caribbean. And I am so happy that they made the trip together and stayed for 2 weeks with us. Now they have a way better impression of the life on board and what the daughter/sister is doing on the other side of the world. I miss them.

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On March 18th for us and Soleil it was saying goodbye to grandma and Volker, but in the afternoon we could say hello to Soleil's friend, Remy, and her father Jeff Henderson. Soleil was sooo excited, counted since weeks the days and since this morning the hours. They were supposed to arrive on Union Island at 9:00 am, right after my family left, but we found out that the flight did not exist. 

So we came back for their pick-up in the afternoon. There they were, and Soleil and Remy were sooo excited. There was a lot to tell, since Soleil left Carden Academy on Maui, where both girls were classmates. Remy brought a little booklet with drawings from all the classmates of now 2. Grade, showing Soleil on the LUNA and some presents from her girlfriends. 

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Tobago Cays, March 19th-20th  2006    (by Dagmar)

The next day we left again for the Tobago Cays with Jeff and Remy. Swimming, Kiting, since Jeff brought Kite-Equipment, Windsurfing and Snorkeling at the Reef-Drop-Off (there I always had to think of you Annette, that would have been your ultimate diving experience...so incredible beautiful and full of fish...Soleil said: a drop-off like in the "NEMO" Movie...)

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Petit Tabac Island, March 20th   2006    (by Dagmar)

We couldn't resist to go to "Petit Tabac" again and this time nobody was anchoring, therefore we went into the lagoon and stayed there overnight. A nice place for kite surfing. Around midday we left for Union Island again to buy some fresh fruit and bread before we would leave for Carriacou. Here we have the possibility to send our e-mails again, a rare occasion in the Grenadines.

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Carriacou Island, March 21st-22nd   2006    (by Dagmar)

On the way to Carriacou we caught a Barracuda. Now we definitely have to revise our opinion about this type of fish. Even when its the last one in the food-chain, because its a predator of the reef, the meat is tasty and very soft. Jeff used it for a nice fish-curry, but one of the next times we had it grilled and baked, too.

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Sandy Island, March  22nd-23rd   2006    (by Dagmar)

Sandy Island, a charming day anchorage close to Hillsborough, the capital of Carriacou, invites us for a stay overnight because of its calm water.  The beautiful palm trees and the magnificent reef was destroyed 2 years ago by the last hurricane. ( We have seen a lot of damage by the last hurricane on several islands already) In the evening we went to the beach, we made a fire and had grilled Marshmallows on a stick...soooo good....

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Saline Island, March  23rd-24th   2006    (by Dagmar)

The next day off we sailed to the South of Carriacou, Saline Island. We anchored in the small lagoon of this deserted private island, exploring the beach, collecting shells again. We find a house there, which is apparently not much used, ruins of an older building and a grave of one of the family-members of the owner from 1959 surrounded by conch-shells. Bart and Jeff are using the afternoon to surf the reef.

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Grenada, March  24th-27th   2006    (by Dagmar)

The next stop for us will be Grenada. We want to be there for the Saturday Market. Grenada, called the "Spice Island", rich in Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Saffron, and any other spice you can think of, rich in fruits and veggies, looks like the right place to stock our boat supplies.

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After a night in the main harbor St. George we decided to anchor in a bay a little bit South of the island. We choose Morne Rouge Bay. A perfect place to snorkel and explore some shallow caves and for the girls Soleil and Remy to go windsurfing. It was Remy's first time and she did so great and loved it so much that she continued the next day.

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But what a night we had. The Thai-Restaurant on the beach had the ultimate local party. Music with a DJ, the basses let the boat vibrate, until 5am. The DJ heating up the crowds with..."where is the fire"... Next morning, after a bad nights sleep, we said to ourselves, why didn't we take the dinghy and went over...

On March 27th we had to say bye bye to Jeff and Remy. They left for Maui again. What a strange feeling on the boat. We had guests for more then 3 weeks and now we are all by ourselves again. We prepared to leave Grenada the next morning for a day- and night-sailing trip to reach Porlamar/Isla Margarita in Venezuela on Wednesday March 29th.

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