Bahamas

Hi
And so we said good buy to Puerto Rico and the city life with museums, beautiful churches and to lot of choice on food.We shopped the Costco nearly empty to stuck up for Cuba. Spent lot of money but had to be done. We buddy boated with an American boat called Magic, Ken and Michelle and totally lovely people. Ken first popped over to our boat and he looked like the wild professor from ” back to the future” .Hehe. Anyway we left together to sail to Arecibo and stayed there for one night and continued following day to Dominican Republic or DR. Good sail, a bit rough in places and again big waives but overall good.Ken is amazing at sailing…beat us every time and we got a swan!!! We even left before them from DR and he still beat us….

Samana,a little town, very rough and ra and I totally fell for this place. Beautiful music and beautiful people. Mode of transport was either back of an motorbike or motorbike with a carriage. Like a tuk tuk. We loved it. Crazy driving.
Went to local market where meat hangs out, dirt flows around and the gutters…..well you can imagine. But we still loved it. And it was cheap. Found the English church that was dismantled and brought over as well as a playground, great bars with Latino music and people just dancing as it took they fancy. Fascinating! And of course we just joined in. Fell in love with this little girl who just wanted to be picked up and we gave her one of our puzzles. We both cried when we left…..:(((

We were only 3 days there as we had to move on but we did see the humpback whales. Just amazing. They really played for us, the mummy and baby and leapt out and blew and we did get covered in I think whale snot and water…..? We watched them for couple of hours and it was rather moving too. Didn’t want to leave but again the wind took us and Magic to Inagua in Bahamas.

We sailed for 48 hours and got hit by rather strong squalls a few times. Everything went grey and the wind shifted here and there and then the rain came. Blew up a mist and white horses on the water and we had to just change course and ride it out. Arrived in Inagua in dark around 2 am but anchoring was very straight forward. And in the morning we were surrounded by the most amazing water…the really turquoise blue with sand bottom and just begging you to jump in. Fantastic!
We got Kevin with the big black truck to drive us around, the kids of course in the back. Can you imagine that in UK?? We saw the pink flamingos, the salt factory and we got to walk on the salt that just looks like snow. Amazing. The old light house that we climbed up and nearly killed myself as I’m very unfit to have lunch in a bar with guess what? A tv! The kids went bananas!!! Great day.
Been swimming and stocking up an few more bits and used the library on most days.air cond and excellent Internet. Now checking weather for our hop to Cuba and leaving on Monday. No wind at the mo.

Alice has started to use the potty and we make a great fuss about that,the boys have downloaded a lot of new games and we just got to keep cleaning as I don’t get it why the boat gets so filthy….you know, crisps, sand and stuff every where:)))

We are doing really good and loving every single bit of it

So much to do again

Hi

So we set sail for Culebra which only took about 3h.navigating now with Chartplotter as well as proper paper charts as I need to brush up on that, and its fun to see the dot going forward. Culebra is a tiny island off the east coast of Puerto Rico. Long reef filled bay to get through but well marked out. Good anchoring but windy. First stop the mini market and getting the hang of the fact that everybody speaks Spanish. I love the language but can say only 5 words….music is great and here you hear the Latin stuff at every corner which just makes you dance to it or as Chris so kindly puts it “wobble to it!”

Met this lovely American couple, Annette ans Walter from states who took us under they wing for driving us to the beach and borrowing the washing machine and being a great company. As we can’t go out much in the evenings we miss out on the yachtie social circuit. So nice to have adult conversation and best of all? The kids got to watch tv!!! They were in heaven. Charlie was bouncing up and down and shouting” there is a tv!!” Bless:)

From there we sailed to an even smaller island called palomitos.just beach and nothing else. South end of island was reserved to a hotel from mainland so ferries was coming and going but didn’t disturb us at all. We snorkelled, even me with Alice on a woggle and me behind and it worked! We dingied to a tiny sandy island just south where there was nothing but sand and few bushes. A bit like sandy island in Carriacou.beautiful. And we couldn’t spend any money, best of all.
In the evening we were watching the mainland with lots of lights and wondering how we will feel about stepping into a city…busy,dirty,noisy…? We stayed another day and another until basic fresh food was gone and we had to move on.

So Puerto Rico, big island and as we motor sailed the coast we got all excited. Maybe we can do cinema, bowling etc. and as we came closer to San Juan we saw the big El Morro fort built by Spanish about 500 years ago.absolutely stunning. I called the boys to come up and have a look at this amazing piece of history and when they finally dragged their bottoms of the bed and the iPad they came out, looked around and said: oh ok. And went back down again! Daaahh! What can I say?

The bay is huge. We found the anchor spot, anchored perfect and settled down to watch what is around us. Us military base, marina, sky rise buildings, police car noises, local airport and cruise ship docks. Talk about noise!!! Chris was moaning and bitching what an awful place this is, blah blah blah and I let him rant and rave. Why? Because I read that people can have culture chocks and he was having that moment right there. Go to bed,its better tomorrow!

Well, we have been here now nearly 3 weeks and love the place. Chris thinks it’s great anchorage, we are in the city and surrounded by history. Seen the fort, bought some kites and fly them there at the fort. Old town is beautiful and found the children’s museum where the kids had a blast. Been stocking up in Costco for food and went to Arecibo where the worlds largest telescope is.just huge. A bond movie was partly filmed there.
We use the local buses, go to parks, have access to washing machine and everybody at the marina knows who we are. The Spanish love kids which make life a lot easier. They don’t mind the noise and the climbing and the shouting…
We also met Bill Butler who in 1989 got whacked around by pilot whales on his boat in pacific and he and his wife had to abandoned ship in just half an hour and survived the seas for 66 days in a life raft. Bought the book and its well written. Called “our last chance” Amazing who you meet or bump in to….

Mum here for the moment so busy doing more sightseeing and looking to move on end of next week. Will be sad to leave San Juan….

Alice is coming up with few more words, Charlie seems to have meltdowns about everything and James gets the blame… The kids are good sport and walk around without moaning. They hair is gettin longer, they don’t get chocked about anything they see and just accept that sometimes life is rather cruel. We see a lot of homeless people here and beggars but we just can’t give money to all of them….

On that note I will sign off.

X

Catching up

Hi

Must speed up about our comings and goings:)

Still no Internet on the boat so always hanging around bars for Internet…not bad but getting expensive. In us Virgin Islands at the moment, in st,Thomas and it’s a beautiful place. We have done the sightseeing from old ruins to pirate museum to the old cobbled stoned alleyways.fab place!

As we worked our way from Martinique to st.martin we had some bad weather with lots of wind and big waives but nothing to drastic.but the sail from there to bvis was horrendous, yet again.the forecast was the usual 15-20 kn but in reality it was 45 plus smack from behind which made sailing rather difficult. The sails were banging and it was rolly and I was willing the journey to be over and done with.
In the morning we arrived at virgin gorda to check in. No problem. We stayed in bvis for a month sailing to north of it and saw the famous Necker island with helicopters coming and going. Had a great Christmas at the beach and yes, we did cook the full roast dinner. With beef as we like it better!
Then on Boxing Day Chris started on the generator. The boat was a mess and dirty but it had to be done. We were at the beach playing for full 3 days while poor Chris slaved away….and got it done. So pleased to say that generator working,water maker working AND wind genny also done. Hurrah!!! I think we are getting sorted. Of course the list grows anyway with little things.
We went to Tortola as well and I have to say that bvis didn’t impress me at all. Very expensive, lots of anchorages with empty charter boats, bouys to pick up instead of anchoring at £30/night and not that many beaches. On the good side was Norman island which Treasure island book is based upon and apparently there is still pirate treasures to be found! We did grope around willing us to find a diamond but nooooo. Great for the kids though.
Also in bvis you get charged $4/pp/per day for just being there which is crazy so our month there would cost us around $600 so time to go. As we went to check out somebody looked after us…..on a Friday, end of a day the immigration didn’t look properly at the paperwork and charged us $ 9.00. Phew. We are trying to save money at the moment so it was a blessing.:)))

Yes,saving up a bit as this lady of a boat knows how to have the best and the new things…she will simply not work,gives up and we got no choice but bow to her greedy needs and pay up!

Anyway, off we set for us virgin island to st.thomas by passing st.john as its a marine park. There you can’t anchor at all and you have to buy a permit so being an a budget we couldn’t afford to go there. Great downwind sail, glorious sunshine and then you remember: this is why we are doing it! ( until next shit weather hits)
So here we are,catching up with the news to you, and we really like this place. No money to pay when checking in and no money to pay while we cruise here. Great. Charlotte Amalie is the capital and full of history and the pirates stories goes on.
Bought the pirate flag,yes not legal to fly it but hey, everybody else have it so why not us:)
Schooling going well at the moment but had to come down on James quite hard few times as he started going bananas about it. But we are covering other things with him as geography and different cardinal marks for navigation which he likes to do. Maths lessons are going great so Chris is pushing him on that one and he loves it. Charlie knows his alphabet and numbers so doing geography and map reading with him as well. Alice? Well the poor girlie is still only saying about 5 words but communicates very well with facial expressions and different levels of screaming….and we hear her VERY well!!!
Having a relax day today,tidying up to get ready to go tomorrow to Culebra. One of the Spanish Virgin Islands on our way to Puerto Rico. Hopefully things are getting even cheaper as we could do by pulling in on money for another month. But we are loving it for the moment and beach days are always cheap as you bring your own food and drinks!
Cathing up soon.

Xxx

Found the lost post:)

Hi

So I’m trying to catch up with all the news….sitting at the beach in bvis in Virgin gorda at Bitter end resort.lovely place!

So we worked our way back down to Grenada saying good buy to people on the way.Cumberland bay was difficult as there is rasta Joseph etc.But we did catch up with Billy.one of the original boat boys/helpers we met back in 2006.He looked after mum for the day when we climbed the volcano.lovely person and lovely smile even if he got himself in trouble and jail for 7 years!

Back in Grenada and prepared for our sail to Tinidad.the autohelm broke and the second water maker tube started leaking.So bloody typical.Never ending. Anyway it was a beautiful night sail and we hang around trini for 5 days.Got water maker tubes done,did some sightseeing,left kids with a stranger again and heard about the boat that pirates attacked off Trinidad! Worrying as they don’t attack there….they took everything off the boat but lives were saved:)

The journey back was like the worst nightmare.We knew it might be a bit rough but nothing what we went through.Big seas and far to much wind so end result was a blown mainsail.awful moment as it ripped in the middle of the night and Chris is struggling at the front to get it down and get the smaller sail up.Needless to say I prayed at the wheel as you do while the waves were raging around us. So there we limped back to Grenada again and the whole thing was so depressing as the generator decided to pack up as well. So more phone calls, more money and new part ordered to be shipped to St.Martin.Sail in for repair but as said will need a new one:( lots of money!!!

Will write more hopefully tomorrow as resort good with yachties and Internet good:)

X

Getting it all wrong

Hi

Now I wrote yesterday and obviously didn’t Save or post it! How stupid!

So got to catch up.

In bvis at bitter end resort and its a great place.Open for yachties so have been spending my last 3 days here playing as hubby is fixing the generator. Oh yes,things are still breaking! After our journey back to Grenada autohelm broke.After fixing that we went to Trinidad to get new tubes for water maker which was breaking up tube after tube….after a beautiful sail we stocked up on food,left kids with a stranger again and heard about the pirate attack on a boat anchored not far from us! Oh lala.didn’t think they ventured out of Venezuelan waters.
So we left for the night sail back to Grenada and new it might be slightly rough. Oh boy did it get rough!!! The waves and the wind was just stupid.You could hear the waive before it slammed into us from the side and it blew nearly 60 knots. Not what they forecasted! So we blew the mainsail and that’s when I started my mantra of praying that Chris can fix it, get it down and get the smaller sail up. And please don’t wake up Alice.

We limped into port and then discovered that generator has packed up as well.So typical. By this time Chris was ready to go home. So in we order more parts, more money and got sail repaired and off we went to Martinique. Finally leaving Grenada.
As you all have discovered our plans has changed. We nor the boat is ready to go through Panama so we are cruising another season here. Good move I think and we have got so much more to see in Caribbean before the pacific….a little update,will write more tomorrow, Charlie MUST play on the iPad!

X

Fun in the sun

Hi

Image

Hi

So we finally got away from Carriacou as the weather settled down again. As Chris went to check out we prepared the boat.I am getting familiar with her now.Chris came back and said that was expensive…..why? Well check out not bad but we haven’t paid cruising fees here since last October AND me and kids overstayed our visa….ooopppsss! So £200 later and a threat that I could go to jail for this and Chris had the cheek to humor the guy with a “yes please,take her off my back” we left.James obviously a bit upset leaving Zelda behind but we had a lovely sail up to Bequia.

The only reason this time to stop there was to buy lures for fishing but they had they independence day and everything was shut so we left for St.vincent and Cumberland bay.As most people know it’s my favourite place and we have met and made lots of local friends there over the years…Ratty, Rasta joseph, Billy, Brother and dandiman….but dandiman died few years ago, drowned drunk on his surfboard. But I still remember him, a very happy person…anyway great to be back and Rasta joseph was there to greet us. Shame we had only one night there as we had to get to St.Lucia to meet our friends so few beers and early wake up next morning.

The journey between Vincent and St. Lucia can be rough….so usual sickpill for James, coolbox in cockpit for goodies and off we went.Needless to say, of course it was rough, big waives, Charlie sick and a bloody long day. Good to know thou is that the boat felt fine.I am a worrier so it was nice to have seen her sailing in these conditions as I’m sure there will be worse ones to come….

We didn’t tell the boys who we were meeting….James best friend from Chorleywood, Toby .We said we are meeting daddys old schoolfriend Morgan. Funnily enough we then found out that they were staying at jame’s hotel in morgan bay…spooky!!!

So off we went with a taxi and when we pulled up and saw Chris, Tobys dad I could see James’s face…he couldn’t puzzle it all together…great fun! And from the bushes out jumped Toby and Kathy:)))

We had a fab time with them at the pool that day and decided to do the volcano trip next day.

We hired a taxi for the day and went to the zippwire place in the rainforest.We would take the lift,journey should last about an hour but they asked for stupid money…about £180 for our family.Blah,no way.I had Alice ready in a sling on my back, she was a sleep so back in the taxi.I left her in the sling and as we drove off she decided to puke….all down my back of course. Loooveellyyy!!! And then James got carsick so he decided to puke as well.Lucky he’s a pro so bag and job done.

Finally we came to Pitons,the volcanos and saw the steam and mud bubbling out.Interesting to see,awfully bad smell.We also went for the hot bath and got covered in the mud/clay from the volcano that you would spend a fortune for in UK.The water was hot and I wasn’t sure about Alice but she loved it.Into it again and again.She is amazing!

On the way back we stopped at one of the waterfalls and I sat in the car waiting as Alice was asleep..Chris came over with a woman and said: Do you reconice her??? Nooo…well it was Pearls mum.Pearl is a nanny and mother from St.Lucia but now living in Chorleywood. How amazing!!! Great chat and a beer and we also called Pearl in Uk.

On the sunday we took them for a sail down to Marigo bay.Lovely place but ended up having an argument with one of the locals who has put his own mooring buyos on the best anchoring places and of course he didn’t like the fact that we wanted to anchor.Hey ho we did anchor and he became Mr motormouth. We couldn’t stop laughing as we didn’t get a chance to say anything but he went off with a hump….shame.But we had a nice swim and a fresh tuna sandwich.

So came Monday and time to part….very sad and I cried. Toby was upset as well but hopefully we meet again at the next halfterm in February…wereturned to the boat and headed for the pitons anchorage for one night only.

more later as madam is awake:)

X