This has always been a 3-year project for us and it is with mixed feelings that we head into our final season of Caribbean cruising. We will miss so many things: the amazing, fabulous, awesome friends we have met along the way; the friendly, relaxed islanders and their enviable way of life; the incredible diversity and adventures each island offers; the warm seas; fresh, cheap coconut water; amazing chicken (jerk, roti or a la St Pierre); rum punches that knock your socks off; and, the memorable sunrises, sunsets, sundowners, green flashes and rainbows all viewed from ours or other boats! I could go on and on but there’s still fun to be had and one more season to do it!
This post is a pictorial representation of our journey over the last few months and covers Grenada to Martinique.
And more friends….
And friends saying farewell to cruising….
Mal and I enjoying the Underwater Sculpture Park at Moliniere Point, Grenada….
The best Jerk Chicken Shop in Grenada….
Leaving Grenada behind and heading north….
And somewhere in between we fitted in a birthday celebration….
Some of our underwater friends between Grenada and Martinique….
Sunrise and sunset….
And, we’ve now made it to the French island of Martinique. Hmmmm, Lorraine beer, baguettes, cheese, wine, pate and so it goes…
Of course, it’s not all beer and skittles. There’s been the odd boat job, like replacing the dodger….
But, even when things don’t go the way you think they will, it’s all still fun and we are excited to still be living this life! Well, for a few more months anyway! 🙂
We hope you follow our last journey through the Eastern Caribbean. So until next time, safe sailing, Sue and Mal xx
We have been in The Virgin Islands for just on a month now and they are stunning! There are over 100 islands, both large and small, inhabited and uninhabited and they are a cruiser’s delight! It is very quick and easy to sail to other islands or to find a protected bay if needed.
To the east are the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and to the south and west lie the US Virgin Islands (USVI). There are three larger islands in each country and lots of smaller ones dispersed throughout. We are currently in St Croix (bottom of the map) in the USVI and really enjoying this low-key island.
These photos are just a quick snapshot of our month here. Most islands satisfy our basic needs: good hiking, interesting flora and fauna and fabulous snorkelling.
We started on Virgin Gorda in the BVI:
We swam with Spotted Eagle Rays who seemed to feed under our boat! They have beautiful markings and the tail is three times longer than the photo shows. Absolutely majestic and not worried about us.
After much toing and froing through Facebook we were able to coordinate a gathering at Norman Island (six boats) so we hightailed it down the Francis Drake Channel, which I liken to a water super highway and reminds us of the Australian Whitsundays. It was great to catch up with friends and we did some fabulous snorkelling off the back of Izzy R at a rocky outcrop known as The Indians.
Then it was off to Peter Island for a night before heading to Jost Van Dyke Island (JVD). We were lucky to catch up with Jo and Gregg from s/v Serenade and their guests.
The next day we walked to the Bubble Pool on JVD. Looks pretty calm…..
Off the next day to Cane Garden Bayon Tortola. A very pretty anchorage and we enjoyed a few quiet days here.
Over to Sandy Cay, near Little Jost Van Dyke. This is a tiny island that Laurence Rockefeller owned and gave to the Brits. It’s home to the biggest collection of hermit crabs I’ve ever seen! It’s also totally untouched and a pleasure to take the short trail around the island.
We then cleared out of the BVIs and entered the USVIs at St John. What an amazing island. Again, thank goodness for the philanthropy of Laurence Rockefeller. He bought huge tracts of land (almost 2/3rds of the island) and bequeathed it to the US subject to it gaining National Park status. It is now a National Park with fabulous hikes and underwater marine parks. This is where I swam with an endangered hawksbill turtle and saw my first nurse sharks.
As with most Caribbean islands, St John has had many ‘owners’; Spanish, British and Danish. It was built on slavery and had a substantial sugar industry until sugar beet came on the scene and slaves were freed in 1848. There are lots of sugar mill ruins and plantation estates throughout the island which make for very interesting hikes. We often caught a glimpse back in time and got our minds imagining what life may have been like with some of the estates looking very grand. The US purchased the islands from the Danes in 1917 for 25 million in gold.
On St John we stayed at the following bays: Caneel, Maho, Waterlemon, Salt Pond and Little Lameshur. Each had their own beauty with hikes and snorkelling – what more could you ask for?
This cactus is common throughout The Virgin Islands and has a wonderful little fruit very high in Vitamin C. Check out the pics.
Then it was a hike to the Petroglyphs, the ruins of the Reef Bay Sugar Mill and the ruins of the Reef Bay Estate atop a hill. The Petroglyphs are attributed to the Taino Indians and date to between 900-1500AD.
Then it was Mal’s birthday. He had a breakfast fit for a king, enjoyed his present and shared a beautiful meal at night with Gwen & Guillaume.
Below are some underwater pics I just love taking!
We are now six as Dalynn and Glen from S/V Amoray have joined Kool Kat and Slow Waltz and we are spending a week or so here in St Croix.
This is a month’s worth of news so I’ll stop here. St Croix has heaps of interesting bits and pieces too so that will have to be in the next update!
Throughout Antigua and Barbuda, and now The Virgin Islands, we have been boat buddies with Canadians, Gwen and Guillaume from s/v Slow Waltz. They have been a delight to travel with and we have shared some amazing times together and created incredible memories.
Until next time, stay well, Sue and Mal. xx
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.