Blog updates

The Saints and Guadeloupe

The Saint’s are a group of islands just south of Guadeloupe and they are utterly delightful and just a tad windy. Our sail north to get there from Dominica included the highest winds we’ve experienced to date, in excess of 45kts. It gets to a point where you are more worried about getting the sail area smaller rather than looking at dials and reading wind speeds! However the boys loved the waves and the torrents of water crossing the deck before the winds got too high…

We walked to all four corners of the island during our stay including a lovely walk to the highest peak which included a rock scramble much to the boys delight. The views from the top were well worth the hike up in the heat and humidity and we highly recommend it.

Spot our yacht in the bay..

From the Saints we sailed up the west coast of Guadeloupe stopping at Jacques Cousteau dive sites at Pigeon Island where the water was beautifully clear and we were surrounded in the bay by turtles swimming. Deshaies was also a lovely spot and we greatly enjoyed the parrots and plants at the stunning botanical gardens.

Time to venture out of the rather windy bay, say goodbye to France and sail north to Antigua. It’s still windy!

Spot the squall!

Indian river trip

Dramatic roots dangle over the river as you meander slowly up another setting from the Pirates of the Caribbean film in Dominica.

The boys loved spotting the wildlife, humming birds, herons, land crabs and large lizards.

A walk amongst the plantation and we were spotting pineapples, bananas, coconuts and spices growing whilst parrots flew over our heads.

Time to sample what’s growing around us and paddle back down the river.

Dominica

What a stunning green island Dominica is, aptly described as the only one that Christopher Columbus would recognise if he arrived back today. Lush forests and plantations abound. The island is recovering still from hurricane Maria three years ago and headless palm trees remind you of its path.

We supported the local economy by doing a great tour with Eddison (recommended if you are planning on coming here) and saw chocolate making, waterfalls, plantations and local villages. We drove up near vertical roads and weaved round hairpin bends, all to the boys delight.

Seeing chocolate from bean to bar was fabulous and no trip is complete without some tasting.

What a great view from work!

A lovely trip on a great island and two very happy boys!

Martinique

From St Vincent and the Grenadines we sailed north stopping at Bequia and St Lucia before arriving in Martinique.

Felix free climbing the mast…

After over a month of cruising the Caribbean down and back up the windward islands it was good to be back in the EU momentarily and benefit from the French prices, supermarkets, shops and restaurants. Let’s just say provisioning in the Caribbean is not without its difficulties..

Nothing to buy..

We explored the ruins in St. Pierre and remains from the 1901 volcanic eruption which sadly killed 29,000 people.

One of only two people who survived was in the towns stone jail.

Pretending to be in jail!

We also enjoyed hiking along the stunning coastline from Grande Anse D’Arlet to explore nearby bays and beaches.

With a deadline to get to Panama on the horizon it was time to say goodbye to the windward islands and start sailing north to explore the leeward islands before our passage west to Panama and the Pacific beyond…

Turtles

We’ve loved swimming with turtles in Tobago Cays and we did a lovely walk on Mayreaux island where we saw turtles on the track and amongst the bushes too.

The cafe we stopped in for lunch even had baby turtles.

Back in the Grenadines and Bequia we hiked to the turtle sanctuary. A great walk to the windward side of the island with our friends on S/y Oyster Moon.

Baby turtles here too!

Great day hike (“school trip”) out to learn about turtles.

Sharing boat home schooling

One of the delights whilst sailing with a young family is meeting other yachts doing the same. Chewing the cud with other yachting parents is great and helps keep you sane through the highs and lows of this yachting life.

One step further is to then share the home schooling burden. With four yachting boats we managed a year 1,2,3 and 4 classroom for the 9 children between us. It turns out teaching your kids with someone’s else’s around them is 10x easier!! Even easier if you managed to get the year class without your children in.

We rattled through maths and English lessons tackling everything from fractions, decimals to time telling, speeds and grammar.

This is definitely the way forward for home schooling.

The boys got excited about getting the “school bus” aka dinghy to school each morning.

School only lasts till 11:30am, (we are in the tropics and it’s very very hot!) followed by lunch and time for play and art on the beach. All good 👍😁

Grenada land tour

Time to explore land as we stepped ashore in Grenada, our furthest southern stop in the Caribbean. First on the list has to be the chocolate museum and cocoa plantations!

I wrote the boys a quiz on chocolate and “school trip” it was! We also looked at all the spices such as nutmeg growing on the island.

With a walk to a waterfall and dip in fresh water and land excursion was complete.

We did the tour with three other yachting family boats. With 9 children between us it was a lively and great fun tour.

Time to sail north now.