Blog updates

Caught a fish!

Finally, it’s only taken nine months but we’ve finally caught our first fish and it’s a big one! It’s a large barracuda which we unfortunately can’t eat (it eats reef fish so more risk of ciguatera) so back it went. But Felix the fisherman was delighted (it was his chosen lure).

Proud fisherman

Well done boys!

Lessons on hurricanes, erosion and wildlife

There is nothing like learning the impact of weather when you can see it first hand.

The devastation caused by the hurricane last year on Barbuda was total. The container that Felix is looking in the photo below was picked up by the wind from the airport four miles away and dumped in the lagoon – it’s full of engines/transformers (not exactly lightweight).

As a result the beaches are stunningly empty, wild and beautiful. Any previous buildings were flattened and the hotel has fallen into the sea.

Unfortunately there are worrying white sticks marking out development to come. This is much to the outrage of the local collective principle of community owned land. So these vast beaches might be millionaires private homes in due course. Robert de Niro is buying up large sections and ditto others. I hope the locals win and long may it remain the wild beauty it is.

Inside the beach lies a large sea water lagoon where an amazing colony of great frigate birds live. It was great to see them, puffed up red chests together with their fluffy white young chicks.

Barbuda heaven

We collected Grandad from the airport (in a dinghy!) and sailed to Barbuda. If beaches are your thing then this island is the most stunning place on the planet. 16km of uninterrupted white sand and aquamarine sea.

I have run out of adjectives to do the colours justice but let me say it’s breathtaking.

We enjoyed the beaches, lobster bbq’s and the boys did some surfing too.

Bird island

The north of Antigua is a stunning array of reefs and islands. With some slightly hair raising eyeball navigation we made it to Bird Island and dropped the anchor in very shallow water.

The island was great to explore with 100ft blowholes, lizards, snakes and of course numerous birds.

It is a stunning anchorage and with a welcome spell of calm weather, time to make the bosun’s chair into a spinnaker swing for the boys for oodles of fun.

Antigua

After a pretty rough Valentine’s Day trip north from Guadeloupe where the swell was unkind, Russell’s sea legs lost their way and he donated his lunch to the fish! 🌊 Very romantic! We sailed into Jolly Harbour and treated ourselves to one night in a marina (not cheap). It’s the first marina we’ve been in since arriving in the Caribbean in December at Rodney Bay, and it’s complete with WiFi. My idea of heaven! So if you wonder why it’s radio silence from us and then a splurge, you know we’ve just got access to WiFi. We have to live life mostly off-grid, no phone G’s or signal either, which has its benefits and it’s share of pains!

Hugo and Felix used the marina opportunity to climb the mast and do rigging checks. Both climb/are hoisted 21m to the top. They have no fear whatsoever. Yes, that is Hugo at the top in the photo…it is a very long way up.

Approaching Antigua involves sailing into the most stunning aquamarine seas. White sandy beaches abound and with the breathtaking shallow depths (and anxious glances at the echo sounder) make the water just beautiful.

With 365 beaches to choose from we anchored in a quiet bay just round from Jolly Harbour and had the beach and bay to ourselves. Amazing and there are loads more to explore.

Time to chill out and catch up with friends on ‘Mokara’, ‘Why Not’ and other family boats who are all doing the Panama Canal and Pacific passages too. Let the planning continue! The more the merrier.

It’s only four sleeps till Grandad comes to visit us and then it’s not long till Chloe comes to join us on our adventure too. We are all very excited. 😁👍⛵️💕⚓️😎🏖🌴⛵️🌞

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.