Sunday, July 26, 2015


The natural beauty of this island is something I can hardly describe with words.  We took our time here and spent a week hiking to waterfalls, touring up the Indian River, and driving up and down the craziest hills we have ever seen.
Paul did all the driving and it's a good thing, not only did he have to drive on the left side of the road but also on the right side of the car.  It took a lot of concentration which was tested by our two lovely children making all kinds of noise and playing in the back seat.  

Toward the end of the first day with the car we were climbing the steepest hill we had gone up all day the transmission on the car started to slip.  We made it over the top and the next five miles were all down hill. When we got to the bottom we turned to head back toward Roseau for dinner but when Paul stepped on the gas the car just sat there. The transmission had burned up and we were as far from the boat as we could be on the island without a cell phone.  Fortunately at the intersection where we broke down a guy was waiting for the bus and let us use his cell phone.  Paul spoke to the rental car agency and they said "leave the car in a safe place and you will just have to find a way back."    ???
Paul reminded him that we are a family of four and it was already 5 PM.  No telling when the next bus was coming and if there would be enough room on it for the four of us plus our backpacks and the propane tank we were carrying to get refilled.  The buses here are like the ones in Nevis and St. Kitts.  More like minivans.  
While we were waiting for the bus to come we tried the car again and it started to go. We jumped in and made it over the next small hill but as we came to the bottom and started up the next it stopped dead in it's tracks. We were able to push it off the road and got our stuff together to hitch a ride or catch the bus. Luckily the guy who we borrowed the phone from had caught a ride with a friend and stopped when he saw us on the side of the road. A third passenger in the car they were in said he would wait for the bus and got out of the car so we could squeeze in. They drove us to Roseau and dropped us off at the hotel owned by the sister of the rental car guy. Their brother came by about an hour later and gave us a ride back up to Portsmouth where the boat was. We finally got back to the boat at 9:30 PM.  Nicholas was in a bad mood but not too bad considering all. Quite an adventure.

Our longest hike was to Middleham Falls.  It rained on us the whole way there.  The hike up was challenging mostly by the complaints from those two same lovely children of ours.  After some food the tone changed dramatically and on the way back down the kids couldn't stop talking about how easy the trail was and how even Grandma could do it. Hmmmm.

We celebrated my birthday here with a day on the boat getting ready for the journey to Martinique.  We did the laundry, vacuumed, organized Legos, cleaned the bottom of the boat, etc.  
I love that Nicholas thinks I'm 37 but Samantha is always quick to remind him that he is wrong.  Ugh! 
I remember when we lived in the house that was over 2000 sq ft that I couldn't wait to live in a smaller space so I could clean the house in an hour or two instead of a day or two.  The thing is that it takes a lot longer to do the laundry by hand, dishes by hand and keep the children busy with either helping with chores or doing their own cleaning/organizing.  I don't complain but just embrace what we have and go with it.  I get to spend all this time with my family and I love it.  We have been visiting some of the coolest places I've been and on a budget so we can visit more.  Some days are easy and some are a challenge but what life isn't full of days like these?


Guadeloupe is a French island and has a very different feel than the other islands we have visited.  We picked up a free mooring in Deshaies which was a bit of a challenge.  Normally a mooring will have a line (pendant) floating from it  and one just picks it up with the boat hook and feeds a line through the eye on the pendant. Here the mooring just has a metal ring on top of it so we had to thread a line through the ring from five feet above. Thankfully the wind was light so the operation wasn't too difficult.  We stayed a couple of nights to rest up and enjoy the calm nights with no roll.
One of the two Mahi we caught on the way to Guadeloupe

Awesome Boulangerie

The French bread and croissants (especially the chocolate ones) were amazing.  I'm still trying to work off all the butter!  
We did a hike up the river there and the kids had a blast climbing all over the rocks up hill but then complained about the long walk back to the boat on the road down hill.  Go figure?
We kept them entertained by picking up stray mangos on the ground that we could eat later on the boat. This prompted a lot of "Mango! Mango! Mango!"

The next anchorage was Pigeon Island where we snorkeled to the beach and watched the kids play for a while.  The sand reminded Paul of the sand in NJ.  It was kind of dark brown and there was a lot of sea weed.
Just like Jersey

The next day we sailed to the group of small islands off the south end of Guadeloupe called the Saintes and anchored in Baie du Marigot.  The Saintes have a different feel compared to mainland Guadeloupe.  The islands seem to be more of a holiday destination and a little more touristy but we enjoyed the town of Le Bourg very much.   The people were friendly and the island beautiful. 
They must not like soccer

There was a bit of a language barrier since we don't speak French but we were able to get by with pointing and guessing.  I wish I would have spent more time learning French.  I've been so focused on Spanish...well enough said.

Next time I'll come more prepared. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015


We were able to sail with the wind just a slight bit north of east all the way to Montserrat.  It was a long day and we took a lot of water over the bow.  I'm very grateful for out dodger and side curtains that keep me dry during our passages.
We anchored near the small town off the beach and rolled all night.  I wish we had put out a stern anchor but it was already late and we were exhausted.  So instead we just had a horrible nights sleep.

The wind was still good the next day so instead of going ashore we opted for the sailing view of the active volcano on the island from out boat as we sailed south toward Guadaloupe.  

Montserrat has dramatic scenery and you can see the devastation caused by the volcano.  I hope our pictures do it justice.


Nevis was a wonderful small island with an awesome fresh market on Saturday AMs.  We didn't haggle on the price of all the fresh produce because we felt it was already priced so low.  We took home three bags of fresh fruits and vegetables for under $40 U.S.

The bus system there is similar to that in St Kitts.  We didn't take the bus anywhere on the island but got some good photos of different buses with there colorful names. 

We went back to St. kitts and ended up staying a whole extra week due to the blasting winds.  We stayed near Ballast Bay where we painted the dinghy, snorkeled and went to the beach. The anchorage was so calm compared to others we didn't mind sticking around.

The wind was changing so we went back to Nevis.  This time we anchored on the north side, Oualie Beach.  From there we hoped to get a better point of sail to Monserrat.