My first week in the Caribbean
Left Kelowna BC on the 11th of November. Heading to St Lucia Toronto. With nine and a half hours of flying time highlight s of the journey was the invitation by the Captain to take a picture in the cockpit seat. During the different flights I watched three movies finished one book and started another one and the spectacular Rockies from 38,000ft. Arrived St Lucia one hour late in tremendous heat. It took us four hours to arrive in Rodney bay St Lucia in a hot sticky taxi. We had to come from the south part to the north part of the island, just the same I was very excited and tired.
It took us 6 days to prepare and launch the boat. I scrubbed the deck and helped around as best as I could, I also managed to go to nearby beaches to go swimming three times during that week, I was constantly tired and hot because of the blazing hot sun, what I did was I hosed myself down all day. Another problem I faced, was the mosquitoes called no-see-ums here In the Caribbean islands which they attacked we all night, probably because taste good (maybe).
A tradition here in St Lucia in the village Gros Islet is that the St Lucians they do what they call a ‘jump up’ every Friday night, to explain it to you in short form is a street party in the village celebrating the end of a hard working week or the beginning of a weekend, I am not sure which one. In this party there is lots of dancing in the middle of the street, lots of vender selling very good good good food (love it) kids running and stray dogs barking.
Finally after spending 6 days on the hard (which means the boat was stored in the boat yard getting prepared for launching) the day has come to launch the boat and anchor it in the bay near Pigeon Island, cannot wait to begin my journey.
P.S. What I did not tell you is that during this week I missed my family allot but it is getting easier as time goes by.
Keep tuned for next week.
First week a float
My first week at anchor in Rodney bay was very exciting and interesting. It is not all fun and games, for example I have to be careful not to waste too much water and electricity, because we have to charge batteries to have electricity and have to make our own water, on the Maltese Falcon we do have a wind generator and solar panel to give us power.
One of the most exciting things I did this week was learning how to drive the dingy, the dingy is our only transportation from boat to land and back to boat, as a matter of fact this how to carry our food. Another fun thing I do is going to the open Market on Saturday morning the ladies sell their fruit and vegetables, in the market square, you can also buy fish eggs and souvenirs and a local lunch, which my favorite is salt fish and bake ( YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!)
You are maybe wondering what I do all day. “Very busy” !!!!!. IN the morning I do school work than I talk to my family on Skype, than I go to town with my Grandfather to do some errands and stop for a smoothie at the local café, which is actually really nice, we our friends there and have a chat.
We return for lunch and often go for a hours of swimming at a beach in front of the boat, after my refreshing swim I go for dinner and then relax or read for a few hours (I’m reading the DA VINCI CODE) It’s so good~!!. By now it is pitch black and my eyes are shutting down, trying to keep awake to talk to my family again.
The most exciting thing I did in ST LUCIA I went up to Fort Rodney which is set on a hill to protect invasions from the French they still have the original cannons from 1778 and I took a picture on it and I have a picture to prove it.
A brave thing I did that took a lot of courage is I hoisted up 50ft up the mast, right to the top,, at first I was a little scarred but when I was all the way to the I did not want to come down, from up there I could overlook the whole bay “AWSOME”. See you next week.
STAY TUNED IN
MY FIRST WEEK IN MARTINIQUE
We left St Lucia on the 28th of November heading out to St Anne, Martinique 24 miles to the north.
Our sail was very nice, although my grandparents told me we are having calm seas, in my opinion 4 to 5 ft seas looked big to me. We were doing 6 knots (6.9mph) of speed all the way for 5 hours. We tried fishing but no luck this time, maybe next time! I was afraid that I would get sea sick but taking a sea sick pill one hour before departure helped me make the crossing much easier.
Crossing between St Lucia and Martinique it was very interesting how we had the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. Arrived at 14:30 hrs at this large anchorage in St Anne.
Martinique is also called Madinina –“Islands of Flowers. It is also the largest of the Windward Islands and is part of France which I found pretty cool; they also use Euro as money. My highlights of the week are when we took a hike through mangroves and through forests with thousands of sand crabs, everywhere I walked on the ground ( sweet), even though I hate walking it was all worth it when we arrived at this amazing beach full of palm trees with lots of sand and big surf. I played in the surf for half of the day and then we walked back to the boat before it got dark.
Another cool thing I saw this week was when I was snorkeling, which I do a lot is, when I was chasing a fish and I saw this bluish grey fish, I did not know what it was at the time, it was three ft long, it had a tail with three fins on top, it was kind of scary looking. When I got back to the boat, we looked it up and found out that it was an Atlantic Angel Shark! (WOW) this is actually very harmless but rare “LUCKY ME”.
St Anne is a small fishing village, where you can have ice cream and fresh pastries right on the beach. The streets are so narrow that only one car could pass. I think St Anne is very pretty with awesome beaches and great snorkeling which is my favorite part.
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK
November 13th 2009
Going up the coast of Martinique
Leaving St Anne we only opened the foresail because the wind was coming from behind we. We passed Diamond Rock, which has a lot of history.
Diamond Rock is a small island that nobody lives on except the Caribbean long tail birds. The Rock is only a few hundred yards away from Martinique, made of cliffs coming to a point. Back in the day when the British and the French were at war over these islands, Martinique belonged to the French. The British sent a team to capture and put cannons and solders on it and called it HMS Diamond Rock. Every ship that was coming in to St Anne was shot down by the British from Diamond Rock
After we sailed Diamond Rock we anchored at Petit Anse d’ Arlet we stayed for one day. I went to the beach and played with some local kids but we could not understand each other, they spoke French and I speak English but just the same it was cool and because of this I learned a few French words that will make my teacher happy.
During it was so rolley, I almost fell out of my bunk. So in the morning I helped my Grandpa to weigh anchor – meaning pull up anchor. We sailed to the next bay called Grand Anse d’ Arlet. Grand Anse d’Arlet is much nicer than the last one. We stayed there for four days in which I snorkeled, swam and played on the beach.
My Grandpa and I caught lots of crabs right off the beach in three feet of water. They were called blue crabs, some of them were so vicious they would attack us, they would come to the surface and swim towards us with their claws snapping! One of them bit my Grandpa’s finger, lucky me I did not get bitten.
We saw a lot of amazing, tropical beautiful, coloured fish and coral; I wish all of you were here to see it.
One of the last days I was swimming at the beach and all of the sudden, lots of fish started to jump everywhere, than the local fisherman came out on their boat and surrounded the beach with a large fishing net to catch the school of fish they also let us take pictures of the school of fish before they started to bring up the fishing net to shore. When they brought the net to the beach it was full of different fish, mostly atlantics mackerel. I helped them through the fish into a large box. This was a cool thing to see and be part of I will never forget this day.
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!
The Last Stops in Martinique
December 21, 2009
Left Grand Anse d’Arlet and headed to Fort de France the capital of Martinique. Fort de France is the largest and liveliest city in the Windward Islands. All the vendors on the side of the street sell roasted peanuts in there shell wrapped in a brown paper cone, cold drinks and pastries. Fort de France has the best pastries in the Caribbean. There are three large outdoor markets full of fruit, vegetables, smoked chicken, fish, spices and exotic tropical flowers. Souvenirs stalls are everywhere with really nice hand crafted items.
Our boat was anchored right under Fort St Louis which was really neat seeing it at the night the city and the Fort were lit up with us in the background I love to sit in the cockpit before I go to sleep.
After a few days in Fort de France we sailed up the island to historical St Pierre. St Pierre lies at the foot of Mt. Pelee volcano. This volcano erupted on the 8th later he joined a freak show circus and very recently he died at the age of 75 years old. Many of the existing buildings share at least one wall with the past that means people built around the surviving walls from the eruption. of May 1902 killing thirty thousand people. Only one person named Cyparis survived the blast because he was in his prison cell lucky him although he was badly burned,
I visited the museum and there were lots of pictures of the city before and after the volcanic eruption, there was also the huge church bell that was on top of the church all distorted from the heat of the explosion. I also went inside Cyparis’s prison cell where he survived the explosion in 1902.
We anchored right under Mt. Pelee which was kind of cool and facing the town. In the town there is only 5,000 people compared to 30,000 before the eruption. St Pierre was known at the time as the Paris of the Caribbean. The ships would take cargo such as rum, sugar, coffee and cocoa. Enough was sold to make several of the plantation owners multi-millionaires.
In St Pierre I learned how to free dive down to 12 feet and swim along the bottom until I ran out o breath but I could not keep up with my grandpa because he has bigger lungs. In St Pierre I also had the most delicious smoked barbeque chicken ever from this old lady in the market. Now I have to go to bed early because we are leaving at two o’clock in the morning for Dominica on my First night passage which I am very excited.
See you next week
My First night passage up the islands
December 28th 2009
Leaving St Pierre during a night passage at two o’ clock in the morning for Dominica was supposed to be very exciting but it turned out to be pouring rain with a pitch black moonless sky, so I ended up sleeping halve of the way. My grandparents had to do all the sailing in the rain, for the first six hours at that time it was morning and the rain had stopped, I woke up in time to see the magnificent coast line of Dominica.
To describe how Christopher Columbus described Dominica to his Queen Isabella of Spain when he found the island, he took a piece of paper, crunched it and threw it on the table. The piece of paper looked pointy and rugged, he told her that’s what the island looks like and it is so true there is not even one flat spot on the island every house is on a slope on the side of the mountains.
We arrived at Prince Rupert Bay at the north end of the island. So far Dominica is my favorite island because it is so green and mountainous everywhere. I did not think I would like Dominica but it is awesome. I also love the beach because there are big palm trees with swings on them to jump into the water I played with kids every day there. We decided to rent a car and go around the island, which turned out to be really nice. We visited Trafalgar Falls, this consists of the mom falls and the father falls it was really nice but it was crowded with tourists from the Cruise ships. Dominica turns out to have 365 Rivers, one river for each day of the year. We went up the biggest and most popular River in Portsmouth where we were anchored. One of the boat boys rowed us up the river we saw many cool animals but the nicest animal. The Indian River is all in mangroves and in the mangroves we saw an Iguana. Dominica is the greenest island in the Caribbean; the vegetation is over growing the streets, people are trimming down the side of the roads so people can drive on them.
Dominica is one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean. It has a lot poverty in the streets but people are very friendly and they are very happy to help you with anything you need. It really makes you think how lucky we are, some of the kids don’t even have running water in their house.
Today we are going to leave to Iles des Saintes, in the cruising guide I read it is the gem of the Caribbean. It was a fairly short sail on dead calm water in the channel I didn’t even take a pill. We tried to catch a fish but still no luck. We arrived at 12:00 o’ clock in Iles des Saintes and anchored in the middle of the caldera with volcanic islands all around us. Next week I will continue to tell you about these French islands.
We are in Iles De Saintes
January 5th 2010
When we entered the harbor called Bourg de Saintes on Terre Den Haut, my first thoughts were, wow!!! What a nice place this is. We anchored in front of the doctor’s house which is shaped like a ship and painted light blue. All around us are islands and it looks like there use to be a volcano, cool!!! We are surrounded by volcanic islands.
This place looks so nice with red roofs all around us and flowers everywhere. The people here originated from Brittany on the coast of France and there were never any slaves on this island because there were no plantations and the new comers made their living from fishing. The few African descendents that live here came here very recently.
My Grandparents and I went to this really nice beach called Baie De Pompierre, it’s all enclosed like a lagoon with white sand and crystal clear water good for snorkeling and for swimming. The beach is full of coconut trees which we were able to open up about five coconuts by hand. It is really it is easy, all you need is a rock and lots of patience. Once you have taken off all the fibers on the outside and start hitting it all the way around until you get a small crack when you manage to open it up you have to be careful you do not spill the coconut milk out because this is very good stuff.
Another really nice beach we went to is called Grand Anse, usually you cannot go to this beach and swim because of the under-toe, ( under-toe is when the wave crash’s and there is suction that pulls you down and you get disoriented and it can be very dangerous ). So we were very lucky that there was no wind on the day we went but still massive waves from the shallow water, the water was very warm and so far it is my favorite beach ever.
We also went to a really nice snorkeling place on another island in Iles De Saints called Illet Cabrit, the water was like glass we could see a hundred feet away and we saw a family of five squids, we chased them around it was so cool they were so fast, we also saw about five big parrot fish had it had amazing coral about five feet high.
We went on a really nice walk through the town we saw so many goat farms it is amazing on such a small island they don’t even have proper roads for cars so they use scooters. You know what I found amazing on this island that they farm iguanas here In Iles De Saints and the weirdest thing is they eat them eww!!!!.
We went up to Fort Napoleon, it was awesome. There was a huge moat so the British would not be able to come into their Castle but now there is no water like the old days. Napoleon at the time was trying to take over Russia and he already had all the French islands in the Caribbean. There is another Fort in Iles De Saints called Fort Josephine named after Napoleon’s wife Josephine who was from Martinique. In Fort Napoleon there is a museum to show you how the ships were at the time and also the fishing community, because in that time they did not start with farming goats and iguanas. There is also in the fort all kinds of skeletons of fish they use to catch in those days in the grounds outside the fort there was an mounds where they stored all the ammunition the guns, gun powder, cannon balls and all the battle equipment this fort is still intact to his full glory. Also around the museum there is a lot of exotic gardens.
January 11, 2010
Our sail from Iles de Saintes to Grosier Guadalupe was a five hour motor sail with light winds and calm seas.
Guadalupe is shaped like a butterfly with a salt water river running right down the middle one side of the river is mountainous and rugged is called Basse Terre and the other side of the river is flat and is called Grand Terre, who ever named it must have had a sense of humor. Guadalupe known by the Caribs as Karukera (island of pretty waters) has a population of 330,000 and is also part of France, is mostly agricultural with the emphases of sugar cane for the local rum which is highly valued in France. Tourism is also important, it offers rain-forests, beaches and the most dramatic destination is the 350 ft high Carbet Waterfalls in the south of Basse Terre. These are the highest waterfalls in the Eastern Caribbean.
While in Guadalupe we visited the aquarium, it was awesome, we saw so money nice tropical fish but the most exiting was the Black Tip Reef shark, they are about 6 feet long and there is thirteen of them in one big aquarium. There was another kind of shark called the nurse shark, which is harmless as it has no teeth. The Black tip sharks are amazing, they never stop swimming or else they will drown because they need water passing through their gills all the time. They look like machines swimming in circles; I sat there for one hour just watching them.
One day we went to Point a Pitre the largest city in Guadalupe, there is an awesome fish-market, they catch a lot of fish big and small, the fisherman park their boats along the wharf and sell the fish right off their boats. There is also an amazing spice market, the smell of spices is incredible, I bought my mum some spices from there, and you can find any spice you can think of in this market. The city is large with lots of boutiques, lots of stores, lots of candy “Yummy!!!” and the most important is the pastry shops “awesome”.
From Point a Pitre we sailed east to St Anne on Grand Terre. St Anne is a small anchorage with amazing beaches. In the afternoon we sailed back to Point a Pitre to enter the Marina to repair our fridge. While in the marina I made a new friend named Samel. His father owns one of the charter companies in Guadalupe called Tip Top One and Two, we played in the marina all day long with his bike, it was lots of fun. After two days in the marina we left to Deshais at the3 North West part of Basse Terre.
The sail to Deshais was nice with a fresh breeze and calm seas, about three hours into the sail I fell asleep and while I was sleeping my grandpa woke me up, saying we caught a fish we caught a fish, get up Tate and I said Yes right, but then I heard this rattling from the fishing line so I got up and saw a fish jumping. I got up and helped my grandpa coil up the fishing line until we got the fish alongside the boat. MY grandpa asked me to hold the fishing line so that he could grab the gaff to bring up the fish out onto the boat. It was a Barracuda and it weighed ten pounds, therefore we had to throw it back as large Barracudas over five pounds would not be good to eat as they contain ciguatera poison. I was sad to throw it back as nit was our first catch since I came down here. I was hoping we would catch another fish, but I didn’t think it would be possible. Just before we entered the anchorage in Deshais we decided to bring in the line, as we started to bring in the line a fish bit so we got it alongside the boat and it was another Barracuda but this time it was smaller and weighed only three and half pounds. Grandma cooked it that night and it was delicious.
In Deshais we anchored in front of the town, Deshais is a very nice small village with a river empting into the bay.
First Week In Antigua
January 18th 2010
The sail from Deshaise, Guadalupe to English Harbour, Antigua was in light winds and 3 to 4 ft seas, under mostly sunny sky all the way except for a short sprinkle that lasted three minutes. The fishing was not good; as in ten hour of sailing we did not even get a bite.
We anchored in Freemen’s Bay, which is the entrance to English Harbour; this is a great hurricane hole with a narrow entrance, with reefs and mangroves further in the harbour.
In English Harbour there is an old dockyard called Nelson’s Dockyard, named after the great admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. During the early days of Antigua when the British took possession of the island, the British navy used it to repair and haul-out ships on ramps that are still there to this day.
One day we took a bus to St John the capital of Antigua, we went to the market to get some fruit and vegetables. There is two kinds of market one is the fish market and the rest is fruit and vegetable market. The streets were filled with cruise ship tourists and locals crowding everywhere. We stopped at a local restaurant that sells local snacks and we got some veggie roties to go, we went to the cruise ship terminal and after we ate our roti I had a nice ice cream!!! Yummy!!!! While walking through the streets my grandma got me a little present, it is Rasta guy with magnets on his back, legs and feet so that I can put him on the fridge door at home, he is so cool !!!
On the 10th of January we headed out of English harbour and sailed up the nine-mile distance to Green Island on the east coast of Antigua. While entering Green Island I was not allowed to speak because my grandparents had to navigate very carefully through reef infested waters but once we were anchored I was allowed to talk as much as I wanted, which is a lot most of the time. We anchored in Rickets Bay where not many people anchor because it is a very small bay. Right now we are alone here anchored in front of an uninhabited, beautiful island. There is very good snorkeling in over 30 feet high coral, where there is a large colony of Blue Tang and Black Durgon fish plus many more other colourful fish. Antigua has three hundred and sixty five beaches, one for each day of the year, and Green Island some of those beaches, some are white sand and some have pink sand. There is also a colony of the Caribbean Long Tail bird. The vegetation on the island is very dense with a lot of Cacti, shrubs and other tropical trees. While in Green Island we go fishing early in the morning around 6 o’clock and come back by 8 o’ clock for school work. One morning we caught a nice grouper and another day we hooked up on a big kingfish but took our lure because one of the connections on the line broke. Green Island makes part of a large barrier reef that encloses Nosuch Bay.
More on Antigua next week
Falmouth Harbor Antigua
January 25, 2010
Sailing from Green Island Falmouth Harbor took us about two hours with nine feet high seas and low winds. Entering Falmouth I was amazed with the all-big mega yachts of all types. Falmouth large natural harbour surrounded with hills and beaches, it is about a mile deep by a mile wide the entrance is protected by a reef, where we had to pass through a small gap to enter. One of the big boats and mega yachts is owned by the guy who owns O’Neil he races his big sailboat and then at night he sleeps on his mega Yacht called “BYSTANDER”.
We anchored right in front of Pigeon beach it is a beautiful beach. The reason we came into Falmouth was because we needed to replace two of our water maker hoses, we got the hose guy to make the first hose and the next day when we went to go and pick it up we asked him to make the other, my grandpa said “Can you make me another hose please” the hose maker said “Are you talking to me I’m not doing it now” my grandpa said “Oh okay I will find somebody else to make it for me” the hose maker says “No I will do it but not this week because I need to order parts and express is too much money so it will be done next week”. I found this guy a little to the weird side.
We got invited to another boat for dinner we played board games it was fun, while over at their boat we got invited to another party at this place called “the back yard” it’s a pub and restaurant it’s a family thing it was really cool there were two other kids I played board games with it was fun. Well at the Back Yard we got invited to a Birthday party next Friday at their house, which I found cool because it is tough to get invited to a local party, but these people happened to be related to my grandparent’s friends.
TO BE CONTINUED
Sailing week in Antigua
February 2, 2010
Still anchored in Falmouth Harbour. My parents suggested that I should take sailing lessons. I got a one year membership because for juniors the one year membership was cheaper than the week membership for adults; this will work better for me because we will be here for more than one week. The day I joined the Antigua Yacht Club I got my first lesson and it was interesting after the first lesson Sam my personal instructor told me it will take me about three lessons before I could go on my own. It did only take me three lessons’ to get my R.Y.A certificate of level one for dingy sailing, this means I know all points of sail, how to rig up the boat before going out, gibing, launching the boat and dissembling the boat. During my last lesson we flipped the b oat twice which is good because I know how to flip it back over. The model of the boat I was taught in is called an Optimist, it is a racing class boat. They are very small they can only hold one person two kids at the most. Now I have been going by myself every day, which is cool because I am learning how to sail better in all points of sail. I am glad I took lessons because I am really enjoying it, when I come back to Canada I will be joining a club to improve on my skills.
One day my grandparent’s friend John picked us up in his car to go to Shirley Heights which has an amazing view of English Harbor and Falmouth Harbor. On this hill there is ruins from this fort still standing to this day from which the British protected from invaders, there are still remains from this fort some in good condition and some being restored.
We went to a local party which was nice there were other kids named Britney and Christian it was fun. I really like Antigua it is my favorite island so far.
See you next week
Another week in Antigua
February 8, 2010
We are still in Antigua because it is so nice and we have friends here and I am able to sail as much as I want so we are going to leave soon but not right away. So my journal is going to be a bit shorter because I did not do much this week.
We went snorkeling off the boat and saw lots of conch and while we were swimming we saw a spotted eagle ray just gliding in the water, it was amazing how they just glide in the water like they weigh nothing but they at least 200 pounds. And then as the sun was setting, we were sitting in the cockpit and the same spotted eagle ray leaped at least three feet out of the water, it was amazing.
In Falmouth I went sailing and I was learning to gybe, tack, and practice all points of sail. I am happy with watching big sailboats and yachts going in and out of the harbour. Yesterday my grandparents decided to leave Falmouth harbour because it was very rolley due to a swell that was coming from the north and entering the harbour. It was very hard to sleep the night before because of that. On the way we had to pass through reef-infested waters. While sailing by and looking at Cades Reef we spotted another spotted eagle ray that jumped not three ft but six ft out of the water in front of our eyes with our amazement and excitement we saw that it was at least six ft wide I was so amazed with how high such a large fish can leap so high out of the water.
When we arrived in Jolly harbour we anchored but after lunch and we decided that it was to rolley to stay. We picked up our anchor and motored to another anchorage called Five Island Harbor, which is a beautiful place with turquoise blue water, but not clear enough to see the bottom as the sand is like talcum powder. After we were anchored in Hermitage Bay, we got our dinghy and went to a look blowhole we got a couple of videos it was cool.
TO BE CONTINUED
My Time In Fantastic Barbuda
February 22, 2010
After spending a couple of days in a marina in Jolly Harbor, Antigua, we headed to Deep Bay to the northwest Antigua as the big swell from the north had diminished. We spent a night there and then we headed north to Barbuda.
The sail to Barbuda was a good sail with the winds from the east at about 15 knots. So it was fun and I enjoyed watching the waves crashing against the boat. But the trill was when we spotted a humpback whale trashing on the surface of the water. At first we couldn’t figure out why it was doing that, we thought it was caught in a net or something like that. But as we got closer we noticed that there was a pod of probably five or six of them and I think that the whale that was trashing was helping the others hunt. It was an amazing sight to see these giant whales.
When we arrived at Coco Point at the south west Barbuda, I was surprised to see how long the beach was, the only disappointing thing was that the big swell that was coming from the north for the past week made the water very murky that we couldn’t even see the bottom, but the colour was so amazing and beautiful turquoise all over. We dropped anchor in twelve feet over a sand bottom.
The population of Barbuda is 1500 and most of them live in the only town of the island, which is Codrington. Barbuda is one of the gems of the world; it has miles of beautiful pink beaches, many reefs and the Amazing Frigate Bird sanctuary. The people are very friendly and helpful. The day after we arrived we went to the beach by dingy and beached the dingy up high so the waves will not take it away. As we walked around the huge sand spit we noticed that the water on the other side was very clear as the swell could not come around there, so we went snorkeling and saw a lot of coral and many colorful fish. We spent a couple of days at Coco Point and then went west around Palmetto Point and north along Eleven Mile Beach to anchor on Low Bay. The next day we called for a water taxi to come and pick us up at the beach and take us across the inner lagoon to the town of Codrington, to check out with customs and immigration and take a tour to the frigate bird sanctuary. When we anchored in Low Bay we had a good Internet connection, which was cool, as this is uninhabited but for one small hotel.
The trip to the bird sanctuary was amazing. The inner lagoon is 9.5 miles long by 2.75 miles wide, it is a saltwater lagoon and not brackish, with all kinds of salt water fish including barracudas and sharks, lobsters, blue crabs etc… Only the locals are allowed to fish in it. The ride to the bird sanctuary was a fast ride in a big fishing boat with a 65hp outboard.
This frigate bird colony is one of the largest in the world with about 20,000 birds during the peak of the mating season. The female frigate bird is larger than the male with white neck and grows to about 8 ft wingspan. The frigate birds nest on the mangrove trees. During the mating season the male frigate sits on the mangrove tree and blows up this pouch under his neck, it is bright red and he waits for a female to get attracted to him, when a female is attracted to him she will fly down beside him and starts to rub her beak against the red pouch until the male accepts her, then he starts to deflate the pouch. The female will start building the nest on the same spot that the male sat on. The male will go to get the twigs and the female continues to build the nest. The female will lay one egg only in one season; the male will incubate while the female will go hunt for food. After the egg hatches the female will take care of the baby bird for eleven months, during the first two months the male will fetch the food. After two months the male will migrate to another breading spot most likely in Mexico. The female will not have time to migrate as by the time the baby grows enough to go on its own, 11 months, it is mating season once more. This was an amazing experience that I will never forget in all my life.
The water taxi dropped us off at the Low bay beach on the lagoon side, walked to where we stored the dingy and slid it down the sand bank into the water and headed over to the big boat for a late lunch. While in Low Bay I went swimming at the beach and it is so big it looks like it never ends. It is the nicest beach so far in the Caribbean.
To be continued
- BARTHS & ST MARTIN.
March 2, 2010
We left Barbuda at 6 o’clock in the morning, just after sunrise, we navigated through the reefs. When we cleared the reefs we set a course to St Barths, there were big swells. And no wind and the bad thing was that it is a 10-hour voyage, which we had to motor all the way in lumpy seas.
As we got closer to St Barths I went down to get a glass of water and my grandparents where yelling, “we caught a fish, we caught a fish” I went up fast as I can to get to the cockpit and felt the fishing line and I could tell there was a big fish on it. While grandpa was bringing in the line I was reeling the line onto the reel. Once we got it along side grandpa took the gaff and hooked the fish in the gills so it wouldn’t jump out as he brought it in the cockpit. It was a nice 17 pound Big Eye Tuna, my favorite fish yet. It was so cool, a really nice fish on my last long voyage. When we arrived in Gustavia, St Barths, we took the fish on deck, cleaned it and cut it up into stakes and fillets. We cut up some slices and we had sashimi as a snack, sashimi is raw fish with soya sauce and wasabi sauce, it is just awesome.
The next day we went ashore to clear in with immigration and customs and walk around the capital of St Barths, Gustavia. The St Barths is also part of France, This island is small, but the rich and famous frequent this place like no other place in the Caribbean. It has very big houses and expensive restaurants and boutiques. We found a nice pastry shop that had great pastries, yummy, we went there twice it was so good.
The next day in the afternoon we went with the big boat to a very nice beach called Anse Columbier. We went snorkeling and we saw amazing things like five turtles, two sting rays, and about seven whale sucker fish, this was so awesome, we went diving with the turtles and one time I dove down and grabbed the turtle’s shell, the turtle started to swim and I just held on until it slipped away from me, I hope I can do this again because I only have seven days more before I have to go back to Canada.
After having so much fun in St Barths, we left for St Martin my last island as I fly out of St Martin to come to Canada. We had a great sail in 20 knots of wind all the way to the anchorage in Marigot Bay. It was a very interesting sail as we sailed by the main tourist port of Philipsburg; about five thousand tourists visit this town daily by cruise ship. St Martin is the most visited island in all of the Caribbean, everything is duty free, and there are very good hotels, golf courses and amazing beaches. St Martin’s biggest moneymaker is tourism.
The next day we cleared into the French side of St Martin, oh I almost forgot to tell you that St Martin is split by two countries, the French and the Dutch, there is a bit of history about how they split the island, which is kind of funny, the French and the Dutch were so civilized that rather than fighting over it they gave the Frenchman a bottle of wine and the Dutchman a bottle of gin, they made them walk from opposite directions towards each other and where they met would be the border. The Frenchman managed to get a bit more than the Dutchman because the gin was stronger than the wine so it slowed the Dutchman quite a bit.
SEE AROUND SOME PLACE, SOMEHWERE