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May '07: Easy in Paradise - St.Lucia to Grenada

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Our first stop in the Caribbean was St.Lucia, the largest of the English speaking Windward Islands, with lush green mountains and many beautiful white sandy beaches. It was the ideal place to start after our Atlantic Ocean crossing: we could do and get all what we needed. Just the pace we had to get used to: “TAKE IT EASY, MAAN”

We explored the island by car from North to South, went hiking in the rain forest, visited the Diamond Botanical Garden and the Sulphur Springs near Soufriere and not to miss the Seafood-Friday-jump-up at Anse La Raye where the locals cook and bake fish and have a good time on their streets.

Unfortunately we also had to say goodbye to our friends Don & Sandy on S/Y DESTINY and Ute & Günter of S/Y Y NOT since they proceeded up North – hopefully we will meet again soon.

Pictures to St. Lucia: West Indies I – Island Trip West Indies II – Hike & ‘Sulphur Springs’ West Indies III – ‘Diamondfalls’ West Indies IV – Rainforest & ‘River Rock’

After an easy night motor sailing to the South our anchor fell in Admiralty Bay, a beautiful protected large bay on the Westside of Bequia (to be pronounced <bekwe>). Here our underwater adventures began. Melanie got her PADI Open Water Certification in scuba diving and Marc his Advanced. We spent most of the time exploring and admiring the underwater world around Bequia – tall, soft waving corals like flowers, bushes or trees, sponges that look like ancient urns in colours ranging from yellow to a luminous blue, many different hard corals and not to forget other inhabitants of the seas: large shoals of fish, almost on every dive some nice coloured lobsters and morays, turtles and from time to time even some stingrays. On one occasion we even saw a Nurse Shark.

But we also spend some time on ‘dry land’: by bicycle we explored the island from North to South, went walking along the shores and beaches and wondered about some beautiful or interesting large boats/ships/yachts in the bay. Among the friendly locals from all over the area we enjoyed the yearly highlight of Bequia at the end of our stay: the Easter Regatta. From serious regatta racing in different categories to a fun Crazy Craft Race and lots of local food and drinks – all was there…

Of course we met and remet some of our sailing friends: S/Y DURRUS with Judith & Harry, Craig on his S/Y PATRIOT, S/Y WATERAAP with Marc’s cousin Syl & Pascal, Milan on S/Y NOOR DARIA, S/Y MARY CONSTANCE with Mike, Jos, Pippa & Justine, S/Y DALLIANT with Holly & Marco, Conny & Silvia on S/Y ALKEDO. With Mel & Phil on S/Y SAMJI we not only remet but spend some time together sailing all the way to Grenada.

Pictures to Bequia: West Indies V – Island Trip West Indies VI – Superyacht ‘Maltese Falcon’ West Indies VII – Rain & Ships West Indies VIII – Scuba Diving West Indies IX – Port Elisabeth West Indies X – Easter Regattas

After a long time in Bequia we headed further South right into the best part of the southern Caribbean: the small islands of the Grenadines. We started just a few miles away: Mustique – the island of the rich and famous. Instantly one realizes there is a lot of money: beautiful villas, of course to all different tastes. The only drawback was that we were not allowed to take pictures on the island – “due to the presence of a member of the British Royal Family it is strictly forbidden to take any pictures ashore”. Celebrities do have certain privileges on ‘their’ island, but as we heard not all of them are as strict. Bad luck for us this time…

Nevertheless the water was beautiful, crystal clear, turquoise and great for snorkelling the nearby reefs.

Pictures to Mustique: West Indies XI – No Pictures

More or less between St.Vincent and Grenada lie the small islands which are called Mayreau and the Tobago Cays. A sandy bay only sheltered by the reefs towards the Tradewinds from the East and backed by a few lush green islands to have a walk on – absolutely beautiful, the South Pacific must be like that. Snorkelling the clear turquoise waters – we loved it! Of course other sailors and tourists knew also about this place …

Pictures to Tobago Cays: West Indies XII - Paradise

Via Union Island (to clear out of St.Vincent and the Grenadines) we proceeded to Petit St.Vincent (PSV) which is a privately owned island with a resort. Although we were not allowed to use most of the paths on the island we still walked the beaches and snorkelled the reefs. For the first time we found some conch and of course took them along to eat the meat in a nice conch salad and keep the shell. The waters here are so clear and nice - on our trip to Trinidad it was to be the last time like this.

Pictures to PSV: West Indies XIII – Private Island

Since we were about to enter again a new country of the West Indies we proceeded to Carriacou / Hillsborough to do the clearance paperwork (Immigration, Customs and Port Authority). We stayed only two nights in Tyrell Bay. One afternoon we ‘handsailed’ (with the oars and a beach towel) into the nearby mangroves by dinghy – great fun! These mangroves are also used as a hurricane hole during summer.

From Tyrell Bay we almost ‘speed sailed’ over/across the underwater volcano ‘Kick’m Jenny’ and along the coast of Grenada to St. George’s. Eventually we anchored in Prickly Bay and spent some time on the island. For a long time St. George’s was for us a ‘bustling’ and ‘big’ city again with many possibilities for shopping.

We rented a car and drove across and along the rather large island – lush deep green vegetation, very hilly and very friendly people. Together with Mel & Phil we visited the River Antoine Rum Distillery and the Belmont Estate (Cocoa). Both offered very interesting tours. In our so technical and industrial world it was astonishing but nice to see that almost all the work was still done like decades ago, still manually. Of course the ‘Fish Festival’ in Gouyave couldn’t be missed: together with other yachties and friends we had a great evening out.

Pictures to Grenada: West Indies XIV – Island Trip West Indies XV – Rum Distillery West Indies XVI - Cocoa

After a wonderful relaxing time enjoying the southern Caribbean islands we are now in Trinidad. Here we put our S/Y MELMAR Y on the hard and do some work on her during the hurricane season. Sailing and living on a boat also means having to fix and repair things on the boat. Our ‘to do list’ is long and the European antifouling is almost worthless here in the Caribbean waters. It is also time for a visit back home – who knows, maybe we see you soon in Switzerland…

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