Quick stops in Antigua and St Maarten on our way north

We decided to go straight to to Antigua from Martinique, which meant that we passed both Dominica and Guadeloupe. Many sailors say that Dominica is their favorite island, but we figured that since activities in Dominica are land based, and something you need to pay for, it wouldn’t match with how we usually like to travel.

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Rum and volcanoes on Martinique

 

We anchored in the Petite Anse d’Arlet Bay, Martinique, in the early morning, after a night sail up from Bequia. After clearing in on a customs computer in the village, we were welcomed to the island by an elderly man singing Edith Piaf while buying groceries and advising us to which avocados were the best. We took a walk in the small village, and agreed that we much preferred the sleepy atmosphere here, compared the Grenadines. Continue reading

Beautiful Tobago

Our time in Suriname had been good, but also very, very hot, and by early October we were more than ready to sail the last 400 NM to Tobago, the first island we would be visiting in the Caribbean. The trip became one of more work than we were used to, with big squalls coming through several times a day. When a squall arrives, the wind picks up and it starts to pour down with rain. We usually handled it by changing the course to make the wind come more from behind, pull in the genoa, so we only had the main up and finally close down to the cabin, so the boat wouldn’t be soaked down below. But it’s still quite unpleasant. Continue reading

Visiting the maroon tribe in the Amazon Jungle

In French Guiana, the convicts who arrived at the “Bagne” were told that they were welcome to try and run away; if the Amerindians didn’t catch them, the jungle or the sea would get them – and kill them. In Suriname, the slaves had the same problem if they escaped, except that many of them had been used to surviving in nature before they were enslaved. So once they had escaped from slavery, they hid in the swampy and poisonous Amazon forest, making it impossible for the Dutch soldiers to find them again. In time, the runaway slaves in Suriname started their own tribes far into the forest, the Maroons. To this day, the maroons still live in their villages by the jungle rivers, far from the rest of Suriname. Continue reading