Last year, we met the German kid boat “Salmon” in Mindelo. It’s a little bit mind blowing to think that they have visited Newfoundland since we last saw them, while we have been to Brazil. And now we were all in the Bahamas; them up north, and us down south. But after a night and a day of sailing from Crooked Island to Georgetown, the sailor hub of southern Bahamas, we had a call on the VHF: “Chip-Chip, Chip-Chip, this is Salmón!”. Like us, they had taken an overnight sail (them against the wind), and soon we were anchored next to each other in the far end of the packet anchorage. So nice to see them again, and really, really nice for the kids to be able to play in their almost-native language. Continue reading
We headed from Samaná to Luperòn on a very calm sea. Ended up motoring most of the way. As we approached the entrance to this very protected harbor, we realized how lucky we were that the seas were calm; even the very slight swell we were experiencing caused some big breakers on the coral reefs surrounding the entrance. We slowly made our way in without issues, and arrived in a completely protected cove littered with mooring buoys, making it near impossible to anchor. We tested a couple of moorings, which were completely entangled in long lines, and covered in growth, but finally found one which it was actually possible to use. At 2 USD per night we couldn’t really complain about the price, but we would have preferred to pay a bit more and in return have more confidence in the mooring – and more swinging room. This is one place where a small boat is a distinct advantage, the moorings are simply put too close together.
We had planned to spent some more time in Puerto Rico, but given the earthquakes, we figured the best idea was to head directly to Samaná in the Dominican Republic. And we were ready to go when the weather forecast promised us a couple of days with relatively calm weather for the passage, before the next round of high winds and waves were to start. We began the trip in the evening, leaving Salinas as the sun set. Luckily, the weather forecast was right, and the sea had calmed down enough for a relatively calm sail through the night along the south coast of Puerto Rico. Continue reading
The weather forecast was warning us of strong easterly winds in the whole of Caribbean, and since Ensenada Honda on Culebra is open to the east, we figured it was a good time to move on towards Puerto Rico. We had a quiet night sail down past the island of Vieques, towards Salinas on the southcoast of Puerto Rico. Continue reading
From St John, it was just a short trip across to St Thomas, where we were able to anchor right below the old fort in Charlotte Amalie, the main town on the island. This place was completely different from the St John nature park – around us, the water was full of cruise ships, small tourist boats, and even small planes that took off from and landed on the water right next to us. Continue reading
We timed our sail from St Marteen to St. John, one of the US Virgin Islands, so that we would arrive in the morning, giving us enough time to find a place for the boat as well as to go and check in. Almost the whole island is a protected national park, where you are not allowed to anchor, so we found a mooring not too far from Cruz Bay, and soon we were on our way in the dinghy to check in to the United States. The US is the only country on the whole journey for which we need a visa, and considering all the trouble to get it in Suriname, we were quite happy once we had the entrance stamps in our passport. Our visa will run out on the 19th of June, so we will have to make it to Canada before then. Continue reading
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.
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
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