Thursday, August 4, 2016

Field Trip to Windward and Beyond

Cargo ship under construction
June 2016
While in Carriacou we decided to go over to the village of Windward on the windward side of Carriacou and see what boats might be under construction. 
Willie checking out the construction

Carriacou has a long, rich history of boat building.
Part of our group gets an update directly from the builder
We mentioned this to a few fellow cruisers and soon we had a Caribbean bus full (mini van).  There was at least one boat under construction, a 60 ft cargo boat.  The same cargo boat that was under construction last year.  Hey, before you roll your eyes and mutter "island time" keep in mind that these boats are constructed by hand out in the open just off the beach.  You try that and see how long it takes you to complete a 60 ft boat.  
Sabrina checking out the inside.
In addition to checking out the boat building in Windward, Tom and I had additional idea for some fun. For instance, like.....catch a water taxi over to the island of Petit Martinique, an island whose colorful past has reported ties to pirates and smuggling.  Given the low prices on rum and beer and the strange abundance of French culinary brands generally found  ONLY in the French islands, well......cough, cough, wink, wink.

Rag tag group -argh

Actually this is specifically how our plan was hatched......
Me = We should go to Windward to see what boats are being built and then go over Petit Martinique and buy some of that good, cheap rum. 
Tom = ok. 
Thirty minutes later......
Me = Of course, we can probably get that rum for the same price in Tyrrel Bay. 
Tom = Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. 
Me = Of course that is not the point.  It's about the adventure.   
Tom = Exactly!
Zoom Zoom

Anyway, while in Windward, Captain Randy of sv Sinbad procured a go fast boat with captain and first mate to take our rag-tag group across to Petit Martinique and back.
Captain go fast and first mate

Thumbs up Captain Paul sv Kelly Nicole

Willie all smiles

We all piled in, instantly grounding the boat. D-oh!  Much pushing, shoving from the dock and water, along with some weight shifting floated us free. would think none of us had been on a boat before!  The captain fired up the big outboard and we took off.  The waters between Carriacou and Petit Martinique are primarily a series of reefs with a few wrecks as reminders of those reefs - local knowledge is a must.  As we sped along through those reefs, cruiser Desmond happened to look over and see another, smaller go fast boat catching up to us.  He casually commented to our captain "Well at least we will come in second."  The captain immediately realized he was in an unofficial race and second was not an option.  He put the hammer down and we all held on for dear life!  It became a very exciting ride.  BTW - it seems that when you put two MALE captains in close proximity on the same body of water, there is suddenly a race - official or not.  Go figure!     

Mark (sv Liahona)  and Diane (sv Endorfin II)

Ric (sv Endorfin II) and Tom
We arrived at Petit Martinique, hair blown straight back, eyes wide open, and laughing at our first place finish!

Colors of Petit Martinique

Solar panels for power on Petit Martinique
We walked around a bit.  Then some opted for beers near the beach.  Others explored more.  Paul and Ric even got involved in a goat rescue, freeing a goat that had gotten tangled up in its tether.  Goat rescue super heroes!  "Hey, why are there white tourist in Mildred's yard messing with her goat?" 

Cheers Captain Paul - Tasty Schaffs
Tom and I went in search of the cheap but good rum we had purchased before.  "We are out.  I will have some tomorrow."  Darn!  Oh well.  It was still a fun expedition.   
Lookout point stop on the way home
The boat ride back wasn't as exciting as there was no other boat to race.  Our bus driver came back for us and offered to drive us all the way back to Tyrrel Bay via a mini island tour - sweet. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Carriacou Lion Fish Hunt June 2016

Fearless hunters OR clueless
June 2016
We couldn't pass up a chance to go lion fish hunting again with Lumbadive.  We had a full boat with 7 divers and 4 snorkelers - Look out lion fish!!
Bill and Sharon from sv Casa Blanca were on our lion fish team

Our lion fish hunting team was lead by Diane of Lumbadive and consisted of Bill and Sharon from Caliber 40 sv Casa Blanca and us.  Go Team Caliber!
Splash down

The two dive teams headed off in different directions to look for lion fish.  This strategy also probably helped avoid some sort of Dick Chaney like hunting accident.....remember that?  Just kidding. 
Tom on the hunt

Of course a big part of the fun of the lion fish hunt is looking for them. 
Sabrina on the hunt

Lion fish tend to hide under rock ledges and such.  However, the pros at Lumbadive know all the secret lion fish hiding holes on all the reefs around Carriacou.
Bill on the hunt

And the reefs around this island are fantastic!  So pretty. 
Such lovely colors

They are in good shape as well.  This is no doubt in part because of the efforts of Lumbadive with lion fish hunts and sea urchin relocation.  

We spotted and speared a few lion fish.
NOT a lion fish

We also saw many other amazing sea creatures and stunning coral.

Sting ray
Another sting ray

Mutli- talented Diane lead us fearlessly while take pics, shooting lion fish and carrying the lion fish bucket containing our catch. 

Have I mentioned how amazingly beautiful the underwater world can be? 

*These pictures were taken by Diane of Lumbadive.  I also might have one or two pics from Liz of sv Moosetracks.  Thanks ladies. 

Tom's New Drum

Various Carriacou drums
June 2016
One of the reasons we came back to Carriacou was to pick up the custom, handmade drum that Tom commissioned back in January 2016.
Tom's future drum
 Okay.  It's not quite ready but the drum was really just an lame excuse.

Levi singing "My Way" one of his favorites, at his rum shop

Tom jamming with locals and cruisers

We like and enjoy Carriacou.  Every time we are here, we find new and interesting things to see and do as well as repeat activities like drumming, visits to Windward, pizza night, lion fish hunts, hiking and such. 

Richard and Diane of Lumbadive

Captain Randy of sv Sinbad with crew Desmond

And of course there is always the wonderful people of Carriacou - locals, ex-pats and cruisers.
Sabrina and Willie (sv Liahona)
   What's not to like!!
Tom, Sabrina, Rowena, Richard (sv Galene)


Blogging Friends

June 2016
sv Honey Ryder and sv Kelly Nicole
We have several blogging friends.  These are fellow bloggers whose blogs I follow and vice versa.  99% are sailors and/or cruisers.  *Sorry, I don't have time/bandwidth to follow the blogs of dirt dwellers with the exception of a few peeps.  In some cases, we have not met these fellow blogging cruisers.  In other cases, we have - even if it's just once like Life Afloat blogger Jaye and hubby Dan of sv Cinderella OR blog Lat43 with Paul and Debra of sv Kelly Nicole OR Caliber blog Hello World with Jason and Christy of sv Hello World.   FYI - the last boat is a Caliber that is up for sale.  Jason and Christy have decided they want some dirt time.  Crazy I know but....if you are looking for a great cruising sailboat, contact them!

Smiles all the way around
We were very excited this season because sv Kelly Nicole was headed to the Caribbean for the first time - newbies!  We bought champagne, cheese, and other nibbles in Martinique in anticipation of a reunion and celebration.  They finally caught up with us in late May but then......blew past us!  WTF!!!  We couldn't believe it!  Actually, we could but teased them pretty hard and applied generous helpings of guilt just for added fun.   But weather rules a cruisers life.  They got a good weather window, took it and sailed past us.  However, they couldn't shake us that easy.  We wrapped up our time in Dominica and headed south in hot pursuit, catching them in Carriacou.  

Tom and Paul sharing some laughs
It was SO nice to see them again and get caught up.