Caribbean Islands by Elena

The end of 2018 we started our trip upwards from south to north
of the Caribbean islands. Our goal was the latitude of Guadeloupe. In
this area we are one of thousands and thousands of sailors and every
island is different.

We might say we like Tobago the most, maybe also
because it was the start of our Caribbean experience. The colorful
houses, welcoming people, music everywhere on the streets and beautiful
nature, above- and underwater, it all made a big impression on us. Here
we met the crazy pirates of the Buona Onda (see also previous blog), the
Danish divers, three French adventurers and many more interesting
people.

The next island was Trinidad. We went for a short
visit, a crew change and some work on the boat. This big island had no
such a thing as a Caribbean feel. We got to know a very loud American
guy, who taught us much about fishing and gave lots of advice on the
islands to come.

Grenada was our next stop. We first anchored in a
very nice and peaceful bay, where the few others there seemed to be
there just to haul out their boat, and not just for fun like us. Then we
moved to another bay, filled with boats, of which some almost wrecks,
although we never saw anyone on the beautiful beach or on the island.

Next was Carriacou, which again was very different.
When we arrived, there were small sailing dinghies on their
Sunday-cruise around all the anchored boats. On the island we saw almost
no tourists, just fellow sailors. We have seen the perfect beach here:
white sand, turquoise water, palm trees, colorful beach hut with a
hammock, with a small sandy island on the horizon. On the dock we met a
group of Americans, which invited us over for drinks on their big,
chartered catamaran. They were all quite a bit older then us and very
excited about our adventure.

The next day we left for Guadeloupe. Sailing along
the islands is not as easy, the winds are unstable and unpredictable.
But we did enjoy the view of the islands we passed. Guadeloupe has a big
french influence and is a completely different world than we saw
before. We could get baguettes, croissants, cider and wine. The buses
had a schedule and didn’t just stop everywhere. In the harbor we met a
french couple we really liked, we kited, windsurfed and slacklined
together. Another friend we made was rapper, pilot, sailor and much
more. In Sainte Anne we looked for a place to slackline with our new
french friends, but the beach was filled with people, something we never
saw before. When we found a place, many people, especially the kids
wanted to try as wel.

Dominica was indeed a nature island, as promoted
everywhere. There were many rivers and waterfalls (even with warm
water), rain forest and amazing snorkeling. There were also lots of
fresh fruits and vegetables, the Dominicans seemed really into this and
stated they would never eat canned food. Apparently, if you always eat
fresh from your own garden you can get 128 years old! ( only 100 years
left to go). We met Georg and Nicole, a German private jet pilot and an
Austrian social worker. They had their boat equipped very well and
smart, we got many ideas for the next time we sail, with a bigger
budget. We also met a super happy Polish girl, some Swedish with the
exact same plan and situation as us, and many others.

Because we got the opportunity for an exclusive visit in a distillery in Martinique
we made a short stop in Anse d’Arlet. It was great to see the
production process of rum. But it also felt really different to all the
things we usually do. The island is nice but also very French, like
Guadeloupe.

We where excited to go back to Tobago.
Charlotteville was different from when we were there before. But some
boats we saw already on Christmas were still there. To make the crew
switch easier, we went to the anchorage closest to the airport, Store
bay. Also a great place to snorkel. We figured out that Charlotteville
was an exception on the island, it is only for the sailors. On the rest
of the island there are plenty of tourists, especially from Trinidad,
wandering around. So we are very glad to be just at the right place for
Christmas.

Bonaire is the island for snorkeling and
diving. The moorings are directly next to the boulevard and that is also
where the reef starts. We have seen amazing coral and beautiful
colorful fishes which were bigger then at any other place before. On our
last dive we came along an octopus and a sea turtle within 10 minutes.
For the rest the island is a desert. In Tobago we have met a Dutch
family sailing around the world too. They are really nice and helpful.
We will meet them more often on the way.

The Caribbean islands are all very different in culture, nature and
sailing. We have probably seen some of the most beautiful places above
and under water here. For all of us it was unique to experience the
hiking, sailing, snorkeling, free-diving and diving on these islands.
Coming together with all those different people along our journey is
something we will probably talk about for the next years. Those are the
shortest friendships with the nicest stories to remember.

 

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