Wednesday 27 November 2013

Some Mornings Go Quite Different than Anticipated...

We went ashore to clear out of Martinique... 
the book said they opened at 0900...
When we arrived at 08:45, there was already a Cruiser Clearing out...
Next was 2 charter people...
1/2 an hour later I look at the form that we cleared in with 
and found I had already pre-cleared out for the exact day - over an hour ashore unnecessarily
 C'est la vie!

Back at Our Rose, it started to rain...
Up anchor, rain stops...
Forecast - 15 - 20 knots - screecher up and ready...
Very Excited about using Screecher again...

Start unfurling screecher, 3/4 there then...
"go downwind Jen, quickly"...
BANG! - broken halyard - this time our fault!  
(Yesterday when we set up the Screecher we were not thinking straight & had used the Spinniker Halyard by mistake)...
Complete Screecher now in water...
Half an hour (or more) later screecher back onboard, all lines tidied...

OK, here we go...
Next a "large" boat is coming straight at us...
We radio 
"This is Sailing Catamaran Our Rose, Our Rose, Our Rose, 
Vessel coming straight toward us, please identify"
We get a French message - No idea what they are saying...
They come within 10 feet of the back of the boat, it is now 30 - 35 knots
(what happened to 15 - 20 knots???)
They are all armed... Holy Shi*
It appears to be "Coastguard" - who are we?
We point to our flag - we point to our name "Our Rose"
They come so close to us - seas are interesting...
Finally give to A OK sign are head off

I am shaking that much, the only photo I got was them leaving...

We end up having a lovely sail to Dominica (though we were heading to Isle de Saintes)

When we were just getting close to our anchorage, this gorgeous vessel came in sight...

We kept the "quarantine" flag up and overnighted at Dominica.

Next morning, we headed to Isle de Saintes...
Forecast 25 - 30 knots

After yesterdays experience, we decided to double reef the main and jib...
Good Choice - ended up being 40 or so knots

GREAT sail to Isle de Saintes
"Life is Wonderful"

Monday 25 November 2013


Being in Martinque feels like we have been transported to France!  The road signs, the driving, the people, the language, the food and of course the wine...

We have taken advantage of being here and stocked up on cheese and wine...

We sailed our way up the coast of Martinique, stopping for 2 nights and swimming with the turtles.  The rock and cliff formations were amazing.  
The water was very clear, with visibility up to 30metres or more.
This is a quaint bar on the beach

At Fort de France there was a large market on, being a Saturday.  This lady is selling sorrel

Arriving at St Pierre,

which is the town at the base of Mt Pelee, which erupted in 1902.  The destruction that resulted, dubbed the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century, killing 30,000 people.

We went for a walk up to a monument of Mary.  

You could hear the church bells ringing as we made our way up the hill, 
looking down at Our Rose on our journey up...

 Like most French towns, the church is the largest building.  
This is the statue at the head of the graveyard

Friday 22 November 2013

Hello Saint Lucia... Bonjour Martinique

A lovely sail from Bequia to St Lucia.  
We were greeted with the Pitons - two volcanic plugs in a World Heritage Site by the town of Soufriere, where we cleared customs and immigration.  

The next day we motored up the coast to Marigot.  A very cute and compact harbour.  
We had to take a mooring - it is the first time our trusty Rocna couldn't get a hold.

This sunken yacht was in the harbour at Marigot. 
You wonder why somebody would leave their boat to the elements???

Next day we dropped mooring and headed to Rodney Bay, (where we anchored).  
When the locals move around, they seem to always do it standing up!

We went for a lovely walk on Pigeon Island -  a historic site, with numerous forts, 
such as an 18th century British fort and Fort Rodney, 
both used by the British to spy on French Ships from neighbouring Martinique.

Rodney Bay is a quite large marina/harbour, set up for charter boats.  
The marina is in a lagoon area inside the harbour.
There are some impressive residences on the way into the dinghy dock 
(there is a swimming pool between the house and the water).

Just before dropping anchor, we had this guy come by.  His boat is two story.  
The bottom level is his fruit and vegetables and the top story plants for sale.

We left Saint Lucia and headed to Martinique.
This is the approach into Marin, where we cleared Customs and Immigration

Wow - what a difference in "everything"...

French speaking, Great Cheese, Great and Cheap Wine.
Wonderful food and restaurants - good internet...

One of the issues we have been working on resolving on Our Rose is our power consumption - especially at night.  Our fridges and freezers draw far too much.  
We had been recommended a Refrigeration expert in Marin.  
He required us to be aside the marina, so here we were again on a marina.  

We are thrilled that Frederic was able to reduce our power draw on these appliances by nearly 1/2.

The future will add more solar and wind generation, however in the meantime, 
this has certainly helped.

Tuesday 12 November 2013


We had a lovely sail from Canouan Island to Bequia.
This gentleman comes every morning offering fresh bread, fruit and vegetables

Bequia is a small island, measuring 7 square miles, with a population of around 4300.  The native population are primarily a mixture of people of African, Scottish and Carib Indian descent.

Traditional sailing boats are still made here with hand-tools

 When we were in Mayreau, we met Michael and Rebecca from Miami.  They had charted a yacht for 2 weeks.  We had lots of laughs and wine with them at Canouan Island, then Bequia.  
The weather forecast  for the day their yacht was due back at St Vincent was for 25 - 30 knots, so we offered to go along with them.  We had a great sail over, with a double reefed main and reefed jib.  The breaking swells were 3 metres or so. 

 We had a great squall come through, which flattened the top of the swells.  We got drenched!

Richard and I then caught the ferry back from St Vincent.  Unfortunately St Vincent is not a place that cruisers tend to go anymore due to the violence there, which is associated to the drug trade.
This is a view from the ferry as we are leaving.

Yesterday we went on an island tour with Mark and Tina (S/V Rainbow).
This photo is of the whaling station.  Bequia is one of the few places in the world where whaling is still allowed.  Natives of Bequia are allowed to catch up to 4 humpback whales a year using only traditional methods of hand-thrown harpoons in small open sailboats.  The limit is rarely met. (thankfully).
Unfortunately, they have not realised that money can be made from whale watching, rather than whale killing.  The cost to set up whale watching is prohibitive for the locals.  
This is a photo of the whaling station

Local fishing is a tradition also, this is the local boats at the fish processing area.

The view is looking down over Port Elizabeth.
Our Rose is anchored further to the right and not in the picture.

 We stopped at a lovely spot for lunch.  
In the restaurant the chandeliers and mirror were made from driftwood and shells

We also went to a turtle sanctuary.  These turtles are 4 or so weeks old.

They are kept until 5 years old, when they are returned to the wild.

Thursday 7 November 2013


When the sun goes down, for a brief moment on a cloudless evening, you get a "green flash" across the horizon.  If you blink, you will miss it - however it is a phenomena that occurs.

We went to a "Green Flash" party at a popular beach bar called Umbrellas.  Some of the photos are not appropriate for the blog!.. however a couple are...

We asked a couple of local ladies to give us dance lessons - People here can really move.  They swing their hips in a really provocative manner perfectly to the beat of the local music.

This is me trying to "move" like the locals...
Mark (Sealife) and Teresa (Seismic Wave) up close with the local police and Richard Liming...

 We had such a fun night!

Sunday Lunch at a Restaurant on the Beach - a time to enjoy each others company before sailing off in different directions...

We have had sooooo much fun with... (left around the table)... Mark - Sealife, Richard, 
Teresa & Brett - Seismic Wave, Ian and Wendy - Outsider, Sarah (Me) and Chris - Tulu.

Last week, Ian and Wendy sailed away from Grenada, heading to A,B'C's on their journey back through to the Pacific.  They have given us so much advice and been such good friends, it was with a tear in the eye that we said goodbye...

We finally left Grenada and sailed back up to Carriacou, where we met up with Kathy & Peter.  

We had met Kathy in Trinidad, with her sister Kay (who did some great canvas work for us) and husband Colin, who had taken us to their home on an island off Trinidad mainland.

Kathy & Peter took us to their beautiful "treehouse" home...  Their view is spectacular.

We had a really lovely time with them, Peter, being a sailor for many years, 
giving us lots of great advice also.

We cleared out of customs/immigration - headed to Petite Martinique, where we filled up with fuel then cleared into Union Island at the bottom of the Grenadines.  We then headed to Tobago Cays, where we snorkelled and swam with the turtles.

We sailed from there to Mayreau - Seismic Wave were there with their lovely guests from Canada, who invited us over for dinner.  Crayfish and Steak - yum!

Great painting on a wall in Mayreau.

Today we left Mayreau and motored (wind straight on the nose) for an hour to Canouan Island.  As soon as we arrived, we were offered these life crayfish - cost $30NZ for both.

While typing the blog, this guy strolled by, so thought he deserved a mention