Friday, June 11, 2010


After a month in St. Lucia, we enjoyed a comfortable day sail to the north end of the Windward Islands. Ah, Martinique – the island of baguettes, cheese, pate and wine.
The closest Customs and Immigration office was in Marin at the southeast corner of the island.  
The French islands definitely win the award for “Best Check in/out Procedures”. You sit at a computer, type in your boat and passport details and hit print. It takes five minutes max for the whole process – less if they have a qwerty keyboard . No writer’s cramp from handwritten forms in quadruplicate. No money changing hands. Simple and straightforward. Merci, merci.

Marin is a huge yachting centre with every boat service conveniently located along the waterfront. The town beyond the harbourside turned up some interesting moments. I’ve always liked the slogan, “If you object to my driving, stay off the sidewalk.”.
No wonder the preference here for small cars.

And this apartment building showed off some architectural license with ‘port holes’ in the ‘sails’.
But very nautical and spiffy, don’t you think?

This factory door looked like an expensive watercolour painting.
Quite beautiful.

We couldn’t find a sports bar, so using wifi at the Mango Bay Restaurant, we watched the Aussies win a nail biter over Pakistan in the Twenty20 cricket semi-finals.
Not sure if our lunch companion was interested in the game or the lop-sided pizza.

For the cricket final a few days later, we used the wifi at the Quai 13 Restaurant.
Despite the restaurant’s location in the middle of a boatyard, we had one of the best meals ashore we’ve had on this cruise – entrecote with frites for me and Bambi tenderloin for the captain. Yes, Bambi. Email Geoff.
England beat Australia, so Geoff needed something sweet to compensate.
He has declared this the best chocolate dessert – ever. The picture doesn’t do it justice, of course, but I was allowed one bite, so I can vouch for the quality.

Our time on Martinique was short, but we didn’t want to miss Grande Anse D’Arlet, just around the southwest tip of the island. What a sweet little seaside town.
The pedestrian-only promenade has restaurants and boutiques on one side and beach access on the other.

And we walked one bay south to Petite Anse D’Arlet.
A sleepy but colourful village.

Our last official ‘chore’ in Martinique was to load up on smelly cheeses to see us through the trek back to Grenada. Yes – we were heading home.

The day trip back to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia was quite a rambunctious motor-sail that tested our stowing techniques once again. One breakage – nothing precious – it’s all good.

We had managed to make contact with Ken and Diane in St. Lucia, cruisers from Canada with an awesome back story of dismasting, prop fouling, having to go overboard during the night in rough seas, and more. You know – the stuff cruising dreams are made of.

They met us in Rodney Bay to help us sail ‘Beach House’ down to Vieux Fort, Ken’s hometown.
What a great day. Eight hours of non-stop conversation on the boat with some lunch and drinks, then up to their home for a barbeque and HOT showers. We didn’t get back to the boat till after midnight. The real midnight. 12ayem. Thank you both for your company and your hospitality. See you next year – we know where you live.

Next stop was Bequia after another boisterous motor-sail. Look at these pics I took from the dinghy.  ; )

Mighty fine looking vessel. The 'Beach House' is a bit of a whale, but she performs pretty well in decent wind.

In Bequia, Doug and Wendy from ‘Nahanni River’ came to visit.
And meet Bill and Sue from ‘Corcovado’.
They know our good buddies Ray and Genna from ‘Nighthawk’. Six degrees of cruising - everybody knows somebody you’ve met along the way.

Next stop on the homeward cruise was Carriacou where we checked in at Hillsborough, then headed across the bay to Sandy Island to anchor for the night. The pictures say it all.

Sandy Island is nothing but the beach and a bit of scrub. Any land you see in the pictures is in the distance. Very pretty place.

Next day we headed four miles round the corner to Tyrrel Bay, one of our favourite spots – we seem to have quite a few favourites, don’t we?

These ferries at the main dock cracked us up.
Just what would one ferry say to the other? Sounds like a riddle and if you have an answer, you know how to reach us.

On a walk for a bit of shopping, we found someone’s office set up.

Will the real Caribbean please stand up?

And Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, is home to Hallelujah, the floating bar.
That’s our friend Charles on the left, an American. Tini, sitting in front of Charles, is Dutch.
And Katherine on the right is Irish. We’re a regular mini UN down here with cold drinks as the language that everyone understands.

Denise, the owner of Hallelujah, was in London visiting family, leaving Devante in charge.
Devante’s friends here are the Swiss Family Robinson – at least that’s how we referred to them. They home-school the kids in French in the morning and Italian in the afternoon. Their boat was anchored right beside ‘Beach House, and rest assured, these kids got plenty of down time – a pre-lunch swim and an after-school swim every day. They all swim like fish and laugh together like wonderful maniacs.

And last weekend we sailed the last 30 miles to get home to Grenada.

In the anchorage outside St. George’s, this spaceship was our neighbour.
Its name is simply ‘A’.
Here are some stats we found online. The yacht is Russian-owned, German-built, cost $300 million and is 120 metres long. There’s a helipad on the foredeck and a pool on the aft deck. If you ever needed evidence that money doesn’t guarantee taste? Case closed.

We’ve been back in Clarke’s Court Bay since Sunday. It’s still early in the season so it’s fairly quiet here. That will change over the next month or two. We enjoyed a double birthday celebration on Tuesday evening.
Bob is the owner of Clarke's Court Bay Marina and the birthday boy. On the right is Jenny, the manager and number one barkeep – she’s the birthday girl. That’s Monica in the middle, Jenny’s mom. Great party.

So here we are at home. Home - this one simple word gets around. ‘Beach House’ is home, Grenada is home, and I’m getting ready to head HOME for a few months. To Canada, to family, to friends. My favourite definition for ‘home’ from my trusty Funk and Wagnall’s?
“A place dear because of personal relationships or feelings of comfort and security.”

That would apply to all of our homes.


  1. With such good commentation and picturesque photos maybe Grenada should be home and not Friday Harbor! You made us miss the West Indies and you(s). Hope you have a great season in both Canada and the Caribbean.