July 1, 2005 The Grenadines We've previously chartered through these islands with the kids, and we are happy to be back in these pristine waters. There's not the built up infrastructure in this area, which is refreshing. St. Vincent: we are bombarded by the locals who row out to us to offer us fish, liquor, fruit, etc. as we anchor in Cumberland Bay. Here we are offered the largest lobster we have ever seen. We gave the fisherman $15 plus a Caribe beer. On the beach we found a movie set left from the filming of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean II and III. The locals didn't want it torn down after the filming. It was the size of a small village! Our next stop is Bequia. We're anxious to get to Venezuela for hurricane season. Bequia: famous for its boat building and whale harpooning. As we had been here before, we made a quick revisit to the town in Admiralty Bay, which offers many amenities and good food. There's lots of good hikes and views here, with much fruit and abundant flowers. Mustique: we passed the island this time, as we had been here before. This is a private island with many celebrities owning homes here, such as Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger. It's beautiful and exclusive. Basil's Bar is a must! After a stop at Salt Whistle Bay, we're in the Tobago Cays, which are drop dead gorgeous. The marine park is pristine. You must take a mooring here, and if you want to get close to the coral, take your dinghy and tie it to a designated buoy and enjoy the abundant fish life. The water here is so blue and clear!! Union Island: this is a funky place, but there are amenities ashore. You can't snorkel very much and anchoring is limited. Best to take a mooring if you can find one. After a quick stop in Carriacou, we're off to Grenada.
July 7 2005 Grenada It was nice to be back in the island where we began our charter with the kids four years earlier, and where we had honeymooned here 11 years ago. It has a beautiful countryside but we can see the devastation from the hurricane last year. It certainly is not as lush as we had remembered it. As we pull into Prickly Bay, our friends Claude and Lyndia come out to greet us in their dinghy. Phil and Jan are also anchored there. It's so nice to be back with them! Phil and Jan head out later that day, as they're anxious to get to Venezuela where they'll spend hurricane season. Our last few weeks on the island take a disastrous turn as we lose our good friend Claude to a heart attack. Claude became a close friend, and we will miss him deeply.
We had plans to be in Venezuela for hurricane season. This changed when Pat was offered a six-month consulting assignment in Birmingham, AL. We figured this was a good time to make some money during hurricane season, so that we can continue cruising. He decided to take the job and we made preparations to put Orchid Lady on the hard in Grenada. We will have the boat delivered to Florida after hurricane season. He barely met the 20 lb. limit to go onboard the plane. We had to visit a local vet in Grenada for sedatives. He wasn't too happy about the trip and it took several doses of medication to calm him down. We flew home the end of July, with Scruffy stuffed into a duffel bag, so that we could carry him onboard. We were glad when flight to Florida was over! We based ourselves in Ft. Lauderdale and rented an apartment . Pat commuted weekly from Ft. Lauderdale to Birmingham.
December 2005 Belize We made a land trip to Belize and met the kids, Isabelle and Armand and his girlfriend Jamila for a two week vacation. We began in Ambergris Caye, and took a sailboat charter down to Placencia. From there, we rented a car and went inland to the Pine Ridge area and visited the Caracol Mayan ruins. We also visited the San Ignacio area. The highland of the trip was visiting the Cave of the Crystal Maiden, where the full skeletal remains of a sacrificed "virgin" was embedded in crystal. We had to swim into the cave, then climb into the cave. It was a great trip!
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