onsdag, juni 21, 2006

A SHORT ENGLISH SUMMARY

A SHORT, REALLY SHORT VERSION OF OUR VISIT TO THE WEST INDIES.

Shamefully, I have to admit that the last English update is as far back as Christmas.
We celebrated Christmas and New Years in Bequia in the Grenadines. Lovely place! We were not alone.There must have been at least 300 boats anchored in Admirality Bay, and many of these were Scandinavians.
From Bequia we sailed a short stretch down to Mystique, the island of the celebrites with Mick Jagger up front. By the way, we saw him. Beautiful island with fabulous houses.
Next we went down to Tobago Keys. This is a small group of islands with wonderful reefes and off course then diving and snorkling. This area must be the prototype of Caribbean paradise.
From there on we moved a short distance down to Union Island, also a very picturesque area. Our daughter Marte, her friend Olaug and our son Åsmund were onboard for 2-3 weeks during this period, and we had a lot of fun.

Then we had a short visit to the island Carriacou before we had a longer stop in Grenada. First we stayed in th “capitol” St. Georges, later on in a beautiful fjord further south called Prickly Bay. Grenada was absolutely worth visiting.

In late January we sailed down to Chaguaramas in Trinidad. We stayed here for 2 weeks enjoying the preparations for the famous carnival. Also we replaced all the wiring to the rig, according to what I had promised myself when the forestay broke before Cape Verde. Interesting place Trinidad, but it had a huge crime problem. I was knocked down in the marina, but due to my solid constitution I was not hurt!

Next stop was Tobago, and we stayed here for 4 weeks. Very nice island with low prices. We were anchored in Store Bay,just by the airport. At one time we were as many as 7 Norwegian boats gathered in the same bay. Imagine! During this period some friends from Norway, Jorun and Jan Henrik, visited us for 2 weeks. We all had a very good time!

Then on March 9th we started on our return trip. First we had a brief stop at Prickly Bay again. Hauled up the boat and gave it a new layer of antifoulingpaint.
Within 2 days we were up at Martinique, one of the French islands. It was just like being in Europe again. Everything in order, French style! As opposed to the English, the Frenchmen had been mixing with the former slaves, resulting in all kinds of beautiful bodies and complexion. Somehow one got the best of both races. We rented a car together with another Norwegian couple and saw most of the island. Very beautiful and worthwile a visit.

From here on we visited to other French possessions, Les Saintes and Guadeloupe.
Same thing here. Good standard and order all over.

Then in mid April we came up to Antigua, to English Harbour, later Jolly Harbour and then back to English Harbour again. I have printed a lot of pictures from Antigua earlier on, and also written something in English about my dear cousins , Mary Ellen and Suzie, that visited us in this island. My brother Kjetil and my friend Jan came over on May 1. to be crew for the Atlantic crossing later on. Mette left the boat a few days later and flew back to Norway. She would join me again in Irland.some weeks later.
Us 3 guys sailed to St.Kitts, Eustatia, Saba and finally St.Martin. The first three islands are all mountainous and volcanic, and we did some exploring. Kjetil was also doing some diving on the coral reefes, he even saw some sharks.

In St. Martin we prepared the boat for another Atlantic crossing, and on May 13th we started out.. We were very lucky with the weather and did the trip over to Horta in the Azores in only 17 days. We only had to motor the last 2 days, and had an average of about 140 nm pr. Day.
Horta was a nice town, very well kept.. The people were friendly and most of them spoke a bit English. The prices were remarkably low. We spent 10 days there waiting for suitable weather to cross over to Irland. Jan left us, so it was only me and my brother. 9th of June we started out, and had some quite strong winds the first 4 days. Then the wind faded more or less away and we motorsailed for another 4 days to reach Kinsale in southern Irland. Some boats coming behind us were hit by gale and storm, so once again we were really lucky.

Kinsale is also a very picturesque little town, typical for Irland. Lots of tourists down here. One night in a pub I met to American sisters on tour, and it so happened that their uncle had been a mayor of Fargo, ND.
Mette came after a couple of days and was happy to be onboard again. My brother then left for Norway. I think he was glad to have solid ground under his feet.
These last days we have sosialized with Norwegian couples in two other boats here, and tomorrow on the 22. of June we will start sailing towards Dublin. We plan to be back in Uskedalen around 15th. of July. On our way we’ll visit some harbours in Scotland and also most likely the Orkeneys and Shetland Isles-

In retrospective, it has been a marvellous year. We have had no major problems or severe accidents with the boat, and have avoided really bad weather. Mette and I have had a good time together, and there is no divorce in sight! We’ve met an awfull lot of nice people on the tour, I think I can say only nice people. Also we’ve seen very many beautiful places that we will always remember. But in my opinion, the best thing with the whole trip has been the wonderful temperature in the sea in the Caribbean. It varied between 28 and 31 degrees Celcius, and it was just paradise to dive in first thing in the morning!

Best regards from us in Fatuhiva

3 Comments:

At 8:38 p.m., Anonymous Margo & Allert Wiersema said...

Friday July 21 Allert and Margo arrived safe home, on board of Hexe. We too had a wonderfull 13 months on our Atlantic tour. If we get your e-mail address we will send you a very nice picture, which I took visiting you in La Sociedad, Graciolsa. - We are very proud to have sailed 11.250 nautical miles together! Looking forward to hear from you by e-mail.

 
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