Ep. 5 Merry Christmas from Martinique

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Look how many star fish were under Neverland!!!

Hi Friends and family

Thanks for checking in on us and it feels like such a long time since we had internet so hence loads of pics for you. Just a brief outline of our travels since the last post. We finally left Grenada after having to go back from Sandy island just off Grenada to fix the sail drive and Stus hand (which fixed itself, with the help of vinegar to dissolve the sea urchin spikes). We had to haul Neverland onto land to fix the leaking sail drive, it felt like old hat (except having to berth the boat between 2 docks with 1/2 a metre on each side, Stu did really well).

Next we went to did the rest of the Grenadines (Carricou, Petite St Vincent, Union Island, Tobago Cays, Canouan and Bequai), St Lucia and Martinique.  We have had some great sails with fast speeds (10 knots) and no squalls and some not so great sails with my head in a bucket! Theres loads of pics so I’ll tell the stories through them.

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Jake had discovered he loves doing this, in St Louis Grenada

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Nice calm seas leaving Grenada heading to Carriacou

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Stu caught a GT, golden travelly

We arrived in Carraicou very happy to be out of Grenada and finally on our way. That night we discovered tonnes of fish on the back of our boat. The kids were catching small fish with their hands, but mainly with containers, we had loads of fun with the strip light we popped into the water to attract the fish. We saw some larger fish on the outskirts of this amazing giant tornado swirl of brown, which were the fish under the light. Stu got his rod out and caught this GT much to his delight off the back of he boat. It was running him all over the boat and he had to climb over the bow sprit (very front of boat that juts out in for a few metres) and the fish also managed to get caught up in the anchor chain also!), he let it go.

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Jake at the helm

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Getting ready to snorkel Sandy Island number 2, off Carriacou not Grenada.

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dress up time at Sandy Isand

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This is some serious acting….from the boys anyway.

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Petite St Vincent, this place was like a Paradise island.

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Fun on the ropes at Unions Island, Frigate island.

We spent one night here at Union Island, eager to get to the next spot. We checked in at customs at another anchorage and there was a very small island man made out of conch shells! It had a restaurant on it!

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Check out Jakes face! Union Island

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Very excited catching tiny sea snakes off back of boat at night, Tobago Cays.

Tobago Cays was seriously cool fun, beautiful aqua coloured water, nestled in between 3 islands and reef. Very popular gorgeous spot for cruisers. We spent the first night at a beach BBQ (like a restaurant), kids discovered hundreds of giant hermit crabs on steroids! Talk about crazy crabs everywhere. The weather was pretty wet and some pretty squally nights, loads of wind and rain. One day we spent there was dedicated to fixing leaks, drying out my and Jakes bed, cleaning mold from leaks (I gutted Jakes bedroom while his wet bed and wooden under bed was drying), washing clothes etc etc. Stu has since found and fixed the leaks in both rooms, the 2 leaks in our cabin, the 2 leaks in the saloon and the leaks in the cockpit. Fingers crossed no more appear! Still have to re seal the whole outside of the hulls as the bilges are leaking (bilges are underneath the flooring in both hulls, starboard hull is worse), could also be from sea water – Mission. Also the toilet tap and the shower holding tank hoses were leaking, oh and did I mention when ever I washed my hair it would clog up the pump! So super Stu installed a filter system the we empty once a week to prevent that happening. Its a full time job maintaining this boat, it seems.

Stu is currently celebrating as he just fixed the electric winch so we now have rewind mode again.

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Alex looking chilled leaning against daggerboard

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Bequia is awesome by JAKE

 

Today we all got in the dinghy and drove Neverland junior around the island and in to a cove. It was a bumpy ride, when we arrived we discovered as fort with a HUGE crater in the middle that looked like like it avalanched of the mountain and smashed in to the village looking fort! The fort looked like it was made from cobble stone and wood. It was also hand made by an man for visitors to rent. Above the cove was a high balcony house also for rent, but there wasn’t just one of them, there was well there was…………….. (the croud goes silent)………………………there WAS ONE OF THEMMMMMMM NOT  HA HA HAHAHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAH MAMAMAMAMHHA   MHHA MHAHA L HAVE AN ARMY OF TTTHHHEEEMMM MHAHAHAHAHMAHAMHAHMHAH MHHAHMHHAMHHAMHAAHHAA OW well aaa…HEM ahem l tried to clear my throat wo well back to the story mahahahah AHEM opps my bad so back the story. Ekk I said as l put a flipper on my sea sore then l jumped in The water and sore lots of fish and coral it was kind of disappointing to see how boring it was and dark but there mite of been swords there because of the fort (but it wasn’t a fort it was just a rental village). l explored the cove a bit then l wandered over to dad but he disaperd! Where did he go so then l swam over to mum and and the nexo thing l knew was that dad popped out of the water and held a crayfish in my face! Boy it was slimy. After that l swam for a bit and mum shouted ‘’come come’’ but l didn’t under stand her thro her snorkel but l followed mum then she pointed to a cuddle fish it swan weird like an up side-down snake so it is practly a up side down snake oval shaped thingy. When we left we drove around a cool shipwreck and it looked like a freighter after that we discovered a nother side of the fort and headed home. T…HE EEEEEEEENN..D.(the end).

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look where we got to anchor! Beautiful ST LUCIA

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under sail

9 /12/2016

 

from ALEX

I have catched another fish another Tuna, dad pulled the tuna up no Jake pulled the tuna up and dad got the gaf and then killed it. We were sailing and a tuna jumped on board, then Jake pulled the tuna on board then dad gaffed it on the belly. Then the blood got everywhere on the boat, yeh well most of it. The tuna shook and shook and then the blood got all over the boat and dad!

 

We went to the volcano and it smelt like rotten eggs, It also smelt like toxic gas because it is toxic gas!

 

8 minutes to go till the bread is cooked! Yum

 

from SIENNA

We went to the mud bath and Jake got covered in black mud and we all got covered in mud except for mum. Mum is allergic to the scent so couldn’t get muddy. Then we were in the muddy water and we rinsed off , got out and had a shower. I got my face covered in black mud and I got my arms and legs coved in black and white mud.  Got in our clothes.

A boat just came past that looked like a pirate ship, I got dressed in my pirate outfit me harties and we shot them!

 

A man came up to the baot  and he showed us the turtles that the made and also bracelets and necklaces and then he showed us the conch shells and we buyed it. It’s a really big shell and some people cut them open and cut the top off and blow in it. IT like as big as mum and dads foot. We blow in it all the time especially when boats and ship come past us. It sounds like its as loud as a car horn.

 

We sailed here and it took us most of the day. We do things that are boring when we sail, we do sleep , eat and sleep. And mummy vomited on a bucket.

 

from JAKE

When we were sailing we had our main sail and head sail out with 2 rods in the water. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! “QUICK get the rod” dad yelled so as quick as I could I grabbed the rod and slowly pulled it up ekk….. it was sooooooooo…… heavy ahh, finally O…….M………G that is huge. Dad said “Jake don’t be dramatic”, “ow sorry” I replied so back to the book, AHEM so dad got the gaff and jabbed it and then it………. Went mental, it was moving so fast that it was staying in the same spot! It was incredible.

 

 

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The Pitons in St Lucia

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The Pitons

St Lucia

We did not want to anchor in an unfamiliar place in the dark so we left at 3am from Bequai to St Lucia. We had little sleep as we caught up with other kid boats we had met there and stayed out too late, so had to get ready to sail, so little sleep was had by us both. Set sail with a good forecast, maybe a little too much North in the easterly prediction but no predicted really strong winds. Well 20 minutes into motoring upwind up the coast we hit our first small (could see it coming on the radar), hit 33 knot gusts and as we were going upwind it was rough from the wind waves, we weren’t even out to sea as were were on the lee of the island (downwind of the island). I had taken sea sick pills before bed and given some to the kids too. I was pretty confident I would be fine, maybe I didn’t take the next round of pills early enough. Well I was green and had to go to the toilet a few times (down in the hulls, not good going downstairs when green) I came up puking each time!! Yuck. I had 3 episodes of this. But when you puke at least you feel better for a while afterwards! The whole sail I was pretty much out to the count, either feeling sick and exhausted or just exhausted. It was a 12 hour sail.

We were so excited sailing into this anchorage, well to be truthful I was a little nervous as we had to pick up a mooring line and the first and last attempt at doing this did not go so well. So I was at the front practicing hurling the second mooring rope in front of the bowsprit (the bit at the very front of the boat that sticks out like a nose), ours is very long and difficult to get anything around it, whilst issuing instructions to Jakey who was going to quickly attach it to the cleat on the boat. Anyways, there were boat boys (2 guys that came out to us on a home made wooden dingy) that helped us with the mooring lines (for a price of course), so it was easy peasy.

After the first boat boy came and was very pushy wanting more money for helping with the mooring lines and ripping us off for a dingy ride into customs. We then had numerous other men in boats coming up to us wanting to sell or provide a service for money. We were expecting this as our guide book warned us about this happening, only after 2 hours sleep and Stu sailing the whole way with me not well, we were exhausted. We didn’t feel like talking to boat boys, but it turned out one of them was really nice and not pushy at all. So I brought a conch shell off him. These conch shells are super cool, they are everywhere, washed up on beaches and are huge. We got one with the tip sheared off so it can be blown as a horn! Mia you would absolutely love to add one of these to your collection, these shells are  salmon pink on the inside and very pretty. So when cruising it is common for men in boats to come and try and sell you numerous things from, fruit and veg to jewellery they have made, trinkets, tours around the island or removal of rubbish.

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smoking bubbling mud in Volcano, St Lucia.

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Volcanic mud, turning my family into monsters. I had to sit this one out as have had an allergic reaction to this sulphuric mud before!

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Sienna and I in front of Piton

 

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check out this boat boys contraption! that is filled with fruit and veggies. He came every day whilst in Rodney bay, St Lucia.

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excited kids with their new booty of fruit.

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The Fort in St Lucia, Rodney bay.

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Cannon at fort with view

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Nativity scene complete with peg people.

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Our Christmas tree, a basil plant purchased from that crazy looking boat.Decorated by Alex and Sienna.

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Jakes home made rod!!!

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Conch shell blowing marking the finish line for ARC boat.

Hi family, I haven’t finished this post yet but wanted to put it up anyway for Christmas, I haven’t edited it and need to add a bit more. Bye for now and wishing you a Merry wonderful Christmas, especially Bev, Roy and old Pop in this hard time right now, love to you all.

11 thoughts on “Ep. 5 Merry Christmas from Martinique

  1. Wow Nat! It’s Christmas night and Jag and myself read this together- what adventures you are having! Absolutely love all the pics. I do hope the leaks have been sorted and there will be limited sea-sickness from now on!
    The kids will enjoy reading this tmrw.
    Be safe, sending love xxx

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  2. Merry christmas guys, i have been looking out for your post as it has been awhile. Love the unique christmas tree , always good to improvise when you have too.
    Glad to hear you have set sail, its good to get some ground under the belt. The islands are really amazing, the photos really have good contrast with you guys and neverland, pretty sure you will get some of these framed for the house after your travels as they are priceless shots.
    We had a good chrissie, dave and carlz and kiddies came over on boxing day and enjoyed the arvo with us. Bailey had a sleep over as he and kobi play well together. Dave mentioned you guys were well and that you had skyped saying the reception was really good. Its amazing how even places that have so little infrastructure were people get by with the basics like the boat boys still have some technology available phones etc..
    Storys by the kids are beatifully written. Jake imagination when he is writing is awesome, he really puts some passion into it.
    Well take care guys we are always thinking of you and keep up the great blogs. Ill find out if there is any easy natural solutions for seasickness ive heard of a few in my time but ill ask my dad who might have some recommendations for you. Nevertheles you will be close to gettjng your sea legs now i imagine.
    Love from all of us Kobi macie clyde & Rachel xxx

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  3. Wow Nat this is fabulous. Good for you. Your pics are fabulous. Your children look so happy and so free. Love to the Carribean from us all on CCU. Ps: Carol, Tammy, Kelly, Rita, Jelita have all left so do you fancy putting in a shift 😊 Louise Haley xx

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    • Hi Louise, WOW I can’t believe Carol has retired? Kelly gone too? Has she gone to another hospital? Tammy too, far out? Is the place a little light on? Thanks for checking in on me matey, we are loving this. Though a little stressful at times, had to leave an anchorage in the dark as 2 fisherman wanted us too (one a little angry), but they only spoke French and us only English, yes lots of confusion, so we sent them off to our friends boat who speak French to decipher! Out first anchoring and navigating on Neverland in the dark, only had to move 4 miles at least to next anchorage in Forte de France, it went well PHEW! Thanks for posting the comment, I love hearing from home. Keep me posted with any news. Love NatXXX

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  4. hi guys and HAPPY NEW YEAR !!
    love the photos and the stories- that fruit looks delicious- hmm cant say the same about sea snakes- they freak me out- even when they are small!
    would love a swim and a snorkel in that beautiful blue sea- stinking hot here today and yesterday.
    looking forward to the next instalment
    love the Potts xxxxx

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  5. Hi SNJAS, love reading your blog, love the photos, Stu you look SO relaxed! Jake SO tall and grown up (oh Nooo!), Alex SO scary with that pirate dress-up gun (great idea!) and new big teeth, and Sienna SO beautiful although SO a scary pirate too ..are we sure all the blood on the boat came from that Tuna fish? Proud of you Nat, wonderful time and experience you are having, living your dream life . so many people curious and wonder what they might be doing (Hmmm). very inspiring. also great to hear about friends made and observations of local activities. British Virgin islands? you bet! love Da Mumma. xxxxxx

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    • Thanks mum, appreciate it😃. Wait till you see kids with our cutlass ( machete!!! Yes we have one, took it today and ate some coconut! Also doubles as protection, and walking stick makers using bamboo). Ok they don’t have free reign of it for obvious reasons. Jake very upset today he couldn’t take home all the bamboo we cut up for sticks as he wanted to Mage a raft. Sienna becoming more and more creative like Jake. Alex continues to think about and make weapons!!!
      Loves yuh da mummaxxxxxx

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