Hello friends and family, thanks again for stopping by. It is high time we did an overnight passage, so thats what we did to get to the BVIs. We left St Martin at midnight and sailed right through to around 4pm the next day. The wind was really calm and we were sailing downwind too, so extra calm – beautiful. I was loving the time alone when everyone was in bed, it was so peaceful and pretty when the moon came out. Needless to say Stu and I were very tired after this. I was proud of myself for going down to our cabin to sleep and I felt fine. I had to take a pic of our first overnighter on Neverland.
We have just spent 10 days in Anegada in the British Virgin Isles. Anegada is absolutely beautiful. It’s our favourite spot here so far, and maybe even our favourite spot all up. The island is totally different to the other BVIs as it’s a low coral island. We look out to see a few palm trees swaying in the wind, unspoilt turquoise waters, not a boat near us all day today (love it). I think after St Martin we are enjoying the spoils of seclusion, at the moment we are not even seeking other kid boats (though would say hi if saw one). We are anchored 50 m from the beach, which we have SUPed and windsurfed too. It’s totally flat water even though it has been blowing 25 knots some days. We have a little favourite spot where the kids have made a fort out of drift wood. There’s a surf break right there and reef to snorkel on and a very protected beach. Stu christened his surf board a few days ago and I went for a SUP while the kids played on the beach, wow they are growing up, being able to leave them alone for a bit is a new experience for me (with watchful eyes though, don’t worry Nannies and poppy were not deserting our kids!). BTW the beach is secluded with no one around, love it. Kids bombed on my board and we all went for a snorkel, saw a large stingray that let us watch him for ages while he flapped his wings bringing up sand, it was so cool. Jake and I also spotted a spotted eagle ray, we watched a conch shell slowly move with its eyes watching us from the tip of the shell, and I saw 4 turtles. The kids briefly saw a turtle whilst snorkelling but their shrieks of excitement soon sent the little turtle whizzing off. It’s really great to see loads of live conch shells here, we have seen a lot of them but in some areas there are non, and in others they have all been killed. To extract the snail inside the shell, the fisherman stabs the top of the shell to dislodge the pincer holding the shell and out the snail comes. It is on the menu all through the Caribbean islands. These shells are just amazing, they are huge and gorgeous. We have seen piles and piles of these shells washed up on headlands, there is even a little island with a restaurant made of these conch shells! I’m not sure how these shell can still be so abundant or continue to be.
I’m getting off track. Another amazing and rare find on this island is where Stu and I windsurfed. Stu and I actually had a windsurf together!!!!!! We used to always be doing this together pre kids. This spot is on a point, the kids were on the other side of the point out of the wind!!!! While we had the nice steady wind to sail with AND we could see them as well. It doesn’t get any better than that. Also they played happily (well mostly). Stu said I almost ran a turtle over, oppppps I didn’t even see it.
Out the front of the boat we took the kids for a sail, I discovered I could sail with kids!!! I am so stoked, Stu has sailed with them on the front, back and standing up between his legs for years but I had just assumed I couldn’t do it. So much to my delight I took Alex, Sienna and Jake for little burns up the beach (separately). Jake used a 4.2 metre sail, previously he had been using a sail that is 1.5 m which he has totally grown out of now. So he was stoked when he realized he could use the large sail, not for long runs but nevertheless he did it.
WERE GOING ON A PINK FLAMINGO HUNT
We have heard that there is a rare type of pink Flamingo on this island, they are called the Ruby red Flamingo or Rosy Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber, to be technical!). It’s a type of flamingo that has red plumage with much more coloring than other types of flamingos. We have researched these amazing animals and found that the flamingo feathers, legs, and face are colored by their diet, which is rich in alpha and beta carotenoid pigments. These red pigments eaten in their diets (carotenoid pigments) are found in algae and crustaceans. The pond has areas of pink so we could see how these pigments could color the birds red. We found that these birds are reared by both parents equally, both male and female feed the birds with red milk produced in their beaks!!!!! It’s not until the baby birds develop the upturned bill that they can filter feed, so in the meantime the parents produce this red milk from their bills and drip in into the babies bill. It’s so amazing, you tube it if you’re interested its on a BBC program. The poor parents color fades dramatically whilst they are using milk to feed their young but between the two parents they produce enough milk to sustain the baby until the baby can feed its self. The babies are grey until they are adults and are feeding themselves on the algae and crustaceans.
So after our research we were keen to find these birds, we know it would be a challenge and maybe no birds would be found but set off optimistically with Stu leading the way, surveying skills at hand, GPS iphone on google maps trying to find a path to the Flamingo pond from the road.
If your have children (or grandies) and they like the book ‘We’re Going on a Croc Hunt’, you’ll understand the following story –
We’re going on a Flamingo hunt, we going to find a red one!
We’re not scared, we’re brave as brave can be.
Crunch, rustle………… crunch, rustle……….. we’re walking through the bush trying to find a track.
Stumble upon a path to a house, is anyone home?…….no………but ….door …..is…..open
“Stu that door is open”
See a local lady, who spots us too, she drops her basket of washing………….OOoooopppppppps we scared the poor old lady.
Many apologies as we scoot past her backyard to the dirt road we can see.
We’re going on a flamingo hunt, we’re going to see a red one.
We’re not scared (but we may scare someone else!), were as brave as brave can be.
Clod, thud………clod, thud………..walking along a dirt road.
Turn a corner, see a muddy flat pink salt pond –
There may be Flamingoes, they are timid, avoid cow pats, avoid donkey poo too.
But No flamingoes here.
“Lets follow the pond, it leads to another”, so we walk around the pond.
Come to a crossing – Choice – do you want to walk around it or through it………lets walk through it.
So……we’re going on a Flamingo hunt, we’re going to find a red one.
We’re not scared, we’re as brave and brave can be.
Runners off, Jake has crocs, Jake carries Sienna across crossing.
Squelch, squelch……………..squelch, squelch…………………walking through the slimy slippery mud. Yucko
“There’s more crossings, let’s leave our shoes off”
Walking along the pond edge, avoiding the cow and donkey pats,
Get to a larger crossing, then to a long walk along the edge of the pond but has to be in the mud water.
Squelch, slime…………Squelch, slime………………goo squirting up between toes with each step.
YUCK, ITS DISGUSTING!!!!
MUM really has to contain herself here, there are kids watching! It’s just disgusting, feet are sinking up to ankles into black, red pigmented, slippery, stinky and slimy poo mud and there was a long way to go to reach the edge. Glance over at Stu, he has Alex and Sienna’s hands they are contained and really seem like this is an everyday event! Huh! Almost enjoying the mud experience.
JAKES shoe gets stuck, oh no its lost in the mud! JAKE has a patty, cries like a pig on fire, yelling and screaming as he has to step into the goo for the first time shoeless and experience the grossness full on……….. He high tails it to the edge, slipping and sliding at full pace yelling his disgust the whole way.
PHEW made it to the edge, mum high tailed it too, but not at break neck speed like Jake who walked on mud.
Jake calming down, slowly, no sign of Flamingos, Flamingos not on Jakes sights now, only a way home, out of the mud. Alex and Sienna still calm.
We spot a houses roof, yay a way out of the mud. Still have a way to go to find the path on google maps.
Ouch, crumble……….ouch, crumble………..hard dried mud on pond edge.
Maybe I should walk with Stu, Alex and Sienna in poo, goo mud…………Nah!
Find some pink feathers, find some baby grey feathers, find 2 feet and legs, oh poor little birdy, Stu picks up feet, tag on a foot, poor baby Flamingo, Bad feral cat!!!
Collect some manky looking pink feathers.
Scratch (ouch) crunch, stomp…………scratch (ouch), crunch, stomp………………..making our own path in the thick scrub.
Finally find a path, yay.
Hear cars, yay.
See some poisonous trees on way, don’t touch.
Come to a real road, yay, NO MORE MUD!
Stu throws cow and donkey patties at kids, yuck (but funny)……….bad Stu.
We went on a Flamingo hunt, we only saw a dead one!!!!!!!!
So our days have been spent schooling in the morning, I try and get them going as soon as I get up. I bribe them with food and myself doing all the dishes. “Would you like to do the dishes or start school”, “would you like to make porridge or start school?”. Lately Stu has been doing one on one with Jake for maths (which has been a massive help, Jake finds maths challenging). We play in the afternoons, we find its very healthy to get off the boat once a day. We are in each others pockets and tempers can get a little frayed, so a different environment does wonders.
Since we have been in the BVIs the port head (our toilet) has blocked, so Stu had to get down and dirty and try to find the problem, which he has – what a man!!!! We need to get a kit when we go back to St Martin to pick up the new sails, as need a new O ring. So we’re down to one toilet like the good old days back in the Padbury house. Stu has hurt his back again, so is taking it super easy at the moment, no more hauling dinghies up the beach, the kids and I now do it and tell dad to stop lifting!
Jake and Sienna have been busy making bows and arrows to protect their fort. We brought Jake a Bear Grills flick knife (for Christmas) so he can carve and create his own things out of drift wood etc. (as he was using a kitchen knife any way so we thought he is ready for his own). Alex and Jake badly wanted to bring their treasured guns (drift wood) home today, we said no so they went and hid their treasures from all the people that would steal their cool guns!!!! Sienna is into gluing at the moment, she has made some really cute things. She has made Aunty Carleen, Uncle Dave, Bailey and Elorissa figurines (my brothers family). She has made presents for her cousins – Mia, Abby and Aunty Ange out of shells. She and Jake fight over the precious glue!!
Sienna – we went to a beach last night and then we came back and had dinner and watched a movie called Pirates of the Caribbean. We had jelly and coconut for sweets. The other day we found lots of mozzies outside. Also we went to see some flamingos at Flamingo lake, we found some flamingo feathers and a flamingo foot. We found dead baby flamingo feet and legs surrounded by feathers. We think a feral cat may have eaten a baby flamingo. Jake carried me at the start of our walk over the slimy mud.
Jake – We went for a trek around the lake, but the mud was really disgusting, when you stepped your foot sunk half a foot into the mud, it was disgusting, revolting and I screamed like a girl. It was mushy, it reminded me of standing in cow poo. It was worse than slime and goo. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any Flamingos but we did see some feathers on the ground. We bought some home and we will wash them.
Alex – Me and Jake SUPed to the beach, mummy SUPed too. Dad and Sienna took the dingy with the beach toys. Me and Jake attacked mummies boat, we boarded mums ship and she tried to board our ship but was too slow. We stole mums boat, she was way too slow to catch me when I took the paddle off her. And then VICTORY WAS OURS!!!!! I learned how to paddle as I was the captain of my own ship, VICTORY WAS MINE EVEN MORE!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for taking the time to read of our adventures, if you could post a quick comment that would be ace.
Neverland Captain and crewxxxxxxxxx