Caribbean Trip Days 3 to 8

Day 3. 18th March. After many months of expectation we finally were on our way sailing.

The airline finally located the missing luggage and we departed around midday heading north. At about 3:30pm we arrived at a little bay near Chateaubelair (fishing village on the west coast of St Vincent). In the distance we noticed a village cricket game. We decided to check it out in the yacht’s tender (the dingy used for transportation between the yacht and shore).

Village

The game was the local village versus village game. As we approached from the ocean a couple of boys were waving dramatically to direct us further south down the beach. We mistakenly thought this help was intended for the purposes of eliciting a cash tip. I know now they just didn’t want us parking a boat on their cricket field. It turns out the ocean formed one of the boundaries.

Cricket

Field

We were welcomed in a friendly manner, particularly considering we had just parked a boat on the field just behind the square leg umpire!

Children near boat

The game was very competitive and the event had an electric atmosphere (more than some of the cricket world cup games I went to). The local village side was fielding. The ended up winning comfortably with the help of some questionable umpiring decisions! After the game the music was pumped up and the locals formed a party on the field. We demonstrated some of our cricket prowess by playing with the local children.

John bowling

The kids were genuinely excited by the visitors. As I stood barefoot on the beach one young boy of about 5 years decided to clean the sand off my each one of my toes. It was a nice gesture although it did seem a little futile as all his hard work undone as soon as I took my next step.

Day 4. 19th March – Total sailing 65 nm

Our first inter-country crossing. We departed at 6:00am and sailed until 12:30 arriving St Lucia. We found a nice spot to drop anchor and begin what was becoming a daily routine – consisting of lunch, swimming/snorkeling, relaxing. Lunch was a BBQ kindly prepared by Leal.

BBQ by Leal

After a few lazy hours were began sailing again to arrive in Rodney Bay. This night we stayed in the marina and had dinner onshore.

Day 5. 20th March. Total days sailing 63 nm

We left the former English colony of St Lucia to sail towards Martinique – part of the republic of France. We arrived in the capital of Fort-De-France around lunchtime.

We used the opportunity to re-stock supplies on the boat.

Food

We then sailed for a few more hours stopping at a bay to the north of St Peirre. St Peirre is located towards the north west of the island – a good launching point for our next days sailing. Our destination for the first cricket game in St Kiits was a number of islands north and we had to make good sailing progress to get there in time for the game. So our general strategy was to stay overnight at a good location towards the north of the island, making for a shorter sail to the next country.

Day 6. 21st March – 77nm sailing

On Day 6 we reached Dominica. The mountainous terrain was largely unsuitable for European agricultural settlements. This has resulted in one of the more pristine environments in the entire Caribbean. The country has spectacular rainforests and coastlines. It’s a shame we had to keep moving, only stopping briefly at this spot called Coconut beach.

Coconut Beach

We swam ashore to play cricket just in front of the house shown in the picture. A couple of residents were relaxing on their front porch in their secluded beach location. I wonder their thoughts when 11 Aussies swam 100 meters ashore in matching canary yellow speedos to play cricket for 45 mins before disappearing again into the water to swim back to the boat. After watching us I think they came to the conclusion that Australia were certainties to win the cricket world cup!

Leaving Dominica we sailed back into French territory – ÃŽles des Saintes. A tiny group of islands with a population of only around 3000 people. This was our destination for the night.

Day 7. 22nd March – 43nm sailing

Departed 8am and sailed to the French colony of Guadeloupe. Arrived 1pm at Pigeon Island for a snorkel around Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park. We then sailed again for another few hours to Deshaies for some beach cricket. Out little warm up routine of “classic catches” off the boat prepared us well.

Boat catches

Day 8. 23rd March – 88 nm sailing

Today was a long sailing say, leaving at 5:40am to sail to St Kiits. We arrived at the harbour called Port Zante. It was full of yachts flying Aussie and South African flags – groups of people here for the game on the next day.

1 Comment »

  1. Monica said,

    May 8, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

    Sounds like you guys had a great time. Stopping to play cricket along the way……the locals must think Aussies are a little crazy.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

For spam detection purposes, please copy the number 3251 to the field below: