Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting back to "normal"

Finally getting everything unpacked and settling back in after our trip!

This weekend was "Little" Gretchen's wedding! The first of our kid's class that we've been close to.

My, they are young, aren't they?

The usual hangar party afterwards, of course!!

Very nice couple!

Friday, May 28, 2010

St Martin / Leeward Island Sailing!! Entire Post

I put the ENTIRE trip in one long post over on the Glory Days blog, just in case you're interesting in looking at it from start-to-finish without having to page thru the different days...

Last of the St. Martin Sailing Trip

Anguilla is beautiful!!! Almost no tourists to be seen. A couple of boys playing with wooden sailboats in the crystal clear water at Road Bay.

Diane and Pat wanted to go to Blanchard's - a fancy restaurant that we all had read a book about. (OK, mostly Diane wanted to go, but Pat was a sport...)

The rest of us went to Elvis's Beach bar. No, not the King - but Elvis from Anguilla!

Amazingly, we spied the same lady that we had seen days earlier in Nevis! She's just island hopping on her own.

Elvis posed with all of us behind his bar. Had wonderful fresh snapper sandwiches on the beach by moonlight.

The next morning, Dick made something that sounds a little weird - pickled herring, eggs and rum. Fabulous!!

Wandered around Anguilla - mostly looking for a grocery to restock some supplies. We were finally successful. Back to the boat to head back to St. Martin. The trip seemed to accelerate at this point! Running out of time!

Anchored in the bay at Marigot - the French side capital. A little more "touristy" than where we have been so far. Got ushered in to a couple of little restaurants on the main drag for lunch.

Great meals - again surprisingly inexpensive - about $10 per plate!

More fun in the dinghy....

Next we took a short motor up to Grand Case - another more touristy place....but fun. Went to Calmos Cafe - a little beach bar. Nice sign - a different take on the No Shirt No Shoes No Service....

Dinner that night was at a little street restaurant that they call LoLos. This plate was $8 US and one dollar beers. Amazing. I don't mean for it to sound like we're cheap'o's ....but the food was fantastic, the setting fabulous - I'm still amazed!

Here is the "kitchen"....these ladies worked hard!! And were so cheerful and helpful!

See how all this vacationing is hard work???

See, what did I tell you - hard work!!

Oh,,,,almost is the entrance channel back into Moorings. Uneventful flights home! Now to the next adventure!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Off to Sint Eustatius

Also known as "Statia"'s the next island north of St. Kitts.

A nice sail....we deserved it after the rough sails earlier!

Strangely, Statia is a major "oil transshipment depot" for crude oil. It didn't bother us -

All the activity is at one end of the island, leaving the rest untouched.

After a super-easy customs/immigration experience with the Dutch officers we went for a nice snorkel.

We were all a little tired - went to the closest restaurant on shore - The Blue Bead Restaurant. Apparently, in the time of slavery, the locals used pretty blue beads as "money". When they were emancipated, the legend goes that they threw all the beads off the cliffs into the bay. So now, they do scuba dives to search for the beads in the sand - and actually find them quite often!

We enjoyed the meal - lots of pasta and some really good pizza! Mine had yummy cheese - sundried tomatos, red peppers, regular tomatoes, and black olives.

Back to the boat - up early the next morning, as usual.

The agenda today was to climb to the top of the volcano! We paid for our park passes and headed up, up up!!

Rooster on the way....

We walked thru the town, to the outskirts, then up the "Quill Path" (Quill is the name of the dormant volcano).

Strangely, we saw large hermit crabs all over the pathway - so many that we had to be careful where we stepped. We were a good couple of miles from the water at this point.

One of them got tired of waiting on us hidden in his shell - and scampered away...

Interesting to have "automatic lawnmowers!"

Hot and sweaty on the trail to the top!

Orchids hung all over the place in crooks and crannies. Too bad none were in bloom.

We were cautioned to look out for snakes. Dick spotted this one. We actually saw two more.

Almost to the top. Here you can actually see the ancient crater of the volcano.

It was extremely steep in places - they had provided some ropes to help in some of the steepest areas.

Ahh the view from the top. Overlooking the harbor where our boat is anchored.

An hour or so later, we were back to the quaint little town of Oranjestad. Very friendly people.

View of the harbor from the top of the cliffs.

Back on the boat - snack of French sausage, a French cheese and some Finish caviar.

Here's a nice view of Quill - the volcano we hiked to the top point on the left, I think!

Relaxing on the boat.....

Dinner was some spaghetti and salad - a nice change that we all enjoyed.

Relaxing after the meal on the deck....lots of star gazing and a little singing (and you know mine was quite off-key!!!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm Back! More St. Kitts

We are happy at the St. Kitts dock with air conditioning and easy access to the boat. So another day was spent touring St. Kitts.

We hired "Junie" with his minivan to drive us around the much larger St. Kitts island. So, 9AM sharp we set out for our adventure. We drove thru lots of little neighborhoods - true to the image I've always had of the Caribbean.

Beautiful plants all around. I'm sure it takes lots of effort - but it looks like it just grows this way unattended.

Junie drove us to the top of "Brimstone Hill" - a fort from long ago.

We toured the interesting ruins - Sharon caught me being a bit silly....

All the school children wear uniforms - a neat custom...

Gorgeous "black rocks" - the photo doesn't do it justice - the water was sooooo blue.

Lunch was at a beach bar - I spied Pat getting a message from a local character. Some sort of con - to start with....but Pat turned it into a fun episode, of course!

Silly shot of Dick and Lindy - doesn't Dick look lovely with Lindy's purse?? Nice legs, Dick.

Getting ready for dinner out.

Couple photos - everybody groans when I pick up the camera now!

Except Buddy when he can get a girl on each side, of course!

We had a nice meal out - Sharon received a special gift from her beau....she'll have to post about that herself!! On to St. Eustatia next....