Chance’s Favorite Activity

Chance does not swim as much as Caper. However, he is nuts about fetching a ball thrown out into the water as long as we are on a beach. He asks non-stop for us to throw the ball while on we are on the beach. At some point he does eventually tire out. When that happens he takes the ball and jumps into the dinghy or jumps onto the paddle board, sits down, and waits for us to head back to the boat! Crazy doggy, right?!?

If you remember, Chance had surgery on both of his hind legs (tore the CCL’s in both legs – same thing as ACL’s for people). We believe he has bionic legs now! You’ll see what we mean in his video, which is less than 3 minutes. You’ll see how much he loves this activity, which is why we try to take him to the beach everyday.

December 2020: Fun Times in Florida and Christmas in the USVI

December has been awesome! So many wonderful adventures!

We are so very lucky to get to spend almost 4 weeks on the boat sailing around St. Thomas and St. Johns with all three of our girls. But before we could get to the boat, when we left NC, we made a pit-stop in FL for 2 days to get our COVID tests, shop, and see friends.

Our first stop after landing in Ft. Lauderdale was the covid testing center. After our tests, we made a mandatory stop at Coconuts on Fort Lauderdale Beach for Scooby snacks (crab claws soaked in a bowl of garlic butter). YUM!! Addie’s request!

After lunch we went to the beach. Much colder than the USVI!

After the beach we went to Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor for another treat.

We enjoyed our time in FL by staying at the Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood.

Margaritaville Resort is a tall building located on a small strip of land allowing for you to see the sunrise on one side of the building (picture taken from our balcony) and the sunset from the other (picture taken from Mak and Ella’s balcony).

Super excited we got to see our good friends Joffry and Diana. They even threw a party for us at our old marina with great food, drinks, and friends!

Our trip to Florida had to include a stop at the Taco Spot on Hollywood Beach before leaving for the USVI.

The flight to St. Thomas was a short 2 hours. Once we landed and arrived back to Aventis at the marina, it was off to get provisions which of course included coffee and ice cream from Scoops and Brews. Priorities!!!!

Then, it was time to pick up Caper and Chance from the doggy hotel.
Not sure who is more excited to see who…

Before sailing off, we had a great brunch on St. Thomas.

It was then time to leave the dock and explore St. Thomas and St. John by boat.

Our first stop was Brewers Beach. Caper and Ella love to go paddle boarding! On this day, they were dolphin spotting.

Caper loves to do tricks off the board for Addie.

And of course just chill with Ashley.

Chance is happy watching from the comfort of the boat!

Time for a family zoom with Ashley’s family!!

Because the girls had been to the USVI last spring, we planned some new stops for this trip. The first new stop was Buck Island off of St. Thomas. Very cool anchorage – we had a sunken ship directly under our boat! We hiked around the island too.

We never get enough of the amazing sunsets…

And Rainbows…

After leaving Buck Island, we made a pit stop for some snorkeling…

We then sailed on to St. John, where we had to dinghy to shore and visit some of our favorite places there too.

Ashley and the dogs are worn out from all the fun!!!!

“Look Mom and Dad, we are keeping your bed warm for you!”

Continuing around St. John, we made our way to Water Lemon and hiked up to the Annaberg Sugar Plantation. Addie loves sharing the history of the plantation with others.

Another great day! So much FUN having the girls on board!

We made our way to Coral Bay on the east end of St. John. Coral Bay is a quaint, artsy, quirky town. We love it!

We dinghied over to Lime Out, a floating Taco Bar with craft cocktails!
Can you say, Yummy!!

Ashley’s best birthday present – celebrating with all her girls!

And of course getting to be on this incredible adventure with my soulmate!!

Our friends, Kent and Kathy on Wind Ensemble made this video for Ashley’s birthday:

We left Coral Bay and sailed around the corner to Salt Pond where we hung out on the boat, swam with turtles, sunbathed on the beach, and took a hike.

Chance is sure he is a lap dog!

In another life, Caper was definitely a life guard.

Everything stops for sunset!

Salt Pond is this very unique anchorage on St Johns with great snorkeling, very tame turtles, and two distinctly different hikes. One of the hikes takes you to Drunk Beach. When you visit this beach it is tradition that you leave a body…

We did lots of swimming.

Even found a 6 legged starfish. The savage was good and put it back.

Ella, Addie and Caper practiced, downward facing dog.

Cuddle time!!

It is going to be a great day!

Christmas on the boat! Our tree is a bit smaller than in previous years.

A few new decorations. Ashley has been crafting again.

We had Christmas Eve dinner at Lovango Resort.

Santa found Aventis!

Mak and Ella were very creative in their wrapping, hence the raincoats and tee shirts.

We were super excited to get to see Grandma open her AI kitty that we sent her. Thanks Uncle Shawn!!!

Christmas Day was a real treat!
Santa treated us all to a day at the pool at Lovango Resort!

We sailed back to St. Thomas, rented a jeep, and took a road trip around St. Thomas. The view from Drake’s Seat looking out at Magens Bay.

We then checked out Coki Beach:

And after Coki, we made a pitstop at the Margaritaville resort for some cold drinks. They were having a cool bird show!

Our last sail before the girls have to go.
Ashley and Caper just needed some alone time on the bow.

Having the girls home with us for December was awesome! We had some great adventures sailing around St. Thomas and St. John. We will miss them!! Not sure when they will get to come back, fingers crossed in May.

With Mak and Ella on their way back to enjoy the cold and snow in Boone, there is only one thing for us to do, drink our sorrows away at Leatherback Brewery!

Unfortunately, it is not all fun and adventures. Just like any home, ours needs a little/a lot of attention and repair. Her year old batteries are giving out. They should have lasted for 10 years, so this is not right. Luckily, Jesse and Mark are helping us figure things out.

That is our bed…

While that is going on, we also have an exciting new addition to our deck –
4 new dive tanks! Yeah, now we can go diving anytime from the back of the boat or from the dinghy.

What a fun month! Boat life has changed how and when we get to see our family and friends. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our new home with those we love.

Coming up next month: Addie’s birthday in the USVI and hanging out with friends!

Swimming with Turtles

One of our favorite things to do while in the USVI is swim with sea turtles! Most of the time, when we sail into any of the bays around St. Thomas and St. John, there are sea turtles there to greet us. We often throw on our snorkel gear and jump in to swim with them.

We put together this short (less than 3 min) video of some of our times with the turtles. It is so relaxing and fascinating to observe them. Turtle spotting is one of our favorite activities on Aventis for sure!

Caper’s Favorite Activity

We put together a short video (3 min) of Caper’s favorite activity while living on Aventis. Most dogs don’t realize they have back legs – they are just kind of along for the ride (Chance included). However, Caper is sort of unique. Watch until the end to see what we mean. He loves, loves, loves this activity and does it everyday for as long as we let him.

November 2020: Haul Out, Sail to the USVI, and Thanksgiving in NC

November was a very busy and unique month for us after the past 5 months. We had big projects to complete, and they had to be done on a schedule. Cruising life does not require so much of this anymore.

The month started with hauling the boat out at Clarkes Court Boatyard in south Grenada. This is the third time we have seen Aventis out of the water and we are still amazed by the process of how they get her out and move her around. Remember, she is 46 feet long and 26 feet wide.

She needed new bottom paint, the rudder repaired, a cleaning of the sail drive, anchor chain scrubbed, as well as a few other things.

We were in good company as Maeva and Wind Ensemble also hauled their boats out during this time at Clarkes Court, and even Dream Catcher came over to visit us.

With Aventis out of the water, we needed a place to stay for the week. Having the dogs limited our choices, but luckily we found a house overlooking Egmont Bay that worked great for us and our friend’s Kent and Kathy from Wind Ensemble. An added benefit is it had a pool. It had been about a year since any of us had slept off the boat. The dogs made themselves right at home. We had a fun week swimming in the pool, going on walks and making dinners in a real kitchen.

Addie had a very special music lesson.

Addie enjoyed being close to La Phare Bleu resort where a number of her friends meet up on Friday afternoons for a hangout. They had great times jumping off the light ship!

After a fun week being in a house, it was time for Aventis to splash back in the water. Look at her new bottom paint! Hopefully we won’t have to scrub the bottom for at least a year.

With work at the boatyard coming to completion, our next big project was getting to the USVI. But we had a few goodbyes first. We spent more time than we had planned at Port Louis Marina. At first a week or so in June was just recovering from our passage and quarantine, then another week or so a month later to be safe during Tropical Storm Gonzola, and at last about a month in September to get repaired from the lightening. It was an important part of our time in Grenada.

With Bella on the hard and Patrick and Rita in Texas, and Maeva on the hard, and Shirley and David in Canada, and Dream Catcher on the move to the USVI, that just left us and Wind Ensemble. It was an amazing 5 months but it was time for us to get on the move too. We had our negative COVID tests in hand and only 5 days to get to the USVI. With tears in our eyes we said goodbye to Wind Ensemble – until we meet again!

We left early in the morning in hopes that our trip to St. Croix would be between 60-72 hours. Thanks to fair winds and calm-ish seas, we had an uneventful passage to St. Croix that took about 60 hours.

We did have a few unwanted passengers along the way but Caper helped to rid the boat of them, by eating them… Dead fish make for pretty GROSS dog breath!

Addie passed the time by watching movies and listening to music, Shannon read and watched videos, and Ashley crafted. The dogs slept!

We were all smiles when we dropped the anchor and were officially cleared into the USVI. We were even in time for a sun-downer!

Finally, we were back to where draft beer is worth drinking! That is one thing we will not miss about Grenada – no good beer! Super excited to be back where there are good beer choices!

With Aventis secure at Crown Bay Marina in St. Thomas, and Jesse watching out for her, and the dogs safe at Paradise Paws, we boarded a plane and flew to NC for 10 days to see family and friends.

It was awesome (and cold!) to be in Boone. We were so excited to get to see Makenzie and Ella! We have not seen them since May!

Our three beautiful girls!

For Ella’s 18th birthday (back in June) she had requested a tattoo when we came back, so we decided to make it a family affair.

We celebrated our 25 year anniversary in May of 2020. With any luck we will continue to ride this wave of life together for another 25 years!

During our week we had a blast hanging out with friends (Jeff and Tamara, Lenny and Lisa, Don and Mel, and the Tageson’s)! We got to hang out at River Street Alehouse, the Lamont’s house, Lost Province Brewery, Booneshine Brewery, and Brendan’s house. We even had a fun day of brewery and cidery hopping in Asheville, afterwhich we finished the adventure with a sunset ride on the Marlett’s boat on Lake James in Marion.

We spent a couple great days at Booneshine. Ella works at Booneshine also!
Did we mention that it was cold?

Addie had a good time hanging out with her sisters and doing what she loves best!

Ashley saw her siblings for an afternoon in Greensboro.

We then spent a fun afternoon and evening hanging out and eating with Max and Julia (Grandad and Nana) in Charlotte before we left NC for Fort Lauderdale, FL.

It was a wonderful trip. It was so great seeing a lot of our friends and a good bit of our family. Fingers crossed we will be able to get the vaccine this spring, which will allow us to see the rest of our family.

Coming up next month: Fun Times in Florida and Christmas in the USVI

September/October 2020: Lightening Problems and, of course, More Fun!

We started off September at Paradise Beach in Carriacou. We love Carriacou because it is laid back, small, has a dozen great restaurants, beautiful beaches, and awesome snorkeling and diving.

An actor from New York was “stuck” in Carriacou at the same time as us. He made a short video of his time there. At the beginning of the video, you will see Aventis anchored off Paradise Beach:

September started off with a bang in more ways than one! As we lay sleeping in Tyrell Bay at Carriacou with plans to sail to Ronde, a small island just south of Carriacou, in the morning, we were startled awake by crashes of thunder and lightening that seemed to be right on top of us. The storm lasted just minutes but caused us weeks of headache.

Tyrell Bay, Carriacou

We had plans to celebrate Dreamcatcher’s boat anniversary at Ronde with friends on Bella and Maeva the next few days. This adventure included diving the amazing reef at Ronde. Ashley had just done a dive refresher and was excited to get deep in the water again. There was no way we were missing out on this adventure! The lightning knocked out all of our sailing instruments, though! Well, even with no auto pilot, navigation or wind instruments, Shannon hand steered us to Ronde so we could dive and hang out with friends. It was so worth it! We had great luck and ate like kings! What could be better than fresh lobster, lion fish and a magnum of Bordeaux shared amongst friends.

At the end of the weekend we said goodbye and limped our way back to Port Louis Marina in Grenada so we could give Aventis some much needed attention! We thought it would be a quick fix but it turned out to take weeks and weeks of just waiting for parts. We found ways to entertain ourselves in Grenada though…

We watched great Grenada sunsets:

We snuck away for an afternoon of adult time at La Luna, a resort:

Addie worked on her art – she is quite the artist:

Addie had been asking for Japanese food since back in June when she first saw this restaurant. We were excited it was open and we finally got to take her there:

We found a beach bar with pretty and tasty drinks:

We spent time eating and hanging out with friends.
Remember there is still NO COVID on Grenada (in September and October).

We celebrated Patrick’s birthday from Bella at a really neat restaurant overlooking the beach called Aquarium.

Ashley and Addie had a really cool Mom and daughter experience. They went to the Tower Estate, Grenada’s “Downton Abbey”, to experience first hand an afternoon of English tea and cakes. What made this extra special was the blue tea we drank that gets it’s color from the Butterfly Pea flower. An added benefit were the acres of beautifully manicured gardens.

Of course, a few boat projects had to be taken care of. Fixing broken toilets is probably the worst job on the boat. Definitely the nastiest!!!

Addie had lots of fun making new friends.
She even watched her first zombie movie!

We took a school field trip to the Grenada Chocolate Factory.
Shannon was all about this field-trip!

Then it was time for a little adult learning. How is it that they actually make gin and how is it different from vodka? Next time, we need to bring Addie to help us with the details. We were a little preoccupied tasting the gin!

The blue gin gets it’s color from the butterfly pea, the same flower that makes the tea blue.

We went back to the Aquarium restaurant to celebrate Shirley’s birthday from Maeva.

I know it looks like we go out to eat a lot… But it is the main time we have our camera in hand and eating out in Grenada is less expensive than buying groceries!

Grass mowing in Grenada looks a little different than what we are use to – goats!

Have to feel sorry for these pups – their parents wore them out playing and swimming at the beach.

When he is not worn out to much, Chance sits on the ledge in his special seat and watches over us!

We had a fun time celebrating Shannon’s birthday!
He got a few presents and then we had dinner with friends at La Luna.

Our friend Stuart on White Wings had his birthday party the next day, so we got to keep celebrating birthdays!

Our friends Shirley and Dave are preparing to put their boat on the hard and head back to Canada until early January. One last beer and then it is off to remove the sails from their boat.

Success, the sails are off!

We are feeling our time in Grenada coming to an end. As we near the start of November, hurricane season is closing out and friends are heading in different directions. There are not as many options as usual for cruisers this year with so many islands being closed to travelers, so I feel confident we will see many of our friends again soon in the USVI.

Even though we spent a few weeks at the marina getting our boat fixed,
plus another few weeks staying in anchorages close by waiting on boat parts, we had a great September and October in Grenada!

Coming up next month: Aventis gets hauled out of the water and then we sail to the USVI!

August 2020: Exploring Ronde Island and Carriacou

Check out this video about us that our friends on s/v Bella made for us!

We spent the month of August “on the hook” (not at a marina) enjoying the warm water, bright colors and unique cultures of a small island community. The country of Grenada is made up of three inhabited islands, Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Located just a few miles to the northwest of Grenada and on the way to Carriacou is a small uninhabited island called Ronde. We spent a quiet week here with Patrick and Rita (Bella) as well as David and Shirley (Maeva). Our time was spent swimming, snorkeling and of course having a beach BBQ.

A video of our Beach BBQ!

The dogs played hard – we tried hard to wear them out each day!

We made our way from Ronde to Carriacou and anchored at Paradise Beach, thought to be one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

From Paradise Beach you can look across the water and see tiny Sandy Island, a favorite location for cruisers to hang out.

We were excited to find some refreshments at a super cool local spot! As usual we were the only ones here since there are no planes coming or going.

It was a good day!

It was time for an island tour of Carriacou. We toured by taxi; whole trip took 2 and half hours. Aventis is circled in red anchored just off Paradise Beach (middle left on the picture below). Straight out from us is Sandy Island.

The highest point is 955 ft above sea level.

Boat building was one of the island’s main sources of income.

Almost every fishing boat you see around Carriacou was built in Carriacou.

Time for a beach day at Sandy Island, so we can check it out for ourselves. Funny thing, we did not have it to ourselves for long. The Minister of Health for Grenada (the guy in charge of everything COVID) and 40 of his family and friends showed up to celebrate his 50th birthday. It made for interesting conversation.

We enjoyed a few yummy meals at Paradise Beach Club with friends during the month!

One night we even had whole hog!
Another night we were dancing in the moonlight.
But nothing beat the night the guy rolled up on his donkey and ordered his dinner to go! Not something you see everyday!

We continued to explore and found a lot of other boaters in Tyrell Bay, Carriacou. It was here that we met up with Stephanie, Jake, Rosco and Daisy (Dreamcatcher), friends from St. Thomas in the USVI.

The beach at Tyrell Bay had tons of puffy starfish. We think it was mating season and that is why they came to the shallow water.

Starfish up close and personal video!

We went diving with our friends while at Carriacou too! It was great to be diving again! Here are two videos from our friends that day!

A few days later our little group of four boats sailed back over to Ronde. Our friends Kent and Kathy (WindEnsemble) joined us to make us a group of five. We were looking forward to diving the reef at Ronde.

Unfortunately, our stay at Ronde was short lived. It was here that Chance punctured his inner leg on the hook from the sunshade. We did not realize the wound was so deep and when we took him swimming on the beach his belly filled with water. We rushed (as much as a sail boat can rush) him to the vet on Carriacou. Thanks so much to our friends at Paradise Beach Club to arrange everything! Poor Chance got 4 drains put in and stitches to close the puncture wound. He leaked salty bloody water for a week!

It was a long 2 weeks with cone-head Chance on the boat. Caper missed his playmate.

Our friends came to find us and check on Chance. And of course visit the local drinking/dining establishments on Carriacou.

Our friends on Dream Catcher created a video of some of the good times we had in Carriacou!

August is usually a big month for Regattas at Carriacou but with COVID everything is very toned down. We did however, on two different weekends, find ourselves in a great position to watch the Regattas that were happening.

It is also the start of rainbow season….

As we continued to explore Carriacou by water, we travel north on the west side of the island and found a very unique little bed and breakfast with a restaurant. The view was amazing at Bogles Round House. One of the coolest things about this place is they make ice cream and it is sold in some of the restaurants on the island. They had 6 flavors for us to choose from. What a treat!!

We then made our way just a little farther north and found Anse La Roche Bay. This is said to be the most scenic beach on the island of Carriacou. It is a small bay, so some boats anchor with their stern toward the beach and use a line to tie the mangroves. Tim, the local chef, uses his low tech equipment to make some of the best ribs, chicken and lobster you have ever had. And the local music makes for a one of a kind experience.

August was a fun month of seeing new places. We are hopeful that more islands will continue to open up and there will be many more adventures.

Coming up next month: Lightning problems and more boat issues – and some fun times of course!

July 2020: More Fun in Grenada

Our anchorage at St. George’s Grenada at night with a full moon:

We are continuing to explore Grenada by car and boat. We visited some new places and went back to some of our favorites. It is a beautiful and unique island with a variety of things to see and do, inland and by the coast. One of our favorites was West Indies Brewery. During one visit, we got a tour. They bottle the beer 6 at a time, unless it is a special batch and then it is one at a time.

We spent July 4th (which is not celebrated in Grenada) with friends at Grand Anse Beach. Some friends brought their mini-cat over to the beach for us all to enjoy.

We really enjoy the food and the view at 61 West on Grande Anse Beach.

We went snorkeling at the underwater sculpture park one day:

Video of snorkeling the Sculpture Park in Grenada:

So many fun times with friends!

Addie left our mark on BB’s!

It was time to move anchor and check out the southern coast of Grenada.

Caper and Chance waiting to go to the beach.
They are always the first in the dinghy!

We found the St. Georges’ University Club and Dodgy Dock!

A debate at the brewery – whose hair is longer???

Caper and Chance chilling out at the brewery:

Late July brought our first little hurricane scare. Gonzalo was headed our way, so we prepared. It was early in the season and we were only familiar with a small area of the island, so we headed back to the safety of Port Louis Marina. It turned out to be a non-event with winds less than 30mph and barely an inch of rain. That night we had an amazing sunset.

The landscape of Grenada really is breathtaking.

This little hilltop restaurant has a great view of St. Georges.

If you look way over Addie’s left shoulder,
you can barely see Aventis anchored out in the bay.

We are off to our next great adventure – sailing north to the islands of Ronde and Carriacou. It feels good to be out sailing!

Coming up next month:
Exploring Ronde and Carriacou

June 2020: The Start of our Grenada Adventure

June is the start to another new adventure for us!

June is the month we left the USVI and made our way to Grenada.

On May 30th we sailed from St. Thomas to St. Croix. We went ashore and found a brewery tap room of course!

That night, at a tiki bar, we met with the four other boats sailing down to Grenada with us to finalize plans and have a toast. They had the coolest tiki drinks!

We left St. Croix, USVI on May 31st at 7:30am and arrived to the beautiful island of Grenada early on the morning of June 3rd. During our three day passage we covered 395 NM, sailing about 90% of the way, traveling at an average speed of 5.3 knots. We had good wind, which made the seas a little rolly, but made for good sailing.

We traveled with four other sailboats on our passage. On our chart plotter, the screen is divided – on the left is the chart view and on the right is the radar view. At night the radar is important for picking up storms and other boats out on the ocean.

The weather was beautiful most of the passage.

There wasn’t much to do but hangout…

rest, relax…

and hard core daytime napping!

Until Shannon yells, “Dolphins”!

We had a few bad hair days along the way…

Overall, we had a wonderful and safe sail to Grenada!

Once we got to Grenada we did a quick check-in with the ministry of health and made our way to the quarantine anchorage for 14 days.

We liked the front row where the sand provided excellent holding for our anchor!

We had great plans for getting lots of boat chores completed while we were stuck on the boat for two weeks. But somehow we found ourselves being pretty lazy!

Caper did a lot of swimming off the boat too! Chance doesn’t like jumping off the boat into water so he just watches. Our friends on Bella took this great video of Caper jumping off the boat:

Some local fisherman came to the boat and sold us some yummy red snapper that we made tacos with.

The same guys brought us bananas and cashew fruit which is the red fleshy part that grows above the cashew nut.

We also enjoyed plenty of mangoes and passion fruit.

They even brought us the local beer to try.
It was a wonderful welcome to Grenada.

The town of St. Georges’ is home to 20,000 people.

A rain forest sits in the middle of the island gets a good amount of rain. The mountain is covered with clouds most of the time.

We are not the only ones who are running from hurricanes. Each week the country lets 40 more boats in. We all had to register and were assigned a week we could come in.

The only outing we could take during the quarantine was to the dock to drop off trash…

and pick up some provisions, like pastries and bread from a local bakery:

We are thankful for our health and many beautiful days and sunsets in Grenada!

So on Day 14 of quarantine we dinghied to the dock to be tested with the other 40 boats that came in the week we did. If we are COVID free, we get to stay in Grenada.

Important note, Grenada is completely COVID free and they are working hard to keep it that way. The only air travel is for Grenada citizens, and once they arrive here there is a 14 day quarantine as well as the COVID test for them.

Yay! We all tested negative! We are free to explore Grenada!

It was time to start exploring and enjoying all the wonderful and unique features of Grenada!

First stop, the marina pool with our good friends Kent and Kathy (Wind Ensemble) who we have not seen since February and our new friends Mary and Kevin (Pisces) . Our last fresh water dip was in FL last November.

We enjoyed eating at a restaurant for the first time in weeks also!

A group of 13 of us took off for an Island Tour. What we encountered was not the typical tour. Everywhere we went, we were the only ones there. The usual cruise ship tourists are not here. At some of the places, we were the first tourists to visit since March, when the island shut down for COVID.

We made our way toward the center of the island into the rain forest.

Our first stop was to learn about the spices grown here including nutmeg and cocoa.

It was fascinating to learn how they use all parts of the nutmeg. The outer shell is used in the open fire when cooking. The red is peeled off, dried and ground to become the spice known as mace. Under the red is a hard shell that is broken off and used as ground cover. Inside is the nutmeg, which you grate onto your pain killer.

Next we visited Annandale Waterfall.

The foliage and fauna here is incredible.

Time for a quick rest at Mark’s to hydrate with the owner.

Next we were off to look for monkeys. None to be found. Addie is bummed! The locals think they have gone to lower ground to find food since no tourist have come to feed them.

On to the center of the island, Etang Lake where the island gets it’s fresh water.

View of the whole lake, which is the crater of the volcano:

On to the original airport, which is now a park.

On the northern tip of the island, we visited Leaper’s Hill where the Carib Indians jumped to their death to avoid capture by the English settlers.

It was a great day!

A few days later we went with a smaller group to 7 Sisters Waterfalls.

The hike in was about 1.5 miles.

All of us swam under the waterfall. The water was clear, cold and the current was very strong. It was super fun.

It was a great adventure.

Grenada has a national dish known as Oil Down. It includes salt fish and/or goat, breadfruit, coconut milk, dumplings, veggies and spices.
It was yucky!

Our taxi driver Raymond recommended we try Oil Down from this beach side establishment, because it was the best on island. Hope that’s not true, because it wasn’t good! We had a great time, though!

We needed a swim after that truly unique dish.

Of course, we went to the West Indies Brewing Company a few times after getting out of quarantine… 🙂

We are grateful to be in this amazing place with friends and safe from tropical storms!

Coming up next month:
Exploring Grenada and a hurricane down here!?!

April and May 2020: Hanging Out in the US Virgin Islands

April and May were fairly quiet months for us. We stayed around St. Thomas and St. John’s in the USVI bouncing around our favorite anchorages. Restaurants and bars were all closed by order of the governor until mid April when the restaurants opened for take out only. Luckily we got to spend some extra time with Makenzie and Ella because travel in and out of the USVI was still possible. Makenzie stayed with us for three weeks in early April. Then both girls came down in May. Mak stayed for one week and Ella stayed for 2 weeks.

But first, our boat played an April fool’s joke on us with a little electrical fire! Apparently at some point, tucked deep inside the wiring, someone spliced some wires that corroded over the past couple of years and eventually caused a small fire and a couple of days of time re-wiring everything that melted.

Why are there splices on such a new boat??? Uhggg! Look at that corrosion!
Notice all the wires that Shannon had to label to ensure they were replaced and put back on the control panel correctly.

After spending the day fixing the wiring, and running into town to get wires, connectors, etc at the hardware store which involves a dinghy ride to the beach, a 1/2 mile walk to the bus stop, and then a 15 min bus ride – then repeat backwards to get back to the boat from the hardware store (which Shannon had to do TWICE that day!) everything was back together and working.

The next day, Makenzie flew into town!

The girls had lots of fun swimming to the beach and then taking a rest on the boards.
We all enjoyed lots of water time.
Mak loves her pups.
And the pups love her.
There were daily paddle-board rides to the beach for morning walks.
We ran into Addie’s friend Ben (from Zenubia). They met in FL at Harbour Town Marina in November 2019.
Mak learned to drive the dinghy. And she was really good at it.
We stayed about a week here at Ditlef Beach on St. John’s.
Very quiet anchorage with great snorkeling.
The Beach Bar is open! Pets welcome.
We shared Ditlef with a handful of other boats.
The dogs got to go for a real walk.
We went over to Maho Bay on St. John’s but only stayed one night because the internet was not good and we had to keep Mak connected for school work.

Our next stop was Magen’s Bay on the north side of St. Thomas. The beach here is one mile long of beautiful white sand. You must have good timing for entering and exiting this bay, as the north swells can make the process very uncomfortable if not. The bay was very empty of other boats and the beach deserted. We got excited thinking we had our own private beach.

As it turns out, the governor closed all beaches from April 6 to April 20. And they were serious. The National Guard was out patrolling the beach everyday from sunup to sundown. This may not seem like a big deal except you could not even walk across the beach to get to the road to go for a walk. We were essentially stuck on the boat or swimming around the boat.

We did find this small spit of sand that we could swim over to. As long as we stayed in the water they let us be there. We were able to have Chance play fetch and Caper could swim and eat bubbles.

Dolphins came into Megans Bay to visit one day…

We all found plenty to do during this no land time…

The girls did schoolwork and drank root beer together while Chance supervised (napped).
Ashley crafted things with treasures from the sea.
Addie relaxed with her iPad watching YouTube and listening to show-tunes.
Mak enjoyed downtime listening to music.
The dogs made sure to keep a close watch on Shannon.
Addie practiced her modeling skills.
We even found Kenny Chesney’s house on St. John’s.
We had a simple Easter.
We missed Ella!! Looks cold in Boone. We think it actually snowed.
It was a great visit with Mak!
One last kiss…
See you soon Mak!

We spent two nights at the dock in Charlotte Amelia doing laundry and re-provisioning. This was our first dock time since early January.

An added benefit was we got to eat take-out food from Tickles Pub, so we did, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a nice treat!

We went to the local grocery to provision the boat for the next couple of weeks. Look what we found here in St. Thomas, USVI!

Then it was back to the anchor and back on the hunt for more treasures from the sea. The beaches are even back open now!

This starfish has a diameter of 12 inches. He does not look the same once he dies. so we left him to enjoy his life.
I bet this sand dollar was amazing to look at when it was alive.
These starfish were dead when we found them.
Caper and Chance have their own sea treasures (fish) they like to hunt for.
Shannon stayed busy fixing things.
And making us yummy dinners of homemade french fries with chili cheese sauce and of course an order of plain fries. Can you guess which one is Addie’s?

The first week of May, Ella and Makenzie returned for another visit. Mak was only going to be on the boat for a week and we had lots to celebrate since we did not know when we will see the girls again. We are headed to Grenada at the end of the month and they are still pretty shut down. No air travel expected into the island until July or even August.

We started our celebration week with Mother’s Day which was actually on the day. Very Cool! Who knows when that will ever happen again!! Super special!!
Next we celebrated Mak’s 20th birthday which is actually on May 26th.
Then we celebrated Ella’s 18th birthday which is on June 21st.
Then mom and dad needed a break for a minute but don’t worry boys we are coming home.
And we celebrated Father’s Day which is actually on June 21st (same day as Ella’s birthday) with a great sail!

Then we had to say bye to Mak. She needed to get back to Boone and start training for her life-guarding job at Grandfather Country Club.

We rented a car and drove around St. Thomas to show Ella some of the sights. This is Magens Bay where we were anchored just a week or so ago.
What an amazing view up here from Sir France Drake’s Lookout. He would stand here and watch for enemy ships. We then went down for a swim and some beach time.
It was awesome having Ella with us for an extra week. We were very sad to see her go. Wish she could have stayed longer.

Addie shared a lot of info in her posts about the new friends we made this spring, but I had to include this photo here too. Getting to visit and dine with Bob, Louis, Mimi, Fabio, Rita and Patrick at the restored Fortuna Mill Plantation was a very unique experience. Bob is so kind to open his home to all of us.

He has an amazing view from the top of the windmill of Brewer’s Bay where our boat is.

We hope to see our new boat friends again too!

Maybe we will visit Fabio and Mimi (on Endless Summer) in Italy this fall!

We are excited that we get to see Jake and Stephanie (and Daisy and Roscoe) from Dream Catcher in Grenada later this summer.

The month of May had one more celebration for us…

We celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary on May 19th. We are so fortunate to have each other, our amazing daughters and to be on this incredible adventure!

May 26th we got to sit down and dine inside at the Green House restaurant on St. Thomas. This was the first day for dining inside. It was momentous because we ate here on the last day before they closed everything for Covid on March 20. Hoping it is a sign that things will get back to normal before long.

We are thankful everyday to be on this awesome adventure!

Coming up next month:
Sailing to Grenada!