And so the hurricane season is upon us! It starts on the 1st of June and last till the end of November here in the Caribbean.
Last 2 months we spent sailing around the islands badly affected by the last year's hurricane Maria and Irma - Dominica, St Martin/Martaan and the British Virgin Islands. It really is heartbreaking to see the devastation of nature and the fear these hurricanes brought to people's hearts too.
Many people who would normally visit these islands have not visitor this year and for us that was great. Especially in the British Virgin Islands there were no crowds of charter boats you would normally see. But there was plenty of great sea life to be seen and superb snorkelling!
But we were not short of a great company - Tony spent 2 weeks with us and we met and also said good byes to our french friends from S/Y Sophia and S/Y Oukiva who headed for Bermuda, Azores and back to Europe!
With my girls - Liba and Dana! SY Sophia and Oukiva.
Necker Island in the backround - home of Mr Branson!
The Baths, BVIs
To 'escape' the hurricanes we decided to head back south - to the island of Grenada. The south of this island is just below the hurricane area and it is relatively safe to leave your boat there. We spent many weeks in Grenada in January and love this beautiful island, so it was an obvious and at the time an easiest choice to make when deciding what to do for hurricanes.
To get there we had to sail first back to St Martin - roughly South east direction. Via the Anegada passage, into the wind for 15 hours. We made it, nobody was sick and once in the Marigot bay in St Martin we discovered our Dutch friends were all there too! It made the horrible passage worth it. We had a great week with S/Y Agape, Bojangles, Rings and Dingo! While they were prepearig for their journey towards Azores and Europe we decided to head to Grenada via St Kitts and Nevis - 300 nm should take us about two days.
Our Dutch friends! Minus me and kids:)
Caspar and Simon rescued a dog swimming in Marigot bay, as he could not find his boat and was being swept away by the strong wind!
We managed to sail all the way (60nm) to St Kitts in one day and anchored just a few minutes before it got dark. The passage was not comfortable with winds between the islands gusting over 30knots. Passing Nevis the next day felt like sailing in Scotland - fast current helped to get our speed to 8.7knots and wind was gusting over 30 knots again.
Around 0230 hours after 15 hours of sailing, heading 160 degrees, with wind consistently at 28 knots, close hauled and waves coming over the boat all the time our Autopilot and all the instruments (depth,wind, lat/long) stopped working!We were near Guadeloupe and made a decision to sail to Dominica as we know the anchorage there well. After 8 hours of helming by hand we arrived, dropped the anchor and went to bed.
The next day we swam and cooked and ate good food to recover:) Antares recovered too - with all the instruments working again we set sail towards Martinique.
And we are still here - St Anne is beautiful and we are waiting for our flights back to Europe where we will spend the hurricane season. We are having superb time climbing volcanoes with our friends from Fille de Joie!
St Anne, Martinique
In the meantime Simon sailed single handed to Grenada via Bequia and Carriacou to get Antares to the boatyard where it will rest for the next few months!
See you all back here in November 2018!