Sunday, April 30, 2017

Turtle Sanctuary in Bequia

Hawksbill turtles are beautiful and critically endangered.  They have a very distinctive pattern on their shells which is what made them so highly valued. These are the turtles that have their shells commonly sold as "tortoiseshell " for such things a jewelry,  combs and ornamentation.

In Bequia  (Beck-way) we had the chance to visit the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary where one man is trying to help save the Hawksbill.


You can see the distinctive head giving rise to the name.


These turtles are 3 years old and about 2 feet long. They are to be released into the ocean next week. Turtles typically have a survival rate of 1 in 1000, the goal of this sanctuary is to raise that to 50 - 100 per 1000.


This one is a little younger, but you can really see the markings.


Not a great picture, but this was the only Green Turtle in the sanctuary. These are the type of turtles we saw in the BVI.  This one had been shot by a spear gun. It is scheduled to be returned to the wild soon.


This little bitty one was only 3 months old. It was found in a yard and brought to the sanctuary.

Before the turtles are released they have a small hole drilled in the back of the shell as an identifying mark. Over 2000 turtles have been released back into the oceans and divers are now reporting seeing these turtles thriving in the wild.

Many thanks to people who devote their lives to something like this. Education and conservation helping to keep a species alive.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sailing by...

Dolphins have not been a part of our trip thus far. We spotted them twice in a particular bay in the BVI,  but at no other time nor place. Crossing from Martinique to St. Lucia gave us another glimpse of these wonderful creatures. I was at the wheel when I noticed some strange breaking of some of the waves. I looked closely and it was a pod of 8 - 10 dolphins. They approached the boat from the side and then turned 90 degrees to swim alongside Rhapsody. They were darker than I expected and swam just under the surface parallel to Rhapsody. A few jumps in the air, but mostly just swimming along beside ud. Gracefully,  with power and speed. And then they were gone. Just a quick "Hello, how are you? Welcome to our world" and they were off to other waters.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Finishing up Martinique

Our pace has definitely slowed down and we are no longer rushing from island to island.  This is a good thing. We have spent over a month in Martinique but it is time to move on now. These are some pictures of our last few days in Martinique.

Traditional Martinique sailing boat, now used for youth instruction.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Veggie plate for you...

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger,  Pepsi, Pepsi, Chips (transcript here) had its Caribbean counterpart in a small restaurant on the west coast of Martinique.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Gorge-ous Hike

What are the top rated activities in _________? This is a frequent Google search for me. When I typed it in for Martinique I got several lists of different recommendations and on each list was "Gorges de la Falaise", a walk through a Gorge and up to a waterfall. It sounded very appealing and something I thought would be a good thing to do with my brother, Nathan, and his daughter, Hannele when they were here. The guide book I have said it was a three hour hike, so we made the decision not to include it in their itinerary since we had several other places we wanted to go and this would take a larger chunk of time than we were willing to allot. We were able to do some other hikes and tours, but did not make it to the Gorges de la Falaise.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Marinas - Bah!

I understand the need for going to a Marina, and I am usually very happy to get the things accomplished while we are at a Marina, but I do not like staying in a Marina. It amazes me that people stay at marinas for weeks, months or even permanently. I know that there are reasons to do so, I just am not happy when we have to. Marinas are noisy, and crowded, I can't swim in the waters, there is no breeze to keep the temperature down, and we get to pay for the privilege.

Sunset view off the stern at the Marina vs...

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Met the Bloggers

St. Anne, Martinique 

Learning the Cruising life. This is something that we have been working on for quite a few years now, beginning with the seed of the idea in 2010 in Costa Rica and sailing school in 2011. A great deal of the initial research and learning was done online. Websites about sailing and cruising were helpful, but I really enjoyed reading the blogs of people who were out experiencing cruising right now. One of the blogs I discovered early on was written by and about a Canadian couple who began cruising in 2010, Mike and Rebecca Sweeney and their blog Zero to Cruising. Mike has been posting almost daily since 2008 and the beginning of their dream of cruising. I stumbled across their blog in 2011 and have been reading it ever since.