|One year ago!|
We visited 13 countries and many more islands. We started out in the British Virgin Islands where Rhapsody had been waiting for us. Someone once described the BVI as cruising on training wheels. I was very happy to begin with training wheels. Our first longer sail this year was from the US Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico gaining more confidence on the way. We returned to the BVI and from there we ventured out to new destinations.
First up was St. Martin / St. Maarten and our first overnight passage. I was anxious about the passage as we had never sailed so far, nor had we sailed at night, but we had Robin and Mike Stout from Mermaid to buddy boat with us and show us the ropes.
Thank you Robin and Mike.
From St. Martin we ventured off on our own, down the island chain. St. Barts was next, followed by St. Kitts, Antigua, Guadeloupe and Dominica. We learned a lot about the Caribbean geography along the way, where the islands were, how to pronounce the names and how each island had their own personalities and idiosyncrasies. Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Tobago and Bonaire rounded out the year.
|Houses built into the rocks in Bequia, St. Vincent|
Along the way we stayed in 7 different marinas, even though we really try to avoid them. They can be a necessary evil, and even, sometimes, a welcome respite. Each marina we stayed in had a specific purpose, usually repairs or maintenance of some sort, and we left as soon as we could. We made many improvements to Rhapsody, in safety gear and upgrades, comfort upgrades and aesthetic upgrades. We have taken Rhapsody from being a boat we live on to become our trusted and seaworthy home.
|The Pitons, St. Lucia|
Hiking on the islands has been a great joy. A chance to get off the boat to stretch our legs, and occasionally share the experience with others. It has given us the chance to experience the different terrains and climates of the islands. Desert islands with lots of cactus and lush tropical islands with rain forests. Islands with very little elevation gain and islands that you have to scramble up (and down). And wonderful waterfalls. We have always had an affinity for waterfalls, so hiking to new waterfalls is always a joy.
We have had to learn to deal with frustrations over things like laundry and shopping, customs and credit cards, storms, rolly nights and boats dragging anchor, but these are passing things and inevitably they are bookended with stunning scenery
or incredible wildlife.
We have had guests overnight for over 30 days this year and have really enjoyed sharing our life with those that came. If you joined us this year, please come back soon, and if you haven't joined us yet- why not? Your berth is waiting for you!
|A visitor to our boat at Waterlemon Cay, USVI|
|Watching the partial solar eclipse through a colander in Tobago|
Until it is no longer fun.
|Along a path in Dominica|
It is still fun, we will keep going.
Happy Splashiversary Rhapsody!