Monday, 30 June 2014

'France' Again



Back to France! 

After a few days waiting for better weather we are finally off south. We plan to dive and or snorkel the Jacques Cousteau reserve in Guadeloupe and then dive the wrecks in St Pierre in Martinique.

As usual we have an early morning start and in the company of ‘Vivace’ we are off to Deshaies. The wind is a little south of east and at about a F5 we are making good time. About the half way mark we spot a small pod of what we thought were dolphins. They seem very large for dolphins so we spend a good half an hour studying the book to try to identify our cetacean sighting. It is always the way, you spend more time studying the book than you do watching the live action! Eventually we conclude that they were short finned pilot whales (we think!)

Pilot whale

Up ahead we can see another yacht, for once we are gaining on it, we are not the slowest or smallest out today, as we get closer we see it is ‘Horizons’, the wind is getting stronger as we can see there is a squall up ahead. ‘Horizons’, a 30ft catamaran, had left from Falmouth harbour in Antigua and are also bound for Deshaies, pointing higher in the gusts we easily sail to windward of them and leave them in our wake. We arrive in Deshaies at about 1530 and anchor in a flat calm anchorage. Compared to earlier in the season the bay is fairly empty.
We spend a day in Deshaies after checking in as it is a really lovely town and we like it here. On the Friday morning we plan to go to Pigeon Island and snorkel in the marine reserve. Friday morning we wake to no wind so we motor the 9 miles to Pigeon Island. By the time we have arrived the wind has arrived too. We pick up one of the yellow yacht moorings off the islands. 

Our mooring in the reserve

We are very close to the shore with barely enough swinging room with the rocks just behind us. Another yacht arrives behind us and tries to pick up the mooring alongside us; there is no room to arrive upwind so a downwind approach is the only way. 

The next 10 minutes can only be described as pure farce, it was very fortunate that it didn’t end in disaster. First, going too fast the yacht overshot the mooring buoy and headed into the gap between the two islands! Next, the crew now at the stern with the mooring rope threw it at the buoy! With this rope in the water they go astern only to catch this rope around the prop! Panic ensues as another member of the crew tries to swim to the buoy with another rope (which is too short) while they launch the dinghy to try to drag the yacht backwards to keep it from being blown ashore. Eventually the swimming crew is given a longer rope and manages to tie the stern off on the buoy. All that remains is to free the rope attached to the prop. This is achieved by cutting it and it parts with a loud “twang”! With engines in astern they motor backwards and attach the bow to the mooring buoy. While all this is going on there are divers surfacing from their dive and a dive boat circling around trying to pick the divers up! Disaster is narrowly avoided! We could not go and help as we had not yet lowered the engine onto the dinghy.

After all this excitement they abandon any idea of going snorkelling and go and anchor near the mainland side of the bay. Later they came back by dinghy!

Peacock flounder

The action under the water is every bit as good as the excitement above. 

Smooth Trunkfish

The marine reserve really makes a difference (no fishing) as there are many more mature fish here than anywhere else we have snorkelled.  

Pudding wife

 The water is very clear and there are lovely coral formations.We spend the afternoon snorkelling and then move to the mainland side of the bay for the night. We plan to be off to Dominica in the morning.

A slow sail down Guadeloupe

As usual there is little wind down the western side of Guadeloupe so we are motoring, we are confident there will be wind as soon as we reach the bottom of the island. 

Our own beer from Guadeloupe!

We are not disappointed and are met with a good F4 from the east. Unfortunately we are also met with a couple of heavy rain squalls as well. The breeze only lasts until we get to Dominica and dies as we approach the point on our way into Prince Rupert Bay. We are met by Martin (Providence); he is out fishing for the afternoon with his family. When he realises who we are he calls out to us “Welcome back”! It is nice to be back but we will only stop the night as we want to dive in Martinique. We anchor in front of the PAYS event house on the beach, close by is ‘Compass Rose’. Again, there are far fewer boats here than in March. Alexis stops by and greets us with “Welcome home”! This is a lovely spot but we are on a mission so we will not be here for the Sunday night beach BBQ, much to the disappointment of the ‘boat boys’.

We decide to go ashore (even though we have not checked in) and try to have supper in the ‘Blue Bay’, we order a drink and the barmaid says she is going home and closing (so much for supper!) Fortunately it is PAYS to the rescue and we end up in the ‘Purple Turtle’- a PAYS business. The menu is somewhat limited as there are only 2 portions of Chicken, but plenty of fish and burgers in the freezer. Between the crews of ‘Galene’, ‘Vivace’, and ‘Emma Louise’, we all manage to get something to eat (and several beers!)



Tomorrow we will go to Roseau, it is 24 miles and true to form we motor all the way. We are met in the bay by ‘Pancho’, who offers us a mooring by the Anchorage Hotel.  At US$10 a night it is really the only option as anchoring is almost impossible in the deep water off the hotel. The guide book says that if you buy a drink at the hotel you can use their pool. What a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon, drinking beer lounging by a swimming pool in the Caribbean! You would think we were on holiday! Unfortunately there is some confusion between the bar staff and hotel management - management want to charge us EC$15 each to swim in the pool. This only comes to light after we had already dived in. Ok, no problem we will just get out then. I don’t think that was the response they really wanted. So no swim, just a quick dip and we lounge in the chairs drinking cold beer; I suppose we cannot have everything! Tomorrow it is back to ‘work’ as we will sail to Martinique and our planned dives on the wrecks in St Pierre.

St Pierre waterfront

The wind south of Roseau really blows hard and today was no exception. Well reefed down we scream across the gap between Dominica and Martinique, wind F5+ seas moderate to rough, things calm down in the lee of Martinique and we have to motor, but the wind picks up again as we near St Pierre, backing to the NE we sail right into the bay and anchor just north of the pier alongside ‘Vivace’. 
 
 We plan to spend a few days here, diving and maybe explore the island by car. With the Emancipation day carnival on the Thursday, we have hired a car for an island tour on the Friday, Saturday there is a ‘Big Band’ concert in the market square, so we will spend some time exploring ashore.


Before we dive we want to see if we could get our dive cylinders filled. No dice at Papa D’lo, we are destined to only have one dive as we cannot get our cylinders filled. The dive shop is very cagy about diving the wrecks and we gather they want you to dive with them, which is not what we want. We know the wrecks are marked with large buoys in the bay, they are all at 30+ metres deep but we will tie off on the buoy with our dinghy and go and see what we can see.

Our first dive is disappointing as the visibility is about 15m; the wreck is on the sea bed at 30m with odd bits of wreckage around the outline in the sand. Not a lot to see – a huge anemone on a box and a few wrasse and lion fish. Dave from ‘Vivace’ who is diving with us is newly qualified and can only dive to 20m so it is not a good dive for him either. We abort the dive so as not to waste our air and look for another site. Getting into the dinghy Rowena managed to drop her weight belt – oops! Fortunately we both have plenty of air, so leaving Dave at the surface, Rowena borrows Dave’s weight belt and we do a quick ‘bounce’ to 40m to retrieve it.  We find it easily, as it is a flat sandy bottom, but we both have to hang on to it and put a bit of air in our BCs to get back up. 

Lots of Lobsters

Technical diving over we look for another site, having watched where the dive boat goes we pick up another mooring, this wreck is called the ‘Italian Yacht’. The dive does not disappoint, lots of life, turtles, lobsters, soap fish, eels, mutton snappers and interesting bits of wreckage to look at.  We also see several lion fish on both wrecks, there seem to be more in the French islands, maybe they just do not do anything about them. At 18m we dive for 22minutes until Dave is out of air. We need to come back and dive the other sites but first we need to find out where we can get our cylinders refilled. 

The Parade

We spend the afternoon ashore at the carnival. There are dozens of stalls with traditional handicrafts, tropical flowers and local food. We watch the parade and stay for some of the live band and go back to the boat to watch the fireworks.

Church at Fond St Denis

Friday is our day with the car. We head across the island through the rainforest. 

Tree ferns in the Forest

The pretty villages in the mountains remind us of Switzerland, they are very neat as well. Each village seems to have a huge church with mainly small houses.

Tropical flowers in Stained glass

 In this area, they each have their own memorial to their villagers who died in the volcanic eruption of 1902. We finally arrive at Mont Pelee, the volcano. You can walk almost to the top but today as we walk to the viewing point we are shrouded in mist and rain so decide against it. 


Driving through farmland and miles of banana plantations and sugar cane we see a sign to the banana museum - maybe not!



Atlantic coast of Martinique

The Atlantic side is a real contrast to the Caribbean coast. It is much more rugged, with a fringing reef and offshore islands. I suppose you could cruise there as there are a couple of harbours but it is very exposed to the trade winds although the reefs keep most of the waves away.

Rum Museum

For the full cultural tour you have to visit a rum distillery! We went to the St James distillery that has been making rum from almost the beginning of the colonial times, the first distillery being started by Dominican monks in 1660.  Until I visited the distillery we never realised the difference between the French and English style rums. The Rhum Agricole in the French islands is made by distilling sugar cane syrup, it is generally white and the dark rums get their colour and flavour from aging in oak casks. The traditional dark English Rums are made not from cane syrup, which was used to make sugar but from molasses (the caramelized sugar residue) this produces the difference in taste.  A walk round the museum followed by a sampling led to the purchase of 3 bottles, the Vieux Rhum (old) the Amber (matured in oak barrels to give its’ colour) and a Coconut Rhum (white rum with coconut juice)

Mending Nets Case Pilote


Town Square Case Pilote

Our island tour concluded with a visit Carbet bay where it is believed Columbus first landed and a drive past the house where Paul Gaugin (the artist) lived. The house is a museum and gallery but unfortunately was closed for renovation. Maybe next year it will be open.



Columbus Hotel, did he really stay here?
The Saturday evening free concert was excellent, a mixture of Jazz, Swing and Latin rhythms. We were surprised that hardly anyone was dancing, on the former British islands as soon as the music starts people start swaying and dancing, maybe a bit of French reserve? Finally as the band was completing their encore a few people got up and danced.

‘Vivace’ who have been our companions for several weeks now, are keen to move on but we decided to stay another day in St Pierre, it was good that we did as we found a very obliging dive shop that would fill our cylinders, it is called Surcouf and is on the south side of the beach near the Esso filling station. We just beached the dingy and carried the cylinders up.

At this time of year everyone is moving south, many of the boats we know here are going to Fort de France, the capital. We will go to the Anse’s d’Arlet and enjoy the snorkelling there. 

Fishing Boat Petit Anse

Grand Anse we know is a sleepy hollow, but the bottom is lovely, sandy with outcrops of colourful sponge and coral and all the attendant fishlife. We spend part of an afternoon cleaning Galenes bottom with the scuba gear and the rest of the afternoon trying to get rid of all the minute shrimps that have crept into every crevice of out gear.




Petit Anse

Next day we discover Petit Anse is even quieter. For some unknown reason both anchorages were rolly so we got ourselves tucked in at  Anse Chaudiere  in the southern corner of Petit Anse. Totally calm with almost no wind.




French Grunts (of course!) and Black Bar Soldierfish

The snorkelling here is very good, we snorkelled the rocks off the jetty by the beach and also the rocks along the shoreline in Anse Chaudiere.  

School of White Mullet

 We saw many new creatures here including a lesser elecrtric ray, an octopus, rock hind, spotted snake eel (in fact, we saw 4 different eels on one dive!) different sea cucumbers and pufferfish as well as all the usual reef fish. 

Spotted Moray

We swam in schools of mullet, sergeant majors and ballyhoos as well.

Lesser Electric ray

Interestingly the cafĂ© in Grand Anse where you used to be able to clear customs no longer has a terminal as it had changed hands, but now you can clear in Petit Anse at the internet services (Cyberbase) on the front street.  We also discovered a lovely bakery one street back.
 
Cleared out we are heading for St Lucia. This will be our final stop in the Eastern Caribbean this year. We will get some of our jobs done here before we go to Bonaire for the summer.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Montserrat - The Emerald Isle



Montserrat

We are up early for a dawn start. The sail from Nevis to Montserrat is approximately 30 miles and should be a fine reach with the wind from the East. Unfortunately we got so little wind and that wind was from the South East so we had to motor sail all the way. Still with flat calm seas we did manage to see a pair of Bottlenose dolphins as we passed to the west of Redonda.


Approaching Montserrat


Smelling a sulphurous smell, it is not our heads but the volcano we can smell from several miles away! Also we realise that what we thought was a cloud over the top of mountain is actually volcanic gas and steam. Is going to an island with an active volcano such a good idea?


Beach at Little Bay


Arriving in Little Bay in Montserrat by lunchtime we had pretty much our choice of anchoring spot. We chose a spot near the jetty and the bay was flat calm. A good job we got there early as the whole fleet seemed to arrive during the afternoon, the late arrivals having difficulty finding a spot.

 Monday being a holiday (Montserrat has the same holidays as the UK) we will have a swim and go ashore to check in the following morning. Since the eruption of the volcano, there is only one port in Montserrat. Plymouth, the former capital is now completely covered in volcanic ash and mud.

Where Plymouth was!
Montserrat we discover has quite an Irish heritage, being initially colonised by Irish Catholics escaping persecution from the English on St Kitts in 1632. St Patrick’s day is celebrated with a month long celebration! Guinness is available everywhere! It is The Emerald isle in the Caribbean.
We check in on the Tuesday morning, Montserrat uses the Sail Clear system so in theory we can do it online, unfortunately internet access is virtually impossible here and in any case the system is down, so it is back to the old ways of carbon paper and duplicate copies. A 3 day in and out clearance is granted which means we have to leave by Friday morning. This should suit us fine as we plan to do an island tour on the Wednesday, investigate the snorkelling on the Thursday and leave on Friday for Guadeloupe before the predicted Northerly swells arrive. Montserrat is no place to be with the wind or swell from the North as there is virtually no protection. There are plans to build a new harbour and a marina which will offer more shelter, the problem as always is finding the money, an estimated US$250 million!, on an island with a population of 5,000. It is only $50,000 for every man woman and child on the island!

The Anchorage from Brades
After checking in we decide to walk up to Brades, the town overlooking the harbour. Quite a few shops and the only cash machines on the island are here. There a  few small grocery shops and we are pleasantly surprised at the selection and reasonable prices.
We were lucky to see the top of the Volcano

We arrange our Island tour through ‘Moose’, his bar is behind the new row of smart bars along the beachfront. Charles Daly our taxi driver and guide is a retired policeman on Montserrat but his family were originally from St Vincent. As a young man he saw the advert and applied for the Royal Montserrat Police Force and has been here ever since.

The sign alongside the stream reads "Drink from this burn and to Montserrat you shall sure return"

His love for the island is infectious and it is easy to see why so many wealthy people had holiday homes here before the volcano erupted.


New harbour buildings
Our drive around the island started at Little bay where a new town is being constructed, this is going to be the Capital, the temporary buildings are being replaced with permanent structures and there is a new market, museum and a cultural centre. The cultural centre was funded by a rock concert arranged by George Martin (of The Beatles fame), supported by many of the artists who had recorded at Air Studios Montserrat. There is a ‘helping hands’ wall with handprints of many of the artists who helped the cause.

Eric's hands
Our next stop was the small but interesting botanical gardens which is focusing on local flora with medicinal or health benefits, but includes an undercover rainforest area with some beautiful orchids. It is much dryer on the lower parts of the island. There is a very nice small gift shop with good selection of merchandise run by volunteers from the National Trust.

Yellow Heleconia - The National flower
 The sight of the devastation caused by the volcano is both amazing and sobering.

Still out of bounds!

At the volcano observatory, a film is shown of the events leading to the evacuation of most of the population, the eruption and subsequent pyroclastic ash and mud flows.

At the Volcano centre - Volcano behind

The former capital has been completely obliterated, the former golf course is covered by 8 feet of mud and ash, Old Road Bay has moved seaward some 500 metres (so is not much of a bay anymore) and the airport burnt out and covered by several feet of volcanic ash. Despite all of this the locals are optimistic and upbeat about their future. Those who stayed are making a go of things and many have returned.



Deserted Air Studios


This was a hotel - Note the pool filled in with volcanic ash


Just the top floor remains - the lower two stories  are buried!
The following day we snorkel the reef in Little Bay, seeing sand eels and a southern stingray round the anchor and a nice reef. In the afternoon we took the dinghy to Rendezvous Bay, a huge area of flattish reef also with lots of life.

Redfin Parrotfish with Tube sponges

Marauding Blue Tangs

We saw Red Billed Tropic birds nesting on the cliff between Little bay and Rendezvous bay, soaring and calling.

An unidentified heron by the dinghy dock

 Sundowners on the beach in Monty’s bar (run by a former British matelot who first saw Montserrat at 18 years old and has returned to run a bar and dive shop) completed our day.

Carrs gun battery overlooking  the anchorage

That evening the predicted swells arrived and we rolled terribly. We were glad to be away in the morning. Our departure was delayed an hour by heavy rain which reduced the visibility to 200metres. Finally we are off, around the north coast and looking to sail to Guadeloupe. Not so fast! Rounding the top of the island we run over a fishing float semi-submerged in the swells. The float we hit is attached to the main pair of floats by a makeshift rope and we have severed this off wrapping it around our prop.

Just what we didn't need!

There is a horrendous banging as the float (an old plastic bleach container) bashes against the hull with every rotation of the prop shaft. The swells are too big to go under the boat and we cannot get it off from the boarding ladder with the boat hook. Fortunately we haven’t locked the shaft with the rope so it should be easy to remove later in calmer water.
Calm water we haven’t got, neither have we got the wind in the right direction to sail to Guadeloupe, so it is back to Antigua where we are headed by the wind and are forced to short tack into Hermitage bay in 5 islands harbour where we anchor under sail between ‘Vivace’ and ‘Secouden’ who had been our neighbours in Montserrat as well. 10/10 was awarded by our neighbours for our manoeuvring under sail. In the calm waters of the bay a quick swim under the boat and we easily removed the offending attachment. Fortunately no damage was done.

The offending rope removed
The weather is not forecast to be good for a few days (South East winds and 2-3m seas), so once again we will be in  in Jolly Harbour waiting for some fair winds before setting off to Deshaies in Guadeloupe.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

St Kitts & Nevis



St Kitts and Nevis 


After Easter we are off to St Kitts. There looks like a good weather window for a week or so, we will take advantage and explore some islands we haven’t been to before.

St Kitts should be an easy downwind sail. We are planning to sail between St Kitts and Nevis through The Narrows. This is a shallow channel between the south of St Kitts and the north of Nevis, last surveyed in the 1800’s with a lead line, with minimum depths of less than 2m in places and a couple of rocks (some just awash), so could be quite a challenge. The backup is to sail around the south of Nevis and up the west coast to St Kitts.


There is no such thing as an easy downwind sail! We have either too little or too much wind. We use all combinations of sail and poles, gybing to get the best angle on the wind. We cannot sail easily to the narrows, so we are on plan ‘B’, to the south of Nevis. The pilot book says give the south coast a mile offing as there are many shoals and shallows. They are not kidding! While the depths are nothing to worry about the numerous rocky shoals have given rise to ‘fish float city’. We gingerly pick our way through the floating maze thankful that the sea is calm and we can see all the floats, in any swell most of them are drawn under the water (more on that subject later!) Rounding the southern end of Nevis we lose the wind and decide to motor to Charlestown to pick up a mooring for the night before continuing to Basseterre (St Kitts) in the morning.


'Picadilly Circus' - I kid you not!

Basseterre is a charming town and we have a good walk around, but being Sunday everything is closed except the Customs office at the Marina, the Marina office, a Chinese supermarket and restaurant!


The town may be charming but the anchorage was not! It was very rolly off the marina but there really is nowhere else as you have to go there to check in or explore the island.

Guess where we ended up having lunch! An excellent Chinese lunch in an unlikely setting, overlooking the cruise ship complex.

On Monday we have to go ashore again to finish our formalities with Immigration and the Port Authority. We also want to book a taxi tour of the island and visit Fort Brimstone a former British fortress now a world heritage site. The berthing master at the marina is quick to ask us for the US$5 (for 24 hours) for leaving our dinghy in the marina, but doesn’t have space for us and ‘Vivace’, still at least we can use the showers, dispose of garbage and our dinghy is secure while we go to town.

On our way to the Immigration we are approached by Junie a local taxi driver who specialises in tours for yachties. For US$100 he will give the four of us a tour including the fort it will take about 4 hours. We agree and off we go a quick trip around town, we had already walked most of it anyway. On our way to the fort we stop at the War Memorial, Bloody point where the Brits and French combined forces in 1626 to massacre the Caribe, an old sugar factory now partially restored as an historic site

Sugar Mill ruins

and Caribelle Batik on the site of an old plantation house.  

Caribelle gardens

 We also get to see our first petroglyphs – one looks a lot like a monkey.

Petroglyphs

Strange because although the island is full of Green Vervet monkeys, the French brought them from Africa.  I (Rowena) enjoy seeing them as they remind me of South Africa –

We saw these all over the island

Our Grey Vervets look very similar.

Rainforest road

There are fields of abandoned sugar cane as the island’s state owned sugar industry has closed as it is no longer economically viable anymore. Finally we get to the fort.
A commanding view

This is really impressive, partially restored but with a lot of ruined buildings it covers a huge area on several levels on the hillside. Built by slave labourers taken from the farmers with British military engineers overseeing the work it must have been a massive undertaking, with a commanding view over both the land and sea. It was almost impregnable, only surrendering after a 30 day siege by 8000 French troops in 1782.

The remains of the Officers Quarters

When St Kitts was returned to the British the following year, lessons had been learnt and the fort was expanded, never to be taken again!  

The 'Citadel' Fort Brimstone
 Our tour continued to the North coast to Dieppe bay where there were plans to build a marina; unfortunately the architect of this plan is in jail accused of murder so plans are somewhat on hold! We continued along the ‘Atlantic’ coast to North Frigate Bay and the ‘strip’, home to the Royal St Kitts resort and golf club and the Marriott resort along with a clutch of bars and restaurants, all aimed at the ‘well heeled’ tourist.

We return to Basseterre town to find a more ‘local’ restaurant for supper before returning to our rolly anchorage.

No more rolly anchorages for us, as the next day we are off to White house bay, reported to be good for snorkelling and a lot less rolly. It is truly a beautiful bay, but not much beach. The snorkelling is excellent on the south side among some big rocks and the remains of a wreck.

A ciliated false sqilla - only 5cm long! Sitting on a piece of fire coral on the prow of the wreck like a tiny figure head
A sleeping turtle

On the shore there is a construction site, part of the Christophe harbour development it will be a beach bar and restaurant. The dingy dock is impressive built for ‘Super yacht’ tenders to drop off their passengers to use the bar I presume. We are told by the Head of security that there will be moorings for 30-40 Super yachts in the bay but a dinghy dock will be provided for us mere mortals! We nod politely and admire the plans.

Sunset in Whitehouse bay

The following day we walk around what will be the harbour development and across the peninsular to Sandy bank bay. Here has been built a very exclusive members only beach club. Funny we saw no members, hardly surprising as the development has only built 6 houses, but lots of staff!

The only guests being a couple of Egrets!

 I would love to see the numbers on that place! There are plans to build a marina with Superyacht berths and a marina village complex.

The site of the proposed marina complex

Also a hotel in Banana bay on the south coast. This place is miles from anywhere, has no locals living anywhere near it, no transport links and no shops, very strange. Still it takes all sorts I suppose and good luck to the developers. The only part we are really interested in is they plan to have a customs post there, so we won’t have to go to Basseterre again!

The dreaded swimmimg maker buoys!

Cockleshell bay was our last stop on St Kitts south coast, unfortunately the holding is not that good and we dragged our anchor. We awoke at 0300 to being alongside the buoys marking the swimming area off the beach, pretty scary! Fortunately our anchor had dug back in and we were able to drag ourselves forward before starting the engine and re anchoring close to where we were before.

Nevis

The sail from Cockleshell bay St Kitts to Charlestown on Nevis is short and pleasant. We pick up a mooring opposite Sunshine’s beach bar (anchoring is forbidden). It is about ½ mile to town from here by dinghy and you need your dinghy anchor to keep you from going under the dock. Charlestown is very neat, no litter anywhere a very quaint town with probably all the shops you need.

Charlestown town centre

We walked around and saw the Alexander Hamilton museum – we had run into him in St Croix – he was one of America’s founding fathers - across the road from the old Anglican Church. Nevis’ main claim to fame is this is where Fanny Nisbet lived, who went on to marry Nelson.

St John's Anglican church - The oldest Anglican church in the Caribbean

You can see their marriage certificate in one of the churches, but a taxi driver assured us that he has definite proof that they were never married in church, but under a tree in her Uncles garden!

Six of us took a bus up to the Botanical Gardens which were quite small but interesting. Their main collections seem to be palms and orchids; there were hundreds in flower, so very pretty. Strangely, they had Buddhist type sculptures around the garden, not quite sure what the connection is. There was also an agricultural section with various fruit and nut trees, where I discovered that macadamia nuts are part of the Proteacea family.

A Rainbow gum tree

 I had no idea, even though we grew them in South Africa.  We ended the day at Sunshine’s beach bar for sundowners and a nice supper.

Sunshine's beach bar

Our last day we had good snorkelling on stone breakwaters that the hotel had put up to protect their beach. There were lobsters in every crevice and many hamlets, black headed gulls, imperial terns and boobies roosting on the rocks.

Sun Anemone shrimps - can you spot them?

Caribbean reef squid


Then it was time to ready Galene for the next day’s sail to Montserrat!