Sailing in the Caribbean

It had been more than 20 years since my husband and I had gone sailing in the Caribbean. So I was very excited about our sailing trip this Summer, even though I usually experience severe seasickness. We planned our trip with another couple we had sailed with 20 years ago who now had two children ages 10 & 8. We were bringing our youngest grandchild who is 8 and my husband’s daughter and her two kids ages 13 & 11. So there were 10 of us on this trip 5 adults and 5 young boys. We rented a 50 foot Catamaran which was new for my husband who is the Captain on our sailing trips and we are his crew. He has a lot of experience sailing a mono hull boat. Our vessel had 5 cabins and 5 bathrooms, a generous indoor salon and a great outdoor sitting area.

Parana

We flew into St. Maarten to pick up our boat and in two and a half weeks we had planned to get down as far as Antigua before we headed back up to St. Maarten to return the boat. This was the first time I had been to these islands. The previous two sailing trips I had taken with my husband and our combined families began in St. Lucia and we sailed the Grenadine Islands.

map

Now when I tell people we are going sailing and my husband is the Captain and we are his crew, they really don’t know what that means. It means that there are going to be two times a day putting up the sails and taking the sails down, anchoring or mooring and taking the anchor up, that is going to be hard work requiring all adults on deck and it will be a little stressful. On a 50 foot Catamaran it proved to be even more stressful because the size made it difficult to hear people’s commands and responses. We really needed walkie-talkies to communicate effectively. But instead we just did a lot of yelling. In between those sail management times when we are actually sailing not much is happening. We just enjoy the Ocean and waves and everyone including kids take turns driving the boat. We sail during the day, usually after breakfast until we get to the next island. Then we anchor or moor the boat and either take the dingy boat into shore or swim into shore. Each island is different depending on its history and inhabitants. There are Dutch Islands or French and in the case of St. Maarten, half of the island is Dutch and half is French. I believe one of the islands we went to was English owned. On the French islands, the boys had their first experience with topless beaches which made for some interesting conversations.

The kids got along great but they were more preoccupied with their electronics and finding WiFi than the sailing but we all had a great adventure exploring new islands, swimming in pristine waters and seeing incredible sunsets.

pristine-waterssunset

We didn’t get down as far as we had hoped before we had to turn around and go back up to St Maarten, but we made a plan to do another trip next year so we could explore Antigua and Guadaloupe and some of the remote islands in between. This year I was prepared with a seasickness patch and two pressure bracelets and I didn’t get seasick, which really enhanced my enjoyment of the sailing experience.

Group-shot

 

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